Gulfer interview – ArcTanGent Festival

In honour of the annual ArcTanGent Festival, we sat down with a selection of bands playing in order to grill them about the festival, and much, much more.

First up were Gulfer…

The annual ArcTanGent Festival is coming up this August; are you guys excited for it? Have you ever been before, either playing or as a punter?

We are so excited! As a band who plays a pretty niche style of music, we are so lucky to have a place where we can perform alongside so many bands in our genre and play to a concentrated crowd of people who either already know of us or are more likely to be into us than the typical festivals we play in Canada. We played in 2016 and it was an amazing experience. The lineup was outstanding and we played to such a great crowd. Hopefully we can make it even better in 2018!

What are your thoughts on the line up this year? Is there anyone you’re particularly wanting to see or meet? And who would you recommend our readers look out for?

I’m really happy we’re playing on the Thursday because that is the strongest day for me. I was pretty gutted when Tangled Hair suddenly cancelled in 2016, they are one of my favourite bands and I’ve been a huge fan for ages so I was really looking forward to seeing them. That said, I’m super happy they’ve rescheduled for this year. Another big one for me is Svalbard, I was a big fan prior to seeing them at ATG in 2016 and their live show was so heavy and tight and impressive and I’m an even bigger fan now. Their new record is perfect and I feel so lucky to have a chance to see them again, especially since they’ve never made it to North America. Also, really looking forward to Foxing who are close friends of mine and are about to release an incredible new record and I’m eager to see it performed in a festival setting. Pianos Become the Teeth are another old favourite and I’m excited to hear their latest one live.

Aside from Thursday, people should not miss the UK/EU debut of our good friends and label mates Giraffes? Giraffes! … that will be epic. We are super excited to be touring with Natalie Evans, she is another one not to miss on Friday. I also have to shout out Delta Sleep, Mouse on the Keys and Orchards who are all great bands and label mates of ours. Also, our drummer Julien is really excited to see STROBES.

What is ArcTanGent like compared to other festivals? It seems to be relatively small – do you prefer playing smaller festivals or bigger ones? And which are your favourite festivals – both to play and as a visitor?

As a tiny band ourselves, ATG is actually a pretty massive festival. The festivals we’re used to playing are typically showcase festivals – many small venues in a city as opposed to an open-air thing, so essentially a way less intimate, more rushed version of a regular club show. We’ve played Fluff Fest in Czech Republic before, which is similar to ATG in many ways. I love how both festivals, despite strong attendance and an open-air concept with big stages, still keep firm to their principles and tastes and allow a space for smaller, niche bands to have an opportunity to perform in and experience a festival style setting that they may not normally have a chance to access.

How do you find playing a festival differs to a normal show, and which do you prefer?

It’s hard to say since we’ve done so few festivals like this one, but I think we’d take something like ATG or Fluff over a typical club show any day. Just a way more special, unique and fun experience, especially for a band that rarely plays for more than 150 people in a club setting.

Are you embarking on a tour as well as playing the festival? If so, where else are you playing and when?

We are! There is a short mainland run in the Czech Republic, Germany and Belgium leading up, and then a short UK run of London, Manchester and Leeds to follow. We’re also doing a Small Pond session in Brighton which we’re all looking forward to.

Do you have any new music set for release soon? If so, what can you tell us about that?

We just recently put out a record called Dog Bless a few months ago, so no real concrete plans for a follow up just yet. We are hustling to write and follow up with something as soon as possible, so hopefully it’ll be the fall of 2019 for another full length. It’s about half written at the moment!

What would you say to people to recommend them to come and see you perform at ArcTanGent?

Last time we played the festival our singer Vincent had a Quebecois flag on as a cape, and he loves to dress up in wacky costumes so, music aside, I would tell them to come to check out his silly fashion.

And any last words for your fans?

Travel to ATG and come see us! All of your other favourite bands will be there. We can hang out and party at the silent disco! It will be soo so fun, I promise.

By Jane Howkins