As part of the #7DaysOfTrees announcements, NME can exclusive confirm that Creeper are the latest band to be revealed for 2000 Trees Festival. Check out the line-up and an exclusive interview with singer Will Gould below.
Taking to the main stage before headliners Jimmy Eat World, Creeper will be joining the likes of IDLES, Thrice, Turnstile, The Regrettes, Rolo Tomassi and Bob Vylan at the Cheltenham rock festival this July.
“2000 Trees gave Creeper one of our first festival experiences and they’ve believed in us ever since,” Gould told NME, before describing the event as “an absolute mates-fest”. This summer will mark the band’s fourth time playing the event, and follows the release of last year’s ‘American Noir’ EP, which was a continuation of 2020’s ‘Sex, Death And The Infinite Void’. Despite starting the cycle back in 2019, the band have only played the new songs a handful of times live but already “they’ve given us some of our favourite live moments,” said Gould.
“The new songs have allowed a much more dynamic, exciting and elaborate live show,” he continued. “There’s a real glam rock stomp to what we’re doing at the moment, which is where Creeper is at its best.
“‘Cyanide’ is my favourite song to play live, and ‘Annabelle’ has given us some of the best live moments we’ve ever had. When we do that at 2000 Trees, hopefully people will have the same feeling that we get when we play it – that euphoric oneness of a collective community singing together, which I guess is what this band and that festival has always been about.”
Gould spoke to NME about Creeper getting comfortable on big stages, the importance of smaller festivals, and why you shouldn’t expect any new material from the band this year.
Hey Will. How do you feel about playing such a high slot on the 2000 Trees’ main stage?
Gould: “It’s funny because the first time you do these things they feel so daunting and massive – but Creeper have slowly become more comfortable on those big stages. The vision for the band has just grown out and we’ve tried to fill every area of the canvas, so to speak.”
Did you ever see yourselves at a point like this?
“When we first started we didn’t imagine any of this happening, but once things started going well, we spoke about what our goals were. It was always to headline a festival. We’re not quite there yet, but to be playing before a band like Jimmy Eat World is such a privilege. To be trusted with a slot like that is a big deal and it’s something that we don’t take lightly. We always want to over deliver when it comes to these sorts of things.”
What can people expect from your set?
“We’re just excited about it being a big rock ‘n’ roll spectacular, which is basically our M.O. these days. We want to go out and do something special. We want to create a moment in time where we can just be with each other and enjoy something a little otherworldly, bombastic and over the top. I think that’s really important in times like these, where things are so uncertain all the time.”
Is 2000 Trees a continuation of the ‘American Noir’ cycle?
“The characters from that story will come to life when we’re performing certain songs but we’re at the very end of this cycle now, which is mad because it’s lasted three years. I feel like a lot of this year is making it up to people who’ve not been able to see us for the past couple of years. If this was a regular album cycle we certainly wouldn’t be out playing, but we’ve been so starved of playing live. Stuff like 2000 Trees feels more like a celebration of the end rather than the start of something new.”
So no new standalone singles before the festival?
“Obviously we’ve got this ridiculous Dropbox that’s just full of tunes from the last record, but I don’t want to put any of them out. The only reason we did ‘American Noir’ was that it fit in properly with what had come before and added something to the story. We can’t be one of those bands that chucks out a song a week, because you end up with a load of rubbish. Your Spotify is basically your permanent record. I know I’ve got some blemishes on there – I did do that Christmas record – but for the most part, I only want things on there that I’m proud of, rather than shit I threw out because nothing else was happening.”
Obviously playing big festivals like Reading & Leeds or Download is a milestone for any band. What makes festivals like 2000 Trees important?
“In some ways, festivals like 2000 Trees are more important because they highlight loads of smaller up and coming acts that are yet to break through. If you walk around that field, you will find your new favourite band. Those smaller festivals give younger acts the chance to play alongside their heroes and get a sense of what it even means to play a festival. It just prepares you for everything.”
Who are you looking forward to seeing?
“It’s a ridiculous line-up, isn’t it? Jimmy Eat World are obviously such an influential band on us. Laura Jane Grace is incredible; her music is how I and a lot of other kids first got into DIY punk. Pup are one of the most exciting punk bands of the last decade. I’m looking forward to catching up with my mates in The Wytches, Tigercub and Anti-Flag. I’m yet to see IDLES live but I love their music and obviously [Creeper guitarist] Ian Miles is going to be playing an acoustic set and I’m excited to watch him in his terrifying mask.”
Last year you spoke to NME about the future of Creeper, saying you are “always working and there’s some exciting things happening”. Do you know what comes next?
“In terms of new music, obviously I can’t talk to you about that at all. We’ve got stuff lined up for the rest of the year and after that, that’s when the big question mark comes. With Creeper, it has to be perfect before it’s done. The songs take forever, they’re a nightmare and we always go through hell to make them. We’ve been through a pandemic and we’ve gone through a lot of different personal struggles – but with this band, we make our best stuff after going through tough shit. Right now though, we’re coming to the end of a chapter that started with ‘Annabelle’ and in some ways, that’s more exciting than whatever comes next. I love killing things off.”
Taking place from July 7–9, 2000 Trees Festival is held at Upcote Farm in Cheltenham. Tickets are available here.