More than two decades after leaving Hartford progressive metal band Fates Warning, original singer John Arch is making music again with guitarist Jim Matheos.
The pair reconvened in 2010 to record “Sympathetic Resonance,” which they released last year as Arch/Matheos. They perform their first American concert Saturday at the Webster Theatre in Hartford.
“We’re really excited about this,” Matheos says by phone. “The last time that John and I played together was the first or second incarnation of Fates Warning, which was back in 1986 or 1987.”
They’ve worked together once since then, recording an EP in 2002, but no live dates followed. Although Fates Warning carried on when Arch left after the band’s third album, 1986’s “Awaken the Guardian,” Matheos says he always kept in touch with Arch and occasionally asked his old friend whether he wanted to collaborate.
“Whenever I have some time or material, I check in with John to see if he’s ready,” Matheos says. “This record took probably a year and a half to put together. It’s not something we take lightly, and John is never sure whether he wants to commit to that kind of time.”
For “Sympathetic Resonance,” Matheos sent Arch, who works now in carpentry, musical ideas. Arch added lyrics, and they spent a considerable amount of time shaping and reshaping the songs.
“What it comes down to is that both of us are kind of perfectionists, and when you put the two of us together, there’s no one there to say, ‘OK, enough, stop,’” Matheos says.
Eventually, they recorded six virtuosic new songs with current Fates Warning members Bobby Jarzombek, Joey Vera and Frank Aresti.
Working with someone once every 10 years makes for an unusual collaborative relationship, but the two quickly find their footing together.
“I think we have a really interesting chemistry,” Matheos says. “When we got together in 2002 to do that EP, it had been a long time. I think the last time we had worked together was maybe 1986. So that went a little odd at first, but it really only took a couple of days to fall right back into that old chemistry. This time around, it had only been 10 years, which didn’t seem that long.”
Although Arch/Matheos plans to focus on “Sympathetic Resonance” on stage, the band will dig into material from Fates Warning’s first three albums with Arch, too.
“I think there’s a lot of Fates Warning fans from the early days who kind of fell out of love with the band when John left, because he has a very unique style of singing and writing melody lines and lyric writing,” Matheos says.
With Arch/Matheos, he says, “I think a lot of those fans have come back, and we’ve maintained a lot of the fans who have been with us from day one.”
Arch/Matheos performs Saturday, May 5, with Freedoms Reign, Magus Beast, Agrippa 93, Kali Ma, Mile Marker Zero, Crossing Rubicon and Enemy Remains at the Webster Theatre, 31 Webster St., Hartford. Tickets are $18 in advance via www.webstertheatre.com. Information: 860-525-5553
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