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Jim Matheos on His Relationship With John Arch and Their New Album

Lindsay Matheos

The progressive metal community had its prayers answered earlier this year when it was officially announced that guitarist extraordinaire Jim Matheos and vocal wizard John Arch would be teaming up on an album of new material under the Arch / Matheos banner. The musicians first worked together in Fates Warning unleashing three albums [1984's 'Night on Bröcken,' 1985's 'The Spectre Within,' and 1986's 'Awaken the Guardian'] that would go on to influence progressive-minded bands like Dream Theater, before Arch left the group. Noisecreep included the singer on our ‘Top 10 High-Pitch Metal Vocalists‘ list back in 2009.

“We’ve actually stayed good friends throughout the years,” says Matheos. He’s on the phone with Noisecreep from his home in Connecticut talking about ‘Systematic Resonance,’ the debut album from the new joint project. “When John first left Fates Warning back in 1987, there was definitely some distance between us and it was hard to get through. But we eventually patched things up some years later and we’ve stayed in touch since then. I wrote with him for his ‘A Twist of Fate’ solo album back in 2003. We actually live a couple of hours from each other so we’ll get together from time to time and go on hikes and stuff like that. We get along better today than we’ve ever had,” says Matheos.

Even though it’s packed with one technical feat after the other, make no mistake, ‘Sympathetic Resonance’ is an unadulterated metal album. Noisecreep asked Matheos if he consciously set out to make a metal record after years of getting away from it in Fates Warning. “I didn’t really plan on writing a heavy metal record. I try to stay away from any preconceived notions when I’m working on new material. The truth is that the first couple of songs that I wrote for this Arch / Matheos project were meant to be for the next Fates Warning album. So the metal sound on the first few songs I wrote didn’t anything have to do with me getting back with John or anything like that. It just came out organically and it happened to fit perfectly to John’s voice and ‘Sympathetic Resonance.’”

Listen to ‘Stained Glass Sky’ from Arch / Matheos

Noisecreep asked Matheos about the first time he remembers hearing Arch and his infamous high-pitched vocals. “Fates Warning was looking for a vocalist at the time. I think someone had seen John singing in a cover band somewhere and we invited him down to jam with us. I remember playing some Iron Maiden songs – no surprise there [laughs]. But he blew us away. We knew he was the right guy for the band. I’m glad we got to work together again.”

‘Systematic Resonance’ will be out on September 13th via Metal Blade. Pre-order the album from Amazon at this link.

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