The English prog trio Arcane Roots have recently released their second full-length album for the world to hear. Melancholia Hymns was a strong record with many great moments – you can read our review of it here – but we also recently had the opportunity to share a few words with the band. We talked about the new album, highlights of their career, and the writing process. Check out the interview below!
It Djents: Melancholia Hymns’ release is finally upon us; how does it feel to have the album done and ready to be in the hands of your fans?
Arcane Roots: There’s really a lot of mixed emotions. We have been working on this record for well over a year; having to learn how to record a lot of new elements, learning how to incorporate new instruments into our songwriting all took some time to master so we a relieved it’s out there. But we are also very excited as to what people make of the newer elements we have included on this record.
ID: Does the title of the album carry any significance?
AR: During the time we were working on the album, it seemed there were a few world events, Brexit for example, that seemed like a negative direction for us to take. So it’s a slight nod to the current climate of what’s happening in the world but also just we like the phrasing and timbre of the words.
ID: What are some of the highlights from the new record that you’re most excited or proud of?
AR: “Fireflies” is a song we are particularly proud of as it’s so far removed from our usual songwriting. It has no acoustic instruments, drums, bass or guitar. Despite it being completely different, it’s one our favourite tracks on the record.
ID: Keyboards are a relatively new addition to your sound – what inspired the inclusion of the instrument into the lineup, and how did it affect the writing process?
AR: It’s actually synthesizers, rather than keyboards. They just add a new audio spectrum to the sound. You can reach audio frequencies you can’t come close to with acoustic instruments. So, as we like to take risks, we decided to gradually bring them into our songwriting. But as they were a new element it did take a while for us to learn the best way of including them.
ID: How did the vision of Arcane Roots’ sound come about, and what kind of goal did you have in mind for the type of music you create?
AR: I think we have never had one vision of ‘our sound’. As we have gotten older, our influences have changed and as we have matured as people I think this has come across in our music. When we were younger we liked very angular, aggressive music and this came across in our songs. But we now write for the song itself, trying to find great melody or a sound that evokes a feeling. So our goal is just to create music we our proud of before anything else.
ID: Could give us a little insight into the challenges and dynamics of writing music as a three piece?
AR: It’s both a blessing and a curse. It’s less of a creative pool to choose from. But really we all have such a wide range of influences that we are never short of finding something new to take inspiration from. It also means that we can agree on the direction something new is taking quicker than we would with more members.
ID: Is there any influence or sound that you want to experiment with or implement on a future album?
AR: We are always looking to expand our horizons and we like to take risks. We are still getting to grips with the current new elements we are incorporating. But we are definitely up for going further with finding new sounds.
ID: Do you have a favourite song from throughout your career or track you enjoy playing live?
AR: I think, for all of us, “Leaving” has always been a favourite. It seems to relax us when we reach it in our set and seems to have a level of comfort.
ID: Is there any musician or group you would like to work with in at some point in your career?
AR: There are definitely a lot of musicians that we admire and would love to work with. We have long admired singers like Camille and James Blake. But also still take big influence from guys like Jamie Lenmanand would love to work with him as well.
ID: One last question here for you today: What has been the biggest moment for you as band so far, and what is one bucket list moment you hope to achieve with your music in the future?
AR: Playing stadium shows with Muse were definitely big moments for us. Being asked to open for the biggest contemporary rock band in the world was just a great honor and a time we will never forget. We would actually love to go further out of Europe to play live. We recently played Russia for the first time but would love to go further; Japan, Australia or the Americas are definitely places we would love to go.
ID: Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions today. Do you have any final comments you want to leave for your fans?
AR: Thank you one and all for your support with this latest album and our career as a whole! We love and appreciate you all!