I joined the band when Erik and Mike started jamming at my house. At the time, I was kind of jaded--every band I had been in had broken up, plus my dad had just passed away, so I was kind of in a funk. I wanted nothing to do with it. Those two kept pressuring me, and Erik was feeding me gin and tonics. Needless to say, I started jamming and have been in the band ever since.
I grew up listening to bands like the Beatles, the Eagles, Creedence, etc., with my dad. He was a musician as well, and listened to music often. One of the first songs I ever learned on guitar was "Lying Eyes" by the Eagles, taught to me by my father. Pretty special. As I grew up, I got into AC/DC, and was really taken by the simple but heavy rock. Later I had a huge Motley Crue phase (starting with Shout at the Devil and lasting up until Dr. Feelgood). Around 6th grade, I started getting into heavier bands. I became obsessed with Anthrax and Metallica. As I spread my metal wings, I got into Slayer, Megadeth, and lesser known bands like Metal Church, Sacred Reich, etc. I got into hardcore (Breakdown, Killing Time, Sick of it All) for a bit. This was about the time I started playing music "seriously" and got into my first real band (with Mr. Johnson). Over the years, bands as diverse as Led Zeppelin, Sabbath, Thin Lizzy, Rush, NoFX, and the Melvins have influenced me in my musical journey.
Neal Peart was the first drummer that made me say, "How the hell did he do that?"; Charlie Benante, Tommy Lee, Dave Lombardo, John Bonham, Brian Downey, Sean Kinney, Tim Alexander, Danny Carey, and Lars Ulrich influenced me growing up. In more recent years, I've really gotten into Brann Dailor, Dale Crover, Coady Willis, JoJo Mayer, Johnny Rabb, Sean Reinert (I was really into him when I was younger, but just couldn't wrap my brain around what he was doing), Richard Christy, Mike Mangini, Thomas Lang, Marco Minnemann, Andrea Vadrucci, and tons more. I often spend hours on YouTube looking for good drumming videos.
Kevin uses Tama Starclassic Maple Drums, Sabian/Paiste Cymbals, a GMS snare, Evans heads, and a Pearl Demon Drive double bass pedal.
I joined the band back in the Summer of 2005. At that time I was basically doing nothing, I had just finished up my second round of college and was living in an apartment by myself. I've known Kevin for years, we grew up jamming together; so when I got a call to come down and try things out with his current band I was all about it. The guys had already established some songs so I basically learned the material and wrote all my own guitar solos while we started to work on new songs.
We have a good time playing live, the gigs are always fun and it must rub off on the crowds because people seem to have a good time watching us. I can't say that I have ever done anything else musically that's been as rewarding as playing in Argus.
I was raised on rock music for the most part; bands like Guns n Roses, Pink Floyd, The Eagles, AC/DC, Dire Straits... were playing on the stereo when I was growing up.
I never really stopped liking rock music and it only expanded from there, I got into bands like Megadeth, Sepultura, Danzig, Tool, Ozzy, Slayer... in high school but it wasn't until I started to listen to punk rock that I really decided that I wanted to be a guitar player. Bands like Green Day, NoFx, NUFAN, Strung Out, and Ten Foot Pole to name a few, got me into wanting to start a band and be serious about it. So, I bought a guitar and an amp and started playing...and playing and playing. I pretty much spent my last several years of high school jamming away. Then one day I decided I wanted to listen to something different and snatched my old Rust In Peace cassette tape out of the closet. It was hearing the brilliant lead guitar work of Marty Friedman that made me want to learn to play lead guitar, the phenomenal amount of feeling he can put into each note he plays just blew me away.
I like all different kinds of music for one reason or another, it could be a guitar tone or a vocalists voice or phrasing. I try not to pigeon-hole myself too much.
As far as Argus goes, I suppose the main musical influences that got me writing this way are Mastodon, Iron Maiden, Candlemass, Thin Lizzy, Opeth... Stuff like that.
The biggest influences to my own personal style of writing leads would probably be Marty Friedman, Peter Green, Christopher Amott, and John Petrucci.
Jason uses Splawn and Mesa Boogie amps, VHT and Marshall cabinets, PRS guitars (studio gear may vary)
I met the band at Erik’s “farewell” gig in Pittsburgh, they had announced that they were looking for a new singer so Kevin and I got to talking and it snowballed from there. This was after Penance was finished and I was bandless, coming across a singer-less Argus was just luck. What do I like about the band? That we get along great, everyone is so talented, and the music we create is mighty. I think we slay live, and you have to have that kind of live vibe and be able to perform with everything every time.
The first and biggest influence on me wanting to play music was KISS. Obviously from a very early age, say 5-6, it was the image that caught me first but the music is what kept me a fan. Lots of great riffs in the old material and throughout their catalog just a lot of good, fun, dumb rock. Their larger than life image and performance changed the way bands performed. It’s hard to write it out without getting into pages and pages.
The Beatles: the greatest songwriters ever. Period. Cheap Trick comes close. Black Sabbath: everyone knew “Paranoid” and “Iron Man” but it was “Symptom of the Universe” that did it for me. That song singlehandedly opened the gates of doom, the world of the riff, to me. I still consider it the heaviest song ever.
Also MUST mention Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Saxon, Metallica, Trouble, & Thin Lizzy.
There are a ton more but I don’t want to get into a dissertation or anything.
Without a doubt RONNIE JAMES DIO is the most influential vocalist for me. No other metal singer has been able to combine power, range, melody and passion in his voice the way Dio has; he cannot be touched. At 67 he’s still better than any vocalist alive today, his work with Rainbow and Sabbath especially has been instrumental in making me want to create and perform music.
Without writing a novel, here are my other favorite singers of all time, not just metal guys: Paul Stanley, Steve Marriot, Brad Delp, Bobby Liebling, Rob Halford, Marvin Gaye, Peter Steele, Mike Puleo, Ian Gillan, Robin Zander, Frank DiMino, Michael Lee Smith, Biff Byford, Phil Lynott.
In 2007 I was at a local club in Pittsburgh and went downstairs to use the restroom. While walking towards the stage I heard a band covering "Phantom of the Opera" by Iron Maiden, which caught my attention. Once I got to hear the singer(who I did not know at the time) start belting out the notes and the guitars and rhythm section nailing the parts, I was immediately interested in who the band was. I caught the name from another person attending the show, and made sure to get in contact with them in the future.I was doing mainly recording studio work at the time, and I really only had interest in working with bands that I thought I would be interested in, so I contacted them on MySpace(remember that?) about working with them in the studio. I didn't hear back from the band via MySpace, however the singer emailed the studio I worked at, saying they were interested in tracking there. I jumped on it and got them into the studio, and since then have had a working relationship with them since then. I recorded, mixed, and co-produced their 3 LP's and now find myself heading overseas to play shows with them. And just think, what if I had decided to use the upstairs bathroom instead...
Influences for me guitar-wise are: Tony Iommi, Gary Moore/Scott Gorham, Jake E Lee, Marty Friedman, John Christ(Danzig), Adrian Smith/Dave Murray, Doug Aldrich, and many others, but those are my main influences.
Dave uses Splawn amps, Gibson guitars, Marshall cabinets (studio gear may vary)
I first met Kevin and Jason in High School during the late 90's. Kevin and I started a punk band with some other local friends called Skip 15. We had fun and immersed ourselves in the local punk scene. A few years later Skip 15 broke up. Shortly thereafter Jason, Kevin and I started what at first was a Ska band with some more local friends called Dooplo. Dooplo turned towards more of No Use For A Name/ Face to Face sound. Getting more aggressive as Jason got more into Metal. After 4 years or so the members of Dooplo went our separate ways. We all went off to college and branched off into separate lives, while still keeping touch from time to time.
I moved to Pittsburgh to attend College and a few years later joined a band called Tabula Rasa. We did a few national tours and shortly thereafter we signed with Anti-Flag's label, AF Records. After our first release, "The Role Of Smith", we were fortunate to have Anti-Flag takes us on a couple of package tours. A few years later, I left the band to join Damiera from Buffalo, NY.
Damiera offered me the chance to tour full-time and expand my musical horizons even more; I learned more about bass technique and DIY touring. Sadly, things did not work out for long. I eventually moved back to my hometown of Franklin, PA. During my first year back I felt frustrated with playing music and had all but given up on it. Then a band called Geography asked me if I wanted to play keyboards with them. It wasn't playing bass but it rejuvenated my love of playing. During my stint on the keys some friends in A Voice Like Rhetoric asked me to fill in on bass, which eventually turned into me joining full time. We toured for 5 months straight, which got the best of some of us, and we put AVLR on hiatus (which we still are to this day).
Before our hiatus I met some musicians from Pittsburgh who asked me to start up a band called Red Hands. I had a great time with those guys but like some relationships we went our separate ways. During Red Hands I was asked to play bass in the Hip Hop group SIKES! Which I'm still currently in. A couple years later I was also asked to play bass in Come Summer, an indie pop rock band in the vein of Superchunk, Seaweed and Say Anything.
In November of 2014 I got a text from Kevin asking if I'd be interested in playing bass in Argus. I was honored to have been asked and excited to play with some of my oldest friends. It begins a new chapter for me and for Argus. I can't wait to start this new musical adventure, help create what will be some amazing metal and bring it to all of you.
My influences on bass are vast but here are a few top ones: Les Claypool, Geddy Lee, Karl Alvarez, Jason Black, Doug Wimbish, James Jamerson, Steve Harris, Justin Chancellor.
Justin uses: Lakland basses, Spector basses, Mesa boogie heads, Hartke cabs, Darkglass pedals, Electro Harmonix Bass Microsynth