Rhythm guitarist Ben Wells packs his sou’wester for the Kentucky rockers’ return to Donington Park.
You must be hoping the weather will be better for the band’s second headlining spot on Download’s Second Stage?
Yeah, it rained a little last time [in 2013], but we were humbled by the fact that the fans stayed and rocked out with us until the very end. It said a lot about our UK fans.
**Back in 2008, supporting Whitesnake and Def Leppard at Wembley Arena you said: “Someday we want to come back and headline this place.” Six years later, it happened. **
It still feels surreal that there was the demand from the fans to put us in a venue like that. But it was a team effort and we had a great support system, including you guys at** **Classic Rock magazine.
What’s the next goal?
Obviously, we want to keep on playing arenas for the rest of our lives. But if for some reason that stops, then so long as the fans continue to support us, sure, smaller venues are fine. It’s about the music. The scale [of our tours] is irrelevant.
You’re far better known here in Europe than in the States. What’s being done to resolve that?
We’re certainly not going to change our sound, but our style of music – riff rock, soulful and less watered-down – seems to be on the upturn in America. We’re not about the radio, we’re a live, meat-and-potatoes rock band.
It’s been a year since the Magic Mountain album. Have you begun work on a follow-up?
We’ve demoed some songs, and I can tell you it’s very rocking stuff, more like our first album. We’ve returned to the naiveté of when we first started out.
When might it be released?
We hope to have it out early next year. But first there will be a live DVD of a show in Birmingham from the last UK tour.