Canadian rock band, Arkells released their new album, ‘Rally Cry’, last month. In conversation with the band’s frontman Max, we talk about the band’s ever evolving sound, a message he’d like convey to the listeners through his music, and about taking a much-needed break from social media.
What was the inspiration/message behind the single ‘Relentless’?
The beginning of the song came when my dad showed me a song by a South African artist named Chico. It was kind of familiar, yet not. I just kind of started singing over that song, so that’s where the inspiration came from. As for the lyrics, I was thinking of my parents, they’ve encouraged me in the most loving way and it’s made who I am. I did use to write with more of a story in mind, but lately I’ve just been writing what I want and seeing where it takes me.
So, would you say your songs are based off personal experiences or do you take creative liberties with them?
I think I’m always injecting my own experiences into my songs, but I also get inspired by other people’s stories. Like in the album, ‘Rally Cry’, there are songs in which even though it’s about other people, I relate to their stories and experiences. I see myself in everybody else.
Talking a little bit about your album, what is your personal favourite track from the album?
They’re all our babies so we love them all, but I especially like ‘Relentless’ because I loved the experience of writing that track. I also really like the first track on the album, ‘Hand Me Downs’ as well.
How has the band’s sound evolved over time?
I think every record we make is a reflection of our sound at that point in time, and every year there come new artists that inspire us and help shape the way we see our own music. So, I think we are always changing as far as sound is concerned.
If listeners could take away one message from your music, what would you want that to be?
With our band there is a feeling of connectivity to everybody else in the world. So, if people listening to our music can take away one thing, I’d hope for them to just take a moment to look around and appreciating what’s around them and how we are all connected.
Finally, what’s one question no one asks you in an interview you wish you were asked?
The question would be, “If you could change the way we all live collectively, what would be a good idea?’. And the answer I’d say is that everyone just gets off social media for a day and take a break, at least once a week.
Arkells are currently on tour across Europe, and will be hitting the UK next week, including London’s Heaven on November 23. Tickets and further information are available here.