Arkells have just arrived after announcing their US Fall tour and will be making stops across the country, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, DC and NYC. Fans might be familiar with the band as they took the U.S. festival circuit by storm this past summer and performed at some of the biggest US festivals including Coachella, Sasquatch!, Shaky Knees and The Meadows Music & Arts Festival.
All up to date info can be found at arkellsmusic.com
I had a chance to catch up with lead singer, Max Kerman, as he and the band were driving across the desert toward Phoenix, AZ for the first stop on their US tour. I had to confirm whether the rumor of Max being scared of snakes is true, of which we agreed we’d question the intentions of a human who didn’t have this fear. They’re the minority in this situation.
After spending a busy summer hitting up the festival scene, they had a once in a lifetime opportunity to honor one of their music heroes, Neil Young, at his induction into the Canadian Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, as he watched and sang along from the fourth row! Max described the unforgettable experience as unique and surreal.
There’s a deep rooted respect the band has for Young as he is an artist who uses social and political stories to speak through his music. It’s something the band has echoed. “Knocking At The Door was written after the Women’s March this year, in a time where people were getting off their phones, out from behind their computers and actually getting into the streets to let their voices be heard. I think that’s one of the most powerful things you can see. This idea that you never stop demanding equality and justice, demanding compassion.”
I asked Max what thoughts he had following some of the heavy news the U.S. has had this week in the music community following the tragic events in Vegas at a music festival and losing Tom Petty. “Music, at least for me is a joyful release that you can experience alone or with a community of friends. When you’re going through tough times, you’ve gotta find those activities that keep you warm and make you feel good in a really human way that’s really honest….Music is a community building thing that’s good for the soul…We like to share the experience, even if we’re the ones on stage, we’re just one part of it.”
We briefly chatted about The Killers new album and Max relinquished that he’s a bit of a fanboy of Brandon Flowers and his crooning ability upon my disclosure of one of their new songs, Run For Cover sounding vaguely familiar to Arkell’s Come To Light from a few years back. They also happen to share a tour photographer, Rob Loud.
Max admits that the band was inspired by all the classic rock artists our parents were listening to: Springsteen, The Beatles, Motown, Petty… all the greats. The band collectively listens to and are fans of many genres and infuse moments into their songs. As for performing live, they feel its very gratifying to be able to have their fans singing back to them form the other side of the stage. It means that the music has had an impact on each of those people.
As always, I had to ask what careers the guys might have landed in had music not been in the cards for them: Nick would be an academic of some sort; he’s got a philosophical beard to boot! Mike’s a really good writer so he’d be a journalist. Anthony would be a pundit on television, though not sure the subject matter. Tim’s a great golfer so he’d be a golf pro and Max said he’d be in a Radio/TV gig finding other creative people to work together.
Catch Arkells this fall in the U.S. at the dates/locations below (tickets here):
Oct 4 – Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar
Oct 5 – San Diego, CA @ Space
Oct 6 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Roxy
Oct 7 – San Francisco, CA @ Brick & Mortar
Nov 2 – Detroit, MI @ The Majestic
Nov 3 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
Nov 4 – St. Louis, MO @ Blueberry Hill
Nov 8 – Cleveland, OH @- Beachland Ballroom
Nov 9 – Cincinnati, OH @ Madison Live
Nov 10 – Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West
Nov 11 – Chapel Hill, NC @ Cats Cradle (Back Room)
Nov 13 – Richmond, VA @ The Camel
Nov 15 – Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts
Nov 16 – Boston, MA @ The Sinclair
Nov 17 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
Nov 18 – Washington, DC @ U Street Music Hall
Nov 22 – Quebec City, QC, Imperial Theatre
Nov 23 – Oshawa, ON, Tribute Communities Centre
Nov 24 – Kingston, ON, Rogers K-Rock Centre
Nov 25 – London, ON, Budweiser Gardens
Dec 2 – Tampa, FL – Credit Union Amp (w/ Lumineers, xAmbassadors)
Dec 9 – San Diego, CA – Valley View Casino Center (91x Wrex The Hall w/ The Lumineers, Vance Joy, The War On Drugs)