As your protection in the
And every section of your
As vivid. As possible.
It’s verses like these that have come to define and inform one of L.A.’s most promising new rock bands. Dreams, seasons, evenings, obsession, freedom, neurosis, optimism, reality, love, rage, ambition. Songwriter and frontman Cody Page strives to reconcile these things with a feverish dexterity that is as thoughtful as it is urgent. Lucky for him, he has a band that rescues his efforts from the purely poetic by grafting them with an indie rock bang that churns at the center of ARMADA’s tuneful, bleeding heart.
While Page’s vintage, California-bred style wanders from Bright Eyes density to Smashing Pumpkins bombast to the kind of casual gravity floating over Spoon and Wilco, his path to songwriting didn’t start with music at all, but with short stories. Page’s interest in the written word developed over time into a BA in English and Creative Writing at Stanford University. He joined a punk band on a whim during his sophomore year, fell painfully in love with writing songs, revived some forgotten guitar skills, and bought a cheap suite of recording software. By the end of 2004, he had graduated into the inglorious world of the gigging Bay Area musician, much to the supportive surprise of his acting coach mother, violinist father, and studio singer stepmother. Page’s soulful, quirky vocal style, he reckons, is owed to an upbringing amongst right brains.
If Page came late to the party, Honduran-born drummer Eddie Core got there early, raged, and never really left. The passion and energy with which Core approaches his instrument translates into a deep-pocketed bump critical to keeping ARMADA’s narrative focused and infectious. Core’s musical evolution began with a formal education in jazz, which developed into a muscular style honed over years globetrotting military bases with his family throughout Europe and the American Midwest. He eventually settled in Southern California to attend L.A. Music Academy shortly before linking up with Page to found ARMADA. Core lives with the security of a black belt in Shotokan and an excellent German Shepherd named Charlie.
Jeremy Gruber joined ARMADA months later to breathe life into what would become a perfectly matched rhythm section. Gruber first shocked his family of classical musicians when he decided to study the electric bass in earnest. He delivered shock number two when, at the age of 18, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the Music Industry at USC where he received a BA in Music in 2005. Ever the Renaissance man, Gruber balances a noteworthy career in artist management and marketing with his functions as the melodic low-end anchor of ARMADA
You wouldn’t know if from the confident, intuitive lines that he dusts over ARMADA catalog, but Texan Dave Antonio was a self-described “confused jazz/rock guitarist” when he first popped up on Page’s radar. Stevie Ray/Billy Corgan sensibilities played through a lens of classical piano, self-taught guitar, and biomedical mechanical engineering roots will do that to a man. Caltech was sad to see him graduate, but Page, Core, and Gruber were pleased to see him make his way from L.A. Music Academy and various L.A. bands to the weird (and considerably louder) halls of ARMADA’s headquarters in early 2008.
ARMADA currently finds themselves at the top of their game, playing a tireless Los Angeles circuit in support of their self-titled EP released in 2008. Early reviews from Radio Indy have described the debut as a “powerful, intimate artistic experience,” adding that “fans of Radiohead and Jeff Buckley will thoroughly enjoy this refreshingly energetic collection.”
Beautiful, exquisite writing! What a story it tells.
review written by: Lynn Capri