A Chat with Arm The Poor (08.01.2021)

If you have been missing Arm The Poor since the band played their last tour in 2010, you are in for a treat. Vomnibus is a blistering album comprising of two previously released EPs that brings your love for the band’s sound to the forefront of your mind. Chris Krause (drums), Aaron Schaub (guitar), Marc Cody (bass guitar) and Adam O’Leary (guitar, vocals) packed emotional depth, raw punk aggression and anthemic melodies into each track. We sat down with Adam O’Leary to talk about the album, what everyone has been up to, getting back together and much more!

OSR: The band formed in 2005, but how did you connect and come together?

O’Leary: I’m pretty sure we all met through some high school battle-of-the-bands type of thing. This was maybe 2004? Chris, Marc and Aaron all went to the same high school and they were putting together a band to play in the show. I was jamming with Chris one night and he told me he had to go to this band practice, so I gave him a ride. I guess it turned out they needed somebody to sing. It was all cover songs, Misfits, Black Flag, some Minor Threat stuff if I remember. I was just in the right place at the right time.

OSR: Your latest album Vomnibus is an anthology of your first two EP’s. What prompted you to do this and not release new material?

O’Leary: We never bothered with taking the time to get our music properly mixed or recorded, everything was just “let’s track an entire ep in 8 hours”. I came across the original master discs from our first two recording sessions and was amazed the files were still readable. A couple recordings were missing parts, so Marc and Aaron had to go back and fix some tracks, but now we are able to give our music a proper release.

OSR: The music of Vomnibus charts the beginning of the band, how do you feel when you listen to these songs?

O’Leary: I’m proud of those songs. I think the music we made back then still holds up well and will continue to endure. It’s definitely different listening now. A lot of those songs were written when I was at peak self-destruct. It was a very toxic period for all of us in the band I think. The title Vomnibus is really fitting in that regard.

OSR: The album is also being released on vinyl, can you tell us more about this?

O’Leary: Yes! Marc and I started a small label called Toe-Tapper Records and we’re releasing the album on vinyl, tentatively scheduled for Spring 2021. DIY indie label from start to finish. Marc did all the album art and my wife helped with the layout. We’re planning on releasing some more ATP stuff and hoping to add more artists to our roster in the future. If you have a band, send us some songs!

OSR: When the band first got together, did you know what sound you wanted?

O’Leary: A lot of our sound comes from our rhythm section. We have an incredible drummer, Chris Krause, and Marc is essentially playing speed metal on the bass. Aaron and I are the stereophonic guitar wall of highs and mids, but it’s really our rhythm that drives our songs. With punk rock, your band lives and dies by your drummer.

OSR: In one sentence, how would you describe your musical journey over the 5 years the band was together?

O’Leary: It was like some big, beautiful, swampy fart; perfectly timed and executed, lingering in the noses of the anointed few.

Arm the Poor

OSR: What has been the most memorable gig you have ever played and why?

O’Leary: Probably opening for the Pink Lincoln’s. Their lead singer is this 5’5”, ancient, shirtless, psychopath. Imagine Iggy Pop now, but still on heroin. We played to a packed crowd of Pink Lincolns fans and they did not disappoint. The band is probably on their second song and the singer is climbing over tables, slamming into people, smashing glass bottles. Some poor guy in the front row got hit in the mouth with a mic. So now there’s a pool of beer, blood and teeth on the floor and the singer is rolling in it like a pig in shit. It was heavenly.

OSR: What have you been up to since the band played their last tour in 2010?

O’Leary: Most of the guys are still living in the Tampa area and actively playing music. Marc is making art and plays bass in Feral Babies. Aaron runs a bottleshop and plays in a band called Mindwash. Chris is playing drums in a post-punk experimental band called Career. I moved to Chicago after the band stopped playing. I met my partner, we got married and now we have a beautiful child, so I’m living the punk-rock dad life these days.

OSR: Would you ever consider getting the band back together?

O’Leary: It’s feeling like it could happen.

OSR: Do you have a message for your fans?

O’Leary: We love you. Now please, wear some fucking deodorant!

Thanks to Adam O’Leary for chatting with us! You can find more about Arm The Poor on their Facebook, Instagram and Spotify.

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