On the radar: Arkells

Patience is a virtue in music. Canada's Arkells can attest to this, having first gravitated towards each other in their inaugural year of university, in Hamilton, Ontario.

"We're doing what we can to play in front of music fans and win them over one by one."

"For the first four years we didn't gain any real success," recalls guitarist Mike DeAngelis. "But we learned a lot from playing with more established bands that came through town. We had the opportunity to play with a lot of great bands we probably wouldn't have in a larger city, which really helped us grow."

Over the years the band developed into the Juno award-winning anthemic pop rock outfit you now behold - sounding a little like Vampire Weekend would if they'd bonded over '80s Springsteen, not Afrobeat.

"I learned in a band environment," says Mike. "So I think I've learned the importance of listening before playing. Our favourite modern bands, like Spoon or Vampire Weekend, are really great at using space, but also using guitars in a modern way that brings in classic influences."

Mike's go-to axe is an Elvis Costello signature Fender Jazzmaster, augmented with a Mastery bridge, paired with a '68 Fender Bassman - "a real workhorse and is really a no-nonsense amp."

It'll need to be, as with a (highly recommended) new album, High Noon, under their belts, the band are strapping in for another long haul on the live circuit.

"The music is made to be shared," reckons Mike. "We're doing what we can to play in front of music fans and win them over one by one."

For fans of:

Vampire Weekend, Grizzly Bear, Bear Hands


Never Thought That This Would Happen

Matt Parker

Matt is a freelance journalist who has spent the last decade interviewing musicians for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.