Stretch Arm Strong 10-12-06

Image We recently had the opportunity to interview our first full on rock stars. Well okay, they’re not quite rock stars yet, but we predict they will soon to be very famous musicians. They call themselves Stretch Arm Strong and they’re one of the biggest up and coming bands in the music scene right now, from their videos on MTV2 and Fuse TV to their tours with everyone from Good Charlotte to Sick Of It All, the Stretch Arm Strong guys are on the verge of blowing up.

Originally from Columbia, South Carolina the five piece Punk Rock/ Hardcore band has made a name for themselves Internationally by producing high energy, positive music. They’ve also paid their dues by touring around the world for years. While checking out the new rigs in the pits at round one we were pleasantly surprised to see a Stretch Arm Strong logo on the side of the FMF Media Allstars trailer. We just had to get to the bottom of why team coordinator, Jorge Cuartas had included their logo on the team’s rig. It turns out that our friend and fellow quad-racing ambassador Jorge has known lead singer, Chris McLane for years. The FMF Media Allstars Race Team and the Stretch Arm Strong band our simply helping each other out with a creative cross promotion marketing plan.

Now on to the band. Without further ado, Stretch Arm Strong…

Image ATV Scene: First off, welcome to the ATV industry and thank you for taking the time to do this interview. We know you just came off of a tour with Silverstein and Spitalfield. How did the tour go?
SAS: I appreciate you taking the time to interview us. The tour went great – really big shows and lot of new kids checking us out. It was a total success.

ATV Scene: How is life on the road for you guys?
SAS: Things have been going really well. We are away from our families quite a bit which stinks, but the business of being in a band and touring is what we do and things have been plugging along quite nicely for us. We are reaching a lot of new fans by doing the support tours that we have done.

ATV Scene: Okay on to why an ATV magazine is interviewing a Punk Rock/ Hardcore band. Tell us what your involvement is with the Kellogg’s FMF Media All-stars team, and how it come about?
SAS: I have known Jorge for quite some time now and we have been friends for a long time. Jorge and I share a love for hardcore and punk music and I think that is where we first really hit it off. While traveling Jorge and I would keep in contact and talk about life on the road both for him and for myself. We are both married and we both love living out of the ordinary lives. In short, we both have lives that keep us away from the people we love back home. Over the years we’ve come to the conclusion that we have a lot more in common than I think we both realized when we first met.

ATV Scene: How important is cross promotion these days? Can bands make it relying solely on their fans?
SAS: I don’t think so. I think that is why we are doing things like this. Riding and competing on ATVs is a very aggressive, fast paced lifestyle and I think the music we play and the type of show we put on could really find its place among the men and women of the sport of quad racing. Again, the similarities are pretty undeniable.

ATV Scene: Besides your personal relationship with Jorge, what other involvement or experience have you had with ATVs and/or Motocross?
SAS: Almost none. (Laughing) I did, however, wreck on a moped when I was a teenager.

Image ATV Scene: Have any of you ever ridden MX? Have you ever considered it?
SAS: No. I do not know if I could even properly ride a motorcycle without some serious lessons.

ATV Scene: How long has the band been together? Where did you form?
SAS: We have been around since 1993. We have been touring heavily for the last five years.

ATV Scene: Columbia, SC is hardly known as a hot bed for brutal style hardcore, where then did you get the inspiration? How has the scene changed since those early days?
SAS: We came from a place that the rest of the music industry passed by. We were influenced by a lot of the So Cal bands and the bands from the east coast. We bought tons of records and went to as many shows as we could. There was a really cool club in town where national touring bands would come and play. I think that is where a lot of this was born. The scene in SC has really grown and gotten a lot bigger. There seems to be tons of bands popping up and tons of bands coming through our town.

ATV Scene: In an age where everything (including music) is bought and sold on the Internet, how important is touring to you guys? Is it worth the sacrifice?
SAS: It’s the only way to get out and in front of people. Downloads cannot come close to the real thing. We have to be out here doing what we do or we would completely get lost in the high tech world of file sharing

ATV Scene: Just how much touring do you do? Is it mostly National or do you head over seas?
SAS: We are on the road about eight months out of the year. We have had the pleasure of touring all over the world, however we do concentrate on our home turf for the most part.

ATV Scene: How many albums have you guys released since day one?
SAS: We have released five full-length records and numerous 45rpm vinyl records and comps.

ATV Scene: We’ve caught you on Fuse and MTV2 a lot lately, how has the added exposure been received by your fans?
SAS: It has been great. More kids know the words to the songs after seeing us on those programs. They are showing up at the shows and telling us that they saw us first on the TV, and that is why they are at the show. That has had such a huge impact on our cross over to newer and younger fans.

ATV Scene: You know Jordan Burns from Strung Out and Erik Sandin from NOFX are both involved with the highly successful Moto XXX Motocross and Supercross team — on the dirt bike side. Is this a new trend amongst musicians, make it big and get a team?
SAS: I don’t think so. I think a lot of the extreme sports are made up of people who are also into aggressive music like punk and hardcore. Both of the guys you mentioned are in well-established bands and they may have earned a little extra income to fully invest what was once only a hobby or side gig. The sport is an expression of themselves and I think the music they play is the sound track to it. It’s fast, it’s edgy and it’s in your face — much like the motocross scene is.

ATV Scene: Where can our readers go to find your music?
SAS: Check us out at stretcharmstrong.net or go to myspace.com/stretcharmstrong. Our new record Free At Last can be found all over the country at Best Buy, mom and pop stores and any and all local indy (independent record) shops. Ask for it by name.

ATV Scene: Thanks again for taking the time to speak with us. We’ve become even bigger fans now that you’ve talked with us, and we’re excited to have you involved in our sport. Any closing words?
SAS: Thanks so much for the opportunity to reach some of your fans and patrons. We hope to turn some great people onto some great music. The pleasure is all ours.

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