We sat down with Louis Matlock from Dead! who will be taking to the stage at Download Festival on Sunday 11 June and found out about festival pitfalls, Frank Carter and a hidden love for Blondie.

By Jane Howkins

You toured with Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes at the end of last year. How did that come about?
We recorded our song Something More Original with a wonderful producer called Thomas Mitchener, who just so happened to also play bass for The Rattlesnakes at the time. I think he played our song in the van or something and Frank was into it so we got an offer.

Were you fans of Frank and the rest of the band? We’ve been following Frank ever since his Gallows days!
Very much so! I would have been nine when Orchestra of Wolves came out, so I missed out on that initial wave – I don’t think I would have lasted long in the pit anyway – but the songs are just as exciting and enticing today I reckon. I think some of the other guys in the band went to see them play in Southampton. Growing up on Frank’s music and then supporting him was pretty surreal to be honest, we learned a lot from that tour.

You also supported You Me At Six in London. What can you tell us about that?
I remember seeing You Me At Six at Wembley a lot of years ago with my mates from school so it felt like an achievement from that perspective. Obviously the crowds differ quite a lot from Frank Carter to YMA6 but it was so good. We love playing gigs so much, so it’s pretty rare that we don’t enjoy ourselves.

Frank Carter and You Me At Six are pretty big names and, of course, you supported Blondie in London in May; who else would you love to play with?
Guns ‘n’ Roses, The Strokes, Placebo, The Killers, The 1975, Bowie, Pulp, all on one massive festival bill. Actually, if that was the festival we probably wouldn’t get booked, but still (laughs).

P.S. Blondie was incredible!

You also recently did a headline show at the Boston Music Rooms in London, your biggest headline to date. How excited were you for that and what can you tell us about it?
Yeah, that one felt big. It’s hard to not talk in clichés but it definitely felt like a real amalgamation and celebration of everything we’d done up until that point, and a kind of taste of things to come. It sold out pretty fucking quick so we’re very excited to move on to bigger things next time.

You’re playing a lot of Festival dates again this year, but do you have any plans for a longer headline tour?
We’ve got plans for a lot of things this year, which I know is vague and annoying, but if everyone can wait a few months I think they’ll be pleased with everything we’ve been up to.

You played at the Reading and Leeds Festivals last summer. Do you have any interesting stories, and did you manage to see many other bands? And which other bands are you looking forward to seeing at this year’s Reading and Leeds Festivals?
We went around giving out a lot of flyers on the Friday night which was an experience. It kind of turned into a game of ‘alright, that person’s chewing their face off so they’re probably not gonna remember being given a flyer’. We watched a few bands, Frank Carter on the main stage was brilliant; and 21 Pilots were mad. This year I’ll definitely be watching Circa Waves, Kasabian, PVRIS, Marmozets and While She Sleeps.

Are there any festivals you’re not playing in 2017 that you would most like to perform at?
British Summer Time, the one in Hyde Park. We live really close so that’d be an easy load in for us! And Summer Sonic in Japan.

Your new single Enough Enough Enough just came out. Do you have any plans for further releases before your debut album?
Yes, everything will become apparent soon, promise.

Why would you recommend that people come and see you play? And what can people expect from a Dead! show?
I think we’ve got enough music out there now for people to decide for themselves if they want to come and see us play. Maybe listen to three songs and see how you feel? There’s no reason any one should come and see us ultimately but, if you do, you’re gonna have a great time. As for expectations I think it’s more fun if people don’t have any.

Any last words for us?
“Don’t kill me, I’ve got so much to give.”

Thank you.

Dead! play Download Festival on Sunday 11 June 2017.