Arcane Roots (Andrew Groves)
They toured with Muse, had a headliner gig in our country on October 28th: Arcane Roots offers us an intriguing math rock sound, and we'd definitely stake our reputation on them! We talked to Andrew Groves, singer of the young and promising band from the UK!
Article by Alberto Battaglia - Publish on: 05/11/13

“Blood and Chemisty” is such a catchy result and it sounds contemporary, with every aspect that such thing implies. In your opinion, how important is it to follow the new trends in order to reach success?

I don't think trend necessarily dictates success at all, good music is good music. If you put all your heart and soul (as well as blood, sweat and tears!) into something then i think that people respond to it. Audiences can tell when they're being sold to and will react accordingly. We simply play the music that is in our heads and that excites us; that also means that we have to change and grow as the music in our hearts changes. I would like to think that we are capable of achieving whatever we want to regardless of trend. That's not to say that it is not important to be aware of the music around you and current climate, having a clear perspective of yourself in regards to others is very important. It keeps you aware of where you stand and also what your strengths and weaknesses are.

Your musical origins are undeniably various. What were the covers you played in the early days? And what artists were your first models?

We all listen to different music in the band and we all came from different musical backgrounds, but all of us are diverse in our tastes. I grew up listening to Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and King Crimson but as I played with more musicians I was turned on to the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Mars Volta, Biffy Clyro, Reuben, Incubus etc.. Now, I listen to pretty much everything i can get my hands on; Coldplay, Meshuggah, KT Tunstall, Malajube, Keith Jarrett, Every Time I Die, Camille, Björk, Bon Iver, Twin Atlantic etc etc. I would say my biggest influence would be John Frusciante, I've looked up to him as a musician and artist ever since i was young and he constantly redefines what being a musician is and should be. His work ethic and musical knowledge is incredible and i only hope to be as prolific and studious as he is.

Listening to your music you can easily notice that it is the result of several and different influences. Do you consider yourselves as an underground band trying to sound more “pop”, or viceversa?

Any influences that come through our music are purely natural and are only intended to serve the song. I like pop music just as much as I like heavier music, so naturally that will come through. People are much more than one dimensional beings that only listen to one type of music and express only one emotion, so why should that be the same for creating music? Whilst making the album 'Blood & Chemistry' we all learnt that being in this band was about the three of us, in a room, making music together. It should never be less organic than that.

arcane_intervista_00Andrew and Daryl, since you have studied musical technology perhaps you are able to explain with the right words how technology is necessary in your work, and how important it is nowadays.

Music technology has come along so far, even in the last few years, things that were once impossible or unaffordable are now available in the comfort of your own personal computer. We've used technology extensively in the band since we began, to help create the sounds and effect we were after, and now we use it more than ever to achieve the ambitious live shows that we dream up in our heads! The sounds we wanted to achieve were not ordinary sounds or simple setups so most of the time we had to invent ways of achieving the sound we wanted. We use technology on all platforms too; my guitar rig is run by my custom MIDI rig, our lightshow is run on software that Daryl (drummer) created from scratch to control our lights via DMX. We try to embrace every element of it without compromising our sound.

Is there any downside? May technology darken the “nuances” of a real instrument, played by a real musician, for instance?

There can be downsides, but only in the way it is used. For us, it begins with us dreaming up an idea and needing a way to facilitate it, we then (usually) have to learn/acquire/hotwire some piece of technology to achieve it. This only helps us translate and project our creativity even further, it boosts it if anything. My guitar tone is pretty much straight into two different amps, but with the aid of technology i can bring in different pedals, digital effects, reverbs etc without compromising on my guitar tone. Without technology that would not be possible. So i feel that it is very much the user that defines the use and it's effectiveness.

A lot of people out there meticolously separate what is indie and what is mainstream. Have you ever felt the desire to access larger audiences and evade the niche of math/prog rock, maybe when you decided be the opening act for Muse?

Being aware of your audience is music 101, to ignore it is stupidity if you want to have a lasting career, but i do not see that as dampening, compromising or simplifying your music for one second. It is a sad myth that with success comes simplicity and compromise. We want to be the best band we can be, and we sincerely feel that we could be one of the best bands. But that, for us, means writing the best music we can, playing the best shows we can and dedicating ourselves entirely to our profession. We have no doubt that we want to play stadiums and have a long career, but only so that we have access to the tools that would allow us to complete create an album and bring it to life on a grand scale, to have pure creationism and construct a world to listen to our music in. If people feel that is 'selling out' or simplifying our music then they aren't looking hard enough.

In music industry, as well as in politics, does a virtous art of compromise exist? Maybe between the music you fancy playing and audience's expectations...

The music industry is full of tradition and politics, you could swim in that darkened sea for eternity and get nowhere. It was a major disappointment to us, but it also presented itself as another challenge to prove that our band could make intelligent and informed decisions on issues in and surrounding the band. We write all our own songs, create & control our entire live show, shoot all our own videos & do all our own artwork Yes, there has been times of conflict and difference of opinion but we're surrounded by a team that were handpicked and understand our needs as artists. We play the music that excites us and we have built trust with our label and team that we know what we are doing and our vision is true and morally right. A huge part of it is understanding what is required from you, then you can have fun within the lines of that and be inventive.

Now just out of curiosity: do you miss the older Muse, like many fans do? I mean, those of “Showbiz” and “Origin of Symmetry”...

To be completely honest i would have said yes until i saw the live show, and I think that it's the same for many bands. Bands have to grow and change, no one wants to hear the same old songs over and over, musicians have to evolve and learn to continue to create something truthful and relevant. Muse are an incredible live band, and while i was exposed to their earlier works in my youth, and a peripheral knowledge of their later works, I watched their live show avidly each and every night and it all made complete sense. The songs came to life completely and translated perfectly. They are a stadium band playing stadium songs, they need to be seen and heard in context to really give the desired effect.



arcane_intervista_01

England was the birthplace of a number of giants of rock and roll, and that could not be said for other countries, including Italy. Do you feel lucky to be englishmen? Is that still an advantage?

We love Europe to pieces and we are so very excited to play here every single time. Every time we are here we do feel very British, more so than when we are at home. I love the passion, dedication and appreciation that european fans have, I think they have values that are sadly missing from English culture on the whole. We are proud to be english, but we are definitely more excited to learn and explore cultures outside of our own than promoting our own!

Thank you so much for this interview! Last but not least, would you please leave a message to all your Italian fans and SpazioRock readers?

Just a big thank you from all of us, each and every time we have been here you have welcomed and supported us with all your hearts. We are very lucky to have such a great fan base here and we love you all and getting to know you brings us nothing but big smiles and warm hearts. Thank you!




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