Arcane Roots (Interview)
Arcane Roots know how to throw a musical curveball. Evolving swiftly from Left Fire’s Biffy-meets-Muse approach to Blood & Chemistry’s dynamic diversity and Melancholia Hymns’ cinematic expansiveness, these guys never fail to shock and awe. With sets at 2000 Trees and ArcTanGent approaching fast, I talked to bassist Adam Burton about Arcane Roots’ plans for both festivals, the importance of spare socks, and power-killing stage equipment…
You’re playing 2000 Trees 2018 in less than a week. What thoughts and feelings are floating around the Arcane Roots camp right now?
We’re all pretty excited! 2000 Trees has always been one of our favourite festivals to play, and if we were on the other side of the fence as festivalgoers, I’m sure it would be one of our favourite festivals to attend too.
We’ve been playing the festival for many years now, so it kind of feels like home. We get treated so well by everyone that works at the festival, as well as the fans there.
Another great thing is that the lineup is always killer. There are always great headline bands, as well as many bands that we’ve become friends with over the years.
It’s a festival that we will always say yes to playing.
When you were growing up, which gigs had a real impact on you?
For me personally, the first big gig I went to was the Red Hot Chili Peppers in Hyde Park. At that point they were my favourite band, and I had never seen them play before – apart from all the VHS tapes I had back at home.
It was amazing being surrounded by so many thousands of people who are as passionate about something as you are. The band were amazing live, and it was a bonus that afterwards they released a live album of the gig.
In addition to that, the main support act was James Brown! So that in itself was an incredible thing as well.
What was your first ever festival experience? How did it go?
Being from the Isle of Wight, the first festival I went to was the Isle of Wight Festival. I didn’t camp (and to this day I have never actually camped at a festival), but I had a three-day ticket. I can’t remember what the year was, but it was a gloriously sunny weekend.
I remember being at the very front for Faithless’ set, but for some reason the most memorable point of the weekend was when Travis’ lead singer forgot the lyrics to his own song twice in his set, and had to ask a man in the front row what the next lines were.
Any festival survival tips?
As I mentioned, I’ve never actually camped at a festival before – but I would definitely say bring as many spare socks as you can!
No doubt with the great British weather, there is always a risk your festival experience is going to be a soggy one. I couldn’t imagine a more horrid time than having to spend a weekend walking around – and sleeping – in soaked-through socks and wet feet.
What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened during one of your shows?
I’m struggling to think of anything particularly weird happening at a show. We have definitely had a fair share of technical issues, especially with our lighting rig.
There have been a few occasions where we “killed” the venue’s power. The last time we played King Tut’s in Glasgow, we unintentionally sent the venue into complete darkness for several minutes before we took to the stage. All the stage amps had to be reset, which took a while to find the right one, as well as all the venue’s fuses too.
If money, space, and good taste weren’t issues, what would your ultimate festival stage show look like?
In recent years we’ve started to implement our own lighting show during our headline gigs. So I think, taking from lighting and stage production influences, it would be an amalgamation of a Nine Inch Nails and a Radiohead gig. As many lighting bars as we could muster on one stage!
Which other 2000 Trees bands are you looking forward to checking out?
The main band I am looking forward to seeing are At The Drive-In. An absolutely legendary band that I first started listening to in the early 2000s. I have seen The Mars Volta before, but never ATDI, and I know their live show will be just as kinetic.
There are also lots of our friends playing too, so it will be great to catch up with them. The guys in Marmozets, Black Peaks, and Press To MECO are all bands we have played with before, so it will be great to catch up with them and watch them play too.
You’re also playing ArcTanGent in August – do you have any special plans for that show?
We recently released a new single, Landslide, and with it a new EP that will be released later in the year. For ArcTanGent, we are going to be playing two sets: our main festival set, and also a special, entirely electronic set in conjunction with the EP, which we can’t wait to play either.
Arcane Roots play the Forest Sessions and Main Stage at 2000 Trees 2018 on Thursday July 12.
Follow me on Twitter for updates!
Need more to read? Click below to start reading Why Do Good Bands Break Up? for free!