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Static Arm is turning back the dial in 102.3 Spotlight

Trio brings back grunge to be in 102.3 Spotlight

Static Arm is in the ALT 102.3 Spotlight.

Published August 24, 2022

A mutual respect for early alternative rock helped form ALT 102.3’s latest Spotlight band, Static Arm.

While working at the Sweetwater Distribution Center, Riley Schaffter noticed the Pixies hat worn by Lukas Magnuson. 

“We started talking about The Pixies, then we started talking about Jack White. He’s a big inspiration for all of us,” Magnuson said. “We just kind of hit it off and started a band about 20 minutes after we met.”

Drummer Jake Hanes, who attends Purdue University Fort Wayne with singer and guitarist Magnuson, joined the group, completing the trio.

Getting on radio

Formed in the summer of 2021, Static Arm released Three Songs on a CD in March, then caught the eye of ALT 102.3 DJ Zack Skyler.

“We had kind of called out to him on one of our Instagram posts of a performance of ours, saying, ‘Hey, are we ready for the radio?’ ” Magnuson said. “And he said, ‘Yeah!’ ”

Skyler has been playing the band’s single “Hyper-Cardiod” off their initial release, as well as a couple more off the band’s new EP Super-Cardiod, which was put on streaming services this month.

“Static Arm is a fine-tuned machine with crunchy guitars and heavy drums,” Skyler said. “I like their songs, and they all have some different influences, but together they sound great!”

The band and other local acts can be caught on the station’s weekly Homegrown Showcase, which airs every Friday from 7-8 p.m. You can also hear an interview and Static Arm’s music in the station’s Homegrown Spotlight at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 25, and Sunday, Aug. 28.

Scanning the dial

When it comes to their influences, Magnuson says he’s really into Mudhoney, even dropping a reference in one song to “Get out of the mud, honey,” as well as other bands out of Seattle in the late ’80s and early ’90s.

“Old-school grunge is how I’ve been describing (our sound), because a lot of the bands I take my inspiration from are some of the earlier Sub-Pop label-type bands,” he said. “We wanted it to sound real. We wanted it to sound somewhat garage-y, somewhat open.”

The opening song off Super-Cardioid takes the listener for a ride. Following five seconds of silence, you get the sound of someone turning their car radio dial until there’s a DJ giving a weather update and a call sign. 

Eventually, the static fades out and “Super Tight” comes through in a crisp sound at the 1:18 mark.

“I wanted it to be somewhat of a test for our listeners,” Magnuson said of the intro. “If they could get through a minute of, it sounds like we’re scanning through the radio, then they get to the song. It’s kind of a test of their fortitude.

“I also just kind of miss listening to the radio and scanning through it,” he said. “It was fun, and sort of nostalgic for me.”

The group will be at the The Ruin on Sept. 9 with Peacehead and Imperial Orange, but shows have been hard to find, especially with the band being under 21 years old, and the upcoming closure of The Muse on Main where Magnuson says they played numerous times.

“Sadly, venues don’t really get back with us,” he said.

Hopefully that changes with some airplay and word of mouth.

Next up in the ALT 102.3 Spotlight is singer-songwriter Sean Patrick.

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