With their new album ‘Alarms of the Heart’ out this month, we talked festivals with Peter and Matt from Dry the River following their Main Stage set at Reading.
What were your first festivals?
Matt: This was one of them! We’re from nearby, some of us are from Newbury and some are from Guildford area, so when we were kids we used to come to Reading. For us it’s one that has this kind of mythological status amongst the members of Dry the River, so playing the main stage today was a really kind of weird buzz, but it was really fun.
Peter: Yeah I think the first festival I went to was Glastonbury, it was incredible. I was 16 and it absolutely hammered it down with rain and I remember sliding down a hill on a bin bag! It was pretty cool.
Who would be your ideal festival line-up when you first started going, and now?
Peter: Back then I probably would have wanted to see At The Drive In, Hundred Reason and Biffy Clyro.. Now I would want to see At The Drive In, Hundred Reason and Biffy Clyro!
Matt: We toured with Biffy and are not only are they phenomenal musicians every night, but they are just the nicest people on earth. I’m sure everybody says that, but they just really went the extra mile to come and chat and make us feel wanted which is really lovely. But all those guys are great. We actually just did an interview with Colin from Hundred Reasons, and I regressed to my 16 year old self and just said nerdy rubbish the whole time!
Peter: You got all bashful
Matt: Yeah I did get all bashful! And we actually watched At The Drive In at Leeds last year from the side of the stage and they were just unbelievable. I was teleported to my youth and really enjoyed it!
Do you have any festival essentials?
Peter: My new festival essential is an iron. I want to take an iron with me now which I think is a sign to me that it feels as though I’ve lost my edge! Just to iron my shirt, but yeah actually I would actually say the opposite – don’t take an iron! If you take an iron you’ve lost it, you’ve lost your cool!
Matt: I think the one thing I’ve consistently taken every time I’ve been to a festival is a bag of satsumas and I swear it’s saved my life on more than one occasion. Sometimes you just get to that stage of the weekend when you need that satsuma!
What are your opinions of festival camping?
Matt: We actually camped at Glastonbury this year, for better or worse. It was in a little production area though so it wasn’t proper camping.
Peter: We’re not camping snobs, we’re just not very good at it! I don’t love it, mainly ‘cause some people come and they’re so well prepared, with a brilliant tent and an airbed.. In fact Matt usually comes pretty well prepared.
Matt: I do have a palatial tent, it’s incredible.
Peter: Yeah, whereas I bring a crap pop-up, then realise I haven’t got a sleeping bag or roll matt or any of the essentials.
Is that when you make a move into the palatial tent?
Matt: Absolutely not. I have a padlock on it!
Aside from Glastonbury, what other festivals have you don’t this year?
Matt: It’s been a bit of a quiet one cause we’ve been finishing our record, which was meant to take three months, and actually took about a year and three months! That is coming out on Monday so that’s a really exciting milestone, but that wasn’t finished in time this year to hit all the really big festivals. We did a few in Europe, we did Glasto and we did a few really nice smaller ones. We did one in Devon called Leopallooza and our keys player grew up in Devon and has been to Leopallooza every year since he was a kid, so he was like ‘I’m going back to Leo and I’m headlining it!’. That was really fun, and we also did King of The Mountains in Yorkshire to celebrate the start of the Tour de France which was really cool. So we’ve done some kinda unusual, off the beaten track ones which has been great!
So what’s next after Reading? You’ve got the album out on Monday so a tour to support it?
Peter: We decided to do a really unusual thing and just lock ourselves away in a room for a year after it comes out.. (laughs)
Yeah we’re predictably touring in October in the UK for a couple of weeks, then a couple of weeks in the US, then a couple of weeks in Europe and that takes us to the end of the year!
Dry The River are on tour this October – tickets available here
Their new album Alarms of the Heart is out now.