With Long Division Festival right around the corner, I wanted to get to know some of the bands a bit better. The first act in this series of interviews with Leeds Living, is the brilliant Treeboy and Arc.
A little bit of background for people who may not be familiar with Treeboy and Arc, they are a five-piece from Leeds who have been going as the current lineup for around 3 years. After meeting during high school there were a few line ups, although the band describes this lineup as “the one that has stuck. Good pals having a good time.” The name Treeboy and Arc comes from their school days after a nickname that stuck.
August 2021 saw the release of Life Preserver. What was the writing and creating a process for the EP?
A lot of the process started in the bedroom on logic programs. This EP was a more thought out process than normally due to having to wait to be together to work on the pieces. We found ourselves going into the practice room with more of an idea instead of a lot of trial and error or just jamming together. With our music, what sticks you do hear, and what doesn’t, you don’t hear. Our tracks start with a vague idea but the magic happens when we are all together. There’s very little times that we’ve done something individually that has turned into something.
I really love the cover art for the EP, and I can imagine choosing something like cover art could be quite a daunting task. Was there anything about creating this body of work that surprised you with how long it took or how quickly you decided on it?
All the artwork throughout the band’s history more or less has been done by George the guitarist. Everything is done in-house which means we’re able to create a theme, and that has been the case with all the music and releases. We trust George in his decision of where he wants the artwork to go. We all have such diverse tastes in music and believe It’s good not to pigeonhole yourself
The fourth song on the ep, The Condor, it’s the most abrasive, heavy song we’ve ever written. We weren’t intentionally trying to write a song for the EP but we were in the practice room and it just sort of came out; it was a very eureka moment. Role Models is the most pop-sounding which means the EP has got quite a contrasting sound but we all feel like they all fit together on the same body of work.
Now we’re chatting because we will both be frequenting the Long Division Festival in Wakefield (Shakeywakey) this month. What can people expect from seeing you live?
We consider ourselves a live band first and foremost. It’s where we come alive; we put on a high-energy show. We tend not to say too much when we are on stage. We like things to ebb and flow and so we often will create interludes so it’s like one whole fluid set. We like it to the point and no bullshit.
You’ve played some shows at the world-class Brudenell Social Club in Leeds. Are there any venues that are on your bucket list to play?
We’ve played to almost 300 people there which is nearly a full Brude. That’s our hometown show, and the sound engineers there are amazing. It’s always great to see familiar faces in the crowd, especially after covid. We did a couple of socially distanced gigs there which we found quite weird playing to people sat down. There are a few venues in London we haven’t got to play yet: The 100 Club, Moth Club and Windmill are a few that come to mind. We’ve also played Hebden Bridge Trades Club, and The Dome in London with a band called Crows, which was our biggest show to date. That felt really good.
Finally, I always like to ask is there anything that you would advise aspiring artists who want to make music?
We don’t know if we have the authority to be answering that. I would say to my younger self before you go on stage and play a bunch of songs, don’t just play 8 songs that you’ve just written recently, take time to make a proper set of songs, make it memorable. Write music that you like and you’d want to listen to, have fun and don’t take it too seriously.
Treeboy and Arc will be playing at Long Division Festival in Wakefield on Saturday 25th September. Check out their socials for exciting new music coming on the horizon, and don’t forget to check out their brilliant EP Life Preserver, out now on all major streaming services.
Photograph: Treeboy and Arc – Sam Joyce – Tony Ereira.