The King Blues:

Download 2011 interview

published: Thu 16th Jun 2011

Friday 10th to Sunday 12th June 2011
Donington Park, Leics, England MAP
£145 weekend (with 5 nights camping + £35), or £75 for a day ticket
daily capacity: 111000
last updated: Tue 7th Jun 2011

eFestivals caught up with The King Blues frontman Itch a few hours before the band's slot on the Saturday of 2011's Download festival to talk about getting the most out of festivals and the future of politicised bands.

How's it all going in the King Blues camp?
It's all going great. We put our record (Punk and Poetry) out a couple of months ago now, so we've just been on the road pretty much constantly. The reaction's been amazing – it's good times.

The King Blues played the Camden Crawl back in May – do you feel Download has a different vibe compared to other festivals?
Definitely. The thing about festivals is that every one has their own identity. There's so many now, but it's kind of cool that there are places where all the weirdo kids can come together and have their own little towns.

The political dimension of your music is quite pronounced. Would you like to see more bands raising awareness about political issues?
Of course I'd like to see more bands [doing it], and it's an important thing. I think it's vital, but obviously I don’t hate on bands that don't do it. I believe there's definitely room for it, but in this climate it's kind of difficult and I can understand why bands don't want to speak up, because it can be the kiss of death. If it’s something that's inside of you and something you really believe in you’ve got to have the balls to stand up and say it.

There's an entire generation of kids right now who are being shat on, and an entire generation of kids who are paying for the mistakes of those who have come before them. I would be very surprised if those kids don't start forming bands themselves. They're angry, and I wouldn't be surprised if we see a new generation of bands coming up who are pretty pissed off. They say that through the worst times comes the best music, and I think there's some kind of truth in that.

These are young kids who are just starting out, and I'd be very surprised if when they grow up they don't realise what's been taken away from them. Punk rock has never been the music of the privileged; it's always been the music of struggle, it's always been the music of the underdog, so I'd be surprised if it doesn't speak to people again.

You're renowned for your work ethic. Is this still an important part of establishing yourself in music now?
I'm not sure. We've seen a change a little bit in terms of the power being taken away from the record companies more and more daily. The power's been put into the hands of the bands and the fans, and they can talk to each other directly now, which is really cool. In terms of working hard, I think that if you're in a band and you love playing music you just do it because you love doing it. We get up and do it every day because we genuinely love it.”

Are there any bands you're excited about seeing at this summer's festivals?
Yeah, it's kind of hard for us to check out other bands because we never know what time we're going to be on or when they're going on. But what I like about festivals is just walking around and seeing bands that I've never heard of before. I've found some of my favourite bands like that, where you just stumble into a tent and think, "what the fuck's going on?" That's my favourite bit.

What are your plans for this year?
We're playing a lot of festivals, and we're going over Europe on tour with The Broilers after that. Then we're going to come back in November and do a tour in the UK. After that we’ll get working on the next [album].
interview by: Nick Hagan

Friday 10th to Sunday 12th June 2011
Donington Park, Leics, England MAP
£145 weekend (with 5 nights camping + £35), or £75 for a day ticket
daily capacity: 111000
last updated: Tue 7th Jun 2011


latest on this festival

Download Festival 2021
festival details
last updated: Fri 20th Nov 2020
Download Festival 2021
line-ups & rumours
last updated: Thu 29th Oct 2020
Download
festival home page
last updated: Mon 26th Oct 2020