With a busy weekend coming up after organising the first ever Rifffest singer and guitarist Adam from The Brooders took some time out for a quick chat.
1. So, you’re putting on Rifffest at the weekend; how did the idea come about and how does it feel being this close?
Well, it was sort of spawned by my passion of hosting events and my disdain for watching bands get trodden on within the UK music scene right now along the independent scene. I wanted to put myself in the shoes of a promoter so I could understand what both sides of the coin get to experience on the build-up to a show. However, the plan has been all along to support the bands and provide for them in every way that a promoter should be aiming to run events. We’ve been planning catering, video visuals, promotion, artwork and fees with every band. That’s how a band should be treated, and that’s exactly how we want to care for musicians that we’ve been on the scene with for such a long time now. Aside from the promoter perspective, though, it’s been an absolute honour to work with all of these bands up until now and we were just so, so keen to be at the forefront of something that could bring all these cataclysmic forces into one room for one night. It is something that hasn’t been done in Leeds in a long time, and to be able to stand at the back of the venue and think to ourselves ‘This is one hell of a night’ is going to be one massive feeling of accomplishment and excitement for what the underground scene has upcoming right now.
2. Including yourselves there are seven bands from the North of England playing; a great advert for the music scene in the North would you say?
Absolutely. The North is a staple for how the music scene in the UK is moving forward. It’s interesting observing, as a contrast, the scene in places like London and further down South as they draw in bands slowly but surely from the North. It’s even more brilliant seeing bands like Allusinlove, Fizzy Blood, Strange Bones and bands of a similar calibre attacking that scene and carving the way for Northern music to follow on a more national scale. However, what we love about Rifffest is that we don’t need to be taking the party down South. We have all we want, need and love right here, and that’s what the whole event is a celebration of.
3. Are there any of the other bands you’re particularly looking forward to checking out?
ALL of the bands. We can’t pick and choose a favourite as they’re all so special to us in their own different way. Every band on the bill has something incredible to offer so we’re looking forward to checking all of it out. However, music further afield we still want to check out a bit more properly … I’d say the likes of YAK, The Blinders, Estrons and so many more on the scene that are mind-blowingly good.
4. What can the audience expect from your set?
Lights, camera, action? In reality, though, you can expect to see an explosion of energy from three slightly obscure looking human beings, dead set on giving their all in every way, shape and form. It’ll be Biblical. Or worthy of a Psalm at least?
5. What were the challenges you faced putting together a one-day festival?
To be honest, as soon as all the cogs fell into place it’s been easy. All the bands on the bill have been amazing at communicating ahead of the show and really putting their all into making sure it flows smoothly and that’s the best thing of all. I think often the trickiest thing is making sure that everything goes according to plan upon the announcement day, making people aware that we’re throwing together something huge is a top priority right from the get-go and that’s often tricky to achieve. Aside from that, though, knowing who to book is next to impossible. With so much talent around us in every direction, picking and choosing who we wanted to get involved was tricky and a half. We’re so glad with how things have turned out, though, and all we can do now is *touches wood* hope that everything moves just as smoothly on the day.
6. Festival stories: any good ones as a band or a punter?
I think from a band perspective, Liam (our drummer) and myself attended Leeds Festival years ago when they had those awful floods. First night in, I drunkenly fell into the tent during a thunderstorm and ripped the door. When Liam and me awoke halfway through the night we were basically sleeping in a small confined swimming pool. We huddled for warmth and avoided writing off the whole weekend on day one. We’re troopers. There have been far more messy stories in that sort of vein but they’re probably stories for another day …
7. What advice would you give someone going to their first festival this summer?
Wellies, wet wipes and enough rum to ignore the vile conditions that plague every festival campsite. Expect carnage and sights you wish you hadn’t seen.
8. As a music fan, which riffs from any band make the hairs on your neck stand up; and are there any riffs that you wish you’d written?
Good question. There’s a LOT. From a personal level, I’d say songs like Vultures by God Damn; Limerent Death by The Dillinger Escape Plan; Marquee Moon by Television; and so many more. Above and beyond all else I wish I’d been enough of a genius to come up with a song like 1983 (A Merman I Should Turn To Be) by Hendrix himself; never has a greater collection of bluesy beautifully emotional riffs ever been written. I’d probably say Speare (our bassist) would go along the lines of Colossus by IDLES; Bulls On Parade by Rage Against The Machine; Death by Preoccupations; and Doused by DIIV. We have such a varied taste, though, when it comes to riffs that who just wants to choose one?
9. If you could put together the ultimate Rifffest one-day festival of all bands who have written some of rock’s greatest riffs, who would you put on?
This list could literally go on forever, but as far as the bands that we’d have always wanted to see live and play alongside … we’d have to go for Rage Against The Machine, Nirvana, Marilyn Manson (Portrait Of An American Family era), Queens Of The Stone Age, Joy Division, Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, Yeah Yeah Yeahs (Show Your Bones era), Placebo (Without You I’m Nothing era) and many more. It’s a very clichéd list but, as far as the legends go, it covers a love of bases. The present is far more exciting though.
10. Thanks for your time. We’ll give you one last chance to tell everyone why they should come to Rifffest at the weekend?
Because it’ll be like nothing you’ve ever experienced. It’ll be a visual spectacle, an auditory feast and a hair-raising delight. Tickets for a tenner to see 7 AMAZING acts from the North is the biggest, tastiest bargain you’ll get anywhere for a long while.
The event will take place at Leeds Lending Room on Saturday 26 January from 5pm until 11pm.
TIER 1 Tickets: £5 [SOLD OUT] | TIER 2 Tickets: £7 | On the Door: £10
Ticket Link: https://www.musicglue.com/rifffest/events/c023c620-c7f8-0136-c73a-56198c45de53