Interview: ARMNHMR Explore New Sounds On Their Sophomore Album, ‘Together As One’

Feature image provided by ARMNHMR

From the GA crowd to playing on Main Stage around the world, duo ARMNHMR (consisting of Joseph Chung and Joe Abella) have just released their second studio album: Together As One out now on Monstercat.

ARMNHMR’s origins are one of a festival goer’s dream: two friends from Southern California who decided to make music they connect with and create a community of fans along the way.

While it may seem that their success is sudden, they have been putting in the work every day for over ten years to bring their sound and message to life.

Together As One is a dive into the inspiration and influence Chung and Abella have experienced over the years and is a tale of persistence, love, and human connection.

We had the chance to sit down with Joe Abella of ARMNHMR and discuss their creative process and how persistence is the key to their success.

EDM Maniac: Could you take us through your creative process and how it has changed since your first album? 

ARMNHMR: Well, Together As One, we’ve been doing for a while. The first seven/eight years was us trying to figure out our sound.

So I think with this album we have a better understanding of who we are. We really tried to push ourselves creatively. We’ve played all the instruments on it. There’s also a lot more analog compared to synth and electronic sounds. 

EDM Maniac: It’s been over ten years since you guys started and you’ve only released two feature-length albums. What is your advice to new artists who might feel the pressure to produce quantity over quality?

ARMNHMR: Being patient with the people who support you. We’ve seen a lot of people come and go over the years, but I think staying true to who you are and how you see the world is essential.

If we feel good about it at the time, we’ll put it out. But a lot of the songs on Together As One, like the one with Lights, were done during COVID, so it wasn’t the right time for us to release.

I think the organic process gives you a sturdier foundation. Just put out the songs that you resonate with and make you happy.

EDM Maniac: The album features powerhouse vocalists such as Lights, Lena Leon, and HALIENE. How do you choose who to collaborate with vocally and how do they help spread your message? 

ARMNHMR: We’ve been friends with them over the years. We’ve known Valerie (Lights) off and on. We like to work with people we’ve met before and I feel like that translates to the song a lot more.

They’re all insane musicians too, which is nice because when we first started we were up-and-comers. This is the first album where we got to see master vocalists and songwriters at their best. It was a pleasure being able to pick their brains.

EDM Maniac: You’ve talked about having patience while making music. What did you do in those moments that you wanted to give up? 

ARMNHMR: We’re not going to sugarcoat it. It is rough, especially if you’re a musician trying to prove yourself. You have a vision of what you want, and the world’s not seeing it.

It’s usually the artist getting in their own way. I’m not finishing a song because I got in my own way, type of thing. That’s the mental battle always. But anyone I know who stuck around for like five/six years, just doing it day in, day out has made a career out of it. 

EDM Maniac: You guys just played LA Historic Park with The Chainsmokers, four sets at EDC Las Vegas this year, and you’ve even sold out the House of Blues. What’s your dream festival or venue that you’ve not yet played?

ARMNHMR: Bonnaroo, Coachella. I mean, we’ve played Coachella, but we’d want to play on one of the stages there. There are so many things we wanna do as artists.

Me and Joe were playing these small clubs, maybe 300 [capacity] nightclubs. And from then on, it just switched like day and night.

The Chainsmokers brought us out on tour with them. Then we started playing auditoriums. Five years before that was just nothing but grinding. And then one year everything changed.

EDM Maniac: You guys are known to play a lot of different genres. This year you played a trance and a house set at EDC. You also have a classic melodic bass sound. How has your diversity of sound allowed you to connect with fans and convey a message that might not be possible through just one genre?

ARMNHMR: People in general are in different parts of their lives sometimes. They’re not sad, they’re happy, and want to express it.

So I feel like our sets go all over the place because we want it to be a full experience. We try to give everything we love and mix it with our own music. We wanna make it a party. I think that’s the biggest thing and keep you guys guessing.

EDM Maniac: What’s next for ARMNHMR?

ARMNHMR: We’re gonna be touring off the album for the rest of the year and we got a couple of festivals. This album was a big mountain to climb.

To everyone who listens to it, we hope they like it. It’s definitely different from what we’re known for, but if they like the ARMNHMR sound, they’ll find it there. It takes a couple listens.

Featured image provided by ARMNHMR

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