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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.
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89656 videos foundNext > 

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Having fun with Tesla coils.

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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."

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJyYhcZwb7E ArcAttack auditioned for America's Got Talent. ArcAttack employs a unique DJ set up of their own creation to gener...

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These guys were awesome!

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We visit the workshops of ArcAttack, a group of makers that not only builds their own massive Tesla coils, but uses them as musical instruments for live perf...

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.

89656 videos foundNext > 

512 news items

Wed, 25 Feb 2015 18:02:30 -0800

With the drama and intensity of a rock concert taking place in the middle of an electrical storm, the ArcAttack: Tesla Coil Music show will feature live rock music and flashing bolts of electricity that shoot from two giant Tesla coils to strike a ...


Wed, 04 Mar 2015 11:52:30 -0800

ArcAttack, 7-8 p.m., Fairfield Community Arts Center, 411 Wessel Drive. Part rock concert, part science experiment. Two custom engineered Tesla coils throw electrical arcs up to 12 feet long, each one acting as instrument with sound reminiscent of ...
Missouri S&T News and Research
Fri, 30 Jan 2015 11:43:37 -0800

arcattack-300x204 The high-tech instrumentation group ArcAttack will visit Missouri University of Science and Technology this month. The performance is part of Missouri S&T's 2014-15 Leach Theatre Family Series. ArcAttack is known for its singing Tesla ...

Suncoast News

Suncoast News
Tue, 24 Feb 2015 10:00:00 -0800

Show sparks excitement among student audience. River Ridge Middle students Ashley Cribb, left, 14, and Teri St. Valla, 14, are amazed at the electrifying demonstration by the ArcAttack members. FRED BELLET/COMMUNITY NEWSPHOTO SERVICE.

Orlando Sentinel

Orlando Sentinel
Sat, 17 Jan 2015 12:36:38 -0800

Music comes in all forms and styles, and for ages, musicians have found ways to push the boundaries of delivering the arrangements of pitches and tones into musical expressions. lRelated Trucks Gone Wild in a fuel-powered tug-of-war. Life & Family ...

Pittsburgh Post Gazette

Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Sat, 21 Feb 2015 20:52:30 -0800

ArcAttack performs Tesla Coil Music at the Hillman Center for Performing Arts on the Shady Side Academy Senior School campus, 423 Fox Chapel Road, Fox Chapel, at 7:30 p.m. Best known for a breakout performance on “America's Got Talent,” ArcAttack ...


Wed, 02 Jul 2014 12:52:30 -0700

NEW YORK, July 1 2014 — ArcAttack, a “band” from Austin, Texas, performance at Proctor's Theatre in Schenectady, NY on February 28, 2014 was nothing short of electrifying. Instead of speakers to transform ArcAttack's music into sound waves, they use ...
Thu, 12 Feb 2015 06:48:45 -0800

Geodesic Productions presents ARCATTACK! at 10:30 a.m. and noon Feb. 19. $6. Appropriate for grades 6 to 8. • Mitchell High band pre-music performance assessment concert, 7 p.m. Feb. 25. Center for the Arts at Wesley Chapel, 30651 Wells Road, Wesley ...

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