Interview: Straight out of lockdown with… Arkells

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© Nathan Nash

On their latest release Campfire Chords, Canadian rockers Arkells have created acoustic versions of some of their favourite tracks across all their studio albums including Michigan Left, Book Club, Leather Jacket or 11:11. Sort of a lockdown project, Campfire Chords came together when the band found themselves unable to tour this summer as they usually would.

Having just released their new compilation album Campfire Chords, we had a chat with Arkells frontman Max Kerman about the new record, their latest single Quitting You and his strangest lockdown experience.

Hi Max, how are you today?

I got like 6.5 hours of sleep. I prefer 7.5-8 hours. So I’m good, but not GREAT.

For those that aren’t familiar with your sound, how would you best describe it?

Big old sing-a-longs. Upbeat. Feel good. Story-telling.

You just released your new compilation ‘Campfire Chords’. What makes this one special?

We’ve never really been that interested in making an acoustic album mainly because we’ve been so busy touring and working on new music. But with all of our shows on hold in 2020 we had a little more time to dig in, and recording these songs in a reimagined way ended up being a really fulfilling experience.

And what makes it a compilation rather than a new album?

Quitting You is a new song, but the rest of the tunes are from our catalogue. Some hits, some deep cuts.

The world has been an unsettling place in 2020, so we wanted to write something that felt comforting

What was the inspiration behind ‘Quitting You’?

The world has been an unsettling place in 2020, so we wanted to write something that felt comforting. Something personal. The world has also got a little quieter, so an acoustic jam seemed to make sense. Something to play around the house.

How has it been with the lockdowns in Canada?

It’s been shit! But it’s what needs to be done.

And finally, what has been the most unusual thing to happen while in lockdown?

A turkey showed up in my backyard one day. The wildlife in Hamilton really started to explore the city.

Campfire Chords is out now digitally and on physical formats. Have a listen to the album in its entirety below.

Listen on Apple Music

Deborah Jacobs

Music blogger by night, SEO by day. Started Indie is not a Genre in 2011, will always prefer live music over recordings and intimate pub gigs over arena shows.

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