Fresh from their highly energetic and rowdy performance dominating the Monster Stage, BG caught up with both of Boston Manor’s guitar maestro’s Ash Wilson & Mike Cunniff at Slam Dunk festival North 2019! We discussed Welcome to the Neighbourhood, Slam Dunk festival and what’s good to do in Blackpool among other things! Read the interview:
So first of all congratulations on the set that was fucking awesome – a lot of energy going on!
Ash: Yeah we like to go all out!
Welcome To The Neighbourhood is a great album I’ve been playing it a lot, one of the things that first grabbed me about it is the BMW on the front cover, does it belong to any of you?
Ash: It does not belong to any of us, it actually belongs to a guy I guess we know through someone else, but like when we went to take that album cover photo we stayed up all night in the middle of somewhere I can’t remember..
Mike: It was down South somewhere.
Ash: It was literally in the middle of nowhere! The guy who owns the car wasn’t even there he just let us take it so we were like alright no worries! And then, I don’t think we could actually get it back to the house when we’d finished because it’s so old – like it’s drivable but has become a bit temperamental. I’m a big fan of that car though!
Are you guys into classic cars at all or was it more this particular car really fit the bill?
Ash: It definitely fit the bill and I’m not really a car guy, Dan’s a big car guy. I drive an old people’s car – I’m not too bothered really!
So you have done Slam Dunk a couple times now, what is your favourite thing about the festival?
Mike: I think just the variety of bands, it’s quite different. I feel it’s still a very guitar and rock driven festival and I know you have more variety with a Leeds & Reading lineup but there’s a good variety with Slam Dunk. I like that it’s guitar music, it shows that it’s still alive and very well and that I think is really important you know. And for the fact that once a year we get to hang out with people that we haven’t seen in a long time.
Yeah absolutely, it’s a bit of a weird one though because obviously while you get to see a lot of people, a lot of your time at the festival is spent performing and doing press etcetera so although you see people you can’t just hang with them the whole time
Ash: It’s a weird one aswell because when we play with this specific time slot, we’re already clashing a bit with Knocked Loose who we’re friends with, and in the press tent there’s so many bands we know just around. We’ll definitely chill with people in a couple of hours.
Is there any band in particular that you guys wanna see today?
Ash: I really wanna see Angel Du$t and Turnstile, big fan of both those bands even though they’re kinda both made up of the same members. I think Angel Du$t are playing really early, and last time when we got here Turnstile played just after we played so the only way we coulda done was if we would have run over the second we had finished!
Do you guys currently have a favourite song to perform live?
Ash: I really like playing England’s Dreaming, it’s slow and heavy with a cool groove to it!
One thing that surprised me about your set was how heavy you sounded:
Ash: We actually get that a lot. I think even though we love how the record sounds, I think we do still come across heavier live and it would be great to really drive that home on the record – maybe it’s a good thing cause anyone who watches is like oh shit this is way heavier than the actual song!
How excited are you guys to be heading on tour with Knocked Loose and A Day To Remember later in the summer?
Ash: Very excited! Bit of a weird one – we all grew up listening to A Day To Remember as I think did most people our age into alternative music, it’s pretty cool though as we said we’re already friends with Knocked Loose; we did Warped Tour with those guys.
Yeah Bryan (Garris) was saying the same – I spoke to him just before this:
Ash: He’s literally just there! (points out Bryan behind us) Yeah we’re very very excited, forever grateful!
Festivalgoers often go home with a strong impression of a real standout set that just sticks in the memory, what would be your strategical approach to making sure you’re that band?
Ash: I guess a lot of energy as we do bring, Henry’s quite good at demanding the crowd and I think they quite like that too, he’s quite confident and just like Do this! And they’re just like ..okay! It makes them remember shit you know so, it’s cool.
It’s definitely working – he had that crowd under control, each time the pits were going loads further back!
So as proud and experienced sons of Blackpool as I take you guys to be, if you had to advocate one place for people to visit when going to Blackpool, what would it be?
Mike: Ooh the waterpark’s pretty good! They got some gnarly slides – there’s an indoor rollercoaster slide that’s one of the largest indoor rollercoaster slides in the world, it’s probably the only largest!
You can’t go wrong with a waterpark!
Mike: You can’t!
Ash: I don’t know I wanna say something that’s out the way, a little bit less obvious but I don’t know, it’s all pretty good! Just go to a nice chippy – we got good fish and chips in Blackpool. Check out any chippy, pretty much anywhere in Blackpool it’s gonna be pretty good!
Perhaps early to ask but has there been any progress on a new record?
Ash: We’re all writing all the time, although we’re very busy at the moment and pretty much away 24/7 but we’re writing wherever and whenever we can. That’s all I’m gonna say really! Maybe just keep your eyes peeled for the next month or so..
Finally are there any other plans for the rest of 2019?
Ash: We’ve got Leeds & Reading coming up so excited for that, the Knocked Loose tour as mentioned and I don’t think we can mention anything else really!
Catch Boston Manor at Reading and Leeds festival at the end of August after they embark on a US tour with A Day To Remember and Knocked Loose!