Festival Guide 2012: Q&A: Band of Skulls

For Matt Hayward from the Southampton rockers, festival season means tequila, Biffy Clyro – and a cup of tea with mum

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The Independent Culture


You're playing everywhere this summer. How excited are you?

Very! We missed out on festivals last summer because we were making a record, but we've got great slots at Reading, Leeds, T In The Park and across Europe. I used to go to Reading every year and look up at that main stage, wanting to be there. The Isle of White should be good too – we're from Southampton, so I can pop over to my mum's for a cuppa.

What's the maddest time you've had at a festival?

The first one was crazy – I bunked off school and ran away to Glastonbury with my mates. I was 14. We sneaked through a gap in the fence, and it was actually a security guard working for the festival who showed us how to get in. The whole thing went past in a blur. A great part of growing up.

Were you a world of trouble when you got home?

Weirdly, I wasn't. My parents were furious I'd gone without permission, but then they watched it on the TV and realised how brilliant it was. I think they actually got a kick out of the fact that I'd done it.

What's the best festival gig you've ever seen?

Reading was exciting as a kid. I remember seeing Rage Against The Machine at their peak and that was so rowdy. We also did a run of festivals with Biffy Clyro and got to see them every day, which was incredible. I love that about festivals – seeing bands you know day after day in different countries. It's a travelling circus.

What's the most unusual thing you've ever seen at festival?

When we played Bonnaroo in Tennessee the heat was incredible, and there were kids just dropping like flies from exhaustion. It was crazy, there were casualties everywhere. It's a cautionary tale. Make sure you've got your sunscreen and drink enough water.

Who'd top the bill at your dream festival, then?

Let's have Jimi Hendrix opening up, shall we? Actually, shall we just recreate Woodstock all over again? I could sit through that. But we'll make the weather better this time round so that everybody has an even better time.

What superpower would make festivals more fun?

Invisibility would be a good one. I'd just get up on stage with everybody and get right up close to the action without anyone seeing.

Finally... how do you survive the aftermath of festival mayhem?

There's only one way – go to another festival. It's the only way to mentally cope. If you're in work on a Monday morning after a great weekend it sucks, so plan your next weekend of fun.