Introducing the four rock bands that all played Download that will soon be grinning up at you from the front cover of Kerrang! and rocking out all over your TV screen...
Virtual Festivals’ roving reported Ali Ryland spent her weekend at Download Festival scrutinising and chatting with some of the freshest metal, rock, emo and punk bands around. Here’s who we think you’ll be hearing a lot more about…
These Blink 182 influenced pop-rockers may be more likely to rock out to We The Kings rather than Devildriver, but the Reading four-piece have got a sparkle of promise beneath their You Me At Six-esque happy-go-lucky rock. Though the lads, who are more used to their local festival – Reading - there are few anxieties at playing Download. “We’re going to get bottled,” jokes singer Dan Wright, hours before their Download debut. “But if we raise our bunny ears, we’ll be fine.”
With punters shouting that old festival chant ‘Buttscratcher!’ all over the shop (a Family Guy quote, for those without BBC 3), DissolvedIn are hoping for “Wha-ah-ah-ah-oh” from song ‘Peter Pan Syndrome’ to be relayed back and forth throughout the crowd, sounding suspiciously New Found Glory. “That’s going to be the new one, everyone will be doing that,” Wright remarks. Maybe one day their dream will come true.
Bottling worries were dismissed when the small town band pulled off a very respectable show on the Red Bull Stage on the Friday. “You guys are really sexy - I have a boner!” shouted Wright - either a dig at The Offspring’s Noodles who remarked the same thing at last year’s Download or he’s serious. While they’re crowd interaction needs some work (“I thought I’d see some boobs!”) their feel-good power pop will bounce them to the top; with only a little bit of help from their pretty-boy looks.
Moving onwards and upwards, the metalcore-cum-pop quintet are no doubt a band to watch. “We’ve almost finished writing our debut album so we’ll record soon and then go on tour in September,” drummer Rob Clemson tells VF before their stupendous set at Download on the Sunday. “Hopefully we’ll release the album just after the tour, then headline main stage Download next year!” he adds confidently.
Their mini-album ‘They All Have Two Faces’ was a triumph for the band who were once remembered for doing the theme tune for satirical YouTube sensation ‘Mighty Moshin’ Emo Rangers’. Though Clemson reveals the next full-length album is a lot less commercial and may end up struggling, Fei Comodo won’t be deterred. In their first festival appearance, they’re determined to put in their all. “We’re just going to go absolutely insane,” Clemson tells us, “we’ll be swinging our guitars - well I don’t have a guitar - but I’ll swing something! At the end me and our bassist are swapping over with two of our mates [drummer Leks Wood of Devil Sold His Soul and bassist Kevin Yates of Forever Never] and we’ll get in the crowd.”
And boy did Clemson’s words ring true as the happy hardcore five-piece destroyed the Red Bull Stage with a wall of death that half the band participated in, thought there were some unfortunate consequences for bassist Jay Styler: “I got punched in the stomach a few times and was really badly winded,” he told VF after the gig. “Then I threw up in the crowd. While I was throwing up I had people coming to me and shaking my hand and saying how good it was; it was so weird!”
A successful, if gross, start to their festival playing career, the Essex lads managed to pull off one of the best gigs in the Red Bull tent all weekend - a sign of things to come.
None The Less
Loosely describing a band as the next Exit Ten might sound like we’re damning them with faint praise - at least to some. In reality, None The Less are the next Big One. In a few years they will explode all over the progressive metal scene, creating a frenzy Muse would be proud of. At the second day of Download they seem to be already creating a stir in the form of a circle pit. “It’s always a risk when you do something like that,” frontman Anthony Giannaccini told VF after their impressive set, “you never know who is going to be up for it, but they looked pretty keen.” And indeed they were, the hard-metalling five-piece pulling a crowd of over 700 to the little Red Bull tent. “I didn’t expect that many people,” Giannaccini admits, “we’ve never played anything half that size before, it was our biggest gig and our first major festival gig.”
With their ages ranging between 17 and 20, the band are barely out of the fetal stage of development. “We got together through hanging around at school, when we were about 12. Our guitarist Owen started playing guitar, then he got me into it and it just went from there,” says Giannaccini. A rarity in the singer/songwriter is that he doesn’t take any influences from before the 1990s. “Some of my main influences are bands like Exit Ten, though my favourite has to be Muse,” he remarks. No surprises there then. Now, with a mini-album and festival set under their belt, they’re well on their way to becoming an inspirational band themselves. Touring the UK at the end of July with Young Guns, another rising act, None The Less are one to watch.
Pop-rocking it for the team, excitable four-piece Attack! Attack!! are further along the showbiz pathway than some of the bands already mentioned, with tours alongside fellow Welshmen Lostprophets and Funeral For A Friend. It’s only natural then, that they were slightly more laid back about their Download set: “We did Reading and Leeds last year, I think that was a slightly bigger crowd,” frontman Neil Starr tells us. “Yet it’s still one of our biggest shows not as a support band.”
The boys are busy, having arrived on Sunday to hours of press before they’re set, not catching a single band. “We’ve got to see Def Leppard,” Starr remarks, “and definitely Papa Roach.” Being in the middle of a UK tour, the weary lads are still looking forward to playing, “I think we’re the right edge of heavy metal/rock,” Starr tells us. “We always give it our all; we’re just going to try and get people involved and hope they can talk about it after and say they enjoyed it.”
That won’t be too difficult with the happy-rocking quartet packing out the Red Bull tent, with pop-packed set going down a treat. So what’s in the works for Attack!Attack!!? Song ‘You And Me’ will be appearing on Guitar Hero Five and the band are raring to record more ‘rock with melodies’. To finish off, the boys mention they’ll be joining the milling crowd of punters. And what’s their favourite festival chant? “'Achmed, Achmed!' from Gavin and Stacey.” Well, you’ll have to ask them.
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