By: Kat Harlton
Arkson is an alternative rock band based in Toronto, Canada, led by David Park. The band believes in music that pushes the boundaries between genres. Arkson strives to produce songs that are musically complex and interesting while still widely appealing to a popular audience.
We had the opportunity to catch up with David and discuss musical influences, collaborations and what’s next.
Kat: Can you tell us a little bit about Arkson’s musical style, influences etc?
David: The best way to think of our sound is if the Black Keys, the Arkells, and Arcade Fire had a baby, that’s kind of the sonic world we’re in. Musically though, we draw from pretty much everything. I’m a big fan of genre mixing, which I think is necessary to create compelling music in today’s pop culture. Everything that currently exists has been done so many times that to do something different and interesting, you have to create your own blend of styles. I love our song “Charlotte” for this — I sampled a classical piece and wrote a song around it. It altered the meaning of the original sample, and we gave old art new life. No band is only a rock band anymore.
Kat: Can you talk about the band’s songwriting process?
David: A composition prof at school once told me that the golden rule is DBB – Don’t Be Boring. That’s always the goal, and melody always comes first. Writing a good song is about thinking of each individual part as a melody. Every moment in a song should be compelling in its own right, but also part of a memorable whole. Music is always the first thought for me because that’s the language I speak best, then lyrics come last. I find that the lyrics are often waiting inside the music, like uncovering a sculpture inside a big chunk of granite.
Kat: Who would the band like to do a collaboration with?
David: I mentioned Arkson’s interests in genre-bending above, and I think the best collabs are when artists with different styles come together. As a rock band, I’d love to do something out of the ordinary, like collaborating with a marching band, or a non-Western musician (someone like Ravi Shankar). I think the whole band would also agree that a collaboration with a well known producer, like Rick Rubin, would be an incredible experience.
Kat: What’s on your playlist?
David: Literally everything! The band and I will try listening to anything at least once. I’m really into “Old Town Road” for both the meme that it is and the whole “what genre is it” controversy. Lately I’ve been completely perplexed by this Billie Eilish album from a musical analysis perspective. Andrew Bird just released a great album this year, and I’ve been listening to Tom Misch’s “Geography” at least once a week for the last year because I love it so much. Apparently the Black Keys are re-uniting, which could be awesome, but I’m not sure I like their latest single (though the other guys love it).
Kat: What’s next?
David: We’ve got an awesome hometown show coming up on May 16th at the Monarch Tavern, working with legendary Toronto promoter Dan Burke. We’re gonna do some crazy stuff for that, including a 2001 Space Odyssey bit, and using guitar effects on a sax. We also have a new song coming out in the next few months, but there’s no public release date yet. It’s called “This Hard Land,” and it’s about the gorgeous country we live in, and the importance of taking in the beauty of what’s around us.
For more on Arkson, please visit:https://arksonmusic.com