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Horse The Band

Interviewed by Travis Jensen
Interview with Dash Arkenstone of Horse The Band from 2007

MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2007 Volume 3 at

How much input do you have on what goes into a Horse album?
I write all of my parts and they let me play whatever I want- I have total freedom in that respect. I also help with the arranging. For the most part, Dave and Erik will write and I’ll write parts for their parts. On the new album there are two songs completely written and performed by myself- dreary instrumental pieces that are pretty f***in’ awesome.
MSJ: Where does the creative inspiration come from with previous as well as current songs?
Ask anyone who thinks they know us, and you’ll get “Nintendo.”That’s bull. Yeah, we like Nintendo, but it’s not responsible for our music - there’s more to it. Dave’s into writing really f***ed up odd timed rhythms that spawn from his love of Rush, Yes, and Dream Theater, where Erik’s inspiration comes a lot from Andrew Lloyd Webber. We’ll sit and blast the soundtrack to The Phantom Of The Opera from start to finish without saying a word. It’s really powerful.  

MSJ: How did Horse originate and come together to what we have today?
It was birthed in a garage somewhere or something, then demo after demo, tour after tour, I’m doing an interview.
MSJ: What has been your favorite band to tour with and why?
We just ended a tour with LIGHT THIS CITY from the Bay Area who are probably the coolest people I’ve met on tour. We did Sounds of the Underground last year with Cannibal Corpse. Alex Webster is my hero and I got to watch him play every day for a half hour.
MSJ: Are there musicians out there with whom you would like to work in the future?
Someday I would love to score a film with Danny Elfman, or jam with Frost from Satyricon, but I don’t see that happening in the near future.
MSJ: What are your musical influences?
As far as playing bass, Glenn Cornick of Jethro Tull, Alex Webster, and Dave Edwardson of Neurosis. I’m really into classical music and film scores and often find myself writing in that style.
MSJ: What plans for the future do you and Horse have?
Hopefully we’ll tour until our new album drops, then tour in support of it. We spent a lot of time with this one, I’m still trying to recover, it’s difficult to think of the aftermath already.
MSJ: Do you or members of the band live by any traditional standards of a typical rock star; groupies, heavy partying, etc?
Yeah, we drink a lot, sometimes too much.
MSJ: Where does the creativity and ideas come from for stage sets?
We see a lot of bands, a lot of boring bands. We thought it would be rad to play in a forest surrounded by wildlife every night. We were right.
MSJ: I know artists hate to have their art described or pigeonholed (and your music is harder than most to pin down), but how would you describe it?
Definitely not Nintendo-core. When some dude in Middle America at a random gas station asks me, I just say we’re metal with a synth.
MSJ: What was the last CD you bought and/or what have you been listening to lately?
The new Moonsorrow is phenomenal, I ripped it from a friend then bought it the first chance I got. I was listening to that non-stop until I got the new Neurosis- now I just rotate those two.
MSJ: What was the last concert you attended for your own enjoyment?
Neurosis, the greatest band on Earth. I had chills almost the entire time.
MSJ: What has been your biggest Spinal Tap moment?
We flooded three hotel rooms once after putting up a piñata on a fire sprinkler. We even joked about how one of us was going to hit the thing clear off the ceiling and how the night would end in disaster - good times.
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