Roller Trio is James Mainwaring, saxophone & electronics; Luke Wynter, guitar and Luke Reddin-Williams, drums. Still only in their mid-twenties they shot to fame in 2012, propelled out of Leeds by a series of raucous, high octane gigs, including a swaggering set for BBC Introducing in Manchester, that had the critics raving about their visceral stew of thrashy riffs, tricksy time signatures and rollicking melodies. They capped a madcap year with a Mercury Prize nomination as a 2012 Album of the Year and subsequent Mobo nomination for best jazz act. Since then countless gigs and hundreds of hours writing and rehearsing have allowed them to hone their unique sound. The skittering energy and powerhouse hooks remain as does their rhythmic intensity and ear for an insistent melody, but the band have found a more cohesive way of integrating their contrasting individual influences and approaches to playing, resulting in an even more melodic way of expressing their complex time signature changes and structures.
The tunes featured on their new album Fracture have been gigged extensively in many different performance environments giving them ample time to develop and for the band to become more and more comfortable improvising within them. Along the way the band developed a clearer sense of what they wanted from a record, various dalliances with labels came and went, as the band explored the compromises inherent within the music business. In the end they decided to release their second album themselves, allowing them total control over what you hear on Fracture: a record that sets out to capture the band’s dynamic intensity in a studio setting – but warts and all. Fracture then is a snapshot of a band comfortable in their own world and determined to capture the moment, release it as quickly as possible and get out on the road. The album also marks the debut release on a new label, Lamplight Social Records (so named for a night that James Mainwaring promotes in Leeds), and this newfound freedom will allow the band to release more regularly and quickly while also providing a platform for other projects such as James’ forthcoming Tipping Point project.