Arc & Stones is a band that takes a traditional American rock & roll sound for a refreshing spin, incorporating more soul and alternative influences to create an incredibly cool vibe. Celebrating the release of their sophomore EP “Control”, the band returned to New York City recently and talked about what it’s like to conquer the music industry as an unsigned band, touring with Kansas, and what went into this new material.
For Fans Of: Kings of Leon, Young the Giant
Emily Tantuccio: After coming together and initially experiencing the Brooklyn music community before moving down to Nashville, what has each city contributed to who you are as a band? Do you feel you were able to explore more of your blues/soul influence in the music environment of Nashville compared to Brooklyn?
Ben Cramer: I think from the start of the band we got labeled as a “Brooklyn” type band, when really we never fit in well with the Brooklyn scene. When we lived in NYC, we probably played Brooklyn twice and Manhattan like 20 times. Not that there’s anything wrong with being labeled as a “Brooklyn” band but we don’t have some huge connection to the borough. It just happened to be where we lived. Since moving to Nashville, I think we’ve really evolved and matured musically. We get more time to focus on our music which I think has really paid off.
ET: You premiered your new single “Control” about two weeks ago and Dan was quoted as saying that the song encompasses everything you wanted the record to be, and everything you strive for as a band. In light of this, what can fans expect off of the upcoming EP?
BC: In my opinion, they can expect a more cohesive and true ‘Arc & Stones’ sound. This was our first EP we wrote really as a complete four person band. All of our individual influences are very present on the EP.
ET: How did your connection with Kansas come about and how has your experience been touring with them?
BC: We met their drummer, Phil Ehart, while we were coming through Atlanta on tour. He’s now our manager and one of the biggest supporters of our band. We’ve learned so much from him and the Kansas guys and can’t thank them enough for the opportunities they have given us. We’re very grateful for their help and support.
ET: What bands – both past & present – would you cite as your musical influences, and what records have you guys been jamming while driving from city to city?
BC: Bands like Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Pearl Jam, Queens of The Stone Age (list goes on..) really inspire us. I know that list is kinda all over the place regarding music era’s but we all try to find different influences to learn from. As far as bands we play in the van… we’ve been listening to this band called Foxy Shazam just cause they’re awesome and energetic. I’ve also been listening to a lot of this band called New Madrid from Athens, GA. Their new record called, Sunswimmer, is great.
ET: As an unsigned band, do you feel you face more or less challenges than artists with label backing and why?
BC: I guess if you’re fortunate enough to have a great label backing you then you’re probably better off with a label. It really depends on the situation. We’re lucky to have a great management team that help us tremendously, but without the financial support of a label we definitely have to work extra hard to get our name out there. It hasn’t even been two years since we played our first show so we’re definitely not complaining, but for any young, unsigned band you have to be very persistent on having a hard work ethic.