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How Canadian Rockers Arkals is Rallying a US Fanbase – Spotify for Artists


When connecting Spotify for artists Archels Singer / guitarist Max Kerman, on his way out of New York City, where, two nights ago, his band headlined a sold-out event at Irving Plaza. For innovative work, the iconic, 1,200-capacity space station is an important way from club-level lightning to theater-feeling stardom-a house that makes an artist feel like they’ve arrived. But in the context of Arkel’s current North America tour, Irving Plaza presents both career milestones and demotion.

In their native Canada, Arkels is a true rock royalty, with albums regularly reaching the top of the domestic billboard charts and multiple singles that have racked up millions of Spotify streams. A week and a half before Irving Plaza Gig, the band performed for a crowd of 15,000 sold at Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena; Last summer, they drew almost twice as much at a stadium show at their home base in Hamilton, Ontario near them. They effectively inherited the title of Canada’s most popular rock band from their statue Now sadly the hip is tragically inactive. When their latest album, Rally cries, Debuting at number 12 on the Billboard charts last November, is the only record of an active Canadian rock band in the top 50. At the Juno Awards earlier this month (i.e., the Canadian Grammy), they took home the Glass Sculpture Best Group of the Year and Best Rock Album of the Year, winning a total of six of their careers.

But like Hip, Arkels has found that Canada’s success is not like North America’s success – because no matter how many stalls you sell and no matter how many Junos you return home, the question of why that success is not immediately spread to the same degree in the United States. Kerman is well aware that the sound of his band – a combination of Springsteen Rock ‘n’ Spirit and Post-Arch fire Indo-American radio wrapped in a smooth, top 40-teasing pop package has virtually no current results. “In 2019, the cultural pie piece of the rock is much smaller than before,” he noted. But five albums in Arkel’s career, Kerman is still a game to crack the US code, one club gig at a time. And while he has consistently used his fancy live reviews on his band’s new converts (where a four-piece horn section with Quintet, a trio of backing singers and depending on the stage, Pyro and Confetti), Arkells uses some fancy tactics to promote Rally cries From a trackstop in New York in the United States, Kerman outlined his band’s strategy for America.

Spotify for Artists: You’ve just sold Irving Plaza in New York. How did you lay the groundwork for that moment?

Max Kerman: We are going to New York for a while. We used to play the first gig there [tiny Lower East Side club] Piano. We have a knitting factory in Brooklyn, we have a rough trade record store, we have opened for Frank Turner Beacon Theater িকার The American theme is that you can travel to a new city every day of the year. So for us, it’s about concentrating our efforts. Of course, we could travel to the Midwest and play Sioux Falls, but we found it helpful, “Well, there are 20 markets here that we’ll remember and make sure we hit once a year.” And there’s usually a relationship between how many people show up next time, and I think it says something about our live show: people spread the word.

In the absence of a major crossover hit, how could the American people know about the Arkansas?

You never really know how someone will find you. It could be: “I heard your song in a video game,” or “I saw you open for Frank Turner.” Or “I saw you in Bonaru but I live in New York City and I’m going to see you there.” There are literally a million different things. That’s why it’s really important to take advantage of every opportunity, because you never know who might be there and who you might turn on. Whenever I feel a little lazy, I think [Halifax indie-rock band] Thrush Hermit And their story about slogging it in America in the ‘story0 decade. They had this big neon “rock and roll” sign that they took to every club, and they pulled in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and they had “fuck it, we’re not bringing the ‘rock and roll’ sign tonight.” They played a terrible gig … and it turned Wayne Coin [of The Flaming Lips] Sat at the bar, and was generally dissatisfied with their show. And they were like, “Fuck – why didn’t we sign!?!”

Let’s talk about some creative ways to promote your new album in America.

Our single “American shout“There’s a lyric about billboards on the highway, so we thought, ‘Maybe we should build a billboard next to a highway in America and put up numbers 1-800 where people can call and listen to music!’ “I remember hearing some stat that 3,000 to 5,000 new songs are released every day. As a creative person and small business owner, the strategy is: How do you put your best foot forward and make sure the song is heard? So we thought that the physical world Mixing something with something that can be easily shared online would be an interesting way to do it.

Arkells billboard pictures

Arkells billboard pictures

All the ideas come from us – not that we hired a consulting firm to dream of some marketing scheme. And I personally don’t feel it [marketing] Part of the work is a burden – I think it’s another creative exercise in its own way.

You also played some pop-up shows in New York.

We did a little work in Sid Gold’s Request Room, which is a classic-looking piano bar around the corner from Madison Square Garden. I think a big part of our band’s appeal is the communal quality of the music, and it seems like it’s not just a band – it’s all bringing their best consciousness to the event. Many of our songs were written on piano or acoustic guitar, and at the end of the day, I just prefer a good ol fashion singsong, where everyone is a little drunk. At one point, we did a show at Laurier University in Waterloo [Ontario], And I noticed that there was a public piano outside their backyard, and we were playing in the gym, and after our last song, I said, “Everybody meet with us on the piano for Encore in five minutes,” and we did. [Bruce Springsteen’s] “Dance in the dark.” That thing plays well on the internet. We did a job for a radio station in Calgary where we played on an LRT train, and it was the best. Of all the things we’ve put on Instagram recently, that one has gotten the most response.

You grew up as a fan of The Tragic Hip, a hugely successful Canadian band that always felt on the verge of entering America. Someone who is in the same position now, how important is it for you to achieve this?

It’s funny, because the hip wasn’t an inconsistency. If you go to the UK and look at festival bills, it’s like, “I don’t recognize 85 percent of this lineup.” Every country has bands that locals like that don’t necessarily enter every country. The crossover success of each band should be estimated Killer Or Arcade Fire or U2 Completely unreasonable. It is important for everyone to recognize that the bands that are popular in each country are very few. There are hip versions in the UK and bands in the US are big but can’t [much] In Germany or Australia. When I realized it, it made me feel better. We try to do what we can and be innovative and thoughtful [as possible] When it comes to our live shows and our record making.

– Stuart Berman



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