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As It Is: “Slam Dunk has a strong sense of community”

The festival has been a staple of the As It Is calendar for years.

As It Is: “Slam Dunk has a strong sense of community”

You may have noticed, Slam Dunk 2016 takes place this weekend. We’re pretty excited – and so are the bands playing, it seems. For As It Is, it’s been a staple on their calendar for years.

Recent Upset cover stars Panic! At The Disco headline, with a ton of favourites including Young Guns, 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. As It Is vocalist Patty Walters tells us who he’s looking forward to seeing at this year’s event, and explains why they’re always so keen to come back.

You’re playing Slam Dunk Festival this May. You played last year too – how was it? Are you looking forward to returning?
Hands down, Slam Dunk is my favourite UK festival. Most of us have been attending Slam Dunk since 2011, so being on the bill last year was enormously surreal. We’re just as excited to be coming back, if not more so!

How have things changed for the band since you last played?
We’ve played A LOT of shows since then; we racked up a total of 175 shows just last year, so I like to think we’ve significantly improved as performers since last year’s Slam Dunk. We’ve also started writing our next record which I’m ridiculously excited to finish!

What is it about Slam Dunk that makes it so important to the UK rock scene, do you think?
Slam Dunk is hugely representative of the alternative music scene in the UK, which is just as integral as offering giant their headliners. There are so many incredible up-and-coming bands in the UK that we can proudly call our own. Slam Dunk showcases and celebrates those bands, and I think that’s what creates this incredible and strong sense of community that you feel when you’re there.

Is there anyone on 2016’s line up that you’re especially looking forward to seeing?
The Starting Line have been one of my favourite bands for over ten years, I’m probably most looking forward to seeing them. I’ve also somehow never seen Panic! At The Disco before, so massively looking forward to that as well.

Is there anything you can tell us about your set?
When you play a festival, you almost have to work extra hard to really blow people away because they’ll be seeing sets from multiple great bands. We want to blow people away this year, so we’ll bring as much fun and energy to our set as humanly possible.

Finally, what would you say to convince any music fans not yet attending that they should pick up a ticket?
Slam Dunk is always one of the highlights of my year, and if we weren’t playing, I’d sure as hell still be there a fan of so many of the bands that are playing this year. If you’ve never been, this year is better than any other to start. If you’ve been before, you’ll almost definitely already have your ticket because you know exactly what I’m talking about, so see you there!

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

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