TesseracT play the coolest gigs on Earth

Tesseract. Picture by Tom Barnes
Tesseract. Picture by Tom Barnes
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Playing a gig in an igloo in Finland sounds like possibly the most prog-metal thing ever.

So it’s quite fitting that TesseracT, rising stars of the scene, got to play this unusual gig last year.

‘Basically, we work with Jagermeister,’ recalls guitarist James Monteith. ‘They’ve been a big supporter for us, helping us out with promotional material, backdrops and that kind of thing – and they give us lots of free Jagermeister,’ he laughs.

‘They basically had this crazy idea to do a gig in an igloo, they asked us if we’d do it, we said yes, and they flew us up there.’

But because of the nature of the show, they couldn’t tell their fans.

‘We weren’t allowed to tell anyone we were doing this, it was very much on the down-low, so I don’t think we had any people there who actually knew who we were.

We haven’t done the Wedgewood Rooms in a long time, I remember it was a great place to play, so we’re very excited to be coming back.

James Monteith, guitarist with TesseracT

‘It was part of an ice hotel, so we had guests from the hotel and some local villagers, I think we had about 100 or so people, and amazingly they endured the whole thing. Well, most of them did!’

The gig was an early highlight in the year which also saw them tour in America and release album number three, Polaris. An album which has done very well for the Milton Keynes five-piece.

‘I tend to read reviews as much as possible, and they’ve been mostly very positive. We made Metal Hammer’s number 10 album of the year and Prog Magazine’s number three, we’re just behind Steven Wilson, so he’s always going to win Prog mag’s – he almost doesn’t count.

‘We’re very pleased and humbled by how nice everyone has been about it.’

Polaris also saw vocalist Daniel Tompkins return to the fold. While Daniel sang on their debut album, One, he is one of five vocalists to have passed through the band’s ranks.

But James says that he hopes Dan’s return marks some stability on the singer front.

‘Since he’s rejoined the momentum has been great. His enthusiasm and his hard work has helped to get us to where we are now.

And he’s working very hard on writing lyrics for album number four – I think he’s definitely here to stay this time.’

So are they already working on album number four? ‘It’s definitely in the very early stages. There’s a couple of songs that are nearly finished, but only in demo form, and then there’s a mountain of ideas flying around. We’ve definitely got enough raw material to work with.’

But before that, there’s plenty of other things lined up for 2016, including a European tour, summer festivals, and there’s ‘some other stuff planned,’ James adds. ‘I’m not sure what yet, but we will be kept busy.’

And of course, playing at The Wedge: ‘We haven’t done the Wedgewood Rooms in a long time, I remember it was a great place to play, so we’re very excited to be coming back.

‘I think it was even before album number one, when we last played there. We’ve played quite a few random bills, opening up for all sorts of bands.’

The Wedgewood Rooms

Thursday, February 11