Element A440 is an American Industrial/Metal band from Phoenix, Arizona formed by front man Halo, in 2000. The bands current line-up includes Halo (vocals), Ivan “Graven” Schon (guitar), Katt Bell (bass), and Kat “seVen” Sette (drums).
Element A440 is well known for their levels of bone crunching, heart ripping, blood blistering, terror- filled theatrics, mixed with a symphonic array of synthesizers implemented into their resume of live shows. It was proven when the award for ‘Best Live Performance by an Unsigned Band’ at the National Association of Independent Rock Music Awards (NAIRMA), was presented to them in January of 2016.
Their well-defined wall of sound mixed with dark electronics and a heavy hypnotic dance beat is no match for some of the new blood you just won’t find on the radio today.
Growing tired of the trendy thrash sounds of his former band Mortakill, Halo decides to steer his creativity in a new direction with the fresher, darker electronic sounds of the industrial wave. When graduating with a degree from Arizona’s Conservatory of Arts and Sciences, and the vast influences of legends such as Nine Inch Nails and Pink Floyd, Halo shapes Element A440. A sound best described as the drug listeners crave the most when feeling withdrawals from their live shows.
Mostly gigging the Southwest and Pacific Coast for a number of years to promote their first album Selfish, the band would eventually arrive at Chicago’s famed Gothic Fest, North America’s largest Gothic festival and expo in 2007. Soon after, the band took a break, leaving the front man to land on new foundation with members more solidified to the sound. They began writing their next album Whips, Knives, Candles and Quills in February of 2013, quickly followed with the release of their third album, Intravenous Nursery Rhymes in August of 2013, after winning the highly praised Project Independent Tour as Featured Artist of the Year. The Project Independent Tour helped them achieve endorsements by Schecter Guitar Research, Sinister Guitar Picks, and GHS Guitar Strings.
With a tenacious attitude and strong business sense, Halo forms AngelofPorn productions, his own independent label that would help unearth the production of their first album, Selfish. The physical CD itself was a limited release in 2004, and is now considered a collector’s item among the die-hard fans today, although later on in the band’s career they would extract the hits for Intravenous Nursery Rhymes. Straight from the gut of Halo himself, this album represents the possibility of a ‘Godless’ existence, to the pain described in the title track, anyone can relate to. You’ll even be indulged with a vampiric tale of unmerciful offerings with the band’s hit single, ‘Dance Dead’.
‘Dance Dead’ was the second music video to promote this album. It includes the dynamics of the industrial band, Hardwire, as they set out as modern day vampire slayers, fully equipped for the job to massacre a club full of blood suckers including head vamps themselves, Element A440.
Prior to ‘Dance Dead’, was the band’s first single ‘Burn It Down’, a song epitomizing on such lies and deceit by religion itself. ”Pharisee, preach to me about something that you say, and something that you do are two completely different things…” A music video for this was also made.
Soon after the release of Selfish, gigging was essential to escalate the official word of the band outside of Phoenix, making bold statements in towns such as Seattle, Las Vegas and the historical landmark venue, the Whiskey A Go-Go in Hollywood, California with their “Fuck Your God” philosophy. This subject would eventually stir up the controversy needed making A440 stand out among the norm, leaving the audience with whiplash as they spit out there $19 meals at a gig at the Hard Rock Cafe’ in 2004.
During these years, Element A440 had been known for repeatedly blowing power at popular venues such as The Mason Jar, Chaser’s and Kat’s Blooze Bar in their hometown of Phoenix. Due to their high density of sound and projection, some venues simply could not handle the power this band encompasses. During such fiascos, Halo never skipped a beat, capturing the audience with an ironic, awe inspiring A-Capella version of ‘He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands’.
Whips, Knives, Candles and Quills (February 2013)
A new era would begin with the unveiling of Whips, Knives, Candles and Quills, an album still true to the signature sound of Element A440. However, line-up changes were again mandatory, and a plethora of music videos were created to enhance the visual/listening narcotic that is Element A440.
Hits and music videos include ‘Kookie Kutter’; more pop/rock than metal, yet still maintaining a “deranged” dimension of heavy hooks and riffs your ears want more of with each chorus. “Fuck yeah!” ‘The Sore’ describes the virus of betrayal and deception, spreading not only its disease, but embedding itself underneath the skin, like maggots eating away at raw flesh. With a hard hitting, driving beat to the skull, and lyrics anyone can identify with, if you’ve ever been stabbed in the back by someone you trust, simply listening to this track could help alleviate some of the suffering as the front man has a solution for you.
‘Something Else’ and ‘Feel’ were also among some of the tracks turned official music videos. One of their more elaborate videos, ‘Something Else’ took Element A440 to new territory with Firelight Entertainment, a circus of fire breathing freaks and characters dripping in BDSM brutality. Filmed at the domes in Casa Grande, Arizona, guitarist Graven would later recall, “lots of naked chicks… everywhere.” ‘Feel’ would demonstrate a more emotional side to Halo. Manifesting a display of love and hope mixed with fear and despair as life takes many twisted turns.
Between the midst of the madness, Project Independent was subject to embark on an 8 week tour later that year spawning 53 dates across the country. With a bill containing some of the hottest up and coming bands today, Element A440 had already achieved the headlining slot on this tour in January of 2013, prior to the WKCQ release. They took part in a three part national contest consisting of judgment by live performance, industry panel critique, and an online fan vote.
The rest of the year would prove that EA440 would be declared the hardest working unsigned band in America.
Intravenous Nursery Rhymes (August 2013)
As heavier touring schedules were added to the project to ensure saturation of the band’s name across the country, two more videos were in the making and Project Independent was ready to rock.
Kicking off the tour on August 30th 2013 in Phoenix, Element A440 put out their third record, Intravenous Nursery Rhymes, a two part cd consisting of INR and previous winners from past P.I. tours including END EVER, The Curse of Sorrow, and Riksha.
As quoted from drummer seVen, “’Intravenous’ blends the perfect mixture of rock n’ roll mayhem. You got everything from old school tracks from our first album that everyone loves, integrated with heavier doses of what exactly is Element A440.” Taking an unlikely turn from your typical 4/4 time signature, ‘The Freak’ plays in 3/4 as you waltz through this tale of eloquent debauchery pertaining to the lives of the tormented and the damned. The band itself mesmerizes the crowd with a marionette style spectacle as a half out-of-tune piano grazes the audience as one fan recalls, “I was so moved by this song, I physically could not move. It definitely left me in a shock as each lyric pounded into my chest with some serious meaning.”
One of the music videos made for Intravenous Nursery Rhymes was ‘Godless’. Because Selfish was out of print at this time, and due to the bands hectic schedule, songs from the album were obtained to complete INR in time for the P.I. tour. The second video made from INR was ‘Porn Star’, a fast-paced in-your-face heart attack of pornographic proportions as it is considered to be their most popular tune to date.
A-440 or A4, which has a frequency of 440 Hz, is the musical note ‘A’ above middle ‘C’, and serves as a general tuning standard for musical pitch. The United States Bureau of Weights and Measures adopted A-440 in 1920, and was claimed as the world-wide standard tuning in a treaty signed during an International Standards Association meeting in London in 1939. In other words, from then on, A-440 is the pitch most often used as a tuning reference in intonation regardless of time signature or key. For example, ‘A’ is common to all stringed instruments.
With this in mind, the idea to combine the Elements of Nature (earth, wind, air, and fire) with the pitch most commonly used in tuning forks, almost every concert hall, and your 8th grade band teacher’s piano, was an obvious choice for not only a band name, but a brand of musical wonder and chaos thus becoming Element A440.
Fun fact: It is designated A4 in scientific pitch notation because it occurs in the octave that starts with the fourth ‘C’ key on a standard 88-key piano keyboard. Most Element A440 fans will be pleased to know that on MIDI, it is note 69.
Halo – Vocals, Guitars, Programming
Graven – Guitars, and Bass
Katt – Bass
Kat – Drums