News Reading & Leeds 2011: Blacklisters

Blacklisters have the honour of opening Leeds Festival on Thursday, playing the Dance to the Radio-hosted ‘Welcome to Leeds’ party ahead of artists such as The Young Knives and Dog Is Dead. Answering our Leeds-centric questions is vocalist Billy Mason Wood.

How does it feel to be opening Leeds festival?
It’s totally amazing, we are well excited. It’s going to be a great night, the Thursday night usually is, everyone is fresh and up for it and not at all jaded by three days of booze and moshing.

Have you been before as fans?
I went a few years ago but just for the day. I don’t remember who I saw, I just drank a lot of flat cider. It was a good crack though.

Reading and Leeds is known as a ‘rock’ festival. What’s the least rock ‘n roll thing you’ve ever done - at a festival, or anywhere else?
I had a moment at All Tomorrows Parties a few years ago after a very heavy night. I found myself sitting on the toilet in the venue, drinking a pint and keeping the door shut with my free hand, and I realised I was scraping the bottom of the life barrel. It wasn’t very rock and roll at all, it was just sad.

A few rainy festivals this summer have seen artists going on stage in their wellington boots. Is this something you’ve done or would consider?
Shoes off, tops off.

Who are you hoping to watch at Leeds this year?
I am going to watch only bands with ‘Woah’s’ in them, like the Offspring, they have some big ‘woah’s’ and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones they definitely ‘woah’. Really though I am looking forward to Death From Above 1979, they are amazing and our label boyfriends Castrovalva are playing the BBC stage on the Sunday, they will bring the party.

What’s the secret to festival success?
Last year when we played I came back to Leeds after playing Reading to find that my tent had blown away, so keeping your tent is a must. Other than that playing mosh rodeo is pretty cool.

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