Amid a summer packed with festival appearances, Death In Vegas are on of this year's headliners at Standon Calling, Hertfordshire's premiere summer music event. They share headline slots with Beardyman and Fat Freddy's Drop.
Before Death In Vegas head off across the UK and Europe, we caught up with the band's main-man Richard Fearless to discuss his upcoming summer plans, find out why hills make all the difference to a festival, why he never enjoys a festival before he performs and whether big-name sponsorship at larger UK events are a good or bad thing...
What's happening with Death In Vegas right now? Are you working on new material?
Well theres a new single coming out which is going to be out soon and then theres a new single coming out - which will be two tracks a month after that on vinyl and then there’s a live album coming too. We're working on new material as well, so yeah we’re busy and obviously the live schedule seems to be getting bigger and bigger. We’ve got festivals up until October and more dates coming towards the end of October.
Which summer events are you most excited about?
Well, the highlight of my summer is obviously that my wife is due to have a baby in a few weeks but far as festivals we’ve got so many so I’m looking forward to most really. I don't really enjoy playing daytime slots at festivals, which we're not doing many thankfully, but I don’t feel it really works as well playing at 3pm when no one can see our light show.
And obviously your first ever headline slot at Standon Calling is coming up...
Yeah. I’ve never been before. I was living in America and I only moved back about a year and a half ago but up until then there’s quite a few festivals that are new to me. I'm looking forward to seeing them.
How different are US festivals to UK events?
America is very flat and t might sound a bit weird but having festivals on flat land is a big one for me. Things look better visually when there are rolling hills and little hidden areas. You need discovery areas you need to walk into and find something brand new. I like the surreal-ness of certain aspects of Glastonbury and I think for me that’s what a lot of festivals have been aiming for. That's what's best about UK festivals. What's important to me is the visuals as well as the sound. Visually and as well as sonically, in America it's all about the size and scale.
Considering the British public do outdoors so badly and that our weather is so awful, why do we do festivals so well?
I think one thing we do know how to do is how to party. We do that to an Olympian standard. I think that can overshadow any amount of rain and mud. We have to make the most of it if we’re affected by the weather we’d just be a miserable bunch of people - and we all know the weather is always going to be shit. And of course we know we’ve had good music too, we do that well too.
How do you cope with roughing it at festivals?
I'm one of the massive! I’m very into camping and go a lot with the family on holiday so something I struggle with. I don’t think ive ever camped at festivals I’ve been fortunate enough to be on a tour bus. But yeah I’m all up for it. Bring it on.
What's your best festival experience ever?
Then best experiences are probably just going to see different bands, back in day when I was a punter. You pay for a ticket and there’s bands you really want to see which is different to being a band and doing six festivals in six days. I have a bit of a procedure before playing a show and I don’t want to be around lots of people. It's weird but I don’t particularly enjoy it until after I’ve finished playing - and then then normally you’ve got to get on the bus and leave.
As something of a festival veteran, what are the biggest changes you've seen in the festival scene over the years?
The amount of festivals - there are so many and that’s definitely a good thing. The small ones are great because the really big festivals are one big advert and that’s not too appealing but I think festival experiences are getting better organised and that’s a good thing. Standards are a lot higher now too. Some of these tickets are so expensive and if you’re paying that money you don’t want to be on a windy field with sound blowing away. Festivals are getting better in terms of production but there’s a price to pay for that and unfortunately that’s a lot of sponsorship.
Death In Vegas headline this year's Standon Calling - which runs from 3-5 August. Tickets are on sale now, for more information visit Gigwise Gig Tickets.