Three Trapped Tigers sound like absolutely nothing else on earth. Though their closest musical relations are perhaps Battles and Autechre, to compare them to either is to see only part of the story. We spoke to Guitarist & Keyboardist Matt Calvert ahead of their show at The Cookie this November.
The band are no stranger to Leicester, having played the city relatively routinely over the last 7 years, including performances at Handmade Festival in 2014 and 16. “It was our second time at Handmade this year and it was a great gig – a really attentive, appreciative crowd. I remember I spent most of our Handmade debut trying to make my pedalboard work so this year was an improvement.”
Between their two visits to the festival it had become clear that their outrageously technical collision of electronics, guitars and drums was earning them friends in high (and relatively unusual) places. Tours with The Dillinger Escape Plan and Deftones saw them escape the instrumental band clique in to a broader musical landscape.
“When you meet Chino you realise he’s just a big music fan, “music is my hobby” he says. So really he likes everything. Deftones obviously don’t want to be just a ‘metal’ band, and they blend their influences really effectively. We don’t want to be just an electronic post rock/math rock band, and hopefully we have ground our influences into our own sound. Of course there is some common ground musically but still, it’s flattering that they ask us when they could have their pick of support bands.”
2016’s Silent Earthling was almost five years in the making, taking the template the band laid down on their debut Route One or Die and multiplying it by X. Given the intricacies of both records, the time frame for the album’s production is by no means surprising – but when you learn that the band have at least 6 other musical projects between them at any given time, that the album was ever made at all is a miracle.
“I’m sure the TTT sound still has room to expand but I think it’s healthy for us to exorcise aspects of our musical personalities that don’t quite sit within the band aesthetic, or to try things that might one day. That way we don’t get too sick of it or feel like it’s stifling us. Making the TTT albums is always a long and intense period. By the time we’ve had one mastered, I think everyone is up for a break.
“So, Betts (Drums) has a solo album coming up on Blood & Biscuits, Tom (Rogerson, keyboards) has a collaborative album with Brian Eno ready, Strobes (who I play with) have our debut out in November, also on Blood & Biscuits. Betts and I do various projects with the Heritage Orchestra, and I’m aiming to have a few other recording projects wrapped up before the end of 2016, possibly under the name Evil Ex, under which I released an EP a few years back on – you guessed it – Blood & Biscuits!”
Joining the trio for their Leicester show are Blood and Biscuits label mates The Physics House Band. The two have crossed paths regularly throughout their collective history, and it’s a natural partnership.
“I can’t remember when we first met but I remember them supporting us in Brighton at the Green Door Store. It was a crazy, full show with people stood on the bar and any available raised spaces. Before we went on, I overheard some punters say “I reckon they’ll get signed to Blood and Biscuits” and later it happened!”
Three Trapped Tigers & The Physics House Band play The Cookie on Friday 18th November. Silent Earthling is out now through Superball Music.