Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes: “My Mum has been on stage at Reading & Leeds more times than most bands”

Set to kick off Reading Festival with a bang this weekend, Frank gives us a glimpse of what we should expect…

Taking place this weekend, 26th-28th August, Reading & Leeds festival is opening its gates once again with a stellar lineup that’s got a lil’ bit for everyone.

Whether you want to bust some moves to Megan Thee Stallion, get your hyper-pop fix with 100 gecs, or have a singalong to some classics (and hopefully some new’uns) at Arctic Monkeys, R&L have got you covered.

And kicking Reading Fest off as a special guest on the Main Stage is none other than Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, who gave us the lowdown on life after ‘Sticky’, new card game Halves, and returning to festivals.

“Everyone is [at Reading & Leeds] to be entertained and there’s no reason that can’t start at noon.”

It’s nearly a year on from the release of ‘Sticky’ - how are you feeling about the album now?
I find records have a beautiful way of revealing more of themselves over the years. As you grow - as an artist, performer, writer, father, human - you unlock new ways of seeing and the songs in turn unlock parts of themselves that you never had the right keys for. It’s one of my favourite parts of being both a writer and a listener.

Have you found yourself working on much new material recently?
I write daily. Usually in the very early hours of the morning. After midnight and before 9am are particularly prolific for me.

Do you think the songs from ‘Sticky’ added a different element to your live show now?
Completely, the album was written with one real focus… to play the songs live. Thankfully we got it right because every song is a joy to play and fast to create an atmosphere.

You’ve also played a fair few festivals over this summer; what do you like most about getting onto festival stages? Is there a specific kind of energy you get from those crowds?
It’s a thunderstorm of emotions playing a festival stage. Obviously there are people who are fans and love your music but equally there are new people to convert and naysayers to impress so it’s always an exciting challenge. Mostly, though, it’s just nice to be sharing stages with so many friends of ours who we haven’t seen for years.

You’re also now dabbling in something a bit different - you and Dean are releasing a card game! Can you tell us a bit about Halves, and what inspired you to launch it?
It’s a party game, based around words, to play with your friends, so you can find out at the end of the night who’s actually your friend. We made the game on a flight out to a tour many years ago, and since that first incarnation we have been tweaking and redesigning the way the game plays. I think our fourth prototype was the one that made us feel confident to pursue production.

Next up, alongside a couple more festivals, you’ll be returning to Reading and Leeds! How’re you looking forward to getting back to the festival?
We can’t wait. I grew up going to the festival as a fan and to be opening the Main Stage for such iconic bands is a real pleasure. I’m just so proud the festival is a UK fixture. It feels like every legendary band has played it at some point.

You’ve got a lot of history with the fest; what’s it like to have that kind of relationship with an event and audience?
You know, Jon who books the festival once told me that he thinks my Mum has been on stage more times than most bands and that made me smile. Across the three bands I have had in my life there aren’t many years I have missed it and I’m definitely getting high up there with the most appearances so I’m just really grateful every time they ask me back.

Most importantly, what should people expect from the set? How should they be getting prepped?
Expect to see a band give you a clear education on exactly how you should open a festival. Everyone is there to be entertained and there’s no reason that can’t start at noon - maximum fun, maximum rock’n’roll.

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