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.
Having played their first show just over a year ago, Liverpool’s WSTR have done a lot in a short space of time. Their debut EP, ‘SKRWD,’ received glowing reviews amongst the burgeoning UK pop punk scene. Whilst shows alongside close pals Neck Deep amongst others has helped them hone their live show.
With their first full-length written and recorded, WSTR’s second year of activity kicks off with a debut appearance at the Slam Dunk Festival. With a style that is both punchy, catchy and energetic, the Liverpudlian quintet slot right at home amongst the plethora of bands on offer at Slam Dunk.
As they prepare for their appearance alongside Every Time I Die, Cancer Bats, and Gnarwolves on the Impericon stage, we spoke to guitarist Kieren Alder to discuss all things Slam Dunk and more.
AH: Since we last spoke to you at Hevy Fest last summer, it seems like things have just got better and better for you guys?
Yeah things are really picking up! We released our first EP not too long after we saw you guys at Hevy and the reaction has been great. We’ve played more shows with a bunch of great bands, as well as played our first set of shows outside of the UK. We just can’t wait to get more music out there and show everyone what we’ve been working on though!
AH: Over the past few months you’ve been playing shows with Neck Deep and Creeper. How has having that road experience benefitted you as a live band?
Kieren: This was actually only our third ever full band tour as well as the longest tour we’ve done by far, so it was a learning curve for sure. Playing shows every night for 4 weeks will definitely make your band tighter on stage trust me! And having to deal with John Daddy ™ waking you up every morning to get to work was an experience to say the least.
AH: This is going to be your first time playing Slam Dunk. How have you ever attended the the festival before? If so, what are your past highlights?
I’ve been once back in 2013, it was actually my 21st birthday on the day I went too so that was cool. The line up that year was in my opinion the best it’s been in a few years so I got lucky. This was all way before our band was even a thing so to be playing Slam Dunk 3 years on is pretty weird!
AH: As a fairly new band, how big of an opportunity is playing Slam Dunk for a band a like WSTR?
Kieren: We’ve all been huge fans of the festival itself for years now and this time last year we’d only just played our first set of shows, so again it’s extremely surreal. It’s a huge opportunity for us to prove ourselves.
AH: With the line-up offering so many great bands, who will you be going out of your way to watch?
There’s quite a few on the line-up I wanna check out actually. In all honesty there’s a tonne of bands on there I wanna see but my priority is The Starting Line as I’ve never seen them before, same with Yellowcard.
AH: We hear you’ve been working on new material. What can you tell us about it?
I can’t give you any details or a release date but I can tell you that we’ve written and recorded a full length that we’re really proud of. It’s being mixed as we speak so hopefully that will all be wrapped up soon and we’ll have some new music out sometime this summer.
AH: Will you be previewing any new songs this summer at Slam Dunk and with Trash Boat?
Kieren: I don’t think we will be at Slam Dunk but I’d imagine we might throw a new one in for the Trash Boat tour in June if things work out.
AH: Any final comments to share?
Kieren: Thanks for having us and check us out at Slam Dunk on the Impericon stage – we play at 2:25 every day! See you there.
WSTR will be playing on the Impericon stage:
Slam Dunk North (Leeds) – 2:25 – 2:55pm
Slam Dunk Midlands (Birmingham) – 2:25 – 2:55pm
Slam Dunk South (Hertfordshire) – 2:25 – 2:55pm
View more of Already Heard’s coverage from Slam Dunk Festival 2016 here.
Words by Sêan Reid (@SeanReid86)