Hailing from Oakland, California, Emily’s Army is made up of brothers Cole and Max Becker, and Joey Armstrong, with Seb Mueller on live bass. One of the youngest bands on the bill, we caught up with Cole following their debut Reading appearance on the Lock Up Stage.
What was your first festival experience?
This is my first festival experience! I’m only eighteen, so I’ve got a couple of friends who go to Coachella in California or Outside Lands, but I never really went. We have played Warped Tour, which is like a miniature version of this, but this is my first big name festival experience.
So how are you finding it?
Absolutely amazing! I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend. I got to see two of my favourite bands yesterday, the Hives and Jake Bugg, so it’s been absolutely fantastic and I’m having some of the best experiences of my life.
Who would be on your dream festival line-up?
Do all the bands have to be current? No? Ok to open it up and make everybody feel super happy we’d have Pete Seeger with his banjo, and then to get the crowd all crazy you get the Hives. Then you’d get The Vaccines in there, Frank Sinatra, The Clash, The Ramones, Best Coast and the Replacements.. Ah I could just go on forever! I mean you have to get the heavier side, cause there’re always people who want the heavier side of things, so I’d put Slayer, Iron Maiden and Def Leppard and then I’d have Chance the Rapper, Danny Brown and De La Soul. Oh and you’ve gotta have The Arctic Monkeys and Jake Bugg on there as well and Vampire Weekend. And I wanna play every day, but I want a stage pass that means I can get on-stage to see all these bands – It’s my festival! I’m getting all excited about it now – I want this festival!
Do you have any advice for people going to their first festival?
I think the most important thing to remember about festivals is that there are the big-name bands that you go to see, but there are also a bunch of bands on the smaller stages that are killer, and you have to make sure that you go pay your dues to them cause they’re gonna give you an amazing show. That’s what I’ve appreciated so much about today. So we started off with a pretty big crowd, but then it just got bigger and bigger cause people were just walking by and into the tent. The sound in there was amazing.
You’ve mentioned a couple of people already, but who else are you looking forward to seeing this weekend?
Besides Jake Bugg and The Arctic Monkeys, I would love to see Parma Violets and Vampire Weekend, but I’m also equally excited to see Drowners and the Kooks.
Do you think you could all survive festival camping together?
Oh absolutely, I mean last night we shared a king bedroom with like 5 of us! There were four of us on the bed and then we had some camping gear cause our tour manager was on the floor, cause he didn’t want to be with all the teenage boys (laughs). My brother Max sleep talks and Seb the bass player will curl up and take up more horizontal room which is tough, but we all get along. We’ve been travelling in a cross-over car which is tiny, but we’ve been all over the UK in it and we’re totally fine with each other. It’s the best way to travel!
Where else have you been before this then?
We started out in Cardiff, then we played in Bristol, London, Nottingham, Manchester and Glasgow.
And where was your favourite?
Glasgow. They were crazy! It seems like it was just go big time for them.
How did you find the UK crowds compared to those in the US?
It seems around here that so many people are just so into music. In the US there are lots of people who like music but they’re also there for the image, but here it’s like so much devotion to music which is really important to me as a musician.
And finally, what’s next for you after this?
After Reading we’re going home. We’re going to the East Coast to do a bunch of shows there and after we’re making our way home to do a tour with the Aquabats. Then we’re taking some time off to develop more sounds and more songs for people to listen to, and I think we’re gonna take some big big steps in the future which is awesome. We’re excited for you to hear it and to see you again!
Emily’s Army join Rise Against on tour this November – tickets available here.