We’re always trying to interact with the world in a way that feels true to us. When quarantine sent us home, the world got a little more quiet. In 2020, a lot of the music that brought us comfort was a little more tender, a little more sweet.
We’ve always had to make our luck. If there’s an ethos to our band it’s that if we’re putting in good and honest work, one thing will lead to another and we’ll have something to show for it. We’re always building on the last thing we did.
The path to Campfire Chords looked like this: Quarantine -> #FlattenTheCurveMusicClass, teaching Arkellians how to play our songs acoustically -> Fans demanding acoustic versions of these recordings -> Recording Years In The Making acoustically at home -> 3-4 months of recording from home = Campfire Chords. But none of these things happen without the thing before it. And to us, it’s a beautiful thing to know that everything is connected.
We’ve never had time to make an “acoustic record” because we were too busy playing shows and focusing on new music. But we also knew that they felt really good to play in a stripped back way. All of our big rocknroll songs start with an acoustic or piano, so heading back to that place isn’t too much of a stretch. Finding the right “rhythm” for the stripped back arrangements is usually the trick, and there were a few songs that proved to be harder to get comfortable with. We scrapped American Screams for that reason. We wanted a healthy mix of our bigger songs and deep cuts. Songs that would be fun to listen to around the campfire, or in your back yard, or at a park. We added some lost verses to I’m Not The Sun and Whistleblower that never made the original version.
We also wrote a new song for the record, Quitting You, and it’s been amazing to see all the covers pour in for the #ArkellsQuittingYou challenge. The beauty of all the songs is that at their core, they’re simple songs. So if you’re inspired, we’d love to see your cover!
All of this is to say, Campfire Chords was a joy to make and we can’t wait for you to hear it. Being a part of your lives is the best part of being in a band, so whether you’re covering one of these songs, or jamming to it around the campfire, let us know!
It’ll keep us connected with you until we see each other in real life again.
Max, Mike, Tony, Tim, Nick