Members: Jacob, Caleb, Josh, Chandler
After leaving our 3rd band together, Jacob and I (Caleb) had decided that we have to do something different, something we would love doing, and something we knew we couldn't live without. We both love music; we've been making music together since the 7th grade. We were upset and sick of bands not working out, so we decided to do something about it. We had some material written, some guitar riffs here and there, however we still needed a full band. So the search for what would be Alert All Arms began.
Chandler Watson instantly came to mind as a guitarist. We've known him for a long time he's a great player, and is one of the funniest people we know. We called him about starting a band and he was very open to the idea of it. When we had our first practice he showed up holding an old guitar that had literally been gutted. It had no pickups, no strings and no tuning knobs. It looked like a paddle for a boat. He walked in with it and said, "I'm ready to play!" and we just looked at him and laughed.
Jacob and I were stoked to have Chandler in the band, but we still needed one more person to complete the puzzle. We had talked to a few people we knew, and had looked around at people in other bands, but we just didn't find anyone that really stuck out to us, until we met Wes Cooper. His goofy personality, passion for music was what drew us to him. Jacob and I talked to him after school and asked about what music he liked and what he was all about. Everything he said matched up with our hopes and dreams for where we wanted the band to go. We told him that we were starting a band, and asked if he would be interested in joining. He was down with the idea and was excited to be in a band with people who had the same taste as him.
Our first practice as a whole band was like a majestic dream of fantasies. Within 45 minutes we had written our first 2 complete songs. After it was all done we looked at each other with huge smiles on our faces. We all just clicked so well. After six or so more practices we booked our first show. Little did we know that about 300 of our best friends would come out to see us play. It was great; we all had a blast and got lots of compliments from people. We later found out that Max Collins, the lead singer from the band Eve 6 saw us play and liked what he heard. From then on we played a handful of shows around Little Rock and kept on playing our best regardless of how many people showed up. From this start things just came together better than we had expected or even hoped. It was like a sign. This time things were going strangely well.
In the spring of 2008 Wes had decided that he needed to go to college so he decided to leave the band. We love him, and he's still a great friend of ours, but we hated to see him go. So this obviously led us to find another guitarist. After hearing that we were in need of a new guitarist, Josh Dopieralla, contacted us and said he was interested. He had previously been in a local hardcore band so we knew he had some expirence. We talked to him for a little bit and had him come over to try out. It was an instant connection and without even talking amongst ourselves we all knew that he had to be in the band. It was incredible that we found such an excellent addition so fast. We couldn't have found a better person.
We all have very diverse musical backgrounds. I (Caleb) have been playing drums for 6 years, and have been studying lots of funk and jazz with my drum instructor. Drums are my first musical love. Ever since I was a little kid I would beat on pots and pans and even teddy bears for my "bass drum" when I was 12 my parents bought me a drum set for Christmas. I would probably consider that one of the most important days of my life. Not long after I got my drums, I got my hands on a Blink 182 album. After hearing it I realized that I had to pursue music. I also love playing the piano, Radiohead is one of my biggest musical influences and really inspired me to start pursuing the piano more. My Music Theory class has also helped me a lot with writing music. It's made me realize how complicated music can really be, which just makes me love it even more. I listen to all sorts of music, everything from Blink 182 to Lil Wayne to any kind of jazz.
I (Chandler) started playing guitar at the age of 11. My dad brought home a small guitar from a local guitar shop that was going out of business. I was hooked. I had played piano since I was practically born from the encouragement of my parents. Early on I played more jazz but had an interest in all genres music. I grew up on Blink-182 but I also listened to anything from Bob Dylan to the Beastie Boys. I was always searching for new bands and influences. I have always had a strong interest in music theory and studied under a world renown classical pianist. I have been mentored and taught by Jason Truby, the past guitarist for P.O.D. He has been a huge help in kicking us off and just to go to for any advice.
I (Jacob) have been singing ever since I was a baby. I remember sitting in the car on the way to and from school singing my heart out to the Backstreet Boys, Phil Keggy, and anything that came on the radio. I started out playing bass guitar when I was 10 because my Dad, who has been playing for more than thirty years basically gave me his guitar and told me to practice. So I did. When I was in the 6th grade I met Caleb in the Band Hall of our school. We played trumpet together for about 3 years. It is the only instrument I truly know how to play. My biggest influences in music have been Blink 182 and The Starting Line. I know that God has blessed me through every step in this band and in my life.
I (Josh) have been playing guitar since I was about 16. I got my first guitar when I was about 12. It was a First Act, the ones you get from Walmart. I waited for about 2 years to actually start playing. I played with my friend Michael for a few years, but it never really got anywhere. I met Jacob in the summer of 2007. Jacob filled in at bass for my old metal band that I was in for almost 2 years. When I heard that Wes left the band I messaged Jacob to see if I could try out. About a week later he messaged me back and I tried out the next day. I instantly fell in love with the guys. We just clicked. Playing on stage in front of people is such an amazing feeling and I'm glad I get to do it with these guys.
We're really more than just a band. It's more like we're best friends, pretty much family, who love to make music together and just have fun.