Download Festival 2013 is past, and we had a great time. Relive our HUGE pre-festival coverage below.
Hacktivist have been blazing a trail across the UK underground scene over this past year at relentless pace. Signing to Basick Records, who released their stunning self titled debut EP, the five piece have began taking their captivating live show to the rest of Europe. This week, the band arrive at Download Festival for the first time to set the Pepsi Max Stage alight, and to talk about that, we sat down with Josh from the band.
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Five Finger Death Punch
The last time Los Angeles five piece Five Finger Death Punch played Download Festival, chaos quite literally ensued. Crowd surfers were outnumbering security. Stage invasions were taking place constantly. To say it was a fucking riot would be an understatement. Skip forward three years and the metal quintet return to the Donington main stage. Get your finest mosh uniform ready. Sunday is going to be crazy. We speak to the drummer for the band, Jeremy Spencer.
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Neck deep in an EU tour this Summer, Red Fang are set to travel through Donington for their debut appearance at Download Festival. The Portland quartet released their stunning Murder The Mountains album via Relapse Records last year, and with a party attitute in tow, you can expect their brand of stoner metal to go down an absolute treat on Sunday evening in the Pepsi Max tent. We have words with bassist Aaron Beam.
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Leeds very own Black Moth, formed in 2010, are yet another band on this years Download Festival bill who play the weekend event for the first time ever. Following the release of the bands debut EP last year, the band have gone from strength to strength, and this will all come to a heed when they play the Red Bull Studios Stage on Saturday. Their set promises to be an exciting one. We sat down with Harriet and Jimmy from the band to discuss all things Download!
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Sweden can always be relied upon to deliver some of the best rock music Europe has seen. Katatonia are yet another product of the Scandinavian country, and they’re getting ready to rock the Donington crowd from the Second Stage on Saturday. Forming in 1991 in Stockholm, the metal quintet have released nine full length albums to date, and despite such an illustrious career, this is the first time the band play Download. We speak to the groups guitarist Anders.
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A couple of days after we sat down with UK hardcore group Last Witness, the band announced they will split up later this year. We didn’t know this at the time, but Download will be their last ever festival appearance. Headlining the Red Bull Studios Stage, what a way to bow out. The band have toured relentlessly for seven long years, and all the emotion of their imminent split will be channeled in to their first and last appearance at Donington. We talk to the bands guitarist, Sykes.
Read Last Witness Interview
Fearless Vampire Killers
Playing for the second time at Download Festival, Fearless Vampire Killers this year headline the Red Bull Studios Stage on Friday, going up against the almighty Slipknot. That doesn’t really phase them, though, and quite rightly so; their theatric alt rock show will be a fine contrast to the metal on display on the main stage, so if you’d rather go check out something a bit more intimate, check this band out. We talk to Laurence from the band.
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These Irish punk rockers certainly know how to kick up a party. Just releasing their debut album Die Young, the Dublin quartet, signed to the coveted In At The Deep End Records, are primed to deliver one of the Red Bull stages most rowdy sets. Their sound is as intense as music can possibly get, and if having your ear drums pleasured by sweet chaotic noise is down your street, you can’t miss this bands set. We spoke to the bands frontman Aidan!
Read Wounds Interview
At last years mud filled Download Festival, Canada’s finest hardcore band were cruelly stripped of their main stage appearance due to a schedule shake up. Having a taste of the stage during Billy Talent’s set (they were invited on to play one song), Andy Copping decided to invite them back to finally bury the hatchet. It’s going to be messy. We talk to Liam Cormier.
Read Cancer Bats Interview
3 Doors Down
If you are in your twenties, then chances are you have heard of 3 Doors Down. If you’ve watched teen cult film American Pie, you’ve probably heard them on that too. The US arena rockers have more hits than you can shake a stick at, and they finally play Donington! We discussed Download Festival, amongst many other things with the bands guitarist Chris.
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Sonic Boom Six
Ska rock outfit Sonic Boom Six are no stranger to the festival circuit, despite this being their maiden Download Festival appearance. Going strong since 2007, the quintet have recently released their fourth album via the great Xtra Mile Recordings, which will be the perfect source of material for the bands set at Donington. We sat down with Barney from the band to get some sound advice on how to spend your weekend at Download!
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Pontypridd is no stranger to producing some kick ass rock bands. One you should really be striving to check out is pop punk quartet Straight Lines. Their sound is a refreshing take on a genre that has been overdone to bits in the past few years, and even when stripped down to acoustics, their set promises to deliver some feel good tunes that will sound great in the Donington sun! We chat to the bands guitarist James!
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“Supergroup” is a label that is often attributed to bands that don’t quite fit the description. One band that are a supergroup in every aspect of the word are Hellyeah, the metal quintet assembled by members of previous bands such as Pantera, Damageplan and Mudvayne. With so much experience around every member, it’s little wonder many are excited for their appearance at Download Festival this week. We speak with the legendary drummer Vinnie Paul.
Read Straight Lines Interview
Forever Can Wait
Forever Can Wait, a female fronted five piece from Southampton, are one of eight bands to make it on to the Red Bull Studios stage at Download Festival this year via the stage sponsors long running competition. Catching the attention of many well respected names in the industry such as Alex Baker of Kerrang! Radio, the band hope to seize their opportunity at Donington to propel their career further. We talk to drummer Toby.
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Young Guns rise to the summit of UK rock has been an absolute joy to observe. Some may say that their appearances at Download Festival perfectly documents their rise to prominence, starting their relationship with the festival on the Red Bull Bedroom Jam Stage, and realising the dream of playing the main stage this year. We speak to the bands drummer Ben to try and find out exactly how much Young Guns love Download.
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Fresh home from a tour of Scandinavia and appearances at Slam Dunk Festival, one of UK metalcore’s most impressive bands, Bury Tomorrow, certainly don’t intend on resting on their laurels. With a Summer of festival dates ahead of them, the quintet will be looking to kick their Summer off in crushing fashion with a kick arse set at Download Festival. We sat down and chatted with frontman Dani to discuss Donington.
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There’s a hell of a lot of bands around these days who put so much energy in to a recorded sound, they sometimes fall short on the live stage. Not Black Dogs. The heavy, groove laden quartet have recently signed to Destroy Everything, which is a suitable description of what we can expect from the band when they rock the Red Bull Studios stage on Sunday. We met drummer Canty to discuss, amongst other things, how much whisky you should take to Download 2013…
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Many have tried to define the sound of The Algorithm. Many have failed, despite their best efforts. Amalgamating the likes of djent and dubstep in to what is a pretty intense workout of the ear drums, producer Remi Gallego has somehow managed to win the respect of hardcore tech metal enthusiasts and electronic audiences alike. With Monuments drummer Mike Malyan behind the kit, their live set will be unique, to say the least. We talk to Remi about Download 2013!
Read The Algorithm Interview
This year’s Red Bull Download Festival Competition has been well represented by bands from the North East of Scotland. While Semperfi stood proud at the top of the pile, four piece prog metallars Akord also managed to book their spot at the UK’s most prestigious rock festival. Founded in 2010, the band have worked hard on building rock solid foundations in Aberdeen, and with a great future ahead of them, we talk to the whole band about Download!
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Fresh off the back of a tour with Scottish metallers Bleed From Within, Coventry based metal quartet Silent Screams are taking some down time before tearing up the Red Bull Studios Stage at Download Festival this summer. This is the first time the band will have played Download, and with no further tours on the horizon, they’re planning on giving it their all. We had a lengthy chat with frontman Joel about the bands much anticipated set at Download!
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Getting together in 2008, Semperfi’s ascension to the hallowed grounds of Donington has been a slow one. Taking their time with earning the love and adulation of the local metal scene, the Aberdeen based quintet decided this year that they would have a crack at Red Bull’s annual unsigned band competition, and they haven’t looked back since. We talked to the bands guitarist Liam about their recent success, and the excitement of playing Download Festival 2013.
Read Semperfi Interview
Ever had a discussion about the best places to find good metal? One country that would never spring to mind is Taiwan. Enter Chthonic, one of the countries most popular heavy bands. You’ve quite simply never heard metal like this before. Branded “Orient Metal” by the quintet, the band have made quite a name for themselves around the world, and with this being their second appearance at Download, you can expect nothing but NOISE. We spoke to the bands vocalist, Freddy Lim.
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I Divide have come a hell of a long way since winning the Red Bull Bedroom Jam. They’ve spent the past 12 months touring, building their ever-growing fan base, and signing to the exciting new record label Destroy Everything. Not resting on their laurels, they’ll be releasing a new full length in the Summer, but before then, they play the biggest show of their lives at this years Download Festival. We get the lowdown from drummer Dave about their set on the Zippo Encore stage this year.
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Signing to the very exciting new record label Destroy Everything earlier this year, 2013 is primed to be a huge one for this pop rock quintet. The First are no stranger to playing big shows. Touring our fine isles and further afield in Europe, the group have taken their melodic rock on a journey that will hit it’s peak at this years Download Festival. The question is, are you going to be sober enough on Sunday morning to check it out? We suggest you set your alarm…
Read The First Interview
Hang The Bastard
With a name like Hang The Bastard, you can safely assume that there’s nothing subtle about the London five piece metal group. With a recent change of vocalist, the quintet are set to return with a much darker, gloomier full length that will undoubtedly carry on the excellent ground work laid by the band to date. We spoke to drummer Simon about the bands début appearance at Download this year, and get expert advice on how to survive the camping experience!
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Brutality Will Prevail
Since ex vocalist Ajay Jones departed from Welsh hardcore quintet Brutality Will Prevail, the band have gone from strength to strength. Now fronted by Louis Gauthier, the group have been making themselves busy through 2013, and with a first ever appearance at Donington pencilled in to their Summer schedule, we sat down with guitarist Ash Gray to discuss what we can all expect from the bands set at Download Festival.
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Palm Reader, hailing from Woking, are fast becoming one of the UK’s most coveted hardcore bands. Releasing their stellar new album Bad Weather in early May, the quintet continued to tour relentlessly to build a mass following that many a band would be proud of. With festival appearances booked all over Europe, we sat down with guitarist Sam to discuss their maiden Download appearance.
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If chaotic punk rock is what you are looking for at Donington, then you can do no worse than getting acquainted with LA punk rockers FIDLAR. The four piece have been causing mayhem around the globe over the past year, and they plan on getting down and dirty at Download Festival 2013. We talk to the bands drummer about beer, partying and their first ever appearance at the hallowed grounds of Donington!
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Since being crowned the Red Bull Bedroom Jam winners in 2011, Birmingham quartet Page 44 have gone on to release a debut full length (partially funded by their fans) and play a whole load of high profile shows in the run up to that records release. This will be the third year in a row they play Download Festival, and we chat to vocalist Adam Vygus to find out how he feels about that, and much more.
Read Page 44 Interview