I decided to move all this text from the front of the page to the blog section here. Keep checking back for more and more info. Hey All This is Paul and here are some of my thoughts recollections and updates beyond and on top of the normal biography stuff. Enjoy at your leisure! This is off the top of my head and may contain erroneous errors, ommissions, sarcasm, blame, denial, and many other things, but as part of this band I can remember it any way I wish. I will update, correct, falsify, and concocte at my leisure. Piss Off!
At War was formed in 1983 by Shawn Helsel, Dave Stone and Paul Arnold. We released our first demo in 1985, a two song rager called “Eat Lead”. We sold a ton of these gems mostly through fanzines and word “O” mouth. It was soon after that we started getting offers for record deals. After sifting through all the really great record deals that could have made us ultra rich and universaly famous we decided to sign with New Renaissance Records because money, fame and longevity was for chumps. Obscurity seemed so much better to strive for. Who wants to be a rock star for a living anyway, I’d much rather be a working stiff! Wait, Sorry is the sarcasm getting too thick? Another rant was trying to get out. OK where were we? Hmm. Oh yeah. We released “Ordered To Kill” in 1986 to rave reviews. For those that care. We recorded, financed and produced just about everything for “Ordered To Kill” ourselves and locally. Pretty baddass if you ask me. We then recorded “Retaliatory Strike” through New Renaissance Records with Alex Perialas at the helm. I have to say.. these were some great times and some of my fondness…wait greatest (fondness sounds so gay) memories I have are of those sessions and subsequent tours. I have to tell you I love both of those albums as much today as ever. They really hold up to anything released today. I’m not just saying this because im in the band, but because it’s true and I know what the hell I’m talking about.
So we toured and toured and toured and toured. We headlined most of those tours, but we did open and co-headlined with some pretty awesome bands, Slayer, Pantera, Exciter, Voivod, Death, DRI ,Agnostic Front, Nuclear Assault….so much for name dropping. Here’s where it got weird. We were about to record our next album “Calculated Risk” when negotiations broke down about finances for the recording. Instead of getting more or even the same amount of cash to record what would have been our most blistering disc to date as “Retaliatory Strike”, our record company wanted us to go to bumfuck usa with some Russian producer and do it for a buck thirty. All the while being told we were the top draw band on the label. (Through the sarcasm and mild vitrial aimed at New Renaissance Records I want to say if it was not for Ann we would almost certainly be forgotten by now. She kept the At War name alive when we were’nt even thinking about At War and for that… I thank her.) At the same time one of our members won a six month private tour of the local bighouse on chump charges. Turned out to be three months. This was all topped off by the tsunami of “Grunge Rock”. Almost overnight everyones taste in the USA had changed and it made it real hard for most of us heavier bands. Thank God the Europeans saw grunge for what it was and kept the metal scene alive while we here in the USA were subject to some of the most boring bullshit ever to come out of Seattle.
We went ahead and recorded another demo to shop around (6 songs). We recorded it, but never used it. In retrospect I’m glad we never pushed that demo. Though most of the songs were some of the best we had ever written, there were a few that make us wonder what the fuck we were thinking. We allowed outside influence to infiltrate our song writing and what was the essence of At War. If I have my way those songs will never see the light of day. I’ve toyed around with releasing the killer songs, but my goal is the full length “Calculated Risk”, but when?
That brings us to now. Dave, Shawn and I live near each other and remain great friends. There’s not a day goes by I’m not reminded of the impact At War made and continues to make in my life. I still can’t go to any show locally without people coming up to me, give me props and beg for more At War! I know you’ve heard it before, but more than ever it looks like it may happen.
originally submitted to the At War myspace by Paul Arnold on 08/12/2006