Hello Matthew! 2000 Trees is only a week away now. Are you looking forward to it?
Matthew: Absolutely! We played 2000 Trees in 2015 and it was probably the best small festival that we’ve played at in the UK. We can’t wait!
You last played at the festival two years ago. What was your favourite thing about 2000 Trees when you last played there?
Matthew: All of it! It’s so well run and you’re so well looked after. It’s also in a beautiful setting. The acoustic stage in the forest is absolutely amazing!
You’re playing a special fan voted set in The Cave on the Friday and also doing a Forest Session that day too. What can the audiences expect from your sets?
Matthew: Well, they can expect something really special from James in the Forest session set. We were blown away by how awesome it looked when we were last there; so to be a part of that is great! From our fan voted set, I suppose you’ll be able to expect a few songs that we haven’t played in a long time and ones that I think we thought we might not play again… so we’ll see!
Are there any other bands playing at this year’s festival that you are hoping to watch over the course of the weekend?
Matthew: I’m really hoping that we get to catch Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes as they’re playing the same day as us. I also really want to catch Beach Slang, they’re a brilliant band who are starting to get some great festival slots, so it’s brilliant to see them at Trees this year. Sadly we’re not there on the Thursday; but if you are, make sure you watch Dinosaur Pile-Up. They’re a brilliant band and the best guys.
There are some fantastic bands playing at 2000 Trees this year that seem to have come through the underground rock scene over the last few years. How do you feel about the current British rock scene? Is it in a good place?
Matthew: Yeah, it seems to be going pretty well. I think it’s healthier than it has been in quite a while, but I still think you really have to search for the real gems that are out there.
You released your latest album All These Countless Nights in January this year. How do you feel that the general reaction to that album has been?
Matthew: Honestly, it’s been incredible. We had such a long time away prior to the release of the record that we were worried that people would no longer care or even know who we were when it came to releasing the record. The fact that it’s genuinely been our most successful and that people seem to love it just as much, if not more than our previous records, has been amazing to see and incredibly humbling.
I’ve seen that you have a lot of UK and European festival dates coming up over the summer months including Glastonbury and Firenze Rocks. Which are you most looking forward to?
Matthew: Obviously Glastonbury is a big one, because it has so much history and it is a festival that we never thought a band like us would ever be able to play; so that’s a big one!
You recently announced the release of your new single Happiness. What is the main thing about being a musician that makes you happy?
Matthew: Being able to do what I love with my best friends for a living. It might sound cheesy but it really doesn’t get any better than that.
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?
Matthew: Nine Inch Nails; because they’re my favourite band of all time and INSANELY good live! The Smiths; because they’re amazing and a band that I know I’ll never have the opportunity to see live… so they’re a definite. Jimi Hendrix; because I’m a guitar player, so why on earth would I not want to see the great man?!?! Oasis; because come on, who doesn’t want to hear ‘Live Forever’ live properly? And finally; Will Smith, because… have you heard ‘Miami’?!?
I’ve heard that you have an awesome tour coming up for the UK in November. What’s in the pipeline for the band for the rest of this year?
Matthew: The rest of the year is mainly looking like a load of festivals in the UK and Europe to see us through to the end of the summer and then end the year with a decent length UK run in November. Also, there maybe a few little surprises popping up in between…