Updated: Feb 5
2018 has been a really productive year for Ontario based band, The Arkells which saw them visit the UK in spring to join Frank Turner on tour as his special guests, the release of fifth studio album – Rally Cry in October and usual another trip to the UK in November for their own headline shows. Having listened to the new album myself, I must say that not only has it become one of my most loved records, but really shows you how far The Arkells have come, whilst still being the fun and passionate guys they have always been since day 1.
With much to discuss, we caught up with lead singer, Max Kerman for a short but productive chat.
How have you enjoyed 2018?
It has been great. We went to Germany as part of the European dates, which was brilliant as we hadn’t been there in 3 years, so was good to see the fans and also some new ones too. Our latest album Rally Cry came out in October as well, so this year we have much more of an opportunity to play some of the songs off the record in our live sets.
To be back in the UK as part of your tour, how happy did that make you feel?
We toured so much in spring with Frank Turner, which was such a fun experience, so we just wanted to come back. We may of only been supporting then, but it was still very fruitful for us.
What is your vision for your own shows then?
I think because it is your own shows, you have more control over the evening from things like what you want to go on the set list, how the stage is set up, because you know people are coming to see you. It is quite overwhelming thinking about it, but in a good way.
You recently put out a video for Hand Me Down with Frank. What was that like?
It was so fun. We had wrote it while we were actually on the road with Frank as we were inspired by the whole experience. When we were going to make the music video, he happened to also be in Toronto as well, so it made sense to invite him which he kindly accepted. We just wanted the video to show who we are as a band, real people who love music so it felt right just choosing the studio setting as a place to shoot the video. So hopefully that comes across when people watch it.
You joined St Lucia on their tour of the USA as well. Happy with how it went?
Yea I would say so. Musically when you compare St Lucia and Frank, we are kind of in the middle, so in that respects we have a little bit more freedom to be ourselves and show what we have to offer.
What makes you smile about the magic of live music?
I think what drives our motivation is just having the opportunity to be on stage in the first place. Also you have to remember to keep your eyes peeled. It sounds odd but you also have to remember to be present so that you can really take in the show and everything that is happening around you.
How would you describe your chemistry with each other considering you have taken this journey together for the past 12 years?
We were actually discussing this at a recent photo shoot and discussing how things had changed. Compared to when we first started we are definitely more prepared and just like any set of friends we work best when we are together.
For you personally has music always been a part of your life?
Yea I would say so. Growing up I was really into bands like the Beetles. I also enjoyed song writing from a very young age. The first guitar I played was actually my dad’s, and I would just love practising on it before I eventually got my own guitar when I started high school.
What are your plans to welcome 2019 in style?
We are much more about building things one day at a time, brick by brick, so next year we just want to continue to grow and see where our path takes us.
What would you say to encourage more new fans especially to come check you out?
I think we are happiest when we get to tour and play live music. We a very communal band in the respects that it is a classic rock and roll show that anyone can enjoy.
A massive thanks to Max, who is probably one of the nicest people you could ever speak to. For anyone wanting to discover more about this remarkable band, then I have two simple steps – check out the new album Rally Cry (crank up the volume and embrace every moment of it). And step number 2, head over to www.arkellsmusic.com to stay up to date with all the latest news.
I have no doubt that if it hasn’t happened already, then in good time that The Arkells will soon become one of your top favourite bands.
Article By Thushara