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In music there always seems to be a “next big thing.”  Most of them fizzle within a year or so and fade from sight, but every now and then one comes along that shows all the signs of becoming a band that’s here for the long haul.  Eccentric Arcade is one such band.   With a debut album that has sold well, a third place finish in the Figment Album Cover Design Contest and a new album that’s already racking up sales, Eccentric Arcade are a band on the rise.  We sat down with them to see what makes them the real “next big thing.”

Figment News:  How did you guys form and what’s the story behind your band’s name? I mean what exactly is an Eccentric Arcade?

Riki: We formed kind of by pure chance really. We were all playing Rock Band one day and we started talking about how we all wished we could just be a real band.

Marcus: A few of us had dabbled in some short lived projects in the past, but we decided that there wasn’t anything holding us back from really doing it.

Riki: And the name Eccentric Arcade was actually something that was randomly generated by Rock Band, but we loved it so much that we stuck with it. It’s a suiting name for what we do, I think.

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Figment News:  Your self-titled debut was a hit album and even placed third in the Figment Album Cover Design contest. What does it feel like to have so much success so quickly?

Riki: It’s mind blowing, to say the least. We took a risk just being the kind of band that we are, playing the kind of music we do because we know it’s not going to appeal to everybody. But we put out an album that we wholeheartedly believed in and we got such an amazing response from it. We can’t thank people enough for backing us up and believing in us.

Figment News:  You’ve described your music as “Amalgam”. I must admit that’s a new musical genre to me. How would you describe it?

Riki: Well, “amalgam” means a mixture, and that’s exactly what we are. Nothing sounds the same twice.

Ferny: We all draw from our own influences and it creates a kind of musical melting pot.

Riki: Our motto is “don’t get comfortable” because you never know what genre we’re gonna tap next.

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Figment News:  You’ve released 2 EPs containing singles from your first album, remixes and live recordings. Do you find that your fans are receptive to such an ambitious release schedule?

Riki: I’ve always been the type of fan that when a band I like comes out with something, I’m gonna buy it no matter what. And I always like collecting the singles that come out from my favorite bands because there’s usually something you can’t get anywhere else on there. So I wanted to make sure our fans had the same options. They’re not always everybody’s cup of tea, but if you’re buying ’em and you enjoy ’em, that’s all that matters to me.

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Figment News:  Speaking of new releases, you just released a new LP “Machines Again” on May 12th. What was the inspiration behind the new album?

Riki: We wanted to go somewhere different on this album. We wanted to keep people guessing and to turn them on their ear with something a bit more aggressive and more experimental.

Marcus: We really wanted to step our game up not only musically but lyrically as well. We down tuned alot of the instruments and played alot more complex rhythms and stuff on this album.

Riki: Chris [Vrenna] produced the album and he used to play for Nine Inch Nails, so he definitely brought that vibe to the record. Alot of the tracks have a more raw and industrial feel to them, which really helps shape the tone of the album.

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Figment News:  In the liner notes of the new album you call the new album a “soundtrack for a steampunk utopia.” I’ve been hearing a lot about the steampunk design movement. Would you call it a movement and how exactly did it influence this new record?

Riki: It does seem to be an increasingly popular idea. I think stuff like the video game BioShock has really helped bring the steampunk style to light. It’s not something that we’re excessively involved in or anything, it was just a really cool concept that we started exploring as the album came together. Alot of the songs have that kind of “rise and fall” theme, both lyrically and musically. And when we decided on the cover art for the album, which is this sort of steampunk typewriter, it just sort of all came together. (It’s not totally obvious, but if you look at the keys on the typewriter they spell out “Eccentric Arcade”.)

Figment News:  The first single from the new album is “Rust and Mildew” which features a guest vocal from Aaron O’Blivion. How did you come to work with Aaron? Are you fans of Fait Accompli or his solo work?

Riki: I’m a huge Fait Accompli fan, and I love Aaron’s solo work as well. When we were putting the album together and writing and recording I knew that he would fit perfectly. I got in touch with him just to see if he would even be interested in doing it, or if he even knew who we were *laughs*. And it turned out that he actually liked our first album alot and was really interested in working with us. So we brought him into the studio and I showed him a song I’d been working on, “Rust and Mildew”, and he was into it right away. We did some minor tweaking, he wrote his verses, and we laid it down that same day. I love that song and I’m so psyched that we got to work with Aaron.

Figment News:  What was it like recording with Aaron? Any plans to have him or Fait Accompli join you on the tour to support this record?

Riki: Working with Aaron was great. We got along from the get go. I was nervous meeting him because I’m such a fan of his work and Fait Accompli has so many albums under their belt and we’re these up-and-coming guys working on our second album. But he was awesome, one of the coolest people to work with. I was nervous about singing with him on the track, but once we started recording and we found how well we meshed on the track, all that went away.  We’d love to tour with Aaron or Fait, but nothing’s been discussed as of yet. Cross your fingers!

Figment News:  Speaking of touring, what are you tour plans for the new record?

Riki: The plans for the tour are still being ironed out at the moment. Our management is still putting it together and figuring out who we’ll be touring with. Maybe it’ll be Fait, who knows? That would be great, performing “Rust and Mildew” on stage with Aaron.

Figment News:  What do you guys do when you’re not recording or touring?

Riki: We’re still those guys that started out playing Rock Band *laughs* So we all play video games, me and Marcus especially are big Halo freaks. Ferny’s really into hockey, so he hits up a game any time he can. Brian teaches drum classes, which is where he is at the moment. And we all like to spend our alone time, of course. I’m usually spending time with my wife and our cats and dogs, going to movies, out to dinner, the usual. I’m always writing and we’re always working but we still find time to do our own things. We’ve already got some ideas for the next album, so watch out…

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