In February, Joseph Arthur and Peter Buck of R.E.M. announced they had joined forces to form Arthur Buck, signing to New West Records. Now, the duo have detailed their self-titled debut album, set for a June 15 release, and shared its first single, album opener “I Am the Moment.”
Arthur Buck was produced by Arthur and mixed by Tchad Blake (U2, Pearl Jam, The Black Keys), with Arthur and Buck co-writing all 11 of its songs. The duo decided to collaborate after meeting up in Mexico in late 2017, writing eight songs in three days and performing for a small audience of locals on the fourth. “I Am the Moment” was the first track they wrote together.
My first thought was, “Hey, I’ll get Peter to play acoustic guitar on some of the stuff I’m working on!” So I started showing him songs. But he was like, “That’s cool. Now check this out.” And he started playing chords and whatnot. So I put my guitar down and began singing over his changes, and it was magical. It was easy. And these great songs just started popping out.
Arthur Buck have been working steadily on their debut album ever since their initial meeting, recording basic tracks at Type Foundry Studio in Portland, Ore. with Arthur producing at his Brooklyn, N.Y. studio. “It was all new songs, and it was spontaneous,” Buck says. “And the great thing about working that way was that it didn’t have to be anything in particular. It was liberated from any expectation. It was free.”
“We wrote ‘I Am The Moment’ within the first ten minutes of seeing each other,” Arthur told NPR. “Same way as we wrote our other songs. He had the chords and arrangement and I did the top line—except when I sang, ‘I am the moment,’ he sang back, ‘Waiting for you.’ Peter said, ‘Okay, finish the lyrics so we can play that tonight.’ And I did, and we did. And the crowd completely sang along to it.”
Arthur Buck tour dates are in the works, and will be announced soon. Keep an eye out.