"We're a touring freak show. We always have been"
Before Bring Me The Horizon returned to Glastonbury 2019 for a blistering set on The Other Stage, they sat down with NME to talk to us about the problem with most festivals, their love of Kylie Minogue, and thoughts about what new music could bring.
Watch our video interview interview with Bring Me The Horizon above
The last time Bring Me played at Glastonbury was in 2016 on the exact same stage as the one the band played on this year. As they make their return on a bill that also features the likes of BABYMETAL and Gojira, do they feel as if metal music has become more ‘accepted’ at Glastonbury?
“We’re not really a metal band as such, we’re more sort of false metal,” said keyboardist Jordan Fish. “We’re not really accepted by the metal community. We’re just kind of doing our own thing.”
Bassist Matt ‘Vegan’ Kean continued: “That’s the thing, that these festivals do give us the opportunity to stand out a little bit. It’s good that we have these songs in our set that are a bit heavy, some that people might not be used to. We can show people all different sides of us. I think people are more open-minded at theses festivals – especially when they’ve had a few drinks and stuff like that.”
They’re sharing a line-up with the likes of Dave, Slaves, Circa Waves, Billie Eilish, and Christine and the Queens, but unfortunately for the band, their schedule won’t allow them to enjoy the diversity that Glastonbury offers.
“It’s quite cool to play at a festival that’s got such a varied lineup – even though we’re not going to have any time to see anyone,” said Fish. “I’d have liked to have seen Kylie but we clash.”
Yes, you read that right. Bring Me The Horizon are actual fans of Kylie Minogue. After reeling off a couple of their favourite songs by the Aussie pop queen – ‘Spinning Around’, ‘Kids’– they recall the time she gave them an intimate performance.
“We played with her a couple of nights ago and when she was warming up her six musicians did this like barbershop performance basically just for us,” explained Jordan. “It was like four or five songs and she just went through them all. It was amazing. It was like having our own private Kylie gig.”
“It was great,” said Kean. “We were really nervous about it and everyone worked super hard on getting it all together and spending a lot of time on working on what we were gonna do and the setlist and all that kind of stuff. We put a lot of time into it…it was probably the best show we’ve ever played.”
During the All Points East performance, frontman Oli Sykes proclaimed that “rock is alive,” after previously saying it didn’t “feel genuine”. For Jordan, he thinks the problem is that some festivals aren’t forward thinking enough.
“Sometimes you look at festival line-ups, especially the rock festivals, and I feel like they’re not that forward thinking, especially with the headliners,” he admitted. “But with APE we wanted to try and like, at least combine some acts we really respect from outside the rock world with some of the acts we most respect in the rock world, like real varied but still the core of it is rock bands, you know?”
He continued: “I guess we see a lot of line-ups and it’s bands who have played it 10 times over headlining, and for us that can be a bit frustrating. We know we’re ready to do it and we know a bunch of other bands who are ready to do those big slots as well. So yeah, doing All Points East kinda proved that there are bands who are ready to take the step up to headline.”
“One of the big things about that line-up was that it was mostly UK bands,” added Matt. “And I think especially if you look at a lot of the festivals, they do rely sometimes on a lot of international acts to bring in people. I think it was good for us to have that strong UK line-up.”
“It was a big day for us,” explained Jordan. “That’s probably my biggest regret of the day to be fair, not getting to even see them because I was in the focus zone at that point.”
Quizzed about if any potential new music was on the horizon following on from the diversity of their acclaimed 2019 album ‘amo‘, Jordan says they’ll figure it out when the time’s right.
“One day I wake up and think I’d like to do something like this but until you sit down and really get into it you just don’t know how it’s going to come out,” he said. “I wouldn’t wanna try and say ‘Yeah, it has to be like this.’ I know it’s not going to sound like anything we’ve done before.”
He added: “We’ll figure it out when the time’s right. Sometimes it takes you a while when you finish an album to really work out what it is you’ve made, and you have to know what you’ve made in order to know where to take it next. It’s a weird album, I’m still trying to figure out what it is. It’s like pop, rave, a bit of everything so I don’t really know. We’ll have to see what feels right.”
And when will next see Bring Me back on the road?
“Obviously with the new album, we just want to get out there and play it to people,” replied Kean. “We’re going to be doing more of these festivals this summer, then into next year we’re going to be a doing a headline show.”
Fish went on: “Maybe it will be a big tour, maybe a big festival – depending on what comes up. I think it’s kind of in the balance.”
Whatever f0rm it takes, you should probably expect BMTH’s next live extravaganza to be unlike anything you’ve seen from them before.
“What we were going for the last tour was a real kind of cyber laser-y, quite moody vibe,” said Fish. “The show now is a kind of circus-freak experience. We’ve got flames and dancers and we’re just trying to make each tour feel it’s worth coming to for people who have seen us before. It’s for our fans and to keep it fresh for us.
“On this one, we wanted to take things somewhere a bit different and make it kind of tie in with the music in some way. So something’s a little weird about it, but you can’t quite put your finger on it. There’s something a little peculiar about our stage show, I would say. That’s what we like.”
So Bring Me The Horizon have become a touring freak show?
“We always have been,” laughed Kean.
Watch our full video interview with Bring Me The Horizon at the top of the page, to see them also discuss dream collaborations and plans to get naked on stage