This year’s Bloodstock is all about new blood. Not only are Amon Amarth and Ghost headlining a British festival for the very first time, but there’s a bunch of bands who have never played the grounds of Catton Park at all – including Lionize! Making their Bloodstock debut on the Sophie Lancaster stage on Friday night, they’ll be bringing their blend of groove, reggae and hard rock to the metallic masses for something a bit different to the usual fare.
But how does it feel to be rolling into your first Bloodstock as sub-headliners of the second stage? We caught up with Lionize’s mainman Nate Bergman to find out.
How does it feel to be playing the Sophie Lancaster stage at Bloodstock festival this year?
“It’s a honour on two levels. This festival is close to our hearts because we are like a family and DIY as well. Our band is very much working class but still puts on a great a show – so we feel like this is our festival. It was made for heavy, hardworking bands and fans alike. And also it’s an honour to play the Sophie Lancaster stage and pay homage to such a beautiful person who lost their life so tragically, simply for expressing herself differently from those who took her life. It’s a senseless tragedy but we need this stage and to honour her now more than ever – when we are so divided across the globe, I hope this represents the beauty and grace of community and oneness.”
This is your first time at Bloodstock, what do you know about the festival?
“I know that it’s the most organic, fan-friendly and heaviest festivals in all of Europe. Some of our favourite bands have graced these stages and we can’t wait to be a part of that tradition.”
What does Bloodstock mean to you?
“If you build it, they will come.”
What is your best festival memory?
“Los Almiros Festival in Volos, Greece in 2015. That was a festival in the middle of the Kauri Forest in the middle of the night. 8,000 people and they went off! It was the most beautiful festival I’ve ever been to. Ramblin’ Man Fair this year was also ace!”
You’re not the most metal band on the bill, how are you going to win over the hordes of metalheads?
“We are never the most metal band on the bill, but we are heavy and we play our asses off. This band has a lot of grit and soul and plenty of technicality, which I think metal fans always appreciate. Besides, heavy is a vibe, not a down-tuning or BPM.”
What can fans expect from you guys this weekend? Any new material?
“We will be playing a good amount of new material within the hour headlining set. The newer stuff is from our upcoming album, Nuclear Soul.”
Who do you recommend people check out at Bloodstock this year?
“I think there’s a great amount of bands to check out. I’d say for certain Black Moth, Amon Amarth, Skindred, Havok, Municipal Waste, Ghost, Gurt. And then some bands we’ll check out for the first time, too!”
In one sentence, why should people come and watch you guys at Bloodstock?
“Because we are going to play the heaviest, funkiest and grooving set the festival has ever seen.”
Bloodstock takes place at Catton Park, Derbyshire, on August 11-13, with Lionize playing the Friday. Weekend tickets are now sold out but day tickets are available.