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Arrows in Action is Building it to Last

Arrows in Action is a Gainesville-formed, Nashville-based pop-rock/alternative-pop band formed by lead vocalist and guitarist Victor Viramontes-Pattison, drummer Jesse Frimmel, and lead guitarist Matt Fowler. On March 4th, 2023, I met with Arrows in Action before their stop in Jacksonville, Florida on the Baku’s Revenge Tour, where they supported Magnolia Park. We discussed their upcoming debut album Built to Last, some favorite fan experiences, and more.

Arrows in Action via Nolan Fisher

At the end of February, you released your single “The Credits,” which featured Loveless and Magnolia Park. What was the process like working with them, and what was the inspiration behind the track?

Vic: We had actually started on this track months and months ago. We had kind of a synth-wave kind of idea, and then Matt and Jesse had kind of built out a lot of the guitars, and the drums for it and everything. We had gotten a chorus idea and a verse idea, and we had a full version of the song without features. Then, the more we thought about it, we thought it’d be really cool to get some of our friends on there, or artists we had never gotten the chance to work with. So, we had reached out to Loveless and he was more than happy to get on the track, and then Magnolia Park also saw that we were doing that and they were like “maybe we could do something all together.”

Jesse: We were teasing it on Twitter, and Magnolia Park hit us up and they were like: “Yo, you wanna just really do the whole TikTok band collab on this…” and we were like “of course we do.”

I’ve noticed each member has, what seems like, an assigned color. You guys dyed your hair to fit these colors. How did the colors get chosen, and is there any significance to the color scheme?

Vic: Normally, with each release, we’ll pick a scheme for the album artwork and everything. We’ve done purple and green at a certain point. For Be More it was orange, pink, and blue. With this one, we decided to go with purple, red, and orange. Matt had been dying his hair red a lot recently, and I just thought it really looked good on him. Jesse’s always been a very purple boy. I’ve just been playing around with a lot of desert tones (a lot of those sorts of very sunset-y vibes), and it seemed like a cool idea to just have those three colors be it. Then we got to come up with the symbols, the album artwork, and everything, and each of us have our own specific color. We had talked about maybe doing some sort of stage outfits, and we thought it’d be really cool to be able to color-code those.

Built To Last amplifies the idea that life changes overnight. Themes of heartbreak run through songs like “Put You Through Me” and “High.” The band gets darker with the backstabbing, glitchy, hard-rocker essence of “Seeing Red.” What-ifs and regrets are also common subjects within the album. Built to Last definitely has a personal touch that their fans will love and appreciate.

"Built to Last" Cover Art

Your debut album Built to Last is coming out on May 26th. Is there anything we can expect from you guys before then?

Matt: *under his breath* Yes…

Jesse: We’ll be on vacation, chilling.

Matt: *under his breath* We’re never on vacation…

Jesse: Matt’s doing a cooking show… No… We have some songs…

Vic: Yeah, I mean, this year with the album coming out… We already have four of the songs out that will be on the record, so there are nine more songs coming. Can’t say exactly when or how, but I’m sure everyone will hear more songs as they come.

Matt: *under his breath* There will be more music soon…

On March 29th, Arrows in Action announced on their social media that a new single titled “Head in the Clouds” would be released on April 14th. “It’s a happy song,” Jesse says. They also announced the tracklist for the album, which features 13 tracks. Aside from “The Credits,” there is another collaboration on Built to Last. “Wide Eyes” features The Home Team, which Matt and Vic both consider a part of their dream tour lineup.

What would be your dream tour lineup?

Vic: Bad Suns, Waterparks, The Home Team, and us.

Jesse: Shout out to Awsten Knight! Matt: Foo Fighters, The Home Team, us, RIVALS, and Honey Revenge.

Jesse: Arrows in Action headlines. Then probably, like, 5 Seconds of Summer. One Direction reunion tour, and my future side-turned-main project will open.

Out of all the singles you’ve released so far for Built to Last, which are you most proud of?

Jesse: For me I think it’s “Put You Through Me” for a number of reasons. When we started it, I think that one was very different from anything we had done before. Building that out was a lot of fun. Yeah, people seem to like it a lot!

Matt: [“Put You Through Me”] was the first song we wrote in Nashville. I would say… “The Credits,” just because it was something people ask about the songwriting process of, and it's so funny because it's so different so many times. And that was another instance of something that was very different for us. Like the reference was a Weeknd song… and with our producer Dan, it started with just synths and a beat. We don’t normally start our songs like that. So yeah, trying something new, I’d say “The Credits.”

Vic: For mine I’d say it’s probably “High,” just because that was the first time I’d really sat down to play bass on a lot of our stuff. That’s been a fun experience for Matt and I. To be able to just trade off on bass tracks with each song on the record. I wrote “High” with our buddy Dan Swank and this writer Ricky Manning, who was great. We like to joke around and say it’s like “the weird one,” you know? So it was fun to put that out as a single to really just be, like: “Look we can do whatever we want, and we can do fun, weird, sexy stuff too.”

Jesse via Nolan Fisher

What has been each of your favorite fan interactions you’ve experienced?

Vic: Just last night [March 3rd], somebody came up to us and told us that they were so excited to bring their kid to their kid’s first show, and they had recently just adopted them. The paperwork had just gone through. I think maybe they weren’t able to make it to the last show because the paperwork had not gone through yet, but because it had finally been finalized they were able to bring them to our show. It was just such a special moment, like… Dude, forget about our show–this is amazing to hear!

Matt: I think that's really hard to pick because there are so many things. Maybe the Gainesville Menace meetup. It was really, really heartwarming, and I guess I cry easily nowadays, but I just don't expect any other things like that to get made for us. So that's up there. But I also definitely wanna say, because that reminded me: There was a time in Boston when it was two folks and a very small kid, and it was their biological mom and their stepmom. And at a drop-off one weekend, they realized that they both listened to Arrows in Action and then they became friends and took the daughter to the show. So that one was just like a mind-blowing thing.

Jesse: I just really like talking to everybody on Twitter. It's cool, a lot of fun. I saw, just recently, Dev said, they reached out to a friend because of the whole “Checking In” thing and now they're gonna meet up to drive to work together or something. I was like, ah, that's the first impact of “Checking In.”

Matt: That's what the song's supposed to do.

Jesse: Shout out, “Checking In,” a song about reaching out to your friends.

Vic: For context, we played it once [debuted in Orlando on March 3rd] and haven't spoken about it on the internet.

Jesse: …and that's already sparked a cool thing.

Outside of interactions with fans at shows, the internet is a great place to interact with Arrows in Action. Jesse runs a lot of the band’s social media–most actively on Twitter, as he mentioned. There are lots of opportunities to connect with the band: They have a Discord server, a Cameo page for personalized messages, and a Patreon membership that allows fans to watch interactive streams and special demos. Jesse is constantly posting fun bits and replying to fans on Twitter. They’ve created a wonderful community of supportive fans, and that community continues to grow as they gain more traction. As of March 29th, the band has over 700,000 monthly Spotify listeners, and that number continues to grow rapidly, as they’ve gained over 200,000 monthly listeners in a little over a month.

Vic via Nolan Fisher

What is your favorite song to perform?

Jesse: I think my favorite song to perform is “All the Ways I Could Die.” That song comes in hot.

Vic: I'd say it always bounces around, but lately it's been “Uncomfortably Numb,” especially after playing it last night, just because that is, you know, one of our most popular songs. And the post chorus is always so fun. It always feels like an explosion at the end of the set. It's such a great way to finish a show.

Matt: I'll pick an old one for this actually. Playing “This Time” is always really, really gratifying, because I remember playing that to empty rooms. So, playing that anytime when people are singing along just makes me happy.

What is your dream venue to play at?

Matt: One bucket list thing where I would like to check in with my younger self and be like, “all right, you did it, calm down,” is headlining House of Blues, Orlando. I saw a lot of my favorite bands there, and through local band submission things, we got to play there.

Vic: I'd say honestly, just because we live in Nashville now, the Ryman would be a really, really cool chance to be able to play that.

Jesse: Red Rocks seems really cool. House of Blues, Orlando for sure. ‘Cuz I've seen a lot of cool shows there. And the moon. When they have an arena on the moon, we're gonna play it.

Rapid Fire Fun Questions

Go to gas station snacks?

Vic: Nerds rope clusters. Big one.

Jesse: Bold Chex Mix and Kettle Corn.

Matt: Also, Bold Chex Mix.

Would you prefer having a puppy-sized elephant or an elephant-sized puppy as a pet?

All: Puppy sized elephant.

Matt: I don’t think I'll ever live somewhere big enough to accommodate the elephant sized puppy, unfortunately.

Matt via Nolan Fisher

How many clones of yourselves could you fight off at once?

Jesse: Two because, well, if they're clones of me, then, right? That's just how clones work, right? So like two is the max.

Vic: I think I could fight off one of myself. There you go. Two, they'd get up on me. They'd beat me.

Matt: I think I could fight 'em all off, because I'll just make 'em all feel guilty about hurting me. I know how my brain works.

You’ve become stranded on a deserted island. What three items do you need to survive?

Jesse: Matt, Victor, Jacob.

Matt: Jacob McKay, Swiss Army Knife, and … [didn’t pick a third].

Jesse: Flint, Jeff Probst, and the crew of Survivor.

Vic: Fresh water, food, and a guitar.

How many seagulls would you have to find in your house before you start to get suspicious that someone was putting them there?

Vic: Two. Two, and I’m starting to hunt. I’m wondering who has done this to me?

Jesse: Three. One, I'd be like, “that's crazy.” Two, I'd be like, “there’s a nest nearby.”

Matt: I already have so many that I’d lose track.

Arrows in Action’s fun personality and wide variety of themes and sounds in their music make them one of the most exciting new bands out there. Releasing Built to Last independently was a huge milestone for the band, as they’ve always thought they needed a label to do an album. That not being the case gave them a wave of empowerment, especially knowing that they did it by themselves.

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