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Arc & Stones is an alternative rock band originating from Brooklyn, NY. The band is set to release their eponymous debut five song EP in the Spring of 2013. For some samples of their sounds (or to glean our impressions) you can see our recent review of the EP here.

 

We recently had an opportunity to pose some questions to the gentlemen. Feast your eyes friends and readers! These boys are sure to make waves with this record- so buoy yourselves while you can or be overwhelmed when the flood ensues.
 
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AmpKicker: Good day, gentlemen! Let me first congratulate you on a stellar debut EP. We all thoroughly enjoyed it. Let’s start with having everyone introduce themselves and their role in the band.
 

 
Ben Cramer: My name’s Ben Cramer.  I play lead guitar and sing back-up vocals.
 
Dan Pellarin: Name’s Dan Pellarin. I’m the lead singer/rhythm guitar player, and hop on the keys when I can.
 
Joey Doino: I play drums!
 
Eddy Bayes: Bass and B-vox.
 
So, how did you all meet?
 
BC: Dan, Eddy and I met while attending University of Miami a couple years ago.  Eddy and I left after studying a year there to pursue our solo careers while Dan stayed an extra year.  Eventually Dan and I talked about starting up the band and decided to move to NYC to do so.  Eddy coincidentally moved up here, so we asked him to play bass.  We found Joe, our drummer, on craigslist haha.  Great find.
 
DP: It’s kind of awesome because me and Ben would always joke about how we should start a band one day. Being that we were essentially at Miami for our solo careers, it was a thought that most of the time would quickly turn into a laugh. In my second year at Miami, though, Ben and I began talking frequently on the phone about starting up a band. I wanted to get away from the academic environment, hit the real world real hard for a bit, and chase a dream for a while. I thought why the hell not and even better (with one of my best buds) packed up my stuff, drove to Atlanta to pick up Big Ben and headed north to the big city! We called Ed because we got word he was in town for a long while and recruited him. Joe was a godsend…from Craigslist. Since then we’ve stopped going on craigslist because we know we’ll never be as lucky in finding anything ever again via that site. Nothing…ever.
 
JD: I met them at the audition. I was trolling the internet looking for gigs, came across these guys looking for a drummer and immediately loved the music. I walked into the rehearsal space, played the songs and we hit it off right away! Musically and personally. It was incredibly refreshing.
 
What is the origin of the name, “Arc & Stones?”
 
BC: We wanted a name that was simple and easy to remember.  Thought it had a nice ring to it and in some weird way the name “Arc & Stones” kind of reflects the way our music sounds… not sure why haha… it just does… I think.
 
DP: Haha For me it was a combination of a good abstract image of what our sound was like, and the fact that the Arc is only half of something, like an unfinished circle. We are the “stones” or the groundwork that’s needed to bring this thing full circle, I guess to a sort of completion…but I like Ben’s answer though. Arc & Stones sounds nice. If you say it fast enough it sounds like Arkansas.
 
What motivated the decision to create an EP rather than a full-length record for your debut release?
 
BC: Budget played a big part.  We also felt we wanted to create this 5-song EP as an introduction to show people what we were about.  Trust me though, a full-length is definitely going to be in the works in the next couple months.
 
DP: Money definitely played a big part. But who would listen to your full length and give it all that time if they don’t even know what you sound like? Five songs to cover five different bases of what we were about is a good representation of the band as a whole. For us the idea of showcasing first, then hitting ‘em hard later was much more attractive.
 
Arc-and-Stones-BandYou recorded your album with Jeremy Griffith at Singing Serpent Studios… What was the experience of cutting the record like? Was it anyone’s first time in a studio?
 
BC: Recording with Jeremy was a great experience. Him and I go way back to when we both lived in Atlanta.  He’s a great producer and a great friend of ours as well.  I actually interned for him way back in the day when I was like 16 haha. This was, since you asked, Dan’s first time really in a professional studio. He nailed it.
 
DP: First time in the real thang baby. It was an absolute dream come true. I learned so much, and Ben and Jeremy helped me out every step of the way in making me feel comfortable and confident in that environment. Also, I gained a great friend and teacher in Jeremy. Thanks pal.
 
As I alluded to in my album review, your sound embodies what I identify as more of a Southern-rock soul. How did a band billed as being from Brooklyn arrive at that sound?
 
BC: I’m originally from the South and grew up heavily influenced from southern-rock/blues music, so that aspect really makes its way in there when I’m writing music.
 
DP: I just simply love the big, atmospheric sound in music. Whether it’s Soul, Rock, Industrial, Electronica, whatever… the atmosphere and size of the song take precedent over anything for me. The Rock/Soul sound is perfect for the big choruses and driving verses, so we found a medium and ran with it. I’m from New York, so the Soul hits home a bit more for me.
 
The tone of your record undulates so wonderfully from track-to-track: are your tastes as diffuse as your sound?
 
BC: I listen to so many different types of music, I get a little ADD when I write and almost have to write different types of songs to keep it interesting.  No one wants to hear the same song over and over haha.
 
DP: I’m with Ben on this one. We have a vast taste in music, and some of our interests are so far from each other that that’s what makes it cool. We find this common ground over elements you would never see any relationship with. We write very different kinds of music, which gives us a grand variety to pick from when writing together.
 
Are there any groups/songwriters that you would stylistically link your material to— or who inspired you to write the way you do?
 
BC: We’ve been getting a lot of press comparing our sound to bands like Black Keys and Kings of Leon, which is great.  We have a lot of respect for those types of bands that have stuck with it for years and years. Personally, I take a lot of inspiration from bands like Led Zeppelin, where the guitar work nicely complements the vocal melody.
 
DP: I like the Muse, Audioslave and Kings of Leon comparisons. I love them, and take a lot from them when writing with the band. As far as writing goes personally, I kind of listen for elements in all types of music then try and turn them into something that’s appealing to my idea of a song in that certain moment. Atmosphere, a driving verse, a moving chorus, etc.
 
What is one aspect of your music that you feel is wholly unique to your band?
 
BC: We like to write big, loud, rock choruses.  We want to make sure we are a rock band before being any other type of band.
 
DP: Absolutely, that and the dynamics in our songs. We try and bring the listener on a 3 ½ minute journey.
 
“Let Me Down,” has such a brilliantly constructed ascending dynamic. With it being at the center of the record, it gives the album the feel of a feather being blown upward to drift lazily back down. You then kick back into overdrive with, “She’s Mine,” and, “Rise.” (Yes, all that editorializing had a purpose)
 
How much forethought went into the order of the tracks and the overall arc of the record?
 
BC: When we were writing the record, we thought every new song we wrote should be the opener haha. Eventually we decided to not discuss the order until all the songs were finished being recorded. We knew we wanted, “Let Me Down,” in the middle to keep the record interesting and add some breath to it. Jeremy, our producer, helped us a lot with the track order as well. Overall though, I’m very happy with the track order we chose.
 
DP: Honestly, when all was said and done we really didn’t have to take much time in deciding. Everything kind of had its place on the EP. We almost thought of the record as its own show, and figured how we’d open, progress, and close the show. “Let Me Down,” was a good middle ground to let the audience breathe, and kind of appreciate the music that they were listening to. “Silence,” was a perfect opener because it hit you hard and emotionally, in my opinion. “Say Goodbye,” and, “She’s Mine,” were two songs that built upon the experience, and, “Rise,” was a perfect closer, being a sort of hope-filled anthem that actually closes out our set now. All in all, we’re really pleased.
 
How do you formulate your set-list for live shows? Is anyone in the group the architect of the live show, or do you come to a consensus on the songs as a whole?
 
ArcLive
 
BC: We like to change up the order every now and then. We are always writing new songs and introducing them live, so the song order for a our live shows frequently changes.
 
DP: Some songs stay put, others move around. We are writing constantly, and as Ben said, we introduce them all the time. So the set is very prone to adjustment.
 
Now, for my James Lipton portion of the interview…
 
Do you have a Desert-Island Top-Five albums (or Artists)?
 
BC: Top-five albums might be a little hard.  Five artists I really like are:
 
Bruce Springsteen, Led Zeppelin, Van Morrison, Allman Brothers Band.
 
DP: Both are unbelievably difficult for me but I’ll go with albums I’ve been digging for some time:
 
Broken Boy SoldierThe Raconteurs

Tron LegacyDaft Punk

AudioslaveAudioslave  

Viva La VidaColdplay  

Songs for the DeafQueens of the Stone Age 

St. ElsewhereGnarls Barkley

 
Since Ben only put 4, I’ll put six to even it out haha!

 
JD: Yeah, choosing albums is definitely tough. For artists I’d say:
 
Michael Jackson, Marc Broussard, Amos Lee, Led Zeppelin, and The Frames
 
ArcLive2EB: Desert Island top five Albums:

Peter Andre (Revelation)

The Wombles (Keep on Wonblin)

Daniel O’ Donell (At the end of the day)

Barbra Streisand (Back to Broadway)

Five (5ive)
 
What single song has the highest play-count in your music library? (Check your Mp3 player, iTunes, etc. or plead the 5th if it involves Jessica Simpson or Olivia Newton John and John Travolta)


BC: “I Got Mine” Black Keys.  198 Plays haha.

DP: “Main Menu” Michael McCann …38 plays…sorry guys haha

JD: “Home” by Marc Broussard.. 158 plays

EB: “Slam Dunk De Funk” by Five
 
What is the best live show you have ever attended? (or if that’s too difficult to narrow down… just the first show you ever attended)
 
BC: I would have to say seeing My Morning Jacket play at Bonnaroo a couple years ago was one of the best live shows I’ve ever seen.  They are an incredible band.
 
DP: Jack White, Hangout Festival, May 18th, 2012. I may or may not have screamed like a little girl every time he solo’d, and almost fainted when the fireworks started as he played “Seven Nation Army.” I may…or may not have.
 
JD: I got the chance to see The Frames at Irving Plaza. Those guys completely blew my mind and Glen Hansard as a front man is certainly something to see. They’re brilliant (using present tense because I refuse to think they’re never getting back together!).
 
EB: Watching myself play in the mirror
 

Thank you immensely gentlemen! We truly appreciate you taking a moment to converse with us and our readers! We eagerly anticipate your album’s release. It is a memorable record we’re sure will take you places. Best of luck!


 
 

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