Hello! You guys played a very cool set in the Axiom yesterday. How did it go for you?
Alan: I thought it went really well. It was probably one of my favourite gigs that we’ve ever done, to be honest. Seeing the amount of people there watching you perform your own songs; you never really expect it to happen. It’s almost like a dream. When you’re a kid, you’re like, ‘I want to play a festival in front of loads of people’. In my eyes it seemed like there were thousands there yesterday, but it was probably less.
Joe: I think 2000 Trees is amazing; such a great alternative festival. The bigger festivals are cool, but here, everyone is here to see the bands and the music; it’s for proper music lovers. I think it’s perfect for us, because it works so well and there’s all the other bands that we like and are friends with here as well.
You played here last year on the Neu stage. What was the best thing about 2000 Trees 2016 for you?
Joe: We’re very lucky to be invited back. Thanks to the organisers; good old James!
Alan: I think it was playing a full tent again. We’re always really surprised that people actually want to watch us.
Dan: It’s just such a good festival. I’ve been raving about it all year and was really scared that I might have over-hyped it; then yesterday was just frickin’ awesome. Not just us playing, but the whole vibe; everything.
Jack: We were lucky with the weather this year too. There were thunderstorms predicted; so I was really worried about that in case we started playing and things went wrong, like a power cut.
Joe: Actually, rain could have been better; if you’re playing in a tent then people want to get out of the rain, so then you get more people watching.
Are there any other bands playing at this year’s festival that you are hoping to watch perform over the course of the weekend?
Jack: I saw Tigercub yesterday.
Joe: They nailed it yesterday; I always enjoy seeing them. I think today I’m looking forward to seeing Decade. They’re going to be on the main stage soon.
Alan: I’m also looking forward to The Xcerts; it’s nice that they’ve announced a secret set. I also want to see Gnarwolves actually; we used to listen to them a lot.
Dan: Dinosaur Pile-up were really good yesterday.
Joe: I also really want to see Bad Sign and Press to Meco too; I think they’re doing a little acoustic thing somewhere at midnight.
You released your latest EP Rosehill on Tuesday. It may be early days yet, but how do you feel that the general reception has been so far to the new material?
Alan: Really bad to be honest… hahaha. Actually, no; it’s been surprisingly good! It’s been positive so far. It’s always nerve-wracking releasing new songs, because you wonder if they’re as good as the old ones.
Joe: We’ve put a lot of work into it and had been sitting on it for a while before we released it.
Dan: We recorded it in November.
Alan: We’re glad that it’s out and now we can focus on the new shit.
Jack: In terms of reception; everything was good. I think the only criticism that we had from people is that they’re disappointed that it’s another EP release rather than an album. We’re going to try and do something a bit longer for the next release.
Alan: Yes, it’s album time for us next.
You have several UK tour dates coming up through August and October. Is there any particular venue on that run of dates that you are the most excited about playing?
Joe: I always like playing at the Old Blue Last; I know it’s London, but it’s home. I also like the fact that the size of the venues that we are doing at the moment are right for us; they’re small and intimate rooms, so they get nice and busy.
Alan: Our Manchester date on the October tour has actually changed to Brighton; Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar.
Jack: Unfortunately the Retro Bar in Manchester has now closed, so we’ve had to move the date elsewhere.
What has been the biggest learning curve for the band so far?
Dan: Probably being in a van together for long periods of time.
Joe: I think a lot of waiting and driving around.
Alan: Not to get annoyed with each other if other people want to change certain parts of songs. We all feel precious about certain bits, and if other people want to change them we have to do it in a certain way. It’s all about democracy.
Joe: There’s four of us, so there’s quite often not an outright winner; so sometimes we flip a coin or go to our manager and ask them to be the fifth vote.
Alan: Three of us are songwriters. We all write songs most of the time, so there’s obviously quite a lot of opinions; but it’s good, because it helps having so many songs.
There are some amazing bands playing at 2000 Trees this year that seem to have come through the underground rock scene recently. How do you feel about the current British rock scene? Is it in a good place?
Alan: I think the underground scene is really healthy. With popular music, like the top 40; everyone’s like ‘Oh, there’s no rock music anymore…’, but there is! There’s so much rock music in the UK at the moment.
Dan: There’s a few rock bands in the charts, but it’s only really select bands.
Jack: I think the underground scene is really cool at the moment; there’s loads of good labels putting out music, such as Big Scary Monsters. They’re all doing really great work at the moment.
Alan: There’s a massive rock scene, but it’s just not on the same level as popular music. It’s so much better though.
There are five stages at 2000 Trees. If you could choose any five artists (living or dead) to headline stages at your own festival, who would you choose and why?
Alan: I’d want to see Manchester Orchestra and Brand New. I’m also into Modern Baseball, Sorority Noise, Frank Sinatra.
Joe: Sublime and Nirvana, maybe.
Alan: An intimate Kurt Cobain acoustic set; that would be brilliant.
What do you hope that this year brings for the band?
Alan: Just a lot of money and fame really. I want to be selling stories to OK magazine; that’s the dream… haha; just joking!
Photo: Christian Fenton