Photos by Andrew Epstein
Performing in malls is mostly associated with eighties pop star Tiffany. But when I make the reference to Arkells vocalist/guitarist Max Kerman, he thinks I’m talking about the jewelry store. His confusion is understandable though, as he and his band were about to take to the stage in the middle of Sherway Gardens. It was the culmination of a special event put on by Samsung Canada who were promoting a number of new items including an at-home virtual reality unit that features a collaboration with filmmaker David Cronenberg.
Their set would go off without a hitch, attracting a diverse crowd who ate up their brand of soulful indie rock and energetic Motown covers. Given the circumstances I thought it would be good to ask Kerman about his view of how music and technology work together. We also talked about the subtle sonic changes that characterize the Arkells’ catalogue, if winning awards has helped their career, and whether wearing their home on their sleeve makes things more difficult for Canadian bands.
Arkells have upcoming shows in Germany and the U.K, with some Canadian dates lined up for next year. Their latest album is 2014’s High Noon, and you can watch their new video for the track “11:11” here.