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Young Guns: “This year’s Slam Dunk is huge”

You may have noticed, Slam Dunk 2016 takes place this weekend. We’re pretty excited – and so are the bands playing, it seems. For Young Guns, it’ll be their first time playing since 2010.

Recent Upset cover stars Panic! At The Disco headline, with a ton of favourites including As It Is, Moose Blood, Issues, Real Friends, New Found Glory, ROAM, Gnarwolves and Creeper also putting in appearances.

And we sent a few of ‘em our Slam Dunk-themed Q&A. Young Guns bassist Simon Mitchell tells us what’s changed for the band since their last appearance (loads, unsurprisingly).

You’re playing Slam Dunk Festival this May. Are you looking forward to returning?
Absolutely! We haven’t played this festival since our very first time in 2010. It’s awesome to see how the festival has grown over the years, that it still continues to attract really good artists and is always so popular year on year. To be part of that is an honour and we’re really excited to play music, new and old, to our fans again!

How have things changed for the band since you last played?
In the six years since we last played, there has been many changes within the band, our music, our fanbase, and all the experiences we’ve gained along the way. We’re lucky enough to have a loyal and supportive fanbase here in the UK and many have stayed with us since the early days of the band, but we’ve also been fortunate in the sense that we have remained busy ever since. Being busy in new places and having new opportunities arise throughout our career means that life is always changing, and as long we stay focused we hope that this journey still continues.

What is it about Slam Dunk that makes it so important to the UK rock scene, do you think?
I feel that since the start, the festival has been really good at exposing new and emerging artists within the rock scene, giving bands the chance to reach out to new audiences. Giving these new bands a chance to perform their music in front of a Slam Dunk audience is a chance for them to share their music and grow. Not only is it great for new artists, SD always strive to book the best artists from the scene as a whole. Each year, the bill seems to go from strength to strength, but this year in particular is huge.

Is there anyone on 2016’s line up that you’re especially looking forward to seeing?
Too many people to mention. Especially looking forward to P!ATD, as I’ve never seen them live before. Can’t wait to hear all their classics and hopefully we’ll get a chance to hear some of their new stuff too. Yellowcard are great friends of ours and we rarely get to see them outside of tour life, so whenever we’re on the same bill as them, we’re super stoked! Honestly though, it’s great to see other UK acts on there too. The likes of Mallory Knox, Moose Blood, Dead! bringing their wealth of great music is a huge plus for the festival.

Is there anything you can tell us about your set?
When we decide what songs go into our set list there’s always an equal measure of stress and excitement. I mean, in an ideal world you’d like to play all the songs you want but it’s never that easy! You have to take into account what the fans want to hear, songs that deliver a purpose to the set, your biggest tunes, and throw in some new material here and there. It’s an exciting part of the process, and we secretly love it. We love changing up the set each time to keep people guessing!

Finally, what would you say to convince any music fans not yet attending that they should pick up a ticket?
If you like the idea of going to a festival without the hassle of camping and bringing everything in the world with you, this is the kind of festival you’ll like. More importantly, the line up this year speaks for itself surely? Stop faffing and get a ticket, it’s gonna be a great laugh!

Slam Dunk will take place from 28th – 30th May in Leeds, Birmingham and Hatfield. Check out Upset’s playlist here.