Although the Stone Arch Isles formed their indie-rock band less than a year ago—or as vocalist and rhythm guitarist Phil Levine says, “on the seventh new moon, year of the monkey”—the sextet hasn’t had any problems jiving, composing, or performing. Coming off a headlining show at Skyway Theatre’s Studio B in January and other shows at places like Norseman Distillery and the Holidazzle, the University of Minnesota-based group is getting ready to pack a punch with their new EP out this summer and, of course, a performance at The Wake’s Birthday Concert on March 23.
The stage will be full and the sound will be fuller: There’s Matt Gleason on lead guitar; Alex Chapdelaine on vocals, keys, and auxiliary percussion; Daniel Chapdelaine on vocals and ukulele; Trevor Stroschein on bass; Carlos Kelley on percussion; and Levine on vocals and rhythm guitar.
Six schedules can be pretty hectic to coordinate, but Daniel Chapdelaine, Levine, and Gleason were able to answer a few questions for us.
When did you start playing music?
Matt Gleason: We all started at different times, but the Chaps (Chapdelaine Twins) and I have been playing together since high school.
Phil Levine: I first started jamming with the dudes around a year and a half ago, but we all became official with Trevor and Carlos last June.
Who is an artist/band you look up to?
Daniel Chapdelaine: We’re all really into Young the Giant’s first couple of albums.
MG: I don’t know if it really affects the music, but we all love listening to Catfish & the Bottlemen, Glass Animals, and Turnover
How do you create your songs? Your lyrics?
PL: I think each song starts a little differently. A lot of the time, Matt will play a riff he recently wrote and I’ll match it to a verse or couplet of lyrics that I’ve written, but sometimes Alex or Daniel will come to practice with entire verses written. It’s definitely a collaborative process.
DC: I guess it usually just starts with one or two people bringing up a song to everyone else, and then we sit around jamming on acoustic instruments until we all have parts we like.
Are you working on anything big right now?
MG: We’re doing a whole thing with recording and all that. Get ready to be pleased.
PL: Um … yeah. We’re recording our first 5-song EP with some of our more upbeat tunes. We want our first release to be a smooth intro into our sound, but we’re constantly writing and we definitely have enough to record a few more EPs once we’re done.
What do you do outside of making music? (Any fun facts?)
DC: My fun fact is that I have a twin brother who is ALSO in this band
MG: I went rock-climbing once and can throw a Frisbee, like, super far.
PL: Today is the nine year anniversary of my Bar Mitsvah (March 15, 2008).
What do you want your future to look like?
PL: Honestly, I just wanna do whatever we have to do to keep writing and playing together. I love these guys. If the band turns out to be something we can do full-time, all the better.
DC: I don’t know, I just wanna be able to share our music with more and more people.
MG: I want us to keep making music for the sake of the music and have fun doing it.
Photo: Andrew Cumming.