UK’s premier metal festival is roaring into the Midlands later this month, and it’s safe to say WE ARE EXCITED. Bloodstock has been a staple part of Metal Hammer’s summer for years and this year’s line-up looks like one of the best yet, with Amon Amarth, Megadeth and Ghost headlining! Yup, Ghost. To find out how the anonymous occultists feel about headlining a UK festival for the first time, we caught up with a Nameless Ghoul for an exclusive chat.
What’s it like to be headlining your first UK festival?
“It feels great! It’s always very honourable when you’re being asked to do it, especially for us, who are up and coming. When festivals do that, it shows they believe in the potential of what you do. But with it comes great responsibility as well. You have to fill that stage. You have to deliver the goods. And not only in your performance, but you have to be in good shape and put a lot of effort into it, a lot of dough into it, so that you give people money back, literally!”
What kind of stage production will you have?
“Last time we played in Britain, we did a lot of the Academies. Most stages are actually quite small. We played The Forum in London and it was still our C rig. We have an A, and a B, and a C. I think the only place we played with an A rig was Manchester Apollo. And for Bloodstock, we’re going to do the full thing, with a lot of the gags we usually do, and maybe a few surprises!”
How are you going to bring the Ghost experience to a field?
“Playing outdoors is always very fun and actually quite nice, as long as the weather is right. And obviously this is in England, so it won’t be! But as long as it doesn’t piss down with rain, or isn’t terribly windy, playing outdoors at night is actually really nice. The one upside with playing intimate shows is that you’re closer to the audience, which I find a little bit more appealing in terms of being able to reach out and touch fans, without sounding like a pervert! But as a performer and as a perfectionist, I say fuck small shows, I wanna play big shows! We’ve done seven weeks of American ice hockey arenas here, so that’s what I like. Playing bigger places is much more fun.”
It’s a very metal festival! Where do Ghost fit into the bill?
“I don’t feel odd at all. I come from an extreme metal background, and I know on the day we’re playing, Kreator are playing. Kreator are not only good friends of ours, but one of my teenage favourite bands. When I was a kid, I actually waited outside a Kreator show with all my LPs and got them signed by Mille. So for me, playing with extreme metal fans usually feels very at home. And yeah, musically our thing is a little bit odd, but I don’t care. I take the invite as a receipt that we fit in.”
Are we gonna hear any new songs?
“You might hear a few songs that we haven’t played, but we won’t play any new material now. We’re going into the studio on the Monday after Bloodstock to start recording the new album. Had it been pre-internet, I’d have loved playing new material onstage just to see how it works. Nowadays it doesn’t work like that – that’s unfortunate!”
Bloodstock takes place at Catton Park, Derbyshire, on August 11-13, with Ghost headlining the Saturday. Weekend tickets are now sold out but day tickets are available.