Fightstar @ Leeds Festival 2009
United Kingdom | by
Ali Ryland |
03 September 2009
Ali Ryland caught Fightstar drummer Omar Abidi to talk about Slipknot, festivals and concept albums.
Virtual Festivals: Have you played Leeds before?
Omar Abidi: “Yeah this is our third time. We had a break last year but the two years before that we played, first on the NME stage and then the year after on the main. Now we’re back on the main again, which is awesome. It’s just an honour to be on the stage with all those massive huge acts.”
VF: Do you prefer the early slot on the main stage or would you rather a later time on the NME stage?
OA: “It’s a toss-up really, that’s the option they give you when they get you to come and play. I think we wanted to do the main this year because there’s something about the main and sunshine that gets you ready for the beginning of the weekend.”
VF: What are your thoughts on your performance today?
OA: “It was really enjoyable, the crowd were cool. They took a little bit of warming up, we were one of the first acts of the day, but the mosh pits got going by the last song!”
VF: How is your newer material going down with the crowd?
OA: “Really well, the more we play the newer stuff the more we’ve actually added it to the set because of how well it’s been going. We aim at mainly new stuff and a couple of oldies. The reception of the new album has been absolutely awesome, we couldn’t ask for better really.”
VF: Do you think you’ve come on as a band since last playing here?
OA: “I think we’ve come on loads, as people, as musicians, as a band in general. We’ve put a lot of work into it and been through a lot of ups and downs. As most people know we had a lot of record company trouble with the first and the second record company, but now we’re on our own record label and management, it’s a lot more comfortable place to be.”
VF: What are your plans for the rest of the day, will you be staying to see some bands?
OA: “Unfortunately we’ve got to shoot out; we’ve got to be in Reading at 9am tomorrow to set up. I’d like to see some down there but all my favourite bands are playing today in Reading, like the Deftones, they’re on opposing days for when we’re there. But I think we’re just going to hang out, get drunk and see a few bands.”
VF: Where do you get your influences from?
OA: “It varies, we’re four very different people. We get a lot from film rather than music, especially with the new album, where we had a lot of orchestration and choirs. We’re obsessed with that kind of epic feeling and sound. Fight Club has been a massive influence, so has Shawshank Redemption; that kind of feeling of home. It’s all encompassing, the movie itself as well as the sound, and the emotion. Music is emotion, you can draw those emotions from anything.”
VF: It sounds like you’re edging towards a possible concept album…
OA: “I think we kind of fell into that, because when we did the first album, we did loads of writing, wrote the album, but then we kind of looked at it once we put it in order and realised there was a concept there. And that’s where it started, us trying to paint a picture with a body of work, rather than saying every song’s a song. It’s about trying to paint a bigger picture, and that’s where we try to draw the artwork into it as well.”
VF: With 2010 coming up, who do you think has given the best festival performance in the last ten years?
OA: “That’s a really hard one, my mind’s gone blank. Think of someone really cool…it’s hard because I was a punter before, and now most festivals I’ve been at I’ve been playing at, and it’s really difficult. I’ve had to get over the fact that I can’t see my favourite bands anymore when I come to a festival. Actually, the festival band of the decade is Slipknot. I think they’ve been the biggest band of the decade; they’ve done so much so well. They’ve taken a whole genre of music that people said “You’re not ever going to make this mainstream, you’re not going to sell a million records” and they’ve done it tenfold. Big respect to Slipknot.”
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