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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/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090719/ART/707189984
  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.
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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."

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

Having fun with Tesla coils.

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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...

America's Got Talent - ''ArcAttack quarter-final performace''

AGT performance on 8/3/2010.

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41 news items

Portsmouth Daily Times
Mon, 18 Aug 2014 08:33:45 -0700

As summer comes to a screeching halt and the seasonal affective disorder of a new school year takes over students, causing them to capitulate to school administration, Portsmouth Area Arts Council (PAAC) prepares for ways to entertain and educate ...
Daily Mail
Fri, 08 Aug 2014 03:29:32 -0700

The dress was created by Dutch designer Anouk Wipprecht in partnership with band ArcAttack, which makes music using Tesla coils. It consists of a spiked helmet and plate-metal dress secured in a head-to-toe suit of chain mail. A Tesla coil is an ...
Mon, 11 Aug 2014 11:33:45 -0700

Accompanied by ArcAttack, a band that makes music from singing Tesla coils, Wipprecht stood on stage like a chic space princess between two giant Tesla coils, which zapped her with half a million volts of raw electricity. Protected by the Faraday cage ...


Mon, 11 Aug 2014 06:39:51 -0700

anouk wipprecht and arcattack have collaboratively created a wearable 'faraday cage dress' that discharges one million volts of electricity. displayed at the maker faire bay area 2014 show, two custom engineered tesla coils that can send electrical ...

Biba Magazine

Biba Magazine
Tue, 19 Aug 2014 08:22:30 -0700

"Nous avions besoin de protéger ma tête, nous avons donc créé un prototype de casque fait de métal à l'atelier de ArcAttack à Austin au Texas", explique l'artiste, ajoutant que "l'électricité parcourt toujours le chemin le plus court". Pour ne pas ...
Sun, 17 Aug 2014 10:26:15 -0700

在阿努克看来,自己只是一个游走在时尚和科技边缘的前卫设计师,而ArcAttack才是这个领域的发明家。于是,在包罗千奇万象的DIY大会上,当乐队唱到《In The Hall of the Mountain King》的副歌部分时,阿努克身着这件金属 ...


Tue, 12 Aug 2014 07:32:10 -0700

La dernière en date, présentée récemment, a marqué les esprits et pour cause, il s'agit d'une robe en cotte de maille destinée à conduire un courant électrique extrêmement puissant. Pour mettre au point sa création, Anouk Wipprecht a fait appel à ...
Tue, 12 Aug 2014 06:33:48 -0700

„Mums abiems (Wipprecht ir „ArcAttack“ – red.) patinka ieškoti sintezės tarp technologijų, eksperimentavimo ir naujovių, – pakomentavo autorė. – Mes ne tik norime parodyti įspūdingą projektą, taip pat mes norime papasakoti apie procesą ir taip šviesti ...

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