Peter Buck and Joseph Arthur Say They Never Intended to Write an Album

Not all great partnerships come about at the conclusion of a "spiritual journey," but there are worse ways to go about it. 

Indeed Arthur Buck the album came about in about the most sincere, organic way imaginable — after a chance meeting between the album and band's two namesakes in Mexico.

Joseph Arthur and R.E.M.'s Peter Buck had known each other for some time before they began writing an album. But it was Arthur's well-timed vision quest — which started oddly enough as a search for a Dobro last fall — that brought him to Buck's house in Todos Santos, Mexico, in the middle of the night.   

"I didn't know he was going to be there," Arthur tells Q104.3's "Out of the Box" with Jonathan Clarke. "I just thought I was going to meditate for a week; it was going to be one of those, like, spiritual journeys...I've been there before for his [Todos Santos Music Festival], and I know a few people."

Buck left a message with Arthur when he learned the singer/songwriter was in the area. But he didn't hear back until Arthur appeared at his house late one night. Buck invited Arthur to stay over, and after a day or so the pair began writing songs. 

"When I'm in Mexico, the only thing I ever do is swim, sleep and play guitar," Buck says of the lack of pressure around the duo's first sessions. "So Joe would wander out while I'm playing guitar and things started happening. It wasn't pre-planned."

After Arthur and Buck had written a few songs together, they agreed they wanted to make a full-length album, release it and tour on it. The album Arthur Buck is a positive one, perhaps reflective of the environment in which it was conceived, perhaps reactive to the times.

"I wanted to make sure the songs had a positive momentum to them," Arthur says. "Sort of like, rather than just writing about pain and desperation and stuff like that. [I wanted] to talk about things that could help inspire people."

Check out the full interview above, including Arthur Buck's acoustic rendition of the new song, "I Am the Moment."

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