The lives of Jim Matheos and John Arch have developed very differently over the past three and a half decades. While Matheos has been touring the world and releasing albums since the mid-1980s as guitarist for the prog metal band Fates Warning, the singer Arch still works full-time as a carpenter. Both are connected by their time with Fates Warning between 1982 and 1986, which they also celebrated live in 2016 on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the album "Awaken The Guardian". In addition, Arch himself has been active as a musician again since 2003. In 2011 the first album of their project Arch/Matheos was released. We talked to the singer about the successor "Winter Ethereal", his new way of singing and his life as a part-time musician.
eclipsed: Could you imagine working full-time as a musician after all, or are you happy that your life went like this?
John Arch: I wouldn't change anything. The music industry has changed over the years. It's hard to make a living from music. You have to be popular and tour all the time. I'm enjoying the freedom I have. I can pay off my house and go cycling after work.
eclipsed: In 2016 you were on stage again with Fates Warning at the tour for the 30th anniversary of "Awaken The Guardian". How did the Winter affect Ethereal?
Arch: If you are long out of the music, you lose your self-confidence and distance yourself from it. During the rehearsals for the shows I felt a bit more part of the band again and my voice came back into shape. Honestly, I was a little afraid to sing the old songs before. Back then I was in my twenties, now I'm almost 60. It was intimidating to be on stage in front of so many fans. But the positive reactions have inspired me. I thought: Okay, maybe I still have something to offer and can make another album.
eclipsed: With "Winter Ethereal" you didn't want to indulge in nostalgia, but consciously leave the comfort zone. How did you approach the album?
Arch: In the studio I sometimes get nostalgic and force myself to sing high. This time I tried to live up to the songs and sing them the way I thought Jim intended. So I did not resort to ultra-high notes and shrill falsetto, but stayed within an appropriate range. Take Tethered, for example: The song is soft, emotional - very unusual for me. As a singer, you can't hide there. I was wondering what Jim was thinking when he wrote the song. Over time, I found the right approach.