Steve Williams caught up with Chad, Jess & Matt from American band CKY ahead of their Zippo stage performance at Download Festival. Here's how he got on....
Steve - Thanks for joining me guys, I’ve seen you described as post-grunge, hard rock, stoner metal, skate punk.....what genre do you you think you are? Or don’t you really care?
Chad - Hard Rock. It’s the most understandable. The other titles are hard to figure out. Skater Rock I understand there’s a connection between CKY and skateboarding but no one really plays music on a skateboard (laughs).
Matt - it’ll be hard, you’d probably fall off.
Chad - Hard rock is always what I consider we do.
Steve - You’ve Been a 3 piece for a couple of years, how different has that been for you?
Chad - I get my own room and these guys still share (Matt laughs).
Steve - So that’s been the biggest change?
Matt - Yep and there’s an extra bunk on the bus now.
Chad - 3 piece bands have always been cool in my mind. It’s easier to connect with being in the band. It’s just one person less.
Steve - But did it change the way you made your music?
Chad - Not for the worse!
Steve - Your 2017 album ‘Phoenix’, does this symbolise you rising from the ashes, being reborn?
Chad - yes of course. It was definitely the reason we titled the album based on rebirth Yeah. Although the title ‘Phoenix’ came to me without thinking that but it does mean that. A Phoenix mythologically burns itself alive and rises from its own ashes which I kinda believe we did burn ourselves out, so it felt right.
Steve - So thinking of Download Festival, How much of a buzz do you get from performing live?
Matt- This is the atmosphere for it, this is THE festival, there are none really bigger than Download. It’s incredible and the chance to play in front of tens of thousands of people means there no bigger buzz. Any band wants to look out and see a sea of people!
Steve - So you're on the Zippo stage in a couple of hours, what happens between now and going out on stage, what do you do?
Chad - maybe a couple more interviews and then try to figure out if we need to take a shit, (laughs) a few do, I don’t I. On second thoughts, I think I do!
Steve- you probably have good toilets to use though.
Chad - No, but we do get to shit in the same place as a lot of famous people, so that’s cool.
Steve - Are you sticking around for the whole festival?
Chad - No we have to take off and catch a flight as were playing in Finland tomorrow. Yeah, so right after we’re done we are heading out.
Steve - If you had been staying, Who would you have most looked forward to seeing at DL?
Chad - Would have really loved to see Ozzy again..
Matt - Yeah Ozzy and GnR aswell especially with the line up.
Chad - We toured with GnR. We done like 19 shows with them
Steve - With the current line up?
Chad - No without Slash, so it was Axel’s GnR but it was back in 2001/2 in the States. It was a bit different but we got to see Axel every night!
Steve - Do you prefer Touring or Festivals?
Matt - They both have their ups and downs. The clubs are great as you really connect with the fans that way but for any artist it’s such a big boost to look out and see a sea of people.
Chad - Also they aren’t all your own crowd. So you're not preaching to the converted.
Steve - What’s the big difference between the touring and festival audiences?
Matt - Not everyone is going like us and the festival, so you're going to have to work twice as hard and convert some people over. Then hopefully you’re gonna see those people in the clubs.
Chad - Now you’re making me nervous.
Steve - And talking of audiences, do you see a difference between US, UK or European audiences?
Chad - Yes. The UK, no offence to the Unites States as I’m from there, the UK seems to have the strongest following and appreciation for rock n roll. It’s well obvious, rock n roll in the UK lives fuckin' forever.
Matt - There’s still a fanaticism around rock n roll here that died off a while ago for mid level and smaller bands in the US. You have to be huge in the US to draw a crowd you know. Yeah way different.
Steve - So, we (in the UK) are better?
Chad - It’s more of a pastime to go to concerts here than it is in the US.
(Jess joins the interview)
Steve - glad you joined us Jess, they can’t pick on you with the next question. Who is the biggest pain in the arse when touring?
Chad - Me! (laughs) I think.....
Matt- Chad is a pain in the arse, but everyone is at some point.
Jess - Yeah everyone has their days. You know, you kinda rotate.
Chad - You get cranky.
Steve - Chad you seem very keen to volunteer yourself here?
Chad - Well since I’m singing now, I figured the singer is always the biggest asshole. (Laughs)
Steve - Is that the diva effect?
Chad - No, it’s just my projection of a singer’s personality. I was actually a much bigger asshole a long time ago so I’m much nicer than I used to be. Maybe not such a dickhead. Maybe it’s Jess this time.
Jess - Yeah it’s me, I’m the fuckin' asshole or Matt.
Chad - Yeah him and his obsession with Nando's.
Matt - Yeah they give me shit cause I eat Nando’s every fucking day.
Steve - Who were you biggest influences and music idols?
Jess - That’s a tough one.
Chad - For the band or in general?
Steve - Collectively and individually?
Chad - Personally they are all different, collectively we like Classic rock.
Steve - So are talking about the 70s ?
Chad - 70s and 80s. I’m adding the 80s but I would never call it classic rock but these days they do. I’m older than that. Yeah I still listen to all that stuff, regards influence by, anything from Michael Jackson to anything with electric guitar.
Steve - What can you fans look forward to next from you?
Chad - We're doing an EP when we go back next week and then coming back to the UK for a headline tour in December and before that a 2 month run in the US. So we’re booked out touring until the end of the year.
Jess - We like to stay busy!
Steve - I’m sure you will do! Thank you so much for your time.....
We left the guys to undertake their pre-gig toilet duties and headed over to the Zippo stage to watch them perform an incredible set to a packed out crowd, I imagine after that performance, there'll be plenty of people checking out their offerings!
Interview by Steve Williams