That old cliché "You can't always believe everything
you read" is especially true when it comes to the pop/rock band
Love Arcade. The press leads the public to believe that the
quintet, fronted by lead singer and multi-instrumentalist Christian
Snowhite, puts on a flashy spectacle on stage, but in reality
the only thing the band boasts about is their music. The band's guitarist
Thomas Amason tells, "We don't 'put on' a show. The show
is just us having fun. Honestly, Love Arcade is one of the few bands
out there that actually have fun."
Love Arcade released their self-titled debut album in March 2006
on Gotizm/Atlantic Records. Written and recorded by Snowhite, the
members of Love Arcade did not come together until after the album
was finished and Snowhite needed musicians to re-create the songs
for the live shows. Everything came together when band members Thomas
Amason (guitar), Seth Joshua (bass), and Nathanael Boone
(keyboards) joined Snowhite in 2005. Rather than naming the band after
himself, Snowhite came up with a title that represented the vibe of
the songs and would stick in people's minds. Love Arcade was christened.
Since the release of Love Arcade's debut album, they have played
across the US opening for bands like Kill Hannah, Pink Spiders,
Head Automatica, and Action Reaction. They have taped
a number of live sets for online shows at www.concert.tv and www.fearlessmusic.tv
and have been interviewed for several radio programs across the country.
The band's music is a cross between the bop-pop of Maroon 5
and the power pop-punk of Cartel. The songs answer the call
to MTVU's crowd who are looking for this generation's equal to the
'80s Prince And The Revolution and The Romantics. Audiences
have found that desired level of energy and pop/rock musicality in
The band's guitarist Thomas Amason was very excited about answering
some questions for Hybrid Magazine. He talks about his background
in music and being a part of Love Arcade's rise to being counted as
a viable pop/rock band.
Hybrid Magazine: Where did you grow up and how would you describe
Amason: Well, I grew up in many places. I was born in Chicago
and since my dad was always moving around, he was always trying to
find work and was kind of a jack of all trades. He started off in
an audio/visual company doing production for live shows, in many cases
for comedians. The only show I can remember as a kid was for Rodney
Dangerfield. I would say the majority of my youth was spent in
Texas and then Florida. The environment was pretty weird. He worked
a lot but was SUPER strict. I wasn't allowed to go to the movies with
friends until I was 18, so my first love was art. It was the only
way to escape my confinement within my bedroom.
HM: At what age did you begin playing the guitar?
Amason: I began playing the guitar at around the age of 17
while my dad was in the hospital in Texas for nearly a year. I learned
to play piano at the age of 5 in Washington, D.C. from my grandmother.
The first song I learned was 'Fur Elise.' Since then I've been starving
HM: Did you take music lessons in school or are you self-taught
as a musician?
Amason: I took about 3 guitar lessons from a guy named Bill
Carlson who was kind of a Jacksonville, Florida guitar hero. He
was in a local band that I saw. That made me want to be in a band.
HM: Was anyone in your family a musician/artist and encouraged
you to play music?
Amason: My family then or now, well, never really got it.
My dad is just supportive of whatever makes me happy, even though
he has no idea who Blink 182, Green Day or Fall Out
Boy are. My mom is just always complaining about me making money.
HM: What were your early musical experiences like?
Amason: Well, my early musical experiences were just learning
songs on a crappy keyboard as a kid. Most of the contests/talent shows
when I was young were with my art, sketches, paintings, and sculptures.
HM: How did you meet Christian Snowhite and become a member
of Love Arcade?
Amason: I met Christian in a weird way. A band that I started,
named and wrote the music for called The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
was beginning to get some label buzz the same time Christian was.
I knew the guy at the label looking at Christian's band. He asked
me what I thought of it and whether I thought he should sign it. He
gave me some of Christian's music. I loved it. I immediately told
this guy my opinion was to sign him right away and he did. Due to
personality conflicts, among other differences, I decided to leave
my own band. 5 minutes later I got a call from the label telling me
that Christian's band wasn't a band after all. He needed a guitar
player. I was in. I loved the music from the very start.
HM: Did you play on Love Arcade's debut album and what did
you like about the music?
Amason: I didn't play on the album nor did I write any music
with Love Arcade. I think that's what attracted me to it. I had worked
for about 7 years on my own band, writing music and marketing and
promoting and walking the streets like Kane in Kung Fu
telling people about it and it was a nice for a change and join a
band that had music already and music that I really liked as a fan.
What I like about the songs is that they are pop and genuine. A combination
not found a lot of the time these days.
HM: What kind of an impact would you like to see Love Arcade's
music have on audiences?
Amason: Well, hopefully one that just makes kids who hate
pop because of what the late '90s did to it, enjoy it all over again
the way everyone did in the '40s, '50s, and '60s.
HM: How has music changed in your opinion from the time you
were a kid to the music you are playing now?
Amason: Music always goes through it's evolutions. It's all
the same just has its tangents. I like the direction we're moving
in and I think most other musicians out there are headed in the right
direction. As far as freedom, well that's a catch 22. Of course, there
is freedom in music and most likely always will be, but which I'm
sure you're referring to, is today's mainstream music. You don't hear
as many 7 minute long songs with epic guitar solos, but even as a
guitar player, I'm ok with that freedom being taken away.
HM: What has your daily routine been like on tour?
Amason: Routine is pretty much the same - sleep, drive, draw
- I am working on a cartoon TV show called The Zoo. I like
being in a new place everyday, but it doesn't seem like it. Most of
the time only seeing a one-block radius of a city. For me personally,
there's so much crap to do all the time I don't even try to budget
the time anymore. I just work and try not to worry about deadlines.
HM: What keeps you sane while on tour?
Amason: I go crazy all the time, hahaha. Well, when I feel
overwhelmed, I just go outside, grab a Coca-Cola, have a cigarette
and basically talk it over in my head. It normally lasts short periods
of time. It takes me a couple of minutes to get it straight in my
head. It's a fast recovery. Up until now, it has never been overwhelming.
Yeah, a band is a lot of work but there's so much down time when on
tour it's easy to keep it together and all the guys in Love Arcade
get along well which makes it easy. But since I took on this cartoon
(The Zoo), which is more than a full time job on its own, it's
been fun juggling everything. The most stressful part of the show
is that there are huge celebrity rock stars doing the voices for the
show and I worry about every detail being perfect. Once the show gets
on a smooth routine and off the ground, maybe I'll rest well.
HM: Have you formed any friendships with the other bands that
Love Arcade has toured with?
Amason: Every band we've toured/played with has been amazing,
and yes, many friendships. I've met some really great people and made
the best of friends, many of which who are working on my cartoon show
HM: Do you feel like Love Arcade has moved forward since the
time of the band started?
Amason: Oh yes, for sure. Within the past year, we've played
to WAAAAY more kids per show, gotten great tours, and our Internet
response has increased 10 fold. It's been a blessing.
HM: What other interests do you have aside from Love Arcade?
Amason: I write music of my own that maybe one day I'll sell
to Yanni and I work on this little cartoon show called The
Zoo. It's still in development but hopefully one day soon you'll
see it around somewhere.
HM: What do you think of the Internet?
Amason: The Internet is the only reason Love Arcade is doing
as well as we are. People come to our myspace (www.myspace.com/lovearcade)
to see our show schedules and hear new music.
HM: What is a good way for aspiring musicians to get started
in the music industry?
Amason: Self-promote, self-promote, self-promote. I got my
band back in Florida attention because I printed up 10,000 CD's and
would go to sold out shows of famous bands and put my CD's with a
flier to a show on every windshield.
Amason's interview shed light on what it takes to be a successful
pop/rock band. It is a lot like a game of pool where the shots are
50% skill and 50% luck. Oftentimes, people who started out doing
poorly have the potential of winning big when all is done, thereby
surprising those who think they know everything. Love Arcade is
a reminder that success is at the mercy of external conditions and
any amount of success is a blessing.
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