A.R.E. Weapons

Who are the A.R.E.Weapons? A.R.E.Weapons is a NYC trio consisting of Matthew McAuley, Brain F McPeck and manager/musician Paul Sevigny. The Weapons have been making tracks and playing incendiary live shows in and around the downtown NYC slum set.New York, – I’m sitting on stage, scanning the crowd that have come for the A.R.E.Weapons record release party. Seems like everyone from the “sceneâ€_ is here: NY’s beautiful people, socialites, models and “streetâ€_ kids as well as those who are in the industry of the night life are here mingling together. In this world being seen and projecting an image is just as important (if not more so) than actually having a good time, so it’s a relief to see some people in front of the stage who are actually extremely enthusiastic about the band. Things are already looking like they have the potential to get rowdy when the A.R.E. Weapons hit the stage, then things go completely nuts. “I’ve got something to say,â€_ shouts lead singer Brain into the microphone, “We’ve got Gumby from the UFC [a lot of people anything related to martial arts or jiu-jitsu with the UFC and don’t always take the time to correct them] and if anyone wants to fuck with me, he’s go to fuck you up so bring it on!â€_ I look back at Brain in almost disbelief; to paraphrase the great Eddie Murphy “I’m 6’2 170 pounds, I cannot whip a disco’s ass by myselfâ€_. The set goes well and it’s the crowd and the band feed of each other’s energy in that beautiful way. I’m bouncing from one side of the stage to the other trying to keep everyone safe. As I’m one side trying to keep a group of over enthusiastic fans away from Matt, I look over and see Brain being pulled off the stage and sucked into the crowd. At least his microphone is still on. Giving my best banzai yell, I dive headfirst into the teeming masses.

Dude that’s cool.

“Who are the A.R.E.Weapons? A.R.E.Weapons is a NYC trio consisting of Matthew McAuley, Brain F McPeck and manager/musician Paul Sevigny. The Weapons have been making tracks and playing incendiary live shows in and around the downtown NYC slum set.â€_ Paul and Scotty actually grew up together and he introduced us to the band (and their demo EP) well before he actually joined the band. “Street Gangâ€_ was something of an underground hit and I liked it, although I couldn’t exactly explain why. Other than the chant of “New York Muscleâ€_ it didn’t really have a hook, and I’d be hard pressed to compare it anything I’d normally listen to beforehand. Still, you had the sense that was a band that was going to set the world afire or die trying.

While much has been made about Paul’s background (as the brother of indie actress darling Chloe Sevigny and one of NY’s most infamous DJ’s) as our good friend he’s automatically declared cool. Brain and Matt more than live up to the images they portray, what you see is definitely what you get. We visited their Manhattan apartment (one of the only sub $1000 rents I’ve seen in city) and it was so small that four of us couldn’t stand in it at the same time.

The A.R.E. Weapons sound is more electric than punk, more punk than electric. They’ve got a message, but their tongues are planted firmly in cheek. It’s very much the soundtrack of my personal New York experience (you know, nightlife, models, partying and just a splash of danger). A few of the tracks are chant along anthems that you will definitely find yourself humming the following day, including the single “Don’t Be Scaredâ€_ “HeadBanger Face and my personal favorite song title “Fuck You, Pay Meâ€_. “Hey Worldâ€_ could be the next radio anthem, and is the most serious song on the album, the effect of the kids singing in the background of the chorus is very cool. “Black Mercedesâ€_ is a track that warrants several plays to get into but seems to document the aftermath of the party.

San Francisco,- The club is packed with the types of folks you’re only likely to see out at night. The crowd is definitely enthusiastic and there’s really no space separating them from the band. I’ve got the same A.R.E Weapons shirt on that I wore at the New York show -the blood splotches on it are a new addition (actually, I think they came from when I retrieved Brain from the crowd that night. He has a bit of a scar on his shoulder from the show, but is happy because it didn’t hurt and looks cool.) This time I’ve got the cavalry with me so I’m feeling fearless. Cameron (the meanest bouncer ever) is standing by my side and Scotty is somewhere out there. Suddenly bodies start flying in our direction, the crowd is boisterous but they don’t really look like the mosh type. Peering past the lights and behind the melee I see Scotty’s grinning mug, shoving people at me! I brace myself and look back to Cameron for support but he’s got that same grin that Scotty has. Suddenly he launches me into the crowd, and soon follows afterwards.

Don’t be scared.

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About the author


Gumby is the co-founder of OntheMat.com back in 1997 with Scotty Nelson.