Arise the Fall

Written by Nathan Winfrey in the October 2009 Issue
“I sing about what I know, what I wish I didn’t know and what I wish I knew,” says Robert Sanchez, lead singer for Arise the Fall, an up-and-coming experimental, progressive rock band based in Oklahoma City.

A former Edmond North High School student, Sanchez formed Arise the Fall with drummer Josh Anderson, bassist James Cyrus and guitarist Zac Hudson a couple years ago. “We’re still a young band, really. We’re still in our infant stage,” Sanchez says.

Arise the Fall entered the Gorilla Productions Battle of the Bands in February 2008. Their performance in the first round also happened to be their first concert as a band, and Hudson’s first time on stage in about a decade. They won the round and moved up, eventually winning the entire battle on their third live show ever, beating out between 80 to 100 other bands.

“I think we won because we had something unique to offer,” Anderson says. “We try to grab a little bit of our different influences. All of us come from different musical backgrounds.”

Sanchez says many people at their shows have told him Arise the Fall has a refreshing sound. “We really are trying to do something different, especially for here. The number one thing we get at our shows is that we’re doing something that nobody else is really doing right now,” he says, “And that’s from people who have been in the scene for 20 years.”
Hudson is excited the band has begun to branch into new fan groups and says he’s thrilled to be heard on the radio too.

The band recorded a five-song demo last year, and they feel a full album is long overdue. They hope to deliver one to their fans by early 2010.

Arise the Fall may be relatively new, but all four members have been playing in bands for much of their lives. Cyrus says every band he’s played with has been of a different genre, so his instrumentation is informed by mainstream rock, singer/songwriters, jam bands, metal and progressive rock. “A wide variety of eclectic genres help mold my sound,” he says.

Sanchez began singing in early childhood and became serious about it around the age of 15 or 16. “My mother used to sing all the time,” he says. “No doubt I picked up my influence from her. I have strong means to communicate with people, and I consider it a gift.”

“As a lyricist, I try to connect with as many people as possible,” Sanchez says. He says themes include politics, love, nature, daily life, addiction, revolution and anything else that inspires him. “A lot of bands have pessimistic views. I have faith and hope. I’m not just singing about problems, I’m also singing about answers.”

He says optimism, hope, faith and love are big directions for his music, and that he draws upon his own troubles and triumphs for ideas. “I’ve experienced a pretty colorful life,” Sanchez says.

“We like being heavy, but we try to be more atmospheric at times,” Hudson says. He patterns his style after bands like Dredge and A Perfect Circle.

“We’re really emotional and dynamic. Emotionally heavy,” Cyrus says.

Anderson has been drumming since he was two years old. “It pretty much picked me; I didn’t pick it,” he says. “I used to play on Lincoln Logs or pots and pans and anything else until I was old enough to buy a drum.”

Cyrus started playing guitar in April 1996 and switched to bass just a few months later. “A friend of mine in high school was in a band and he told me how hard it is to find a bassist and he converted me. Now, I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” he says.

Hudson started playing guitar at age 12. Before that, he played violin for 4-5 years prior. “I got tired of getting picked on, so I started playing guitar instead,” he says.

“Writing is a pretty collaborative process,” Hudson says. “I’ll bring some riffs to practice and Robert comes up with the lyrics.”

As a lyricist, Sanchez looks up to Eddie Vedder, Bob Marley, Sting and Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant. “If it has some heart to it, I can appreciate it,” he says. Sanchez says he hopes people who hear Arise the Fall play will walk away with a sense of enlightenment, motivation, hope, or whatever they need to enhance the quality of their lives or the lives of those around them.

“There comes a point where you try to find your own niche and your own groove,” Sanchez says. “It’s a physical journey, but it’s also a spiritual journey.”

“Some bands work really hard to connect with each other, but we have a really organic connection. We have a very natural, organic feel and representation,” he says. “We have a really solid, tight sound. I think people are going to pick up on our natural progression and flow.”

Hudson says he gets frustrated sometimes when not every member of the band is on the same creative wave and, as a result, some songs will unexpectedly change style from one verse to the next. However, somehow it always works and the song is better with the blended ideas.

“When you see a band, you always want to take something away from them and I think that’s really easy to do with us,” Hudson says. What listeners take from an Arise the Fall show may vary from person to person, it’s important to the band to create music that is original, entertaining and significant.

Arise the Fall will be at the Belle Isle Brewery, 1900 N.W. Expressway, on Oct. 3. “That show is going to be excellent,” Anderson says. “We’re going to play a couple new songs that nobody’s heard before.”

For more information on upcoming shows, or to listen to the band for free, visit myspace.com/arisethefall
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