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Arkm Foam

“Sometimes I’m happy, sometimes I’m sad”

Arkm Foam’s Adam McCarthy says in this interview about his Bloodroot Spitball album that it’s potent and medicinal and intimidating and mostly just a dirty ass trick. There’s nothing I can add to that.

The A and the B side of the record are very different. 

Yeah, sometimes contrast is nice, I think. I hope it worked out.

Is the B side a field recording?

It is a field recording yeah but I recorded much more than just a field on there. 

Is this a one take recording? 

A majority of it is recorded live in one take when I was performing on the sidewalk outside a record store in Greenfield, MA. (USA).

What would be your definition of a good field recording? 

I’d say a good field recording all depends on its intentions. If it fulfills its intentions it’s a good field recording... though it might still be a good field recording if it doesn’t fulfill them too. Depends on who’s listening and what they want to get out of it. 

On the A side, the track “Clarimello” sounds different from the rest because there’s a guitar and a clarinet. 

The guitar is a cassette of I think a live performance by a Buffalo NY Guitar Quartet... a tape somebody gave me... there might be some other tape of guitar I mixed with it too, I don’t remember. So the guitar is actually just cassette source material. 

“Clarimello” was recorded live in my office, I was playing two handheld cassette players and my friend Andy Allen was playing clarinet. We collaborate a lot.... I counted the other day and we were in I think 12 different projects together in our time (knowing each other less than a decade). He’s a real gift... check out his band Creative Healing!!!! 

How did you and met?

We met in Boston when Andy was playing saxophone and composing in the early iterations of Guerilla Toss... I did a few shows with them as their vocalist before Kassie joined. Andy and I became really great friends, can’t say enough about the guy! 

What does ‘Bloodroot Spitball’ mean, or what does it mean to you? 

Bloodroot is a plant that grows around here that is really very special. It’s healing but also potent and intimidating. We had a bag of bloodroot powder kicking around my old art-co-op house that said ‘DO NOT EVEN SMELL’ written on it. Spitball is a dirty ass trick in baseball where you spit on the baseball to get some extra spin on your slider or curve or whatever junk you’re tossin. It’s outlawed in the game now. So to me the album is potent and medicinal and intimidating and mostly just a dirty ass trick. 

There’s a year and half between the CD-r and the vinyl version of this record. Do you listen to these recordings differently now, because of the time in between? 

I changed a few things from the CD-r version to when the vinyl came out... tightened up some loose ends and altered the track listening to better fit on vinyl... but a lot of that time was approving masters and test pressings and art. It always sounds different to me if I listen back,... sometimes I’m happy, sometimes I’m sad. 

Does a vinyl release feel more ‘official’ than a CD-r?

To me, not really no, they’re all official in their own ways.

- Joeri Bruyninckx
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