Festival Faceoff: Letlive. Vs Blitz Kids
Jason Butler from letlive. and Jono Yates from Blitz Kids get ready for Slam Dunk…
By Georgina Langford
Who’s stoked for Slam Dunk? As one of the greatest one-dayer festivals rolls around the UK from 24-26 May, MTV checked in with two of the bands who’ll be making a lot of noise at #SDF14; Blitz Kids will be playing the Main Stage, while letlive headline the Monster Energy Stage. But which band takes their festival preparation to the next level? Jason Butler, the formidable and fearless frontman of letlive., and Jono Yates, guitarist of rising UK pop punkers Blitz Kids, threw down in the Slam Dunk Festival Faceoff.
MTV: Right guys. At festivals, you aren't always playing to die-hard fans of your band – so what's your approach to winning over a crowd?
Jason Butler: Be honest. Be free. Play the music you wrote and hoped would grab people's attention properly so that it does, in fact, grab their attention. If that doesn't work, start covering Metallica songs.
Jono Yates: First things first, we think long and hard about an intro that will either get people psyched up, or make them laugh. We've come out to wrestling theme tunes, game show theme tunes, songs from video games. If I see a band come out to something I like, I'll stick around and give them a chance. It's always important to intrigue people and draw them in. If all else fails, just shout 'who's up for getting p*ssed?!' That usually gets a cheer. Everyone at a festival is there to have a good time, so if you can help them achieve that, then you've done your job.
MTV: Your set time is about to get cut in half because Metallica suddenly got added to the bill. What three songs do you play?
Jason Butler: We don't. As I stated in the aforementioned, Metallica's music will already be there. No need to spend all that money on Lars' rider and flights- we've got it covered. I know most of "Enter Sandman"; don't even trip.
Jono Yates: We cover Enter Sandman, One and the one about being angry. That ought to keep a few people watching us. We're like Metallica but younger, poorer and less talented. I'd also wonder why Metallica were suddenly added to the bill, as I'd have thought their bizarre Glastonbury booking was a UK exclusive.
MTV: Metallica aside, who are the best live performers you've ever seen?
Jason Butler: When Lars from Metallica came out on the main stage of Orion Fest (the stage he would later grace with his inimitable rhythmic prowess) and introduced the upcoming band whilst eating a bowl of cereal, that was a pretty great performance. Quite happy to have been able to witness such a thing. Also, Woodkid f**king killed it at Coachella this year. Tell him I said 'what up'.
Jono Yates: A Metallica tribute band at the social club down the road called Metal-licker. Non-Metallica related bands would probably be Linkin Park, Muse and Biffy Clyro. It's only when bands are playing big enough venues to bring their own production like lights, lasers, fire and staging that I'm really impressed. I've seen hundreds of bands that have impressed me, but when the gig becomes a real experience, you know you've seen something special.
MTV: What's your favourite thing to do before your set at a festival?
Jason Butler: Actually, we once played a festival with Metallica and told everyone we were actually their adored metal heroes, just in disguise. Mr Hetfield himself happened to be side stage during my fabricated explanation as to why this version of Metallica looked like a young alternative punk band from LA. Unbeknownst to me, of course, he was there the whole time with his big Gibson Explorer holding arms tightly crossed while adorned in a well thought-out purple polo and designer sunglasses (this is just how he was described to me) and didn't seemed very amused. So that's my favorite thing to do during my set at a festival. As for before - I'm usually just trying to think of ways to do that again.
Jono Yates: Jump up and down and yell a bit. That's my warm up. Joe does his vocal routines, and Matt plays on his practice pad to limber up, but me and Nic just do that and drink whatever is on our rider. Sometimes if it's an important or big show, we'll cuddle each other, reminding each other that it's going to be okay. We're all in this together.
MTV: Why should we come watch your band at Slam Dunk?
Jason Butler: Because we won't feed you bullsh*t. We're no better or worse than any other band, but we will do our best not to seem/sound like any other band.
Jono Yates: Because we're going to start the party in a way no band has ever started it before. Slam Dunk is all about losing your mind to summer anthems, so we've packed our set full of them! We're the first band on the main stage, so there's an understandable amount of pressure on us to kick the day off in the right way. I'm pretty confident we'll smash the sh*t out of it.
Catch letlive. and Blitz Kids at Slam Dunk Festival, which runs 24-26 May