During the fall of 1999 Colin and I began making music with another SMFA classmate, Thommy Saraceno, inspired by D.E.V.O., mummies, seances, and aliens. The band name was lifted from the Kids In The Hall skit “Rod Torfulson’s Armada.”
For the most part we existed as a three-piece, though we rehearsed a few times early on with Josh Slater then George Cox, both on bass. Colin wrote the majority of the songs and he and Thommy worked out lyrics together for the record we made.
I don’t recall there ever being a formal discussion about our “identity,” but one certainly emerged through a series of self-produced photographs and videos. A painting teacher at SMFA remarked this body of work expressed a “fear of penetration” with latent homophobic overtones, whatever that means. On this page you’ll find a selection of images I feel are the best examples.
Despite all the time spent practicing in my mother’s basement The Armada played only one show, a joint performance with Thommy’s controversial experiment in spectacle, The hourof (9). The evening began eventfully enough when an irked night-school professor exploded with an angry tirade about what he thought we were doing (something he took all the way to the Dean’s office and which sparked the death of Thommy’s faith in art school). Our set was marred by the absence of both monitors–we couldn’t hear one another well enough–and tuners which made for quite a train wreck. A spectacle indeed…
Initial tracking for Mumien was done with Adam Rourke (Noelle/Damone) at Red Room Studios, Waltham, February-March 2000. We recorded additional material at Folsom Ave. and later completed mixes back at Red Room April 26, 2000.
Colin, Thommy and I were involved with Kaiju Big Battel back then: they were both performers and I was the show photographer. This is one of the two character entrance songs The Armada wrote and recorded: Uchu Chu’s Theme
We met and began playing with Jordan Anderson Fall of 2000 and our new tunes quickly became less dependent on electronics and decidedly more serious. The Armada as we knew it ceased to exist, though the name change (to Welcome Home) wasn’t official until 2001.
The Armada as myth was resurrected in 2002 when we installed four photographs and a video at Boston’s City Hall. Who knows what the visitors to the city offices thought about it…
from the plaque: “This video piece stands to document the band’s performance on The Arsenio Hall Show at the height of their stunted success in the United States. Flanked by a small section of PR photographs for the first and only full-length record, this work is also a promotional piece for the re-release of Mumien in the 21st Century.”Tags: Colin Asquith, Thommy Saraceno