Arkells are Canadian, but there’s more to them than that. They’re really good, they’ve just been in a different market for the past decade. It happens with different acts from Canada for reasons unknown to most. The point is this, Arkells haven’t just been a good band, they’ve been a great one. Max Kerman and his band of misfits have become something along the lines of critical darlings up north, earning themselves a cabinet filled with awards during their impressive run.
Somewhat ashamed for just doing this now after Arkells had been around for a decade, Alternative Addiction recently got to chat with frontman Max Kerman about the band, their new album, Morning Report, and what inspires them to make the music they do.
“We feel like we’ve been really lucky because we met in school,” explained Kerman when asked about the band’s longevity. “In order to be able to achieve any kind of recognition and build your audience, you have to have some luck on your side. We went right from graduating to playing in a touring band. We put our record out the same year we graduated and we’ve certainly been going at it ever since. If I could point to one thing to explain why it’s going okay is that we’ve been really precious about the fact that we get to play music for a living. We take that seriously.”
Morning Report is the fourth record from Arkells and it follows up the band’s critically acclaimed third LP, “High Noon”, an album that was produced by Tony Hoffer. The partnership of Hoffer and the group worked out well, but the band decided to change things up slightly for “Morning Report”. They still worked with Hoffer, but they also chose to work with three additional producers, booking studio time as the songs were written.
“Making an album always seems like such a big task to me,” began Kerman. “I thought it would be a good idea if we started booking studio time as songs came in. That way we could capture that initial creative burst that happens when you start writing a song. Then, if things were going terribly, we could put those songs aside and do it the way we had always done it. The other guys were on board so that’s how we did it.
“Last September we did a song with Tony, then we did a song with Brian West. Both of those went really well. Then a month later we recorded five songs in Toronto with Gus Van Go. Those songs turned out awesome, then a couple of months later in Toronto, Joe Chicarelli flew up to work with us and we did five more songs and they turned out awesome. My whole attitude with it was – if you’re feeling really good about the song, you’re prepared, and you’re in a good studio with a producer who gives a s___… How bad could it go?”
Read Part Two