‘Coldplay would be an awesome band to tour with!’: An interview with Arcane Roots

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I caught up with the guys from Arcane Roots after their recent set at small, alcohol-free, Hampshire festival Butserfest. We chatted about their favourite festivals to play, what they really think of all the persistent Biffy Clyro comparisons, and why it’s absolutely vital to make sure you have the ingredients for a good sandwich on your rider.

What’s your favourite festival that you’ve ever played?

Andrew (vocals): Well, we had an amazing time at Reading, it’s an iconic festival, and we loved playing it. We did Leeds first, and that was kind of our warm up. We got to meet and hang out backstage with bands like Biffy and Fall Out Boy, all our idols and that was really exciting for us. Obviously smaller festivals like this are great fun too, as lots of them have similar line-ups, so you keep running into your friends and bands that you know!

Are there any bands playing today whose sets you enjoyed or you’re hoping to catch?

A: We’re really looking forward to the Marmozets set, actually. They’re friends of ours, we’ve seen them before and they’re an amazing live band. They sound like Paramore with more balls! [laughs]Unfortunately we haven’t had time to try out any of the free activities either, which is a shame, as I heard they have Laser Quest here, and I’ve always wanted a go at that!

What’s your opinion on alcohol-free festivals like Butserfest?

A: It’s not an issue for me, as I don’t really drink anyway. It wasn’t that hard for me to give it up, to be honest. It started out that I wasn’t drinking on tour before shows because it wasn’t good for my voice, and then I wasn’t drinking on tour after the shows because showing up hungover the next day would make it harder to give a good performance, and gradually I was just drinking less and less. I might have a beer occasionally, but I don’t really think about it now. Daryl still likes to party now and then though.

Daryl (drummer): Well, somebody’s got to!

A:  We always get given a crate of beer on our rider, and only end up drinking about a can each. Oh, and usually a bottle of whisky as well, but we give those out as presents!

Is there anything else unusual on your rider?

A: Well, I don’t know if it’s unusual, but we always like to have nice breads and cheeses and meats on there, basically the ingredients for some nice sandwiches. Occasionally we ask for some good olives as well. It’s not terribly rock ‘n’ roll, but we’re not too worried about all that stuff. For us, it’s more important to be comfortable and have nice stuff to eat!

Who would be your ideal tour partner?

A: Well, we’ve toured with Muse on their European tour, that was pretty incredible. We’d love to tour with Biffy as well, or possibly Coldplay.

D: Yeah, Coldplay would be an awesome band to tour with. They’re quite an inspiration for us, so that would be amazing.

How do you feel about being compared to Biffy Clyro?

A: On the one hand, it’s great, as they’re a massive band and a bit of an inspiration for us. It’s certainly a huge compliment. But sometimes, we see press about us and they mention Biffy more than they mention us, and that can get a bit wearing, as it can feel a bit like they think we’re just an imitation, which we’re not trying to do.

How would you describe your sound to someone who’s never heard you before?

A: We’d probably go with mature rock. We try and have a little bit of something for everyone in our sound though.

Adam (bassist): Yeah, that’s right. We have some lighter, more pop-influenced songs for people who like lighter music, but we also have some heavier songs which might appeal a bit more to metal fans.

Have you ever had any weird fan experiences?

A: Oh yeah, there’s been a few! Some very interesting times! There’s a lot I can’t tell you about, as they’re quite libelous. To be honest, yes, we get a lot of weird fans but most of them are lovely, and we’re very weird people. I’m especially weird! [laughs]It’s mostly just really flattering that people care about our music and what we do that much. And everyone’s met someone they really admire and said something daft, I’ve done it myself! So I do sympathise.

Arcane Roots tour the UK this November, with a date at London’s XOYO on the 26th.

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