The Big Read

The Big Read – The 1975: “I feel more like I’m in a punk band than ever before”

This weekend, THE 1975 will fulfil a lifelong ambition and headline Reading & Leeds festivals for the first time, and to mark the occasion, the musical changelings have released a searing, politically-charged punk track named 'People'. With the gears of 2020 album 'Notes On A Conditional Form' already turning, frontman MATTY HEALY tells Dan Stubbs about the band's aims to save the world, freak out the squares and tear Reading & Leeds a new one. All he needs to do in the meantime is resist the urge to perform his Dubai gig with the words 'GOD LOVES FAGS' scrawled on his chest. What could possibly go wrong?

The Big Read – Brockhampton: “Shia LaBeouf is our idol and inspiration”

hey’re a boy band, but not as you know it. Texan titans Brockhampton – all 13 of them – are redefining the term with their patchwork songs of booming hip-hop and experimental pop. Yet their last, tense album ‘Iridescence’ spoke to a difficult patch from which they’re now “healing”. For the upcoming ‘Ginger’, their fifth album, the collective turned to an unlikely muse in one Shia LaBeouf, who has become their mentor. Jordan Bassett meets the lads (and six excitable rescue puppies) in their adopted home of Los Angeles, where he finds a band rejuvenated.

The Big Read – Slipknot: “I’m just going to tell you the facts: this album is a masterpiece”

Twenty years ago, Slipknot were considered a menace to society. Today, they release a new album – their sixth – that proves the world at large has caught up to the sound of their rage. Fuelled by loss, depression, desperate times, demagogues and demons, 'We Are Not Your Kind' is the band's greatest – and angriest – album yet. As the band tours its Knotfest roadshow around the States, Dan Stubbs talks to founder member Shawn 'Clown' Crahan and guitarist Jim Root about masks, metal and the making of a masterpiece.

The Big Read – Clairo: “I don’t rely on anyone else”

Along with Billie Eilish, King Princess, Cuco and more, Clairo is a young, self-made artist who's redefining the pop landscape in 2019, creating lo-fi, leftfield songs that paint her as the big sister to her legions of young fans. Rhian Daly catches up with her in Detroit, Michigan to hear how teenage viral success, a crush on director Sofia Coppola and the support of her fellow Z-pack artists helped her embrace fame.

The Big Read – The Good, The Bad & The Queen: “There’s something sinister behind Boris Johnson”

The Good, The Bad & The Queen’s latest album ‘Merrie Land’ took the temperature of the country and was a melancholic ode to a Britain scarred by toxic politics and divisive ideologies. Nine months later, tying in with the anniversaries of ‘Parklife’ and ‘London Calling’, Jordan Bassett meets Damon Albarn and The Clash’s Paul Simonon to hear what’s changed

The Big Read – Vampire Weekend: on the road with the summer’s must-see band

Following a long break and the semi-retirement of songwriter Rostam Batmanglij, Ezra Koenig realised it was time Vampire Weekend had a shake-up. And so the crown prince of preppy pop returned with the wildly inventive 'Father Of The Bride' and a seven-piece live band you can't afford to miss seeing this summer. Thomas Smith joins the indie-rock icons on the road at Glastonbury and Mad Cool Festival to see how they’ve flipped touring dread into their most exciting era yet.

The Big Read – Fat White Family versus the world

Whether you see them as grotty oiks, middle class pretenders or something in between, one thing about Fat White Family is unarguable: they're the last of the old-school rockers. That means: addictions (multiple, but mostly heroin and ketamine), live shows where anything can happen and interviews where they actually SAY things about STUFF without worrying what Twitter is going to think about it. And so, as Mark Beaumont joins them in Brighton, they let loose on the state of the world right now in their most revealing interview yet. After that, a very, very long night...

The Big Read – EXCLUSIVE – The Cure: “Glastonbury won’t be the only time I’ll burst into tears on stage this summer”

Following a triumphant return to Glastonbury, The Cure’s iconic frontman Robert Smith breaks his silence for a rare and exclusive chat with NME’s Andrew Trendell. Topics for discussion include the action on Worthy Farm, their mind-blowing new live film marking four decades together, how the darkness of recent years has inspired their “merciless” new album, and the importance of being outsiders

The Big Read – The Killers: The Road To Glastonbury Redemption

In 2007, The Killers' first Glastonbury headline set was a bit of a disaster. Over a decade later, the band returns to right a few wrongs with a Saturday night headline slot. Mark Beaumont speaks to Brandon Flowers and Ronnie Vanucci Jr. about how their 2017 surprise show and new album sessions have them raring to go.

The Big Read – The Chemical Brothers: “Dance music has always been the sound of Glastonbury”

Next weekend, The Chemical Brothers will headline Glastonbury’s Other Stage for a record-setting fifth time with what may be their best album since the ‘90s. As they prepare to bring ‘No Geography’ and their 20-year old record, ‘Surrender’ to Worthy Farm, Thomas Smith finds a band striving to stay vital to a new generation of ravers.