It’s that time again: the festival season is kicking off proper with one of the first actually-in-a-field events of the year: Slam Dunk.
The festival, which will take place in Hatfield and Leeds on 27th and 28th May respectively, will host sets from the likes of (recent Upset cover stars) Enter Shikari, plus The Offspring, PVRIS, Scene Queen, Holding Absence, Creeper, Boston Manor, Static Dress and loads more.
We caught up with a few of our Slam Dunk faves to find out what they have planned. First up, Aled Phillips from Kids In Glass Houses.
Hello, Aled! How’s it going? What are you up to today?
It’s going very well, thank you. I’m super busy getting ready for the shows. I’m currently designing our merch for it as well as a shit load of other stuff that needs to be done before the shows. It’s a lot, but I’m gassed to be doing it.
You’re about to play Slam Dunk – is this your first festival of the year, or are you already into the swing of things?
It is our ONLY festival of the year and our first show in 9 years, so we’re about as far from “into the swing of things” as it’s possible to be right now. What we lack in stage readiness, we make up for in excitement. We can’t wait.
How do you prepare for a summer of festivals? Do you have rigorous planning / practice / exercise schedules?
I mean, it’s usually just playing shows and practising, but that doesn’t apply here. We don’t have the luxury of warm-up shows this year, so it’s mainly just practising, freaking out a bit and tempering our many, many, many anxieties. I’ve started running on a treadmill for 45 minutes mouthing the words to our songs, so I’m going to assume that it’ll be fiiiine based on that.
Have you already figured out your set? How’s it looking?
Pretty much. It’s a ‘Smart Casual’ anniversary show, so the majority of the set kinda decided itself for us. There are a few surprises in there, though, so we’re just working out what those will be.
Is there anyone there you’re particularly looking forward to seeing play or catching up with?
Totally and there are too many to list. I’m really looking forward to sharing the stage with Holding Absence, for sure. It’s always great to see a Welsh band doing amazing things, and they’re on fire at the moment. Enter Shikari, Creeper, ZAND, Boston Manor, Malevolence, Heriot, Higher Power… That feels like everyone. Let’s just go with everyone.
What’s your absolute favourite thing about festivals?
Seeing people enjoying themselves. People reserve a special kind of joy for festivals, I think, and seeing groups of mates hanging and watching bands they love and singing along in the sunshine (or rain) gives artists a kick and really brings the best out of everyone.
What else are you working on at the moment?
Just a lot of things I can’t really talk about, to be honest. But rest assured, it’s a really exciting time for us, and we all feel re-energised and privileged that we get to come back and play shows and celebrate a really important album for us with a bunch of mates. Watch this space.
Taken from the June 2023 edition of Upset. Visit slamdunkfestival.com for more information about this year’s festival.