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.
For many people, the selling point to a festival is the renowned and established names on offer. However festivals like Slam Dunk also put the spotlight on up and coming talent, and they don’t come any more fresh than Greywind.
Consisting of Paul and Steph O’Sullivan, the Irish siblings started Greywind in the summer of 2014 and quickly caught the attention of BBC Radio 1. Now after 18 months of writing and recording their debut album, the pair are gradually showcasing their brand stirring melodic rock. Recent single ‘Forest Ablaze’ is an almighty powerful slice of rock with Steph’s incredible vocal talents battling against bold instrumentation.
Before their appearance at Slam Dunk, the duo were recently on tour with Moose Blood and The Winter Passing. We grabbed a quick word with Greywind to find out more about how the band started, what they’ve learnt from their first tour and their expectations for Slam Dunk.
AH: For many Greywind are very much a new band on the scene. When did you two decide to form a band and how has it evolved to where it is now?
Greywind: We live in the south of Ireland in a town called Killarney, there’s no music scene where we live that do this genre of music, so we could never find any other musicians to start a band with. In early 2014 we got frustrated and just decided that we couldn’t wait any longer and decided to do it ourselves. We booked ourselves to go into a studio for the first time ever in July 2014 to record a demo of our first ever finished song called ‘Afterthoughts’. Then we posted it online and 24 hours later we had loads of emails from people in the industry, then the demo started getting played on BBC Radio 1, so it was a really crazy few weeks for us! After that we spent the last year and a half writing/recording our debut album and getting everything in place for this year.
AH: You’re currently in the middle of your first tour as a band with Moose Blood. With the combination of being an unknown band on a sold out, did you feel any pressure ahead of the tour starting? Does it feel like you’ve been thrown in at the deep end?
Greywind: We probably should feel pressure but this is all we’ve ever wanted to do so we’re loving every second of it! The first date of this tour was our first ever show in our entire lives and our first time ever on a stage so it’s been a really incredible experience.
AH: From attending the show in Nottingham, it looked the response was positive?
Greywind: The reaction from the crowd on all these shows has been really great. We know sometimes a crowd might not be that interested in a support band, especially when we’re a new band playing mostly unreleased songs, but we’ve been so delighted with the response.
AH: As a whole, has the tour been a learning experience?
Greywind: It’s been an amazing learning experience. With these being our first ever shows, we didn’t really know what to expect going into it, but we already feel like we’re improving as musicians every day on this tour and we can’t wait to play a lot more shows throughout the year.
AH: With ‘Forest Ablaze’ gaining plenty of praise, can we expect any other new material in the near future?
Greywind: We’ll have a lot more music out really soon. We can’t wait for people to hear what we’ve been working on in this past year.
AH: Next month you’re making your Slam Dunk debut. How are you feeling about it? Excited? Nervous?
Greywind: Really excited! We’re counting down the days!
AH: Have you ever attempted the festival in the past? If so, what are your memories?
Greywind: We always wanted to go to to Slam Dunk when we were younger but we never got the chance, so it’s going to be so great that the first time we’re at it, we’re playing it.
AH: This year’s line-up is a mix of established and emerging acts. Who are you looking forward to seeing across the three days?
Greywind: We’re looking forward to seeing Panic! At The Disco, Moose Blood, Mallory Knox and loads of others. It’s going to be a great few days.
AH: Slam Dunk is just one of many festival appearances you’re making this summer. As a new artist, how important are festivals to showcasing your music?
Greywind: It’s really important to get your songs in front of as many people as possible. We’re really proud of our live show so we can’t wait to start playing all these festivals this summer.
AH: Finally how would you define the Slam Dunk Festival?
We’ve always seen Slam Dunk as one of the most important UK festivals. It’s a great place to discover new bands and see some of your favourite artists, so it has such a great mix. We’re really excited to be a part of the festival this year.
Greywind will be playing on the Acoustic / Solo stage:
Slam Dunk North (Leeds) – 4:50 – 5:20pm
Slam Dunk Midlands (Birmingham) – 7:00 – 7:25pm
Slam Dunk South (Hertfordshire) – 5:40 – 6:10pm
View more of Already Heard’s coverage from Slam Dunk Festival 2016 here.
Words by Sêan Reid (@SeanReid86)