ARTIST INTERVIEW: Dan Arnes

Leapling is a three-piece, experimental pop band from Brooklyn. Their last album was the February 2015 release Vacant Page: Ten misleadingly lighthearted tracks punctuated by the soft vocals and pleasantly dissonant guitar of Dan Arnes, the band’s leader. Before Leapling recently left on a short tour, he answered some questions about their upcoming album, musical influences, and how we should label their music, anyway.

AudioFemme: What can you tell me about your upcoming album? When’s the release date?

Dan Arnes: It’s almost completely done. It’s pretty tight but I think we’ll make our date…pretty soon.

I can’t share the name just yet, although if you look in the liner notes of Vacant Page you may find a hint or two. It’s definitely different from Vacant Page: A lot more direct and punchy, not quite as cryptic and tonally, it couldn’t be more different.

Were trying to find a director for the first singles music video now, actually. I loved doing the video for Crooked,” but unfortunately don’t have the bandwidth this time around. That was super fun and rewarding, but very time consuming. Next time.

AF: You recently tweeted, “Writing string arrangements is challenging and time consuming in ways I did not anticipate.” Are you using samples or live arrangements for the strings on the new album?

DA: All live arrangements. I’m writing for a string quartet on a few songs on this new record so it’s pretty prominent. I had strings in mind for these newbies right from the get go this time around. It’s very much part of the songs they’re on. There’s more standard rock stuff on the record too. It’s one big hodgepodge stylistically.

AF: What guitarists have the biggest influence on your playing?

DA: I like all kinds of guitar players, but some of my faves are Jim O’Rourke, John Dietrich, Lou Reed, Cornelius, Arto Lindsay, Sonny Sharrock, Jeff Tweedy, Syd Barrett and Tom Verlaine; People who mix the more interesting rhythmic, chordal stuff with the more angular, dissonant side of things. That’s very much what I respond to in music in general.

AF: Leapling played Palisades on 8/28 and 8/30- do you have a favorite NYC or Brooklyn venue? 

DA: Love Palisades but Shea Stadium is my spot. We go way back with them. Adam, Nora & Luke have been at it for so long and do it so well. We actually recorded this upcoming record at (the Shea Stadium founder) Adam Reich’s studio.

AF: Do you have any gigs you’re especially looking forward to on your tour?

DA: Yeah, we have a bunch of really good ones. I’m particularly excited to do

[Hopscotch Music Festival] this year. We’re playing with Pile, Mitski and our awesome local pal SMLH

We always have a blast in DC- the house show scene there is pretty great. Atlanta is cool too, and we’re pals with a lot of awesome bands in New Orleans. There’s some good stuff coming out of there. 

AF: If you had to come up with a new genre to describe your music, what would you call it?

DA: I really should do this… it’d save me a lot of time after people ask “What would you call your music?” I call it noisy pop, weirdo pop… I’m pretty bad at this, it’s all pop to me.

Leapling Tour Dates:

9/09: Richmond, VA – Strange Matter 
9/10: William & Mary College (Williamsburg, VA)
9/11: Hopscotch Music Festival (Raleigh, NC)
9/12: Raleigh, NC – TBA 
9/13: NC State University – WKNC house show 
9/14: College Park, MD
9/15: New Brunswick, NJ – Nowhere, USA 
9/16: Brooklyn, NY – Shea Stadium