ARCADIA (MANCHESTER) (back, from l-r): Tom Holt (vocals), Oliver “Ollie” Eardley (drums) (front, from l-r): Sam Bowers (lead guitar), Aiden Collins (bass), Dave Armstrong (rhythm guitar)
INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
From Manchester, five-piece Arcadia have an energising infusion of nu-metal and rap that has already earned them comparisons to the likes of Deftones, Faith No More, and Limp Biskit.
The band’s debut EP, ‘Hunting Season’, released in 2016, led to the band firmly establishing themselves on their home city’s live music scene, and support slots for Tequila Mockingbird and Asteroid Boys.
Next month, the quintet will be bringing out a new single, ‘Kickback’, which they describe as “one of the most powerful, energy-controlled songs that we’ve ever written“, and the Mancunian outfit discussed with me more about it, along with lots of other stuff.
How did the band form?
The band formed back in Bury College, it’s always hard to say what year exactly, due to us having some line-up changes over the first few years. We started taking music seriously around 2014, and we’ve never looked back.
After getting Aiden and Ollie into the mix, we really settled and have been giving it a go ever since, once you have the line-up perfect and everyone’s on the same page, time seems to fly!
From where did the name Arcadia originate?
We get asked this a lot, and people always expect some really cool story, but honestly, it’s just something we came up with. We just thought it sounded so raw and unknown, our band’s a mix of different things, and we think Arcadia does us justice!
What would you say was your approach to songwriting?
Our approach to songwriting changes so much. Sometimes, we can all be in a room for two hours and not come up with anything.
With our music, we’ve found it’s really important to not rush or force it. This might work for some bands, but we mostly just wait until it comes to us, whether that’s our guitarist coming up with a riff and sending it in our group chat, or our vocalist humming a rhythm and texting it everybody!
What inspires the band lyrically?
TOM HOLT (vocals): There’s always a lot going on in the world, there’s definitely enough to write about anyway. I know for me, personally, I always just use whatever I’m feeling, whether it’s how I’m feeling towards somebody or something, or just how I feel about a certain situation, that seems to work mostly.
I always try and go through my lyrics to make sure they are exactly what I want to say, in the right way to say it, I think that’s important.
In 2016, you brought out your debut EP, ‘Hunting Season’. Did any of you expect the overwhelmingly positive response that it got?
We really weren’t! Having people actually want to buy our music and play it every day is something you can’t ever take for granted. I know it sounds cringe-worthy and cliché, but it’s literally everything.
We’re all massive music fans, so for someone to come and hang out, buy an EP, and then ask all of us to sign it, that will always blow our minds.
Next month, the band will be releasing a new single, ‘Kickback’. How has the recording process been for it?
The recording process was really great, we used a new producer (Phil Gornell of Steel City Studio in Sheffield) who we hadn’t even met before, he’s worked with loads of famous names and came highly recommended, we hit him up, sorted a date and just knocked it out over like a day, it truly was that easy.
When you have someone in the studio that has the music knowledge that he does, it truly is a blessing!
And in what way will the upcoming track be different to your debut EP?
It’s more hard-hitting, more structured, and definitely more powerful than anything we have ever written, we really focused, and after the first EP, it really felt like for the first time that we actually knew what we wanted next, so we sat down, discussed ideas, new sounds and new lyrics, and really came up with something special.
The band have now established themselves on the Manchester live music scene, and have also played with such outfits as Tequila Mockingbird and Asteroid Boys. How, for you all, is the experience of playing on stage?
That’s something we all handle totally differently, MOST of us are really easy-going with it and don’t have any nerves at all, but Tom always does get extremely nervous. It’s just always been a thing.
We can all agree as soon as we get on stage, we bring it though, that’s the important part. Nerves can’t ever be a part of our show, because it’s too high energy!
What’s planned for after ‘Kickback’ comes out?
Just to carry on really, keep playing the gigs, keep gaining the fans, and hopefully, get back in the studio, because we really love recording. Hearing something you have been sat on for months fully done and dusted really is refreshing!
What is the band’s long-term aim?
To keep playing the music we love and just keep enjoying ourselves, we really appreciate where it’s going, and the people who come to our shows every single time we really do, but if we’re not enjoying it, then there’s no point at all.
We all love being able to have the opportunity to perform and show people what Arcadia really is and where we want to go with it, so from the beginning, we’ve all put in a lot of work, and will continue to do so.
‘KICKBACK’, THE NEW SINGLE FROM ARCADIA, WILL BE RELEASED THROUGH ALL PLATFORMS ON APRIL 13.
FURTHER INFO ON THIS, AND THE BAND, CAN BE FOUND HERE.