Coachella kicks off 2018’s festival season this month - its first weekend runs from tomorrow (13th April) until Sunday (15th) - and one of our DIY faves is heading out to the desert. Fresh from slaying his biggest headline show to date at London’s Forum, Declan McKenna is set to bring debut album ‘What Do You Think About The Car?’ to Indio, California this month, and we’re sure he’s going to absolutely smash it.
For our 2018 Festival Guide - out now, don’t cha know - we spoke to the heartthrob about the upcoming festival season, his #1 fashion accessory, his beloved dungarees, and his love of, uh, door hinges.
I’ll bring lots of Ribena with me and hope it turns out ok. My mum will probably pack me off with lots of factor 50.”
Declan, whenever we see you out and about you seem to be wearing dungarees. They’re the ideal festival outfit, aren’t they? You can just put all of your supplies in the pouch.
Yeah, they’re very versatile, dungarees. A very versatile item of clothing, and essential to the festival experience. You can look really cool in them, and wear almost nothing underneath. Or, if it’s cold, you can wear tracksuit bottoms underneath, with three jumpers. You’re super warm, it locks in all the heat, and you can keep all your stuff - your phones and whatnot - safe. It’s definitely an underrated essential.
The only flaw with dungarees is that, if you need to undo them for any reason, your belongings can tumble out of the pocket…
That happens when I find myself at public urinals. You undo them, and your wallet falls on the floor when the bib falls down. Toilets can be awkward for that reason, but there’s ways around it.
You could buy dungarees with a zip across the pocket!
Yes, exactly! You can probably buy add-ons, dungaree upgrades. That’s a niche that needs to be explored.
Talking of grim festival toilets, have you seen any that have haunted you?
The ones at Reading are bad in the camping area, because, well, normally, it’s just a big old vat of human waste and you can see it all, along with whatever people have dropped down there. I’ve seen a large amount of it on the walls, on the side. You don’t want to sit there.
You’re a big fan of door hinges. Why is that?
Well, when it comes to the festival circuit, like we were saying, it’s all about versatility. And the door hinge can go anywhere. You can use it as art, whether in a tent or in your home - I value door hinges as art - but also, wherever the door may go, the door hinge is vastly important. What is a door without a door hinge? It gives me peace of mind knowing that wherever there is a door, there are two, maybe even three - as a general rule - door hinges. I’m looking at a couple of them right now. What is a door without a door hinge? It would just fall down.
A door without a door hinge is surely just a piece of wood?
A piece of wood! Yes, that’s exactly what it is. And that’s why a door hinge is essential. If you’re going to a festival, I would bring at least six. If you need to reinstall a portaloo door, or make a wooden door for your tent, I’m sorry, but you’re going to need a door hinge.
Which door hinge supplier would you recommend in particular?
Wickes. Wickes is good. On a festival site, though? I’ve seen very few door hinge merchants, so they are something that you will have to bring on site with you. I’m not sure how tolerant they are these days, but if you can get them in, it’s really important.
This might end up like Glass Animals and the pineapple ban, Declan. Are you sure that’s ok?
Well, I don’t want them thrown at me on stage! I’d like door hinges neatly placed. But thrown? Oh no.
You’re playing Boardmasters. Will you be entering the surfing competition?
I’ve been body boarding a few times. Does that count? I don’t know if they’ll be doing a kids body boarding competition, but I’m not bad at that. I did it a few times maybe seven years ago. I probably still have the knack. If there’s a junior’s competition, I’m in.
You first got ‘your break’ thanks to Glastonbury’s unsigned talent competition. You’ve played it every single year since. What are you going to do this year, since it’s not on?
I think I’ll probably just keep chilling! Having a chill one! I’ll probably just take the weekend off as well! Cheers for that one Glastonbury.
You’re off to Coachella. How are you going to cope in the heat?
I do burn like a wet peach, so… I will really struggle out in the desert. I’m hoping we end up in a tent, but hopefully I can go for a dip. I’ll bring lots of Ribena with me and hope it turns out ok. My mum will probably pack me off with lots of factor 50.
You’ll have to watch out for those door hinges in the heat, as well.
Yes, because they’ll get really hot! I don’t know whether the door hinge meme is bigger in America or the UK, but if it’s bigger over there, that’ll definitely be a problem come festival season. I’ll have to enforce a no door hinge in the area rule. But if people do want to bring one along, and hand it to me, keep it in a bag, keep it cool. Then I’ll be very happy to accept.
Declan McKenna plays Coachella (13th - 15th April, 20th - 22nd April), TRNSMT (29th June - 1st July, 6th July, 8th July), Welcome To The Village (19th - 22nd July), Kendal Calling (26th - 29th July), Camp Bestival (27th - 30th July), Neverworld (2nd - 5th August), and Boardmasters (8th - 12th August).
Taken from the DIY Festival Guide 2018, out now. Read online and order a copy (or subscribe) below.
Photo: Phil Smithies / DIY
More like this
Releasing his first new music since 2017, Declan is making a statement.
Liam Gallagher, Pale Waves and The Xcerts also shine over two sunny weekends in Glasgow.
Superfood and Whenyoung are also on board for a glorious night of indie-pop in the capital.
It’s the new event from the team behind LeeFest.