This weekend all the rockiest rock bands are heading to Donington Park for Download Festival. Alongside headliners Avenged Sevenfold, Guns N’ Roses and Ozzy Osbourne, you’ll find a number of Upset’s faves – from former cover stars Black Foxxes and Milk Teeth, to cover-stars-in-waiting The Faim (right, guys?!). We sent a bunch of ‘em our patented (not really) Download 2018 Q&A to find out what their plans are, and who they’re looking forward to checking out (spoiler alert – almost everyone said Guns N’ Roses)…
Hey Winston from Parkway Drive, congrats on playing Download this year – are you all ready for festival season?
No! How can you ever be ready for festival season? Isn’t the idea of festivals being spontaneous and all that stuff? We are preparing as best we can, but we have one hell of a show for this festival season so we are still tinkering around the edges making sure we can pack everything we can into those gigs. We are really looking forward to it.
What’s your top tip for surviving a summer spent in fields and on the road?
Sunscreen and water. Also, grass is more comfortable than you think so you can always take a nap on the grass in the shade.
Do you have any fond memories of Download from years gone by?
OH YEAH. Download was the first UK festival we ever played, and at that point in time, we didn’t even know what Download was and when we walked out on stage it was the biggest thing we had ever seen and that was at 2pm on the second stage. The last time we played, we played in the rain and we were able to use Muse’s catwalk so I got to slide down the catwalk in the rain while everyone say along to ‘Wild Eyes’ and we got to play ‘Vice Grip’ for the first time and watch it level all of Donington, so we have some very good memories.
Which bands are you most looking forward to seeing there this year? Will you be meeting up with any pals?
I am looking forward to seeing Guns ‘n Roses! That’s it! I can look forward all the other bands in the world, but I’ve never seen Guns ‘n Roses and the fact we get to play on the same day as Guns ‘n Roses is absolutely mental. I honestly never thought I’d ever get to see that band in my life and at Download it’s going to be insane!
Download’s got a new Greenpeace campsite this year – do you think festivals have a responsibility to do some good by raising awareness of things like environmental and/or social issues?
I think that’s everyone’s responsibility, the fact that festivals do it is absolutely amazing because at the end of the day we all live within a defined environment and we only have one earth to live on so if we fuck it up we are all screwed so the social and environmental issues we have affected us all. I think complacency is where you end up putting your fate into someone else’s hand and they take it for granted. I think everyone having just a little bit of responsibility is amazing and the fact that the festivals can bring awareness of that concept on mass is a really good thing.
If you were running your own festival, are there any ‘do good’ initiatives like the above that you’d want to introduce?
The idea of sustainability is key to everything on this planet. You can either live for the day and die knowing you left the world a worse place, or we can work towards a future where the entire world flourishes. At the moment we don’t have that, so I would enjoy not just the education but the encouragement of people being able to do that and us all taking some responsibility for that.
What else are you up to this summer, do you have a busy few months coming up?
We are basically on tour for the next year. We will have just released the best album we have ever made, and we are about to play the biggest shows with the biggest set up we have ever played and it’s going to be nuts. Can’t wait!