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ArcAttack's singing Tesla coil at SXSW, March 14, 2007
Background information
Origin Austin, Texas, United States
Genres Rock, Electronic rock
Years active 2005–present

ArcAttack is a performance art group that specializes in playing music through a combination of homemade, high-tech instruments, and more traditional instruments such as guitar and bass.[1][2][3][4]


The main attraction of their performance is the use of two custom built singing Tesla coils, which have been modified to play musical notes by modulating their spark output. The group also uses a robot drum kit, which is computer controlled via a custom micro controller, that has been programmed to interpret MIDI data and mechanically actuate its drum sticks accordingly.[5][6]

Aside from the automated musical machines and live performers, ArcAttack also incorporates a stunt man, who MCs the show, and engages the Tesla Coils by walking through the electricity wearing a relatively thin chain mail Faraday suit.[7][8]

ArcAttack is also featured in the massively multiplayer online role-playing game AdventureQuest Worlds as a band in the game's story "Doomwood Saga". [9]


In Austin, Texas, late 2005, Joe DiPrima began developing the first generation of singing Tesla Coils with the help of Steve Ward, a veteran Tesla Coiler from Illinois. The design developed quickly, and after several iterations the instrument reached its present form.[10] In 2007, Craig Newswanger of Resonance Studios provided the performance with another high tech gadget, a robotic drum kit.[11] All the while, friends around the country were helping generate musical content for the new technology to play. In 2007, John DiPrima, the main contributor of original Tesla coil music, moved down from Chicago to help the process evolve further. In January 2008, ArcAttack was finally named. Tony Smith, an old friend of the DiPrima's and a guitarist who had been assisting the group since mid-2006, began helping write music. Later, the group would meet Patrick 'Parsec' Brown, their MC and Faraday Suit stunt man. Another songwriter and old friend, Andrew Mansberger, moved from Seattle to contribute with guitar and keyboards, completing the crew.

America's Got Talent[edit]

ArcAttack auditioned for the fifth season of America's Got Talent in Dallas, Texas, Sharon Osbourne buzzed them in the audition because she felt the act was too technical, but they were advanced to the second round Vegas Week. The group featured often in the brief pre-episode "Flashes" that showed some of the acts from that season. On August 3, 2010 ArcAttack performed in the top 48 where they performed the Black Sabbath song, "Iron Man". Osbourne quipped at the time, "The next time you do Iron Man, I know somebody [i.e, her husband] who can sing it for you." The next day it was announced that ArcAttack had come either 4th or 5th in the voting and judges Howie Mandel and Sharon Osbourne sent them through to the semi-finals. Their semifinal performance was highly praised by the three judges, but they acknowledged that viewers at home may not fully appreciate all that is seen on the live stage. Subsequently, ArcAttack was eliminated along with the other three contestants, Kristina Young, Dan Sperry, and Future Funk.

Electrified: One Million Volts Always On[edit]

ArcAttack designed the Tesla coils that were used in David Blaine's stunt, which occurred on Pier 54 in New York City during October 2012. ArcAttack was tasked with building an array of 7 Tesla coils, which operated continuously over the course of three days.[12][13] David stood between them on a pedestal, wearing a Faraday suit, without food or sleep. At the conclusion of the event, David claimed that this will be the last endurance stunt that he is to perform.[14]


  1. ^ 9/25/09 2:20pm 9/25/09 2:20pm. "ArcAttack: Lightning-Proof Musicians Share Their Tesla Coil Secrets". Gizmodo.com. Retrieved 2013-11-01. 
  2. ^ Cory Doctorow at 7:27 am Fri, Feb 20, 2009 (2009-02-20). "Tesla coils sing the Doctor Who theme in orgy of electric awesomesauce". Boing Boing. Retrieved 2013-11-01. 
  3. ^ "Feature: Audio Modulated Thunder Music Pleases Thor | Geeks are Sexy Technology News". Geeksaresexy.net. 2009-02-17. Retrieved 2013-11-01. 
  4. ^ Olsen, Anton (2013-03-28). "An Electrifying Performance by ArcAttack | GeekDad". Wired.com. Retrieved 2013-11-01. 
  5. ^ Terdiman, Daniel (2008-04-17). "ArcAttack brings singing Tesla coils to the masses | Geek Gestalt - CNET News". News.cnet.com. Retrieved 2013-11-01. 
  6. ^ [1][dead link]
  7. ^ http://www.thenational.ae/arts-culture/arcattacks-summer-in-abu-dhabi
  8. ^ "This new-fangled electric music". Theridiculant.metro.co.uk. 2009-11-19. Retrieved 2013-11-01. 
  9. ^ "ArcAttack Event is LIVE!". Aq.com. 2011-07-22. Retrieved 2013-11-01. 
  10. ^ Terdiman, Daniel (2007-03-10). "The singing tesla coils | Crave - CNET". News.cnet.com. Retrieved 2013-11-01. 
  11. ^ "Back Again! « Resonance Studio Workshop". Resonancestudio.com. 2009-12-08. Retrieved 2013-11-01. 
  12. ^ JULIE REPPERT (jreppert@sungazette.com) (2012-10-25). "‘ArcAttack’ to electrify - SunGazette.com | News, Sports, Jobs, Community Information - Williamsport-Sun Gazette". SunGazette.com. Retrieved 2013-11-01. 
  13. ^ "David Blaine — Performance Artist or Poseur?". Hyperallergic.com. 2012-10-09. Retrieved 2013-11-01. 
  14. ^ "David Blaine Completes 'Last Endurance Stunt'". News.sky.com. 2012-10-09. Retrieved 2013-11-01. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ArcAttack — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
101421 videos foundNext > 

ArcAttack! - Singing Tesla Coils - Final Countdown

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Adam Savage rocks out inside a Faraday Cage being shocked by massive Tesla coils, as ArcAttack covers AC/DC's "Back in Black."

America's Got Talent - ''ArcAttack'' w/ judges comments

Having fun with Tesla coils.

Tesla Coils - Arc Attack - Doctor Who Theme Song - Makers Faire 2010 - San Mateo - No. 1

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America's Got Talent - ArcAttack Semi-final performance 8-24-2010

More electricity from ArcAttack!

ArcAttack - Imperial March

ArcAttack playing what is probably their best song, The Imperial March from Star Wars.

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AGT performance on 8/3/2010.

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Amercias got talent.

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6 news items

The Jersey Journal - NJ.com

The Jersey Journal - NJ.com
Fri, 17 Oct 2014 07:48:45 -0700

MUSIC--Catch performances by ArcAttack's Lightning Guitar featuring Joe DiPrima at Liberty Science Center, 222 Jersey City Blvd., Jersey City, as part of their ongoing guitar exhibit. Shows are at 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30 p.m.. THEATER--Mile Square Theatre ...
Tyler Morning Telegraph
Fri, 26 Sep 2014 17:45:00 -0700

The Belcher Center will launch its new season with performances by two groups that are electrifying — in very different ways. The performers of ArcAttack: Tesla Coil Music will take the stage at 7 p.m. on Tuesday and the National Circus and Acrobats ...
Baltimore Sun
Thu, 02 Oct 2014 10:00:37 -0700

This upcoming theater season, Arts on Stage is also presenting incredible shows such as ArcAttack, a group seen on America's Got Talent, as well as the renowned Peking Chinese Acrobats, both at Goucher. On Nov. 14, Arts on Stage is hosting the popular ...
ASU Herald
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 07:15:00 -0700

On Oct. 3, the “ArcAttack” performance will be held at the Fowler Center for the festival. “ArcAttack” is a group of performers that make music from coils based on elements of physics and mathematics. Two performances will be at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m..
ASU News
Tue, 30 Sep 2014 07:26:15 -0700

The week of events, from the presentations by ArcAttack on Friday, Oct. 3, through the Science Expo Day on Saturday, Oct. 11, promises to be both educational and exciting. "Our goal for the Arkansas Science Festival is for attendees to celebrate ...
Thu, 09 Oct 2014 06:13:35 -0700

それに、『インペリアル・マーチ』と『ドクター・フー』は、以前の記事でもご紹介しました、テスラコイルを使ったロック・バンド「ARCATTACK」による演奏です。コイルの間に入った人が掌から電撃を発したりして、かなり『X-MEN』的な感じです。 『2001年宇宙の旅』の動画は、他にも何 ...

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