You need great songs to make a career in music, but those songs aren't going to find anyone unless you have a knack for connecting with people.
Making those connections is arguably what Arkells do best.
While Arkells already have a passionate following in the band's home country of Canada, conquering the United States remains a focus, and they're making an impact one show at a time.
As front man Max Kerman tells Q104.3 New York's Out of the Box with Jonathan Clarke, he and his band mates fully embrace each audience and every opportunity they have to perform.
"When you're opening [a show], you gotta work extra hard for it," Kerman says, recalling a supporting gig in New York from the band's last time around. "A lot of people don't even want to see the opening band. It's our mission to slap people around a little bit. And it usually tends to work."
During the band's recent headlining sets in the States, they've taken to inviting some of their fans on stage to play and sing with them. Kerman says it's a strategy straight "from the [Bruce] Springsteen playbook." It's another way to give fans a great memory.
Arkells new album, Rally Cry, is the band's fifth. After playing hundreds of shows over the years, the band invites the unpredictable — anything that adds to the joy of it all is welcome, especially when new music finds its way into the set list.
"I think it energizes us 'cause it kind of gives us a new sense of purpose when we're sound-checking every day," he adds. "...I feel like the culture also just kind of moves a little faster these days. Even though rock bands have traditionally lived in this paradigm where you put out a record every couple years, you look around at other genres and [those artists] are working pretty quickly."
You could say the Arkells never stop working, but the band members might dispute that; they never stop playing.
Arkells spent an off-day in New York before their Out of the Box interview planning an impromptu show at Sid Gold's in Midtown Manhattan before heading over to Madison Square Garden to take in some more music at an Elton John concert.
Watch the full interview above and the band's acoustic performance of "Relentless."
Get all Arkells tour dates here.
Here's the music video for Arkells' "Relentless":