Interview: Arcane Roots at Reading 2013

By on Monday, 23rd September 2013 at 11:00 am

To say Arcane Roots have only just hit the scene would be incredibly naïve. The arrival with ‘Blood and Chemistry’ in 2013 can only be likened in senses of arrival to the impending noise of a bomb whistling above your head and crashing down near you, with the sonic boom passing over you and sending your eardrums into overload. ‘Blood and Chemistry’ has to be described as their breakthrough, but for a band who have been around since 2005, the dues have most definitely been paid by the Kingston-on-Thames hailing three-piece.

I was lucky enough to watch the band at their most raucous and raw, when they played at Liverpool Sound City 2013 at Screenadelica. Our head photographer Martin Sharman, who up to then had been enjoying the acts from a distance, jumped headfirst into the undulating, sweating masses of writhing flesh who were enjoying the heaven for head-banging that was Arcane Roots’ set.

A few months on and they’ve conquered stadiums with titans of progressive rock, Muse and now Daryl Atkins and Adam Burton find themselves face to face with me, backstage at Reading Festival, following a chaotic set on the Lock Up/Rock Stage. Frontman Andrew Groves is busy attending to other media commitments, but that doesn’t keep him away for long.

With the Sunday performance being their first-ever show at Reading Festival it was obvious that drummer Atkins had thoroughly enjoyed the experience: “We played Leeds on Friday which was alright, but with Reading it seems like we are all really happy with it.” To anyone who had the privilege to watch their set, that answer will probably be met with a big shrug and a “well duh!” Why? Well you only had to look on the math-rocking threesome to see the Cheshire Cat-style grins creeping across their faces every time a circle pit opened up.

“It’s really good when people are passionate about our music, they go crazy and they get into it. You can only tell so much when you are on stage, what things sound like. I mean, you have a sort of monitor engineer and a house engineer and we brought our own front of house engineer who mixed the album and knows it well, so it sounded great.”

Bassist Burton chipped in with his perspective on how well the set went, in the tight confines of the Lock-Up, with limbs flailing in front of him: “As long as everyone is having a good time out front and they want to go crazy with the sun out and everything, then we’re going to have fun.”

Normally when you talk to a band after a triumphant Reading Festival set, the answer you’re inevitably given is that THIS was the festival they went to. A kind of Mecca for rockers, misfits and the men and women destined to grace the stages of the future? Not Arcane Roots though. “We’ve never been to the festival, never at all and everyone seems really surprised about it. In fact, the only major festival I’ve been to is the Isle of Wight Festival.” As an islander myself, I resist the urge to gush about proper sand, island life and sheep.

After explaining to the duo of Daryl and Adam that ‘Blood and Chemistry’ has effectively been the soundtrack to the last 2 months of my life, waking me up for those harsh breakfast shifts and delivering a sucker-punch to my eye ducts to remove the sleep dust during the commute to work- we’re joined by a splendidly-dressed Andrew Groves (the nicest man in rock, sorry Dave Grohl).

Andrew is resplendent in the gear he wears for the ‘Belief video’, which if you haven’t watched it yet, is Arcane Roots at their best. We reminisce about how I chatted with Andrew in May at the Great Escape 2013 for about half an hour about how the band’s name came about, how the album came together and why fish and chips in Brighton are fucking great, we move on to more important matters. Namely the burrito pedal, which Atkins explains: “Andrew was probably smiling so much on stage because he found the burrito pedal, which is a pedal for your rack which I’ve invented. You press it and then, WHOOSH out comes a burrito.”

The discussion quickly moves to the festival food of choice, a burrito, a pulled pork baguette? Suddenly I’m explaining to the band how I was watching Green Day on Friday covered in pulled pork and absolutely loving it. Slob rock, people, it’s the future.

Two weeks on from the festival ,and Arcane Roots as promised by the band on site have delivered a succulent headline tour to whet anyone’s appetite and after the experience of playing in stadiums with Muse has galvanised their sounds, can you imagine what the band will sound like in a small club, bar or venue?

Stop imagining. See you in November.

I’ll be in the pit.

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3 Responses

11:02 am
23rd September 2013

New post: Interview: John’s chat with Arcane Roots @ArcaneRoots at Reading 2013 @OfficialRandL:

11:24 am
23rd September 2013

RT @tgtf: New post: Interview: John’s chat with Arcane Roots @ArcaneRoots at Reading 2013 @OfficialRandL:

10:18 am
12th November 2013

New interview with Andrew of Arcane Roots Comments

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