The Blackout Interview at Leeds Festival Posted on Tue 4th September 2012
With Gareth Lawrence: Drummer and Rhys Lewis: Bassist
Garry: Can you tell us a little about your band?
Gareth: The band consists of six members and we’ve been going for six or seven years, I guess, formed in 2006. We’re a duo-fronted alternative hard-rock band from Merthyr Tydfil.
Garry: Have you still got all the original members?
Gareth: Yeah...nobody has been thrown out yet!
Garry: You’ve just been confirmed to playing Soundwave Festival 2013?
Dave: Where’s that taking place?
Dave: Can we get a backstage pass for that?
Garry: And is there any room in your tour van?
Gareth: I don’t think the van will be going with us. We did it two years ago, and it was the best touring festival; it was like touring Reading and Leeds. There are five or six stages but no rain, definitely no rain.
Garry: So is it just in one area or all around the country?
Gareth: No! It’s Brisbane, Perth, Sidney, Adelaide, all over, and in between you get side shows which are all headline shows for the kids to see, it’s the best.
Garry: I bet you’re really looking forward to it?
Gareth: Oh yes. All the bands fly together. When we were there last, we were on the same plane in between shows with headliners such as 30 Seconds to Mars, Zack De La Rocha, singer from Rage Against the Machine, Queen of the Stone Age, and Iron Maiden.
Garry: You’ve changed the name of your band?
Gareth: Yeah, we were originally called 10-Minute Preview. We changed it because we didn’t like it.
Dave: I photographed you guys at Bingley Music Live Festival a few years ago. What’s changed in your band since then?
Rhys and Gareth: We have more songs, singer Sean has got red hair now, but it used to be white!
Garry: Is it right you have a new album coming out soon? I know you’ve been in the studio lately.
Rhys: Yeah, we’ve just finished. It’s getting mastered on Monday, coming out in January, launch of the album title with a new tour planned, and pre-orders on 17th September with a new video.
Garry: Who has influenced you the most?
Gareth: Personally, bands like Motley Crue, Metallica and Rage Against the Machine.
Rhys: As a band, Faith No More, Limp Bizkit and Queen.
Dave: What’s your best rock and roll story?
Gareth: We were touring with a band called The Lost Prophets, another Welsh band, and we had been playing in Exeter. It was summer and after the show these girls, who were proper groupies, turned up. They were there all night trying to get in, and one girl was in the car park doing unspeakable things. Her top and bottom half of her body was naked, but the middle wasn’t. She was doing tricks with ice cubes, lolly pop sticks, and corona bottles.
Garry: What’s the strangest/weirdest gig you’ve ever played or are there many?
Gareth: We played in Barnsley in 2005, a gig in a rock club. The band went on late so we were rammed. Before we went on they had a disco playing music from the 90s. We started playing, and everyone just left; only two people remained. They went outside because it was summer, and as soon as we finished every one came back in. But then the same situation happened in Ireland; instead of leaving they were throwing cans and glasses, then this armed police car came (we were in Northern Ireland....Derry).
Garry: Who would you most like to collaborate with, they could be dead or alive?
Rhys and Gareth: Freddie Mercury and Michael Jackson, imagine that...
Garry: Would you get rid of Shaun for them?
Garry: Who’s the best dancer in the group?
Rhys and Gareth: Shaun has got a few great dance moves.
Garry: Which bands here today are you most looking forward to see?
Gareth: Every Time I Die, You And Me at Six and Paramore.
Rhys: Saves the Day, Future of the Left another Welsh band, but we’re very busy with the press, playing, and eating. We missed the Cancer Bats.
Dave: How did the Reading gig go?
Rhys and Gareth: Really well.
Dave: The security staff has been warned all ready.
Gareth: Really! Oh no! We’ve played Reading and Leeds three times before this, and I think yesterday was the best of the lot even though after five songs my pedal broke; the clamp kept moving away so had to get our drum tech guy to hold it there.
Garry: Do any of you surf the web? I know you’ve just joined Instagram.
Gareth: We’ve all been on Instagram for a while now, but Gavin set up a band account. We’re constantly on social networks.
Garry: I know you have done Reading and Leeds for a few years now. Is it like home from home for you lot now?
Gareth: It was strange because the first time we played here was straight on the Main stage in 2008, which melted my head and still does just thinking about it. Then we did the Republic stage after that, then back to the Main stage and now the NME stage today. It’s very strange because I’ve been going to Reading since 1997, so when I played 11 years later, it blew my mind.
Garry: What do you do in your spare time to chill out?
Gareth: Gym, walk my dog, eat, and cook.
Rhys: Keep active. The worst thing you can do is sit down, otherwise when you start to tour again you’ll be a mess.