We're all from Minneapolis.
The band started out in 1988 under the name tiltawhirl. Rob and Scott had been playing together in bands for a couple of years before that (not that anyone has/had heard of them). Basically, at the first practice was the first time Bill had ever played electric guitar.
Our first single (Pint of Blood b/w Define My Life) came out in 1988. It was self produced, self-packaged and self-distributed. I think 500 copies were pressed.
We then put out two records on the Minneapolis label Big Money Inc. The first was 'This' in 1990. As it was being released, we were sued by the manufacturer of the Tilt-a-Whirl carnival ride and we were forced to change our name. Under time pressure (14 days or we would be taken to court), we decided on Arcwelder, which was/is the title of an instrumental on the record. The initial release of 'This' contains a disclaimer sticker written up by the lawyers about the lack of affiliation between the manufacturer and the band, etc.
'This' was followed by 'Jacket Made In Canada' in 1991. The CD version of 'Jacket' also contained all of the songs from 'This'. 24 songs in all. Jacket represented our first major radio exposure in the Twin Cities area, the song 'Favor' received fairly substantial airplay on the local radio station KJJO 104. In fact, 'Favor' remains probably our most popular song in the Mpls/St Paul. Favor also garnered some international attention, from Douphonic in England. They did a one time 7" pressing of 'Favor' backed with 'Plastic', another song off of 'Jacket'. That single was picked in NME as the "Punk Rock Single of the Week" (or something like that) by none other the New Order.
In 1992 we were asked to open a tour for our friend and fellow Minneapolitan, Flour. Flour was already on the Touch and Go label at the time. When the tour passed through Chicago, Corey Rusk, the president of T+G, came out to see the show. He liked us well enough to get a demo tape to listen to and subsequently we joined the Touch and Go roster.
Prior to switching to T+G we put out one more single on Big Money: 'More Popular Than Cheeses: I am the Walrus b/w Sign-of-the-Times'. The A side is obviously the John Lennon classic, the B side is a Prince song. The single was pressed on multi-colored red/clear "flame-ball" vinyl.
Our first T+G release was a single of the song 'Raleigh' taken from 4 track demos of what was to become our third record 'Pull'. 'Pull' itself was released in the spring of 1993.
In 1994 we released our fourth record 'Xerxes'.
In 1995 we released the 'Captain Allen/White Elephant' single (White Elephant being a cover of the Volcano Suns tune).
Then 'Entropy', our 5th full length, and 3rd on T&G was released in April of 1996.
Along the way we have been fortunate enough to tour/play with some pretty amazing bands.
In late 1992 we toured for several weeks with the Jesus Lizard on their "Liar" tour. They were the best live band on the planet. Plain and simple.
Following the release of Pull we toured with another fellow T+G band: Tar. We hit it off amazingly well with Tar and they remain good friends. Unfortunately, the last time we played with them (Nov 1995 at Lounge Axe in Chicago) , was their last ever show. (sigh..).
In 1996, in support of "Entropy", we played the midwestern leg of Jawbox's summer tour. A splendid time was had by all. Sad to say that Jawbox has since broken up (not cause and effect I hope). If you never saw them, you missed a great band and a great show.
1999 saw our return to the studio after 3 years of verrry slooowly writing new material. We recorded our 6th album, "Everest", in March/April. Again at Pachyderm Studio in Cannon Falls. It was released on Sept 28th, 1999.
So, life goes on. Non-band commitments continue to take up most of our time. We do still play regionally several times a year. In 2002 (and again in 2004) we were honored to be asked by Shellac to play at the "All Tomorrows Parties" festival in Camber Sands, England. It was a truly amazing experience. In 2008 we played at the in Sant Feliu Fest in Catalonia and in the summer fo 2009 we finally toured the US west coast with Shellac.
Thanks to everyone who still remembers us and wants us to play in their town. It is very satisfying/gratifying to have people enjoy what we do.
Never say never - who knows we may hit the road again one of these months.