Among the acts at Festival One was ar.lo, who can be summed up best by this passage from their website: “With a sound that stirs from the fringes of palm-lined shores and the tips of distant peaks, ar.lo (a.k.a. Square Eyes) is set to dapple the sunlight, wherever you are.” We had a quick chat to their frontman, Joel Francis.


Last year you played Festival One as Square Eyes. Was that your first gig?

Yeah, that was actually. We’d kind of all played together in different forms but we just got together for that one.


What’s happened since last year, other than the name change?

We’ve been hard at work, I’ve been producing a lot work, not just for ar.lo. This is kind of our creative outlet, the chance to do something fun, keep it kind of fresh. We don’t play live too often but we’re looking to change that. We’ve been working away, it’s kind of like a short album, 7 or 8 tracks. Keep the people wanting more… We’re releasing pretty soon, we’ve still got a few vocal tracks to do and the guys are really busy.


Have you got your artwork?

Yes, there’s a tease of it that’s just gone up on our Facebook. It’s quite geometric and sort of abstract which is really cool for us. We’ve done a lot of visual stuff. Stephan, who plays drums in the band, is a designer by trade as well… There’s a few creative personalities in the band. We’ve done a lot of work together on conceptualising and making sure everything’s right. We’re going [to use] a lot of Vintage Super 8 footage overlays and stuff [like] live projections.


Sounds like you’ve been working away on a lot over the last year. Once you release the album, what’s next? More live shows?

I think right now the priority’s been finishing the record, and finishing the video as well. The video for the single Golden Light is really cool. Basically, the song is about being in beautiful places, where we live, overseas. The video is really amazing, shot by a girl in Auckland called Breanna who just travels the world shooting fashion photography and stuff like that. So she’s kind of pulled together a montage that really gels with the song, which is really nice.


Stay tuned for more interviews with the stars of this year’s Festival One!