“I keep blowing things up. I need things that are very dependable and findable”: IDLES’ agents of chaos Mark Bowen and Lee Kiernan unleashed sonic anarchy on their new record – and coined the indie-rock equivalent of 'djent' in the process

IDLES Mark Bowen and Lee Kiernan onstage
(Image credit: Provided/PR)

For their latest album, IDLES dived into tape-looping as the basis for entire songs. As they go on tour, they’ve got to figure out how to make it happen live. For guitarists Mark Bowen and Lee Kiernan, that means their pedalboards have grown larger than ever before... but their amps have actually shrunk.

The album, titled Tangk, is the band’s most ambitious recording to date. Where 2021’s Crawler was led by guitar-synth sounds, this time around they used the studio as an instrument. Mark Bowen – known to all by his surname – explains that this was the plan from the get-go. 

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Jenna Scaramanga

Jenna writes for Total Guitar and Guitar World, and is the former classic rock columnist for Guitar Techniques. She studied with Guthrie Govan at BIMM, and has taught guitar for 15 years. She's toured in 10 countries and played on a Top 10 album (in Sweden).