Black Lips discuss Reading & Leeds and whether they’d play in North Korea

"It’s nice to come back and reintroduce ourselves".

Black Lips have opened up on their headline slot at Reading & Leeds festival, and revealed whether their reputation for playing far-flung regions of the globe would ever extend to North Korea.

The Atlanta band will headline the Festival Republic Stage, the first time they have played at Reading & Leeds since 2009.

Describing their return, singer Cole Alexander told NME: “It’s good to be back.  It seems like a while since we’ve been in any limelight in the UK, so it’s great to get a solid festival appearance at Reading & Leeds. We’ve done Glastonbury but Reading & Leeds only once, so it’s been a while.

It’s nice to come back and reintroduce ourselves. We’re playing the new record too and Saul from Fat White Family helped us out so it’s got a good live touch to it.”

And while they’re now veterans of the festival circuit, Black Lips are also known for taking their live act to countries that are traditionally left off touring duties, having played a show in Kurdistan in 2012.

Now, Cole is up for taking Black Lips to North Korea and thinks that “respect” would be the key in escaping a potential run-in with the authorities of the shadowy hermit state after the death of Otto Warmbier.

“Not to get too political, but I’m a gatherer of all people. I would play in Afghanistan, I would play in North Korea”, he said,

“Although North Korea does make me a bit nervous because there was this American kid [Otto Warmbier]. He stole a poster or something and he was severely punished.

“Having said that, I would play North Korea. We have friends at Vice, our label, who go there. They’re pretty extreme. I think if you go and you’re respectful, people will treat you with respect back.”

Black Lips headline the Festival Republic Stage at Reading on Saturday 26 August and Leeds on Sunday 27 August.