So why Download?
Our percussionist and songwriter John Douglas first visited Donington in 1988 when Iron Maiden headlined on Seventh Son. He was almost the 3rd fatality there – but he pulled through – and enjoyed the gig. We’ve played Donington twice before and always enjoyed the experience. I was there last year (2013) to see Iron Maiden reprise their 1988 material. QOTSA were very groovy and very good.
What’s your best festival memory either personally attending as a fan or in the band?
I think the first song of the first time we played (which was fragile dreams) was a special moment for me and will remain so. I was so ready for that. I was determined to project good energy and it went very well.
And what’s your advice to all the festival goers?
For me these festivals are all about the music – so my advice is listen closely to the bands you love and show your support – and spare a thought for all of those hard working technicians and road crew without whom, none of it is possible.
Who are you most looking forward to seeing at Download?
Joe Bonnamassa sometimes does a super heavy version of ‘the ballad of John Henry’ and I’ll be looking out for that
Is there anybody you’d like to call up on stage to perform with you at the festival?
Not really to be honest – what would be the point? To be seen onstage with someone famous? I don’t give a shit about that. I’m more interested in the audience and their reaction to our songs than anything else. However, There’s a number of people who’ve visited the festival that I would like someone to give a few later anathema albums to, (Jimmy Page, Tony Iommi for example) As it is likely they won’t hear us otherwise, but that’s a personal thing, and not about being seen with someone.
Do you have any surprises in store for Download?
The final song in our set will sound different to every other band on the line up. I’m wondering how that will go down. It will certainly sound very big.
You’re performing twice at Download this year, other than one show being a full-band show and one being an acoustic set, what differences will there be to keep the festival goers coming back for more?
The acoustic experience is really intense in a very different way. We use loops in a good way and the guitar becomes the percussion instrument. Our stage manager Tonto (who also stage managed status quo for 14 years actually) loves our acoustic set and said “it’s got a bit of animal” about it.
You’ve released a 3 deluxe edition of your new album with a making of DVD what’s it like being able to give dedicated fans an insight into the working mind of Anathema?
A new thing for us, and I’m sure the good folks will like it. To be honest I’m not sure how I feel about it, but there are certain things I’ve learned not to over analyse, and the reaction of the outside world is one of them.