Photo: Chris Blizzard

Festivals Peace, PVRIS and CHVRCHES get ready for Reading & Leeds

We talk to Harry Koisser, Lynn Gunn and Lauren Mayberry ahead of this weekend’s festival!

Grab your rabbit hat, tiny backpack and head to your closest travelator: it’s time for The 1975 to headline Reading & Leeds. Obviously Matty ’n the lads aren’t the only act set to boss their way across the August Bank Holiday weekend.

The festival’s Main Stage will host the return of Royal Blood to their natural habitat, Charli XCX’s big pop show, The Distillers’ UK comeback and some guy who used to drum in some band, apparently (hi Dave!). slowthai will be a must-see set in the Radio 1 tent, while there are plenty of DIY faves found throughout: Chvrches, Pale Waves, Sundara Karma, Bakar, The Japanese House, Sports Team, Black Honey… the list goes on.

Old hands at leading a mates-on-shoulders singalong at the festival, Peace are returning to headline the Festival Republic stage this year, and frontman Harry Koisser looks forward to… kissing babies?

Hello, Peace! What’s new in your world?

We just toured China and Korea and kind of went back to basics. Loud amps, weird jams, rice wine. It was killer, and I feel like maybe that’s what it’s all about. We’re going to bring that gung-ho ‘Delicious’ ethos into the ’20s. So I guess what’s old is what’s new.

You’re headlining the Festival Republic stage - how does it feel to have your name on the top of a long list of bands?

They say it’s lonely at the top and it is not. It’s really great. Everybody wants to shake your hand and have you kiss their baby and I am all for that.

The festival must feel a bit like ‘home’ now, surely?

We’re really working our way around the festival. It was the only festival we all used to go to when we were adolescents so it really is important to us. I just hope to headline the whole thing before the apocalypse.

What can we expect from the set? Any special plans underway?

We had this huge idea but then decided to make it about the music and celebrate everything we’ve done so far before we do the… thing.

Give us the top three reasons to watch your set over that of Post Malone or Twenty One Pilots?

‘1998’, ‘California Daze’, ‘From Under Liquid Glass’.

Peace, PVRIS and CHVRCHES get ready for Reading & Leeds

They’ve recently inked a new record deal and released new track ‘Death of Me’. PVRIS vocalist Lynn Gunn spills on whether there’s more to come, and who they’ll be excited to catch across the weekend.

You recently released new track ‘Death of Me’. Tell us about that one.

I started ‘Death of Me’ in my bedroom one winter evening in Brooklyn around 2 years ago and from the moment I started it, I felt so excited about it. It had a very different, but still very PVRIS, energy to it and I knew it was special. I worked on refining it / elevating it with Dan Armbruster from Joywave about a year later, he has a really fun energy and great ear that made him feel perfect to work on the song with. Then we finished it with JT Daly who really hit a home run with fully bringing the song to life.

What can we expect from your return to Reading & Leeds this month?

We will 100% be performing some new music and we’re beyond excited to be sharing these new songs and be back in the UK. I don’t even know what to expect yet so you will have even less of an idea.

Are there any acts you’re excited to catch?

I know Brian [MacDonald, bass] and I are very excited to check out slowthai.

Peace, PVRIS and CHVRCHES get ready for Reading & Leeds

Chvrches return to the festival with a massive spot in the Radio 1 tent - vocalist Lauren Mayberry looks forward.

Hello, Chvrches! What’s new in your world?

Sweating it up in the summer heatwave and the daily horror of Boris Johnson as PM.

Another summer of festival after festival - how are you all dealing with it so far?

Lots of sun cream and lots of hand sanitiser.

Your set at Reading & Leeds is another big one - following that Main Stage set in 2016 - how are you looking forward to returning?

Reading & Leeds has always been a fun one for us and we’ve been able to do it on every record so far. It always marks the end of the festival season for us too and it’s a nice way to finish up because it’s a festival I watched on TV when I was younger.

Are you likely to be able to watch anyone else’s sets?

We will only be there the day we’re playing so I’m sad we won’t get to see The 1975 or Hayley Kiyoko but I’d like to watch The Distillers on the Sunday.

Any plans to do anything *except* tour any time soon?!

We have a handful more shows in the autumn and then I think we’ll have a nap, regroup and see where we’re at.

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