The band was formed in 1978 by three high school friends in Maplewood, Minnesota. Brothers Steve and Jerry Diebel and their classmate Greg Kamrath started a three piece band and immediately began writing songs. Over the years the roster has changed in size and personnel, except for the Diebel siblings who have continued to compose songs and play live shows.
The current line up consists of Rob Graham (guitar), Keith Heggernes (Keyboards, bass & vocals), Steve Diebel (drums & vocals), Jerry Diebel (bass, guitar & vocals). Rob was a long time member of the band in the 80s and rejoined the group with Keith, his former bandmate. The guys played together in the band Monark during their high school years and most recently Moonlight Mirage. Keith has also worked with the Paul Tweed Band and still plays with them from time to time.
These days the the guys are involved in various projects. The prime focus is writing and recording original music and arranging the songs to be played live. Jerry and Steve continue to write and record new material as well as reworking songs from the early years. Jerry has written and recorded a lot of music with keyboardist Dan Brown. Dan is also a past member of the band and has recently released his first album The Book of Sorren thebookofsorren.com . Keith is also a songwriter and is currently working on new material. Rob has always contributed to recording sessions with the band and is working on his own compositions.
Ariel started out as a gigging band and playing live is still fun. Although the band is not actively seeking bookings they are often asked to play at various events. While these shows provide the chance to play some original music they also are an opportunity to cover songs the band's members really love. An Ariel performance consists of many different genres, eras and bands. Some of the artists covered include 60s bands The Beatles, The Rolling Stones,The Spencer Davis Group and Van Morrison. Southern Rock and Country fans will recognize music from Lynyrd Skynyrd, Johnny Cash and Steve Earle. 80s Alternative music is represented with selections from Simple Minds, Tears For Fears, The Cure, Echo and the Bunnymen, The Church and The Replacements. 90s music includes songs from Cake, Weezer and the BoDeans. The guys are fans of U2, R.E.M. andTom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Prog Rock is featured with covers of Pink Floyd and Genesis songs.
The history of Ariel has come full circle. As kids, they started making music because they loved it. The drive to practice, learn and play came from within. It wasn't about making a living. It wasn't about fame or respect. They played because they had to play. It was who they were and what they were becoming. After all these years the same feeling has returned. Isn't life great!