It seems like I hear about a new indie band from New York City every day. It’s hard for fans to sift through all that potential to really connect to a sound. I can’t imagine how hard it is for a band in that setting to be noticed. Extra Arms (made up of Dave Yang, Daniel Benjamin, Matt Haar and Max Kimbrel) is one of these bands, relatively new to the scene and trying to get noticed. Their recent release was mixed by Bryce Goggin, known for his work with Pavement, and their lead single “Race To Sleep” was something that caught my attention. The riffs like clockwork, the slow build up to a nicely cathartic guitar solo, the familiar-yet-fresh vocals, it all adds up to a great sound.
Drummer Daniel Benjamin was able to answer a few questions:
For readers who aren’t aware, who are Extra Arms?
We’re a rock band from New York who like to experiment with interesting sounds, soaring dynamics and intricate rhythms, all with a smile.
What inspired the band name?
We had a deadline and were approaching it with some less-than-desirable front-runners. We all liked the feel of it and the fact that it can be interpreted in such varying ways.
What inspires your music?
Our songs usually come from a seemingly simple idea from one member of the band. They’ll propose it to the group and see what that idea inspires. If we’re lucky, this will snowball into a full song. The order that the different instruments’ parts develop always varies, which keeps things fresh.
How long have you known that you wanted to play in a band?
We have all been very interested in music from a young age, and how interested can you really be in something without trying to create it yourself? Personally, I didn’t start teaching myself drums until high school, when I slowly built up my first kit piece by piece, starting with a snare drum and finishing with the stool. Until that last part, I’d play standing up.
What excites you about your upcoming trip to Toronto?
Toronto marks our first venture out of New York, which is definitely something we’ve all expressed interest in doing, but has never formulated itself until now. We are also excited to be a part of such an excited festival involving not only great musicians, but arts of all types. Growing up in Rochester NY, Toronto was always a short drive for my family. Now, years later, I’m looking forward to going back and exploring the city in a completely different way.
Freestyling is an important form of expression in hip hop. If you had to freestyle four lines about your new album, what would you say?
Nice twist. Well, allow me to reintroduce ourselves:
Our name is Extra Arms, not just the necessary limbs
This is an army of guitars, not She & Him
This is drums hit hard, with no regard for ya’ll
And if you’re looking for our record, it’s dropping this autumn
Extra Arms are playing Thursday, June 16th at 10PM @ The Boat.