Arc In Round's Jeff Zeigler on Balancing Life as a Producer and Performer
A swirl of krautrock and shoegaze, Arc In Round (formerly known as Relay) draws as much influence from Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine as they do Camberwell Now and Can. The four-piece are also a primary figure in the Philadelphia music scene, thanks in large part to lead guitarist and vocalist Jeff Zeigler's production work on more than 20 albums, including Phoenix locals Lymbyc Systym's Shutter Release and Kurt Vile's Childish Prodigy.
Arc In Round is also bassist Josh Meakim, keyboardist/vocalist Mikele Edwards and drummer Matt Ricchini. The band are currently on tour with Frightened Rabbit, but for their upcoming Yucca Tap Room show, they'll have local act Knesset opening for them.
We called up Zeigler to discuss his band's varied influences, the changes they've faced as a band and their debut self-titled album.
Up On The Sun: Ever been to Phoenix before? What do you think of this place?
Jeff Zeigler: Yeah, we've never played Phoenix before, but I've been there before with the band Frightened Rabbit. We toured through a while back. I used to do sound for them back in the day. I have been through before.
It's a cool little town. I don't have a full sense of it. It's one of those things where you're in for a day and then you're out. I've been through there, more so than actual Phoenix. It's real nice out there. It's one of those areas when you're in and out of an area in a day, it's hard to get a total figure on the pulse of what's going on.
I read that you produced Lymbyc Systym, Kurt Vile, War on Drugs, and a number of others. Who are you working with lately?
I'm working on some new War on Drugs stuff. You know, flushing out some songs for the follow-up to their last full-length. Our bassist [Josh Meakim] is also in the band A Sunny Day in Glasgow, so we've been in the process of working on their next record as well, which has been going really well. We're working with Ramesh Srivastava, he's the ex-leader singer of Voxtrot. We're working on that, too and a variety of other projects.
Do you prefer composing your own songs or producing for other artists?
They both kind of go hand-in-hand. They both have their pluses and minuses. Certainly, if I'm away from working on music for too long of my own, I tend to get a little crazy. Having broader control on the creative process than just producing. They both work for each other really well. I feel like I've definitely learned a lot about people's creative processes in general and something about my own creative process. I don't think I could tolerate not working on my own music. I could probably give up producing other records easily, but it'd be a hard sell either way.
I know the band name is a reference to a Disco Inferno song, but do you know what Arc In Round means?
I don't really think there is much of a specific meaning to it. It's more of the imagery of it all, I suppose. More of just the overall sound and feel and the aesthetic of what they were doing as a band than necessarily trying to pull any meaning from it.
I definitely think the name fits. When I think of Arc in Round as a band and listened to the music it definitely fit to the ideas I got from the name.
Arc in Round reminds me a lot of My Bloody Valentine. Are you sick of the comparisons?
It's fine. There's definitely an influence. I don't know if the influences come across like that precisely, so it's fine, it's gonna happen. And they're a band we like a lot, but I think if we were doing something more heavily indebted directly to that, it might bother me.
I think there was a point in which it did, the whole shoegaze thing kinda bothered me, but you kinda get over it. It is one of the things we're all heavily influenced by. Certainly not the only thing, so it's gonna happen.