Interview: Arkells’ Max Kerman talks “Knocking At The Door Tour”, Detroit, and Tom Petty

Photo by @kristendrum

CC: First things first, I’m pretty stoked to have the chance to welcome you back to Detroit!

Max: Pleasure is ours! 

CC: I know that the group has some family ties to the area, even when you aren’t touring. How does it feel to be playing in your sort of second home town?

Max: I’ve been coming down to Detroit with my family since I was a kid. My dad went to Wayne State and has friends in Huntington Woods and Ann Arbor. I appreciate how complicated the city’s history is, and admire the folks on the grass roots level who work to make to make it great.

CC: I’ve been a fan of your sound for a little while, but it wasn’t until the MoPop Festival when I was just a few feet away from you in the crowd belting out “Knocking At The Door,” the energy of the music blew me away. Can you try to describe the feeling of walking into a crowd of thousands singing along with you?

Max: It’s definitely the most gratifying part of the gig. Connecting with a group of strangers that have a piece of music in common. It’s a really unifying, beautiful thing. We’re lucky to have this job.

CC: Speaking of Detroit and MoPop, can we expect to get a little taste of that Motown magic you brought to PJ’s Lager House for the after show?

Max: Ha! We usually try to play a little Motown in Motown. It’s only right!

CC: Maybe I’m a little crazy, but I feel a bit more of a southern rock vibe throughout “Morning Report” than the previous albums. Was this just working on a new sound or were there some other influences that made their way into the studio?

Max: There’s a ton of influences from song to song. Definitely some southern inspired grooves on songs like Drake’s Dad and Come Back Home.

CC: Your headlining tour looks to be taking you all across the US, a few stops in Canada, and back again. Are there any cities or venues you haven’t played yet that you can’t wait to blow some minds in?

Max: We’ve never played the Bowery Ballroom in NYC, so I’m looking forward to that. We’re doing some arena shows up in Canada. I like the variety of this tour.

CC: Does the band have any specific pre-show ritual or does everyone do their own thing until showtime?

Max: I usually like to go for a walk around the neighbourhood. It’s good for your brain and mental health to get out of the green room and get some fresh air.

CC: Are there any albums or artists are you currently addicted to as the tour kicks off?

Max: Listening to a lot of Tom Petty right now. It’s heart breaking to see him go, but if there is any silver lining it’s that we have this collective moment to appreciate, listen and talk about his life’s work. What a legacy.

CC: Thank you for your time and Detroit cannot wait to see you guys again on November 2nd!

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Interview and post by David Painter

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