TANGLED HAIR INTERVIEW
I talked to Tangled Hair after their first gig in Russia (Birzha Bar, St. Petersburg) on the 11th of June 2015.
Following my tradition we started with “a fancy task” – I suggested musicians to free the space for the interview record via deleting of the player-dictaphone some stuff from M’Opinion’s Best Forever Releases. The guys voted for each line and finally removed Misfits, Nomeansno, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, EMF, Frank Black, Therapy?, Strokes.
You have been asked thousand times about style and genre. I want to do the same, but I’ll try to paraphrase. Please, state the reason, why many modern math bands, including Tangled Hair, do not consider themselves math rock. Is it kinda tag fear or what is it?
James Trood: This is a genre with some subgenres. Technically Dillinger Escape Plan are math rock, but we wouldn’t compare ourselves to Dillinger Escape Plan. And all these bands from Chicago who played in 1990s – I consider them rock bands not math rock. We have different types of music incorporated and that is the reason we have nothing to do with the genre. We don’t listen to anything considered math rock, do we?
Alan Welsh: Probably not.
James Trood: So, the bands like us or who play the similar song style of music don’t like being called math rock ‘cos it means nothing. And to summarize – math rock doesn’t mean anything to us. Yeah?
Alan Welsh: Yeah!
Alex Lloyd: Yeah!
For the next question I’ll still insist, that you are a math rock formation. You managed to do vocal math music unlike many of your style mates. Why math is typically instrumental? What do you think?
James Trood: Alan is a vocalist, he should answer.
Alan Welsh: I don’t sing all the time, I sing a little bit.
Alex Lloyd: I don’t think we sing enough. You should sing more.
Alan Welsh: Me personally, I generally like two songs from the instrumental bands and then I get bored. Vocal line gives a song an extra dimension.
James Trood: Mind that we are a three piece. And instrumental «math» bands usually have 4-5 persons.
Some more aspects of your playing music ache to be cleared out. I’ve just seen you rough live variant. You can play really fast with smashing drive accents, but there are lots of slow moments in your tracks as well. Would you call yourself a slow tempo band or a fast tempo band over influenced by American Football?
James Trood, Alan Welsh, Alex Lloyd: Yeah, we are heavily fucking influenced by American Football!!!
Alex Lloyd: I have really short attention span; I get bored, and change of the tempo keeps me interested. Going fast, then going slow, doing this and quickly doing that. Bang! Bang! I’m never bored, I never find us boring. But I see other music and find those bands boring.
James Trood: Changes of the tempo are always natural in our songs, it is just how we feel.
Another urgent question is about new songs. Last year you planned to release a debut full length album in 2015, in October you said, that the album just lacked two more songs to be written. So, is the new programme finished?
Alex Lloyd: Now it lacks one more to be written.
James Trood: We are not in a rush. We are happy to write new material. We’ve got two killer tracks posted on Youtube, Catalina and Yeah...It Does Look Like A Spider, they make some part of the album.
Why did it take so much time to write the new songs?
Alan Welsh: It is always a very slow process. It takes two months for us to write a song.
James Trood: Yeah, band is a social thing for us. We live far away from each other, we’ve got jobs, Alex and Alan have families. But mainly it is a hard-working process. In Catalina we reworked everything three times except for one beat.
I was really surprised reading about you creating an album. I thought Tangled Hair to be a strictly EP band like Colour had been before. What moved you towards long play?
Alan Welsh: We’d never done this before. And we wanted to release more good music and thought of a full length. And an EP is too short, it’s like a snack – too little food in it.
James Trood: LP is an achievement, we want to be proud of some good thing.
Beer drinking precedes songs making approach – is it still actual for the band?
James Trood: I think it was me, who had said that in the interview. It was a joke of course! We like drinking beer, but music comes first.
Alan Welsh: Or somewhere in the middle))
By the way – what kind of beer do you prefer?
Alex Lloyd: There’s no thing like bad beer, there is difference of levels of how good it is!
It’ll be phonetic sequence of questions. After beer let’s pass to the beards! All the three of you from time to time have beards, for instance, last November – is it an occasional thing or a specially planned image thing? And, foreseeing the answer, do you think men should have beard or should still shave?
James Trood: We are seasonally bearded artists)). We are not into fashion and luxury. We can grow a beard and then shave it. Alan shaved his three year old beard for one special gig in Leeds. Alex has a good beard now.
Alex Lloyd: I’ve just felt myself in the age of growing a beard. It’s just my time!
Alan Welsh: There is no meaning behind them. We grow beards when we like. Drink beer, grow beards!
Where does We Do What We Can photo series originate from? (The question deserved the band’s handshake)
Alan Welsh: Every time we drive somewhere, we always get coffee; the first picture was taken near the services half-way from Brighton to London. Basically, these photos say: «We’re doing our best!». We are just enjoying our time of being together.
How does it happen that you play two gigs in Russia? You are not on tour visiting unseen countries now, are you? I mean, bands like yours just don’t simply get visas, take the plane and «Hello! We are here!».
Alan Welsh: But it is the way it happened. Nikita e-mailed our manager inviting us to play a show in Moscow. We wanted to do two shows in different cities, then we booked the tickets and came here. That’s how it works – if you ask us, we will come!
I have a traditional question about interviews – who needs them more interviewers or interviewees?
Alan Welsh: The interviewee needs interviewer more. It is the way of getting more than the music, ‘cos you can not say everything in your music. There are always questions to the band. And, I think, the band must get that out, must answer these questions.
I googled «Tangled Hair interview» and found only three matches – an audio file from 2011 and two «printed» interviews from the last year. How often do people want to interview your band?
Alan Welsh: The interviews are usually connected with the releases. Our last release was in 2011, and in that time we did many interviews. Next release will be, hopefully, this year and we expect more interviews. But not in between these years.
© V. Piniaev 15-17.06.2015