Interview: On a (Arc)Tangent with Orchards

Ahead of this year’s Arctangent Festival, we’ve had a go at interviewing some of our favourite bands appearing at Europe’s finest weird-rock playground. Some questions are silly, others not. Regardless, go buy a ticket. 

Let’s get one thing straight early on here: Orchards are going to be absolutely massive. They’re already a band that possess a universality that crosses all kinds of genres just through the sheer amount of bases that they cover in their songs. They gleefully twist and turn through saccharine hooks and bouncing guitar lines, swelling and contracting with the grace of an ensemble that’s been playing together for decades. It’s not as easy as they make it sound to combine established intricacies of other genres into something wholly their own. Think Paramore‘s After Laughter as played by Delta Sleep, or even Foals‘ first album Antidotes as co-written by Carly Rae Jepson. Sounds good right?

Drummer Will Lee-Lewis’s gospel-inspired clave rhythms are like a malfunctioning drum machine becoming sentient, Sam Rushton’s guitar lines are beautifully expressive and sonically innovative, Dan Fane’s bass lines propel the beautiful chord sequences forward with great momentum, and Lucy Evers’ vocals are bombastic and triumphant, and she has a fantastic knack for an ear-worm.

I know it sounds like I’m gushing, but I just want you all to love this band as much as I do. Ahead of their appearance at Arctangent 2018 I caught up with Lucy to chat about why they haven’t played ATG before, what they have coming up in the future, and why RuPaul would sound great in a math-rock band.

Hey Lucy! You guys are a perfect fit for a festival like this – have you been before? What do you think of the Line-up?

We’ve never played ATG no, but Will has partied in the field a few times. It’s something that gets brought up every year. We get questioned by people all the time but we’ve never been asked so this year, we thought why not.
The line up seems full of mates so we’re super excited actually! We are playing with ASIWYFA in November so it will be awesome to see those guys prior.

Orchards brilliant new EP ‘Losers/Lovers’

The gender balance at this festival has historically hasn’t been great – are there any girls in math-rock/post-rock that we should know about/start supporting? 

Unfortunately the gender imbalance is happening across our industry and is only exasperated by phrases like ‘female-fronted’ or the female artists being solely used for marketing. It only highlights how few women are celebrated for their skill and talent rather than their vaginas (can I say vaginas? It scares some people). I feel the overweighted expectation put on women in today’s industry is only a magnification of daily society and it’s not something I think all women want to deal with in their working life. I mean, I can only speak about womens’ struggles because I’ve not been anything else in my life but I can only imagine the struggle the LGBTQIA+ community face. If equality was inevitable we wouldn’t even have to mention this, y’know. Hopefully the slow incline reaches its peak in my future. I mean, I’d be foolish if I didn’t mention Eva, from Rolo Tomassi. Eva is a great friend of mine and is a total powerhouse on stage and genuine sweetheart off stage. I’m a indie/pop girl so currently I’m fairly obsessed with Adult Mom and Florist. Maybe a bit too chill for ATG!

You’ve just released your debut EP (the absolutely stonking 8-track Losers/Lovers). Is the LP next?  

Next is just to tour. Tour as much as we can. Find new friends all over the place. Play with bands we love. We are playing with Hippo Campus at the end of the month at their two sold out London headlines. Also to just continue writing. We are all such perfectionists that writing is a slower process but such a brilliantly rewarding one. So that’s just our loose plan. Play and write. Which I know, for a young band is all you actually do but that’s it. We’ve barely scratched the surface of touring yet so lets see what everyone thinks of us before we start firing out anything bigger.

Image may contain: 4 people, people standing
Photo Credit: Jesse Morgan

To me, you’ve always sounded like the perfect mix between Paramore and Delta Sleep. If you had to ‘mathify’ one pop group, who would it be and why? 

Well that’s a massive compliment thanks! What a great question, I think there’s a Canadian band I really love called Peach Pit who at times have a TINY bit of math but I’d love to just push them in head first. See what happens. Or be super out there and see what RuPaul sounds like with twinkly math-pop guitars over the top of brilliantly written lyrics.

What’s your dream festival line-up?

Little indie Lucy would LOVE bands like Everything Everything, Foals, Bloc Party, Metronomy, The Wombats etc but let’s go all out and be a feminist stereotype huh. I think I might just solve the gender issue.
Haim headlining (because I love them), with big guns like Anne Marie, Paramore, No Doubt (special comeback performance just for me), Dua Lipa, Lily Allen, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Kate Nash, Florence and the Machine, with a back from the dead show by Dusty Springfield and Whitney Houston.
Other stages would be The Big MoonFickle Friends, Yonaka, Orchards (obvs), Marmozets, Nao, Martha, Noname, Black Honey, Martha Gunn, Pom Poko, Florist, K.I.D, I Blame Coco (anyone remember her?), Vukovi, Nervus, Kamikaze Girls, and Lydia Evangeline.
(If you don’t know some of those bands I beg you go now and listen to them! Truly amazing people making amazing music).

I would definitely pay to see all of that. Thanks Lucy! 

Orchards play the Friday of this years Arctangent Festival. See the full line-up below. Go get yourself some tickets here! There’s still time! 

Orchards’ new EP Losers/Lovers is out now via Big Scary Monsters – go check it out here.