Things to Do in Fort Wayne and Beyond

Wide variety of influences give local band flavor

Despite shutdown, band keeps chasing horizon

Mackenzie Joefreda

Whatzup Features Writer

Published June 11, 2020

The diverse musical tastes of the members of Fort Wayne’s Horizon Arcs is reflected in how they all joined the band.

The alternative band features Brody Eastep, Alex Fernandez, Austin Snyder, and Aaron Steele. Eastep and Steele are the only remaining original group members.

The band started in 2014 with two other members, and the four of them created a generalized ’90s alternative cover band.

Each member found the band by way of the internet and flyers. Eventually, when they needed a new drummer, they turned to Craigslist and found Snyder.

“It was the Men Seeking Bands section of Craigs­list,” Eastep said. “So we’re really glad he didn’t end up being a serial killer.”

Fernandez discovered the band completely by chance. One day while at work at Sweetwater Sound, he walked past a flyer that caught his attention.

“I was very skeptical, but when I got to the band site, I realized the music was pretty damn good,” Fernandez said. “It’s crazy because I never go to that section of Sweetwater. Fate would have it.”

Focus on new music

Now, the band focuses on writing their own music. The group’s style is pulled from many different interests. Fernandez said each song has its own personality.

“However, they’re all very central to the kind of music I and a lot of people grew up with,” Fernandez said. “It pulls from the ’80s, ’90s, 2000s.”

Looking ahead to their next album, Fernandez hopes to keep that trend going, since it’s very important to the band’s sound.

Steele backed up his point by adding that they all have completely different playlists on Spotify.

“You can hear that in the music,” Steele said. “The new album that we’re working on writing right now is going to have a similarity to what we’ve done before, but I think you’ll notice a different approach with Alex’s guitar coming in there, making it sound different in a good way.”

During their creative process, Eastep builds the skeleton of each song, creating the initial spark of inspiration. Each member brings their influences in, which then shapes the song.

“It still has that same skeleton that Brody started with, though,” Fernandez said. “It’s really cool to experience.”

In April, the group released a new single, “Ugly Saturday.”

“It’s actually something we recorded last year for Alt 102.3’s Homegrown Spotlight,” Steele said. “We decided to put that out, and it’s available now on Spotify and iTunes.”

Streaming around the world

People around the world listen to Horizon Arcs’ songs through streaming services.

In order to make this happen, the band members have to work diligently to find public Spotify playlists related to their music. Steele also spends multiple hours each week reaching out to various podcasts and radio stations in hopes of getting their music played.

Outside of Fort Wayne, their music is currently most played in a city in Spain. They also have listeners in Belgium, Germany, and Argentina.

“The fact that we put out an album in Fort Wayne and someone in Spain or the UK has heard us is surreal,” Steele said. “For us, we want to continue growing our brand and footprint in the music world, and try to get more people to listen to us.”

Though their listeners are around the world, Horizon Arcs frequents Fort Wayne bars for their performances.

“For instance, we’ve played at O’Sullivan’s so many times and the crowd is always great and really involved with the shows,” Snyder said. “We love playing there.”

The group would like to expand their show reach to bigger venues.

“We’ve talked about getting into some music festivals, or maybe playing out of town in the tri-state area,” Snyder said. “The sky’s the limit.”

Speaking of festivals, the band has been active in local festivals recently. A favorite event is the Three Rivers Festival.

Alt 102.3 chose Horizon Arcs to perform on their float in the Three Rivers Festival parade. The band members loved that opportunity.

“We’ve been around enough now and have enough equipment and gear that we could play anything,” Steele said.

looking forward to the shows

The members’ favorite part of being in a band is performing.

“My biggest thing is whenever people come up after listening to you and they’re totally engaged with the music,” Eastep said. “You put words down on paper and write a melody, and the way some people can connect with that is really cool.”

Since long hours go into preparing for performances, Fernandez said people really have to love performing in order to go through the non-glamorous aspects.

Luckily for this band, there is an authentic love for one another among the group.

“We’re all brothers in a different way,” Steele said. “We all get each other and have our own quirks, and as a result, we vibe together well.”

Throughout the quarantine, they found ways to connect while respecting social distance guidelines. One afternoon, they hiked through Franke Park together.

“You want to enjoy each other’s company because you’ll be spending a lot of time together,” Fernandez said. “We genuinely like each other.”

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