Meet Canada's beloved rock band, the Arkells! Their most highest rated song on Youtube "Whistleblower" is the lead single of Michigan Left Album. We had the opportunity to meet Mike DeAngelis; vocalist, guitarist and photographer/Lomographer of the band! Check out these beautiful photo memories shot with our Lomography Colour Negative 800 film and Lomography Lady Grey 400 film!
Would you please give a brief history of how your band fist got started?
The band met in Hamilton, Ontario while going to school there. We were all really keen to play music, and would jam wherever we could on campus until someone told us we had to stop. As school went on, often at the expense of our education, music became our main priority and has been ever since.
Is there any interesting meaning behind your band name ‘Arkells’?
We were pretty obsessed, and in a lot of ways still are, with the Motown era, and thought the name ‘Arkells’ had a ring to it that was reminiscent of that time – it was also the name of the street a few of us lived on in Hamilton, which I guess is the true source for the name.
Where is your hometown? What is your favorite place there and what you miss most about it.
I grew up in Guelph, Ontario, but currently call Hamilton home. When I’m gone for a while I always miss the Cordon Bleu Schnitzel Sandwich from Deningers, which is a chain of restaurants in Hamilton – it has a very special place in my heart (and stomach).
When did you first get interested about photography?
In highschool I bought a point and shoot digital camera mostly to take goofy pictures of friends. Once I dug into the menus though, I found I could change the aperture, shutter speed and ISO sensitivity, and everything changed. From that starting point I became fascinated with photography and all of the possibilities that are out there.
What is your favorite (style, fashion, photograph) decade?
My favourite things are electric guitars and cameras, and so the 1960’s are by far my favourite decade. The designs from that era are so iconic and powerful and have had such longevity. This is especially true in terms of electric guitars, where the most popular models today haven’t changed in terms of look or construction since the 60’s.
Does your style of photography reflect to your music/songs?
We’re a band that tours quite a bit, and so a lot of my photography is a reflection on the realities of travelling and generally playing in a band.
Tell us how you and your first camera met or how you became drawn to that camera? Would you say you have a special connection to any of them?
I have a Canon F1, which I love and is what I use most of the time. I also recently bought a Mamiya 645 as I wanted to give medium format a try. The first analogue camera I owned is a Canon FTb, which is a less beefy version of the F1, but with the same lens mount. I guess it belonged to my landlord’s uncle sometime in the 70s – I found it in his dank basement and he gave it to me for a case of beer. It’s a super simple camera and a really great, and also inexpensive, starter camera.
Which city in Canada do you love the most? (for your concert, fans, to take photographs)
There are such a variety of cities in Canada, and there’s definitely something to love about all of them. For me Hamilton has become home, and so I guess I love it the most – there’s honesty and a spirit to the city that’s hard to deny if you spend some time here.
How do the rest of the band members think about your photography? Are you the photographer of your band?
I’m definitely the photographer of the band. For me photography has a sort of therapeutic effect, and helps me get through the tougher parts of being on the road. That means I end up shooting quite a bit, which I’m sure is kind of annoying for the guys, but I think ultimately the band is glad I’m passionate about documenting our time together.
Are there any interesting happenings that you caught on your film during your tour?
On a recent trip to NYC, our cab driver got lost taking us back to our hotel, and ultimately ended up walking along the side of the New Jersey turnpike at 2am in the pouring rain. In hindsight, it was a pretty funny experience but at the time we mostly just felt soaked. Luckily I had my camera on me and got a shot of Nick and Tim trudging their way back to the hotel with the toll booths in the background.
Please tell us your up-coming travel/tour plans, and your dream Lomography Camera you would like to take a long!
We’re going to be travelling quite a bit in 2012 – we’re about to leave for the east coast of Canada and will making our way through the United States after that. As for a dream lomo cam, I’d say the LC-A Wide – its super compact, it’s got auto exposure for those moments when there’s no time to fiddle with settings, and most importantly has a nice wide lens so you can really get in the middle of the action.
Any tips for our Lomography Community about photography?
I’m trying to take photography one day at a time and not get stressed out about results – I think ultimately if you shoot a lot and take time to enjoy the process, the results will follow.
Look forward to check out our next entry of Mike’s Photo Diary of the Arkells and see what happened during their tour!
Lomography’s Lady Grey is a lovely black and white 35mm ISO 400 film that will add class and elegance to your photos. For capturing action and great low-light shots, Lady Grey is your best bet. See our selection of Lomography films here.
The Lomo LC-Wide boasts the newly-developed 17mm Minigon Ultra-Wide Angle lens. This 35mm camera wonder is the perfect companion for your photo expeditions. It produces eye-catching splashes of colour with astonishing saturation and contrasts with the added versatility of 3 different formats. Open up to a new photographic experience with the LC-Wide, available in our Shop.