By Nicholas Jason Lopez
He’s got it in the bag now, but it wasn’t always that way.
If you dig the likes of Alice Cooper, St. Vitus and Type O Negative, Arden Eckhart is ready to enter the conversation with his latest album “Baggage.”
The inspirational release borders Eckhart’s real-life journey of a musician who, prior to Summer 2020, underwent many hardships in his home state of Wisconsin, before he finally broke free from there and chose to follow his passion to become the next big shock-rocker.
The Music Bugle had the opportunity to chat with Eckhart about “Baggage” and more, which you can check out below.
Music Bugle – What was the moment that inspired you to become a musician?
Arden Eckhart – It started as just an idea when I started listening to music as a kid; a growing interest that I thought I might want to try myself. Then, in 2011, I heard of an Evanescence concert that was going to happen at the Eagles Ballroom in Milwaukee and I had to go. That experience seems to be the spark that ignited my passion, because the very next day was when I picked up a pencil and attempted to write my own lyrics. It was hard at first, because I was starting this without an instrument – and then learning guitar has been its own challenge too, but I’ve gradually become better and better at it.
Music Bugle – What excites you the most about your style of music?
Arden Eckhart – Having learned how to create all the elements to a good song and bringing them together myself – from layers of guitar, to synthesizers and voice. That and finally getting to voice my stance on the matters that matters to me, in my own artistic way. It was always a concern for me how I was going to pull off any of this off, back before I knew anything. Starting out, I didn’t have formidable skills to advertise myself to therefore bring a band together. I’m still open to the possibility of working with bandmates, but I’m determined to make progress with or without them.
Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?
Arden Eckhart – I still listen to Alice Cooper the most; he is my favorite artist. I also like Lordi and I Am Ghost. I’ve recently started listening to Limp Bizkit and the Alan Parsons Project for the first time. What I listen to can vary a lot from day to day; I like variety and sometimes, I’ll listen to older artists to discover classics I wasn’t familiar with before – like the Rolling Stones and Lou Reed. I do this to expand my mind and to seek inspiration. Many modern bands just blend in and don’t make much of an impression on me.
Music Bugle – What makes you the most proud about where you come from?
Arden Eckhart – Ha. It’s funny you should ask, because I’m still sore about my difficult relationship to my place of origin in Wisconsin. It was nothing but a hard series of trials for me, but I got past them on my own and left that place for good – so I’m proud of that. Plus, my experiences there are what motivated me to to speak out about what I know is right and wrong, through music.
Music Bugle – Does social media help or hurt musicians?
Arden Eckhart – It seems like social media is really one of the top major means for spreading news and self-promotion like this, today. I’ve still just started out with that, so any faults with it, or the music industry, I’m not yet privy to. I will say that how people use technology is what helps or hurts others, and they should use it responsibly.
Music Bugle – What’s your stance on the use of AI in music?
Arden Eckhart – Meh. I’m not interested in it. I think it should be used minimally at best, otherwise I’m sure music will just get worse, not better. I firmly believe that you can’t artificially generate good music, stories, etc., without an actual mind and soul behind it, it can never compare to music that is written and sung by a person.
Music Bugle – How important is mental health in the music industry?
Arden Eckhart – As important as it is for everyone! Take time to recharge from the work, nurture relationships if you have any, go out and try something new. Everyone needs to maintain a balance.
Music Bugle – Where do you go when you need a break?
Arden Eckhart – That hasn’t been my concern. I’ve been passionate about making and completing this project for the past two and a half years and making music is what I’d prefer to be doing. I also like to draw; I always have. That’s a good, relaxing activity for the end of the night. I’m making a graphic novel series I intend to release someday.
Music Bugle – What are you looking forward to the most from your future?
Arden Eckhart – Putting on awesome shock rock concerts and having a place amongst a music community.
Music Bugle – What show are you currently binging on right now in your free time?
Arden Eckhart – I wouldn’t call it binging, but I’ve taken to watching “That 70’s Show” again and more recently, “Lucifer.”