Interview: On a (Arc)Tangent with Tangled Hair

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. 

Tangled Hair have got a serious case of ‘Your Favourite Band’s Favourite Band’ syndrome, and have one hell of a cult following all around the world (they’re big in Japan, obviously). Their patient and nuanced math-rock takes cues from 90’s emo, a deeply embedded and precise sense of musicality, and even some choppy RnB breaks (drummer James Trood is the touring drummer for both AlunaGeorge and Ben Khan).

They’ve been around for some time these lads, making a name for themselves in the legendary band Colour who broke up in 2009. After forming Tangled Hair with 3 of the 4 members of Colour (guitarist George Henry went on to form, you guessed it, AlunaGeorge), they released 2 EPs in 2010 and 2011 respectively, and save for a couple of studio live sessions and the occasional live show, went rather quiet in the ensuing years before finally delivering their debut LP We Do What We Can this March, much to the delight of literally everyone who has ever enjoyed a song with a weird time signature.

What’s utterly remarkable about Tangled Hair is that despite their knotted and scintillating math rock appearing on the outside to be impenetrable, it’s actually fantastically listenable; blood-rushing and gut wrenching at times, mischievous and joyous at others.  They’ve been booked for Arctangent around 300 times, and have subsequently cancelled 298 times (just go with the joke). We’re all waiting with baited breath hoping to get a glimpse of some of the most spellbinding and inspiring musicians at ATG this year. I had a quick little chin-wag with drummer James Trood about what’s going on.

Long awaited and outstanding debut LP We Do What We Can

Are you turning up for your set this year?

Expect nothing and you’ll never be disappointed.

I’m shaking with fear James. How has the reaction been to the new record?

It’s been amazing. We are all very proud and astounded by the reactions people have given us.

What’s your most embarrassing festival story?

I was wearing some cut up jean shorts walking back to my tent once and my mate ripped them off me in one clean swoop. Cock out basically.

Sounds erotic and fun. How does playing smaller festivals like this compare to larger festivals with AlunaGeorge?

To be perfectly honest, this festival is done so well it’s tough to compare. Obviously one factor is that with bigger festivals, you’re less likely to hear someone shred over 7/8.

What’s your dream festival line-up?

I’ll name a few artists I’d love to see on one stage: Deftones, Simon and Garfunkel, J Dilla (yes Blakey Boi!!), Fugees, Glassjaw, Audio Karate, Flying Lotus, Taylor Mcferrin.

Tangled Hair will probably play the Thursday of this years Arctangent. Tickets are still available, so get on it before it’s too late! Check out the full line-up below! 

Their debut LP We Do What We Can is available now through Big Scary Monsters here