If you go
What: Ark Life with Little Hurricane
When: 9 p.m. Saturday
Where: Larimer Lounge, 2721 Larimer St., Denver
More info: larimerlounge.com
On March 1, soulful Denver rock quintet Ark Life celebrated one year as a band. It's been a busy year, jam-packed with touring and recording a debut record. The band will be part of the Greater Than Social Club in May and they're opening for Little Hurricanes at the Larimer Lounge this Saturday, so we decided to catch up with singer and guitarist Jesse Elliot.
Ark Life just celebrated its one-year anniversary a month or so ago. Tell me about that year.
Well, it's been, I guess, 120 shows. I'm trying to summarize it neatly.
It was a pretty accidental formation of the band. A couple of us knew each other beforehand, but the five of us never sat in a room together until last year.
It happened pretty quickly. We have fun playing music together and decided we'd do it kind of the opposite of the way most folks do it these days, which is just go out and play and see how it goes. About six months ago, we decided to record an album together. It took us a few months to mix and master it. And here we are now, having gone coast to coast with a bunch of people we love.
Tell me about the album due out in August.
It was very different from how I'd done it before. I have this other band called These United States, with five albums. I think only one was live. This time, we were all just excited, because we'd played six months beforehand.
We tried to do it mostly live, but of course, we still love studio fun. We got Eric Johnson, and he produced it for us and brought a lot of the fun bonus, icing-on-the-cake stuff on the back end. We did a lot of stuff with him.
Basically, the songs we just recorded live at this place in Pike National Forest called the Hideaway. It was actually during the week of all the crazy flooding last year, and I think that somehow influenced all the energy. Everyone was somewhat on edge. You could see all these thunder clouds rolling in, but they were below us, up at 12,000 feet. It was really intense.
For those who haven't seen Ark Life live, how would you describe your music?
We think of it as just rock 'n' roll. When people hear that term they think of the more masculine, over-the-top testosterone kind of thing. We try to bring it back to what we love, which is the more classic — especially Motown and R&B, beautiful vocal harmonies.
The three ladies in the band sing beautiful harmonies and I sort of just yelp on top of it. We think of it as kind of a rock 'n' roll sound, but ... I don't know how to describe it. It's got some soul.
Since we talked about last year, where do you hope to be a year from now?
I hope I'm on this exact same sidewalk I'm walking on right now, because it's very beautiful. I accidentally came to Denver and I love it here.
I hope we're all living the exact same lives. We want to get the album out and get people to listen to it. We want to tour around the country for the rest of the year. We all have other stuff we're working on, too — musical projects and life things. We'll see where it takes us. We're just excited to do this together.
Contact Ashley Dean at 303-473-1109. On Twitter: @AshaleyJill.