Thursday, 23 July 2009

Fightstar - Interview/2000 Trees Festival Review

EBTM were really looking forward to 2000 Trees Festival. We were gonna make a real weekend of it, grab the tents, our girlfriends, some nice bottles of wine and go and lie in the mid July sun listening to a great selection of up and coming bands and more established names in an idyllic setting at one of the UK’s more intimate festivals – all topped off by hanging out with our competition winner Lauren and interviewing Fightstar.

Until God decided to unleash two days of apocalyptic weather on the UK and Snoop Blog contracted swine flu. Festival season and a Great British summer? More like the Ten Plagues Of Egypt……..Not to be deterred I gathered up our in house photographer Alex, kissed goodbye to not so stoic girlfriend and the nice bottles of wine and we were off up the M5 / Moses Parting Of The Seas.

Arriving much later than planned God finally showed some pity and for the rest of the day not a drop of rain fell. Unfortunately, not soon enough to stop the site being extremely muddy and looking a little forlorn. Not that it was going to stop anyone from having a good time as smiley faces and the blitz spirit were in abundance as was the fancy dress competition which totally confused our slightly hungover roving reporter. There is nothing quite like spending ten minutes trying to get your bearings in a mudbath just outside of Cheltenham whilst watching The Cat In The Hat dance around with Fred Flintstone and three Where’s Wally’s all drinking cider. It makes you feel proud to live here, it really does.

As if that wasn’t all confusing enough the first band we saw were Rolo Tomassi (told you we were late). Disarmingly young, full of confidence and energy, they were the perfect start to what was becoming an increasingly surreal day. It was hard to decide what was more confusing – the ridiculously opposing set of genres clashing together to create a wonderful mish mash wall of noise or the sight of the cute, diminutive female lead singer screaming pure hardcore from the bottom of her belly like no-one we have witnessed in a while. There are a plethora of quotes trying to explain this bands sound but our favourite and most accurate possibly is ‘bat-shit mental’. It sounds like it shouldn’t work anywhere, especially a wet afternoon in a field in the middle of nowhere but in a crazy way it did and the crowd lapped it up.

Just as the sheer ridiculousness of the day started to take over a ray of sanity and decorum arrived in the shape of our competition winner, Lauren. A bright and lovely lady that spent the rest of the day being generally cheerful and eventually organising EBTM around a very enjoyable evening.

After a quick break for medicinal cider and making acquaintances the next band were up. The 2000 Trees programme describes Amplifier as their favourite band, going as far as saying it ‘luuuurves Amplifier’. That’s right – four u’s. The highest of praise surely. They didn’t disappoint, doing exactly what they do best, banging out track after track of pure riff laden rock whilst half the crowd sang along to every word. They weren’t EBTM’s favourite act of the day but they performed live at a standard that was set when Kerrang! awarded them a 5K review on release of their first album in 2004. On this performance they haven’t lost anything since. Big sound, happy crowd, lots of luuuurve.

After more medicinal cider the next band were up. Definitely our favourite of the day, The King Blues were awesome. Anyone who hasn’t witnessed their unrivalled blend of acoustic punk and ska needs to. Now. Jonny Fox aka Itch could be the most charismatic frontman in UK music right now. No shit. They killed it. Check their MySpace and get to a gig. Nuff said.

Finally, the big moment arrived when EBTM and Lauren got to hang out in the backstage VIP area (a portacabin right behind the stage) with Fightstar. Here’s the transcript of the interview from our intrepid (and very competent) music journalist……………

Lauren - 3 albums in 3yrs, pretty impressive going...are you guys happy with how things have progressed for you?

Fightstar – Yeah…………I think we’re most happy with the last album we did. I think it’s our most ambitious work to date, probably our favourite record so far. It’s been a whirlwind past four or five years, to be honest. We are happier now than we have ever been as a band, creatively and personally.

Lauren - "Be Human" (released early 09) has received great reviews, how do you feel about the there a particular song on there you’re most proud of?

Fightstar – War Machine followed by Chemical Blood – we love the string element to that song - plus the last track Follow Me To The Darkness. Gimme The Sky definitely deserves a mention too…..

Lauren - Switching labels seems to have given you more freedom, how do you guys feel about moving to the Search & Destroy label?

Fightstar – Search & Destroy is good, it’s a joint venture between us and the management. It’s cool, we get to make our own decisions and it’s a bit more relaxed. In the past we had to ask for cheques to be signed off and we just sign them off ourselves now. It’s allowed us a whole new level of freedom with regards to the music and running our own band the way we want to run it. It’s nice to not have to answer to anyone else. It’s good to have the responsibility. With responsibility comes focus.

Lauren - You played Download last month, how was that experience in comparison to the last few years had a great reception from the crowd….

Fightstar – Download was the best festival we have ever done. The crowd were awesome and the sun was shining, got to listen to some Down afterwards which was awesome. Omar was there for the whole weekend and said ‘It was the best Download ever, music wise and partying wise – not much more I can tell you apart from that!’

Lauren - Are there festivals you haven't played yet but would like to be on the bill for?

Fightstar – Reading and Leeds were the ones we wanted to play when we were younger and we’re playing them this summer. I think we might be the wrong kind of band for Glastonbury. Although, it would be a good one to do one day.

Lauren - What are the bands you've most enjoyed playing with?

Fightstar – Had a lot of fun touring with Funeral. Did a massive tour of Australia, America and Japan with them. Really cool guys and nice to be on tour with them. Also, Reuben, rest in peace, one of the best British bands ever. Not together anymore, unfortunately, but great to tour with.

Lauren - Any funny or embarrassing stories about these bands you can share?

Fightstar – One day we were on tour in Australia when we met Gareth from Funeral after he had drunk a whole bottle of Ranch Dressing, we offered him $10 each and there were twenty of us in the room, he drank the whole thing and mopped his lips with the $200 he had just won.

Lauren - On that subject, any embarrassing stories about each other?

Fightstar – Nothing about each other we can share (lots of giggling and talk of one of the band upside down in a hot tub that EBTM doesn’t catch over the laughter).

Lauren - When on tour, which of you has the most annoying habits?!

Fightstar – More laughter and then finger pointing!
‘Omar snores really loud’.‘Charlies feet stink’.As a band we’re pretty much like an animal pit. It’s like an unclean zoo.

Lauren - Your fans are clearly very important to you, but what's the weirdest thing anyone's done to/for you?

Fightstar – The coolest thing we saw was the other day a guy came to the show and had all our artwork tattooed over his arms, the EP all the way down his back. We asked him where he was gonna put the cow and he said his chest or something!

Lauren - What are your plans for between festivals this summer, writing more tunes or you taking time away to relax?

Fighstar – Firstly, we are going to write some new songs and re-package the album for October alongside the UK tour. That’s an exclusive! (an argument ensues about whether that is an exclusive and whether they should have mentioned it).

Lauren – If you could duet with any other artist who would it be?

Fightstar – Tough one………Chico? Beethoven? Louis Vega?.....................

So. That was the interview with Fightstar and not only did our competition winner hold her own with one of the nicest bands in rock but she got an exclusive!
About five minutes later Fightstar were on the stage thrashing out their awesome new album to a crowd of devout followers that sing along to every word (apart from the youngest moshpit we have ever seen). From where we were stood – about two feet to the side of Omar on stage – they totally killed it. Great interview and a truly awesome set from a band that goes from strength to strength. The perfect end to a day that started off far from perfect.
Thanks to Lauren, Fightstar and 2000 Trees for a proper good day out.

Whiney Crackhouse - Words
Alex Shore - Photos

No comments:

Post a Comment