How Ark Life Made a Promising Career Out of Drinking With Friends

Page 2 of 2

"It became fun enough where we were like, 'Hey, let's go play some music for people," says Elliott.

And play for people they did. They named their band Ark Life and hit the road for six months on what Elliott says was a kind of test run, with no recorded music to their name and no reputation to precede them as a band. They were able to book some seventy shows across the country from April to September of last year, with help from Elliott, Morsett and Desoto's connections to various music scenes and bands.

"The cool thing about not having one home is you really start to have 100 homes," Elliott says of his life as a touring musician. "All these people and communities...it still gets a little exhausting, but the huge benefit is that you really do feel at home kind of anywhere you go, which is a great feeling."

Still, Ark Life played in Colorado (and Denver, specifically) more than anywhere else. "I think the reason I moved here is because I was like, 'This place is incredibly supportive of live music on a lot of different levels,'" says Elliott. "I think there's a lot of fan appreciation. In my experience, in the big cities I've lived in, [music] isn't quite so interwoven into daily life for your casual, average listener or whatever.

"I've always lived in slightly bigger cities where things get a little bit more fragmented," he elaborates. "The thing I like so much about Denver is it feels like it's just big enough to be really interesting and diverse, but it's also just small enough to really feel like a cohesive thing."

After a headlining show at Boulder Theater on September 5, the band took its road-tested songs up to Hideaway Studio, situated high in the heart of Pike National Forest, to record a debut full-length called The Dream of You and Me (which you can listen to now via Guitar World. That's where it was when heavy rainfall caused the worst flooding in Colorado's history. "We could see a lot of the storms rolling in all around us, like on every side of us," Elliott says. The extremes in weather -- from epic thunderstorms to brilliant sunshine -- made for a particularly intense recording process. It wasn't until they returned to Denver that the bandmembers realized the extent of the flood damage. "We had no idea how bad it was, because when you're in the studio, you're sort of disconnected," Elliott says. "We had just seen it kind of from above."

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jon Solomon writes about music and nightlife for Westword, where he's been the Clubs Editor since 2006.
Contact: Jon Solomon