Road Trippin': With The Dead

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DOES IT FEEL WEIRD TO BE HITTING THE ROAD FOR THE FIRST TIME WITH A NEW BAND?

Lee Dorrian [vocals]: “It’s strange, yeah. To be honest I didn’t think we were gonna do any live gigs. It’s been total chaos. But the more time has passed, the more it’s come together. The band has become more brutal, with our new drummer Alex [Thomas, ex-Bolt Thrower] and Leo [Smee, ex-Cathedral] playing bass, so I’m much more positive about it now. It’s gonna be more intense than it would’ve been before. So I’m excited to be going out there. Manchester will be the first gig ever. There’s some nervous apprehension but lots of excitement, too.”

YOU’RE PLAYING AT ROADBURN AND CURATING THE FRIDAY LINEUP. ARE YOU FEELING OVERWORKED AT ALL?

“I’m going to be running round like a headless chicken! With only two gigs before that, it’s quite nerve-wracking. But I live for nervous energy, really. It’s always worked in the past. We’re all really looking forward to it. We have one new song – in fact, we have a whole album written already. It’s a lot more crippling and extreme than the first. I’m hoping to get a new album out by the end of the year.”

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE LINEUP YOU’VE PUT TOGETHER FOR THE FESTIVAL?

“I wouldn’t say it’s been plain sailing! I thought [cult Japanese hardcore crew] Gism was a long shot, but if you don’t ask, you’ll never know, will you? They haven’t played a show since 2002. They insisted that I had to contact them via snail mail! Ha ha! But it’s all paid off in the end.”

IT’S A VERY ECLECTIC BILL, IN TRUE ROADBURN TRADITION…

“I didn’t want it to be ‘Lee Dorrian curates Roadburn…’ and just have a load of stoner rock and doom bands. That would be a bit boring. So I just thought ‘What would an ideal gig be?’ Having Diamanda Galás, Pentagram, Gism and Repulsion on the same bill is just nuts. Somehow it all seems to fit, though!”