Around The Sound last spoke with Verge Collection vocalist/guitarist, Ben Arnold, back in August, 2017, upon the release of the single, For The Story.
At the time Arnold revealed that vocals for the band’s debut album had just been completed. Some eight months later that album, Flaneur, is now upon us. As always, these things are a long time coming…
“Yeah, for what I want to be doing it's been way too long,” Arnold says. “But that's just how long it takes to do things, unfortunately. The recording of the album is probably the quickest part of the whole process and then all the release/tour coordination takes ages.”
The band’s new single, Feelin’ l Old, says Arnold, is “about youth existentialism.” As with much of the album, it follows in the tradition of Verge Collection’s previous singles, Our Place and For The Story, which established them as a band that created conversational songs versed in real life.
“I was talking to a friend the other day about the types of books I most loved growing up and I've always been into short stories and anthologies,” Arnold says. “So I guess in retrospect, the album is just a musical anthology of short stories, mostly sad.”
When asked if he feels that any songs on Flaneur evoke where the band is ‘now’, Arnold is circumspect.
“All of them? I guess?” he replies. “I mean, it's the material we're going to be touring and performing, so whether or not that's where I actually am, it'll be where I am... physically?”
The recording of the album sounds somehow suitably domestic, but was clearly not without its own challenges.
“We recorded in my ex-girlfriend’s spare room,” Arnold says, “and it was not a pleasant experience because other people in the house didn't appreciate us turning their hallway into a mixing room. I don't know how all those freak-fold type bands can go into someone’s private residence and record an album harmoniously. I will never not go to a studio again, unless someone gives me free real estate.”
The (free) real estate will have to wait for now, with Verge Collection about to embark on a national album tour. There’s small joys to look forward to.
“It'll be great to just be totally responsibility-free,” Arnold ponders. “I live a very frenetic urban lifestyle and it'll be great to get away from it all and just let the hair out.
“I also can't wait to eat a service station pie in each city… it's nice because it's familiar.”
While the wheels of industry can turn slowly, the tools of creativity are as sharp as ever, with album #2 already well advanced.
“It's 100 per cent written,” Arnold reveals, “I might look at putting a few other songs on it as well. One song is recorded and un-mixed and I'm pretty excited. I keep telling people it's going to be a 'driving album' so I’ll probably have to commit with that idea now.”
While Arnold sounds fairly laconic about the whole deal, the songs of Verge Collection have really struck a chord with a lot of people and it’s not lost on him.
“I think it's a great motivator to keep doing something I already liked doing and I think it's great if it's done something positive for someone else,” he notes. “I think I mostly get inspired by the people immediately around me in my life.”
Verge Collection kick off their Flaneur album tur at Jack Rabbit Slim’s on March 13, with help from White Blanks and Debbie Downers. More gig details via www.facebook.com/events/144066262947094/
Full tour dates at www.vergecollectionband.com