The first time I saw Arcane Roots was in a tiny, near empty pub in Staines. The room was dull and so was the atmosphere. Until they took the stage, that is. Watching them gingerly pick up their various instruments, I assumed this was just going to be your average ‘local’ band affair. I was wrong. They were like a giant kick in the teeth. Their songs were beautiful and brutal and their stage presence was like that of a band far beyond their years and experience. Everyone crowded round to watch, gobsmacked. I will never forget that show.
It’s not been too long since that time and I don’t don’t need to tell you that they’re already making big waves (and noises) in the Brit rock world. I caught up with the guys to find out what they had to say about signing their record deal with PIAS and what the future holds for them.
GeeksUnleashed: You’re a very diverse band. How would you describe your sound?
Arcane Roots: Because we each listen to such varying styles of music, we can pool from a wide range of influences and I think thats why our sound is quite varied. We like heavier music and strong musicianship but at the same time we enjoy great melody. So for us its fun to try and match the two without seeming too pretentious.
GU: You just got confirmed as tour support for Dry The River. Can we expect to hear any new material on these dates?
AR: Dry The River are such a great band, another influence on us in terms of melody and harmony so we are really excited to be on the tour. We will be recording our debut album from August to September which will be all new material. We have played a couple of new tracks on previous tours but we will definitely be excited to play more of the new songs from the album on the Dry The River tour.
GU: What else is going on behind the scenes in the Arcane Roots camp?
AR: We have basically been preparing to record our album. We have spent a month or so in
a rehearsal studio where we can put all of our energies into writing. Its been such a productive time and we are really pleased with the group of songs that we have managed to produce.
GU: How did it feel to finally sign your record deal with PIAS after doing it on your own for so long?
AR: We were just thrilled and excited. To join a label that looks after bands such as Enter Shikari and Young Guns can only be a good thing. They have the scope to be able to look after huge bands and have a network that can push an artist internationally but at the same time as an independent label they are very artist friendly. Each member of their team is skilled and passionate about what they do so for us were are extremely happy to have signed with them and are excited to see how we work together in the future.
GU: Your cover of Smell Like Teen Spirit is nuts! How did you go about dissecting the song and making it your own?
AR: We first got offered the opportunity to cover the song at Sonisphere. We also had a pretty quick turnaround on it, we basically had just over a week to arrange and record our version.
We know there have been countless covers of this song so instead of doing a straight cover we decided to put our own spin on it. The intro riff was basically where it started, we decided to refer to the original but give it a bit more movement and energy. The chords in the verse and the chorus are very similar, just some inversions and embellishments so the bones of the song are subtly still there. We knew that there would be extreme reactions to our version and it has been fun to see how many people comment are post opinions about it. But happily the majority have been positive but we do still enjoy seeing the odd die hard Nirvana fan that claims we have murdered the song.
GU: Are Nirvana a big influence on you?
AR: We all listened to Nirvana when we were younger as they were so iconic you couldnt help
be affected by them. I wouldnt say they are a direct influence on our music but there are definitely bands that we appreciate that Nirvana has influenced.
GU: What bands are you listening to at the moment?
AR: There are some great bands currently doing really great things. Everything Everything are such an interesting band musically and write such catchy song with great musicianship and we are all looking forward to their new album. Another interesting band that are great musicians that write great melodic songs are Norwegian band 22. They are such an incredible live band and write songs that are beyond what anyone else is doing at the moment. On the heavier side of things we are listening to a lot of Every Time I Die, who get a listen each time we go anywhere in the van, Rollo Tomassi and bands like Periphery and Meshuggah too.
GU: What’s next for Arcane Roots?
AR: We are recording the album starting withing the next week or so. We are going to Bath to record for a whole month which will be amazing. Bath is such a lovely place and what better place to be ‘stuck’ for a month while you have to record.
Arcane Roots – Habibty
Image disclaimer: I’m happy to give credit where credit is due. email me Kerry [at] artisanrecords .co.uk