We caught up with Download Festival booker Andy Copping. Check out the interview below.
There are 6 weeks to go. How’s everything going?
We’ve just done our last big announcement of bands. We had just under 30 bands announced. They’ve gone down really well with the fans. The actual bill is all done now.
Which bands are you most looking forward to seeing over the weekend?
That’s a tough one. There’s a lot! I’m looking forward to seeing all the headliners. It’s never ending. I’m looking at this list here. I want to see Manson, I want to see Lamb Of God, I want to see We Are Harlot, I want to see Rise Against. Andrew WK, Body Count – that’s going to be amazing. Black Stone Cherry, Five Finger Death Punch – It’s non-stop. I’m looking at it, I don’t know how I’m going to see all these bands, I’ll certainly give it a whirl.
Did you see Rise Against at Brixton last year? They were amazing!
I’m lucky enough that I’m the promoter for Rise Against. That was a big show for them. They’re a great bunch of guys – great band, I’m happy to have them on the bill this year.
When booking the bands, do you usually book the headliners first?
Not necessarily. In variably yes, but it’s not a guide in the wall way that I have to get them, but the headliners are without a doubt the most important booking, so I have them in the forefront of my mind when I’m starting the booking process. It’s not always easy as you’ve got to book who’s available. I’ve got to find three headliners year in year out. We’ve managed to do it and here we are again in year thirteen and still going strong.
Slipknot are headlining. They released their new album last year. What did you think of it?
It’s a great album. The fact that it was a number one album in the US and a number two album here. Everyone was unsure on how the album was going to be received as Joey had gone. But you know, they’ve found themselves a phenomenal drummer, a more than capable bass player to replace Paul Gray and released a great record. They had a phenomenal tour in January – sold out arenas all over the UK. It’s great to have them back.
Download is known for promoting young British bands. To name a few, this year you’ve got Allusondrugs, Creeper and The One Hundred playing. How important is it to promote British talent?
We have to do it. I don’t think it’s just about up-and-coming British bands. It’s just up-and-coming bands period. We’ve got to encourage local talent as well as just striving at finding headliners of the future and bringing bands through. Download is a great platform for these bands to get discovered and we give them all the tools they need. We give them the audience, we give them the profile, just go out and do a great show that we know you’re capable of. Hopefully we’ll see you work your way up the stages over the years and become a more popular band.
Out of the younger bands, which ones are you most looking forward to seeing?
That’s an interesting one because there’s a few out there that I really want to see. Colour Of Noise, The One Hundred – which you mentioned earlier, excited to see them. Purson are really good. Creeper – another one you mentioned. Code Orange are one you should keep your eye out for. Yeah, there’s a bunch of them that I’m looking forward to seeing. There’s plenty there for sure.
What’s been your favourite album of 2015 so far and why?
I’ve been very lucky – I’ve heard the new Muse album. Even though it’s not out yet, I’m very excited by it and I know a lot of people will be when they hear it. I’d probably say Muse even though it’s not out until early June. It’s going to surprise a lot of people – it’s a proper rock record! It’s produced by Mutt Lange – his track record speaks for itself, so happy days!
Have you got any surprise acts planned for this year’s festival?
At the moment there’s potentially three of them. So, fingers crossed that will all come through. Two of them are definitely locked in. There’s possibly going to be a third one. It’s going to be interesting to see how they go down.
If you could have one fantasy headliner, who would it be and why?
Probably Led Zeppelin. I would also like to throw in the mix AC/DC with Bon Scott. I love the current AC/DC, don’t get me wrong. That’s no reflection on Brian Johnson. How cool would it be to see AC/DC with Bon Scott? And a re-formed Guns N’ Roses with the bulk of the original members, if not all of them. I think I would take any one of those three. I’d like to take all three if I could!
Download Festival takes place on the weekend 12 – 14 June 2015. Tickets are on sale now. For more information, head on over to downloadfestival.co.uk