The Arkells are a Canadian rock band on who are on tour in support of their last release - the synth pop heavy Morning Report. You can see their high energy performance Thursday, November 9th at Madison Live! in Covington, KY.
We had the chance to chat with Max Kerman, singer, guitarist, and chief songwriter for the Arkells prior to the show at Madison LIVE!
CincyMusic: What are the major differences you've noticed - good or bad - in touring Canada and the US respectively?
Max Kerman: They're similar to be honest - America is just way more packed with people. You never have to worry about finding a road side truck stop or hotel. In Canada if you're rolling through the prairies you have to really plan your stops because if you miss one, you might not see another for a while.
CM: On High Noon you had the opportunity to work with Tony Hoffer who has produced for artists such as Beck and KT Tunstall.
What was it like going from practicing in your neighborhood in Hamilton, ON to getting to work with such an influential producer in Los Angeles?
MK: We learned a ton. The more we get to work with accomplished guys like Tony we realize their success and longevity is no fluke. It's because they're not only talented, but they work harder than everyone else. It's very inspiring to be around. They love doing and making stuff - and you pick up a ton of tricks just from being around them.
CM: The Arkells have been known to bust out some Motown jams from time to time.
Who are some of your favorite artists from that time period?
MK: Oh, my faves are Smokey and Stevie. The Temptations/Four Tops are right behind.
CM: You can hear a shift in growth and Pop sensibilities from Michigan Left to Morning Report (with "Savannah" from MR stepping into the revival of the rock ballad)
How important is it for the Arkells to continue growing musically with each release?
Is it something you've noticed and worked on within the band, or does it just come natural?
MK: Every year there is new music and artists that inspire us. We're not listening to the same 5 records we had spinning in 2012. To hear a new record, or sound, or voice make you feel different about music and inspire you to write something of your own is truly a gift.
CM: What are some of your favorite cities to play in?
MK: The big ones have their rep for a reason. San Fran, Chicago, Boston, DC etc. I am a big walker - I'll stroll for hours when we're on tour with my headphones on. I love vibrant neighbourhoods.
CM: High Noon and Morning Report both feature #1 songs and radio staples on the Canadian Music Charts.
What are your main goals for your next release?
MK: Whether it’s a show or a song, we're just trying to grow from the last thing we did. That's what I cherish about this job - there's always the next thing to tackle.
CM: What can we expect to see November 9th when you stop though Madison Live! in Covington, KY?
MK: Well we had the best time at Bunbury Festival on that side of the Ohio river, so we're expecting good things on the Kentucky side. Get there early for Irontom. They rule!