Over the coming days and weeks, Already Heard will be previewing this years Slam Dunk Festival in detail through a range of interviews and features.
It’s been a busy 12 or so months for Blood Youth. Having formed at the start of 2015, the Harrogate-based band have been grinding away ever since. With two well-received EP’s and a handful of tours and festivals already on their CV, they arrive for their Slam Dunk debut well prepared. Their latest EP, ‘Closure’ sees the quartet flourishing in blistering fashion as they deliver a range of cathartic, mosh-ready numbers.
Having attended the festival as punters last year, we spoke to vocalist Kaya Tarsus as he prepared to make his first appearance as a performer. Kaya commented on the festival importance for new bands, lessons learned from past festivals, and who he’ll be watching at Slam Dunk.
AH: We’re just weeks away from making your Slam Dunk debut. How is the mood in the BY camp?
The mood in the BY camp is very good! We’re very excited about playing Slam Dunk this year. Individually we have all wanted to play this festival for such a long time! The first date is in Leeds, which is very close to our hometown so that makes it even more special for us. It will be great to see some familiar faces in the crowd.
AH: Have you ever been as a fan? If so what are your memories?
A few of us went last year and had a great time. One thing I will always remember from last year is watching Beartooth with Sam (Hallett – drums). It was such an intense and crazy set. I remember telling him that we need to be playing Slam Dunk next year. So its pretty crazy that has actually happened!
AH: You’re going to be playing on the “Fresh Blood” stage. For a relatively new band, how important is a festival like Slam Dunk to showcasing your talents?
Slam Dunk is such a huge festival and with most of the dates selling out, it gives us an amazing opportunity to connect and reach out to a whole new audience. It’s festivals like this that give new bands, like us, a chance to expand our fan base. To be on the same line-up with so many bands that have influenced us is amazing.
AH: You’re quickly racking up the number of festivals you’ve played. What lessons have you learned from past festival experiences?
Bring your A game! We give 100% every show, but at a festival there are always going to be people in the crowd that have never heard of you before, so be prepared to win them over! Our first show as a band was at a festival, so we had to win over an entire room that was hearing our unreleased music for the first time. Festivals are always great because a lot of the time you get play to huge crowds and everybody is there to have a good time. After we play, we get to watch loads of really great bands and hang out with friends we haven’t seen in ages.
AH: With a stacked line-up playing throughout the festival, who will you be watching over the three days?
Kaya: I think individually we all have different bands that we want to see. Straight after Slam Dunk we are playing a few shows with Every Time I Die, so we will definitely be catching their set. Personally, I’m really looking forward to seeing Issues and Panic! At The Disco. Max (Dawson – bass) is a huge pop punk fan so I’m sure he will be trying to watch as many bands as he can! Another great thing about Slam Dunk this year is that there are a lot of bands on the bill that we are friends with, so it will be great to catch their sets.
Blood Youth will be playing on Fresh Blood stage:
Slam Dunk North (Leeds) – 6:30 – 7:00pm
Slam Dunk Midlands (Birmingham) – 4:00 – 4:30pm
Slam Dunk South (Hertfordshire) – 1:30 – 2:00pm
View more of Already Heard’s coverage from Slam Dunk Festival 2016 here.
‘Closure’ EP by Blood Youth is out now on Rude Records.
Words by Sêan Reid (@SeanReid86)