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Arcane Roots talk their “even more left-field” new album

“We’re playing that ‘oooooh, we’ve gone away’ card,” starts Andrew Groves sat backstage at Reading Festival. “We tried not to play that card,” he offers but since the release of ‘Heaven & Earth’ last year, the band have had a lineup change with Jack Wrench in for Daryl Atkins. “For all intent and purposes, it feels like a different band. And in a way, it is. If it wasn’t for politics, we would have probably have changed the name,” Andrew admits. “It’s a new chapter,” and the band are determined to make it count.

Questioning where they were, and what they wanted, the band went into this new record wanting to make something “really, really great. When you start out, you want Wembley, the front cover of magazines and limousines. Now I’m more interested in building something interesting. We had a big reassessment of what we wanted to do. We decided to do literally the best thing we could think of and not be tied down to thinking about has this got to be the next big rock album or is this going to further our career. I just think that’s bullshit. I don’t care about doing those things anymore. I care more than I’ve ever cared but I care the least I’ve ever cared at the same time. If this is the last record we ever did, then I could be like, that’s what I did. I can show my kids and say, that’s what Dad did. I tried to put one little tiddlywink into the pot of music. I’d be pleased with that. I’d prefer to do an album everyone hated than not give it 100%.”

And while they’re still proud of what they’ve done before, “the last record was perfect for what it is, this big shiny rock record,” they now realise “there’s a lot more out there. I’d like to do more. There’s more interesting things and more interesting music and it’s be nice to do something that was special and different.
That’s how their new album has turned out. “Very, very, very different.”

“It’s very ambitious and we can’t play any of it yet. We’ve recorded the meat of the songs but I think, more so than ever, I’m trying to be militant of any output that we have. It has to be something worth looking at. I don’t want to do anything unless it’s the best thing. It’s all or nothing for us, and with it being such a left field, un-radio, un-everything friendly album, it needs to just be perfect.”

The band have done left field before but this record is “absolutely different. It’s even more left field. It’s very musical, it’s still got the lovely melodies and it’s still very heavy in places but there are quite a few songs without guitar on. There’s a lot of electronica but not in a Euro96 kinda way. It’s very industrial but it’s also very classical. The phrase was always, what’s the best thing that could happen right now? If that’s a hundred violins, it’s a hundred violins,” offers Andrew. “I want to be on daydream manufacture. Maybe that’s what we should call it?”

Everything is still up in the air at the moment as the band come to terms with what they’re creating. There’s a hope the new album will be released early next year, with a song out before the end of the year alongside a select handful of small shows. “We’re aiming for maximum effort, blood sweat and tears. I want to militantly readdress the issues I have with the world and say, this is what’s important, this is the best thing the three of us can manage and then somehow attempt to play it live. I want to be impressed with myself and not be forever playing catch up or relying on what all the other bands are doing. That’s fucking bullshit,” Andrew grins. “I’m looking forward to showing our cards.”