Frank Iero and Deaf Havana lead the latest additions to Slam Dunk Festival – with We Are The Ocean also confirmed to be playing their last ever shows there. See the full line-up and read out interview with guitarist Alfie Scully below.
We Are The Ocean announced their split earlier this year. Now, the Slam Dunk veterans will play their final gigs together at the festival they’ve performed at more than any other.
Also joining the previously announced likes of Slam Dunk, Don Broco and Less Than Jake are Deaf Havana, plus debut performances by Frank Iero, The Maine, Stray From The Path & Sorority Noise – as well as Seaway, Boston Manor, WSTR, Crime In Stereo, Zebrahead, The Ataris, FENIX TX and Madina Lake.
Slam Dunk Festival 2017 takes place across multiple venues in Birmingham on 27 May, Leeds on 28 May and Hatfield on 29 May. Tickets are on sale now here.
So what can fans expect from the farewell tour?
“I think fans, old and new, can expect something for them and something for everyone in that sense. It’s obviously a bit of a bittersweet moment for us but it’s come to maybe one of our best, one of our last tours.”
Is there any reason you chose Slam Dunk out of all the festivals, as you’ve played there before?
“I’m pretty sure we’ve played there most out of any UK band. Like we’ve played there a good six or seven times. The first year we did it I was 18, maybe younger, so it just holds a lot of memories. Between those years, 17 and 25, a lot happened, and it was just amazing to have that experience, go to that festival and see a load of bands come over to the UK that I grew up listening to and now we’re playing up alongside them and it’s an amazing experience. I feel like we kind of came up at the same time as someone who would take that into doing, so it was like we were sharing that experience with our fans. And it feels like the UK is a really, really strong thing, I mean it always has been, but in terms of the Slam Dunk, it’s really great.”
“The reason why we chose to do Slam Dunk is because we’ve had some great times there, we’ve had some great history there, for people who didn’t get a chance to see us on the headline tour can get to come out and see us so it’s something we’re excited about doing.”
‘Ark’ was your first album since Dan [Brown] left. Did it feel different for you guys?
“Well yeah – it was different, the recording process was different, we took more time, we felt like now that Dan wasn’t in the band, we were a different band, effectively. We wanted to do something that was different and still at the same time not alienated either. Which is an interesting thing really, when you want to create something and you have that history of yourself and there are already albums out which kind of define the band itself. So I think to something different creatively because that’s always what we’re striving to do.
“Different songs around the album came out and all the songs are about experiences in a place and what we were going through at the time and why we chose the songs we wrote, I guess. Because at the time we didn’t really know, it was more kind of love songs, this one spoke to me a bit more, but when you kind of push back on it, it’s like, we chose that one because that was happening, you know?”
So what’s next for you guys, are you going to continue to make music?
“I think music is something that we’re all still so passionate about and the years that we’ve had in this band in will last forever, as cheesy as that sounds, but it genuinely will because it’s not all the time that you get a band where you are literal best friends. Like you met when you were just out of secondary school, who you wrote wrote music with, played shows with, travelled the world with, and have those things and it’s such a good feeling around what happened. Don’t get me wrong, we slugged it out as much as any other band did. But we have been so lucky to have all been best friends and wrote music that we all loved and people supported us, and we’re all really lucky and and so people kind of saw and loved what we were doing, and they accepted us for that.
“And so like, that feeling is still always going to be there. What we think about and making music again, we’ll think about it daily kind of thing. At the moment, I think we need to take some time away. Do some more reflecting on things that have happened before we come back with anything. Whether that is individually or not. We kind of need to take some time really, we don’t wanna rush to put anything out, speaking for myself and just talking to the rest of the guys, I know that no one is in like a huge rush but we make music just for fun. It’s just what we like to do.”
Do you think if you came back to make music together, the sound would change?
“I think that it would be, everybody says this, that you never want to write the same song twice, in that sense, but I can definitely tell, in ‘Ark’, there is more personality in the record. Recording it the way it was recorded, preforming it live, there is definitely much more personality on the record and people know We Are The Ocean and that’s like everything in the album and they listen. So if new material came out, people would be like ‘oh yeah, that sounds like them’.”
The first time you played Slam Dunk, did you have any idea that later on that would also be your last show?
“I would have no idea. I did think that there was something special about it. At the time, I thought that the band would never, ever break up but it will always be a very important thing for band. “