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More time playing keeps the Arcs on the rise

Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

Posted: Monday, July 25, 2016

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The Arcs have accomplished quite a bit in less than a year.

The group -- led by the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach -- has released a well-received album, "Yours, Dreamily," as well as a Record Store Day EP. It's also done a lot of touring, and with a second album already in motion it's clear that the Nashville-based band is becoming a going concern.

"It's definitely more together than we ever have been before," Auerbach, 37, says by phone from North Carolina. "The last album was sort of just made in our spare time; If there was any combination of us in a room together we would try to get it on tape.

"Now we're a little bit more fortunate to all be in town together at the same time. There's definitely some more of the feeling of the live show now. We're just more comfortable together after being together and working together more than we had before.

Among the new developments has been the addition of a second drummer, turning Richard Swift and Homer Steinweiss into a percussion tandem that Auerbach expects to have a marked impact on the Arcs' new material.

"It's interesting the way they sound together," he explains. "There's no guarantee it's going to work. They both have very different styles, but somehow it works together. It's not schtick. There's some common ground that makes it work. We're not trying to make it work; If it didn't work, we wouldn't do it.

"It's just got to be good, that's all. I don't care how many drummers there are. It could be 20 drummers, as long as it sounds good. That's it, at the end of the day."

Auerbach estimates the Arcs have 15-16 songs ready for the next album. He's hard-pressed to describe what it sounds like, but he does predict that fans will hear an evolution from "Yours, Dreamily."

"That fact that we've been doing live shows, that feeling just sort of comes back and permeates the recording more," Auerbach says. "You know, when you're first starting you're a little excited and you go for it -- maybe a little to much at times. It's hard to kind of lay back and get into the groove sometimes. You're just too hyped.

"I think that we've kind of settled down a bit, and I think it's given the record more of a deeper groove than we had with the (first) record."

Auerbach is balancing the Arcs with a variety of projects, including producing the latest Cage The Elephant album "Tell Me I'm Pretty," with a variety of unspecified projects on the table. As for the Black Keys, Auerbach says he and Carney are "enjoying our free time," but he's not worried about whether or not the duo will resurface together.

"I don't think that's possible -- but, you know, you should never take your favorite band for granted," Auerbach says with a laugh. "We'd been touring for four years straight, so (a break) was overdue, I guess. But we like working and we'd been working hard and there's nothing wrong with (a break)."

The Arcs and Mariachi Flor de Toloache

Tuesday, July 26. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Saint Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit.

Tickets are $30.

Call 313-961-8961 or visit saintandrewsdetroit.com.

Web Site: www.saintandrewsdetroit.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


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