News Reading & Leeds 2011: The Blackout

Welsh ‘post-hardcore’ superstars The Blackout released latest album, ‘Hope’ back in April, and it’d be fair to assume they’ll be playing much of it in their slot on the Main Stage at Reading on Friday and, of course, doing the same up in Leeds the following day. And answering our Reading and Leeds questions on behalf of the band is vocalist Gavin Butler.

How many times have you played the festival before?
This will be our third time, we opened the Main Stage three years ago then did a co-headline of the Festival Republic stage with Bring Me The Horizon. We’re so excited to be coming back and back to the Main Stage. It’s daunting, we can’t wait.

What’s been your favourite?
Our first has a special place for me because it was Main Stage. We also had four Stormtroopers to lead us out on stage for no other reason than we thought it’d be funny to have them side of stage, stood to attention while we rocked out.

Have you ever been as a fan?
I think my first Reading was 2002, when a weekend ticket cost what a day ticket costs this year. I ruined myself on Jack Daniel’s on the Thursday night and struggled for the rest of the weekend. Learned my lesson that year. Ease yourself into it.

Reading and Leeds is known as a ‘rock’ festival. What’s the least rock ‘n roll thing you’ve ever done?
I’m never anything but rock n roll when it comes to festivals. All or nothing.

Do you prepare for a festival appearance any differently from a regular gig?
Not really, we try to give every show 100%. We may do some things production wise, we had two 20-foot inflatable hands flipping off the crowd at Download 2010, and the aforementioned Stormtroopers. We’ve got nothing random planned for this year’s Reading, just a sneak peak at what we’ll be doing on our headline tour in Oct/Nov.

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?
If anything taking up muddy wells onto stage is gonna make it just as bad up there. And the last thing we want to do is make a mess for New Found Glory to slip and fall on. They’re all too nice to do that to.

Which artists are you hoping to catch live at Reading and/or Leeds?
Our stage on our day is full of bands we love and have been lucky enough to tour with. I’m gonna watch Architects before we play our show, then go get a deckchair and a cooler box full of beer, sit side of stage and I’ll be set. But if I had to pick one it’d be Deftones, they’re such an amazing band.

What’s the secret to festival success?
For a band to have a successful festival I think they need to grab the attention of the people that are not necessarily their fans and get them involved in the show and make them think ‘Fuck, they were good’.

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