“We have quite the history, but I’ll try and keep it as brief as possible. Essentially, ArkenFire was formed in 2011 by myself (Randy) and Netto from the ashes of our previous project “Saints of Debauchery”. We went through many lineup changes over the years and were even on hiatus for awhile due to various work, school and personal reasons but had some songs written here and there (some of which made it on to the EP). Jacob has also been around since the early days and for the longest time we simply jammed and wrote music as a three piece. In 2015, we met Ian through a friend of ours and shortly after Milan joined as well. It took awhile to build chemistry amongst the 5 of us, especially with our varied musical tastes, but we eventually got there, wrote a bunch of songs, learned some covers and played our first show in November of 2015. And as the saying goes, the rest is history haha. As for the name, well we all love Tolkien’s various works and always liked the concept of the Arkenstone. Arken loosely translates to sacred so we played around with some names and ArkenFire stuck.
Your latest release Celestial Beasts EP is an amazing bunch of tunes how did the writing process come to be?
“Thank you! Well, quite a few of the songs had already been in the works long before Ian and Milan joined, so they were already established and it was a matter of simply teaching them the riffs. These include Celestial Beasts, No Man’s Land (which has had more name \ theme changes than I can count) and to some extent Sand King which borrowed some riffs from an old solo project of mine. Raid Winds was written completely by Ian with a little input from the rest of us, and Warlord was actually written in one jam session from a spur of inspiration we had."
You traveled to Armstrong Metalfest all the way from Kelowna BC how was the trip to AMF?
"Smooth sailing this year. We never know what the weather might be like around festival time, and it’s always nice to be able to set up your camp without pouring rain haha."
Whats the Metal Scene like in Kelowna BC?
"I myself have been a part of the scene in Kelowna since roughly 2010 after moving here from the prairies. I’ve seen a lot of bands come and go (either disbanding or moving on to bigger cities) along with venues and promoters. At the moment though, our scene is very much alive and well and I am extremely excited about the future of metal in the Okanagan and honestly Western Canada in general. We’ve got a lot of great promoters, a solid venue (shout out to Muninn’s Post), community support through various media outlets (Metal As Medicine and KelownaNow as examples) and of course an array of both established and up and coming acts eager to hit the stage and put on a great show for the fans."
You guys played 5 pm Friday ..... how did the band feel they did?
"This was a great slot for us to be on this year and I was quite stoked on the turnout we had (thanks everyone!) and aside from a minor technical hiccup with my amp, the set went as smooth as could be. We’ve posted a couple videos on our Facebook page if anyone wasn’t able to catch our performance."
What was your first reaction when u got the call for the band to play AMF?
“This was our fourth year playing, but nonetheless we were as excited as always to be a part of this growing festival and share the stage with so many amazing bands. It’s always a great weekend for networking and really getting to know everyone in the scene.”
How did you prepare yourselves for your set?
"Nothing too crazy, little warmup, some stretches and in most cases, a nice cold one (just one though haha)."
What was your favorite part of the festival?
"For myself, it’s having the entire scene in one place at one time. It creates this absolutely unforgettable atmosphere and you just never know how the day \ night is going to go. Whether you want to be inside watching all the bands, or just hanging out with our friends partying there’s something for everyone out there and everyone is just super friendly and ready to have a good time no matter what. And of course the bands that come in each year are incredible and I’m already looking forward to seeing the lineup for 2020. "
What do you think could use some improvement?
“There’s never really anything to complain about as the committee does such an amazing job putting this together and keeping it running smoothly each year. All the volunteers definitely deserve a shoutout too. I did notice some of the media folks in attendance had problems accessing certain areas for taking photos \ conducting interviews, so hopefully that will be addressed next year as these people are helping to raise awareness and build hype for the festival & bands alike."
What advice would u give a new band about to play AMF for the first time?
"As far as the music goes, definitely make sure your gear is ready for the stage and double check everything before you head out to the festival grounds. There’s no music stores around so come prepared with extra strings, patch cables etc just in case. All in all though, I would say just show up and put your best foot forward. You never know who might be attending a festival like this, so give it everything you got and just have fun up there. With regards to the actual camping experience, definitely bring lots of water, sun screen you know all the essentials most of us seem to forget every year haha. And if you can, show up the night before and meet some people and unwind a bit before you play."
What advice do u give AMF attendees band or not on how to survive AMF?
"Like I mentioned previously, lots of water is super important, it can get very hot and if you are moshing around and sitting in the sun drinking all day, you will get dehydrated fast. Other than that, bring cash for vendors (food, merch) and there is a killer farmer’s market on the Sunday each year I’d definitely recommend checking out. "
Any new stuff coming out soon? When can we expect it?
“Yes! We’ve been working diligently on our full-length followup to Celestial Beasts and we are just wrapping up writing on our last song at the moment. This will be the first album that our current lineup has all given input on which is really exciting as we’ve definitely honed in on our sound in the last couple years and I myself am very proud of the songs we have lined up to record. Speaking of, we’re going to be going into the studio to begin tracking drums in about a month and while I don’t have an exact release timeline at the moment, we’re working around the clock to make this happen sooner than later. Stay tuned for updates!"
Smarties or M and Ms?
"M&M’s all the way!"
Where can we find you on social media?
“You can find us on Facebook and Instagram as well as our official website www.arkenfire.com”.