Over the coming weeks, Already Heard will be highlighting a variety of bands set to play the Slam Dunk Festival later this month.
In the two years since making their Slam Dunk Festival debut, Birmingham’s Shvpes have gone from strength to strength with last year’s debut full-length, ‘Pain. Joy. Ecstasy. Despair.’ being one of several highlights. While their recent UK and European jaunt supporting Trivium being another bulletpoint on their growing CV.
As they prepare to make their return to Slam Dunk later this month, we grabbed a quick word with drummer Harry Jennings.
AH: Since we last spoke to you on your headline tour late last year, you’ve been out on the road with Trivium. How was it playing alongside them and Sikth throughout the UK and Europe?
Harry: It was quite simply the best experience any of us could’ve asked for. Trivium were the nicest dudes and treated us like equals, we shared a bus with Sikth so basically lived with them the whole tour, safe to say we are incredibly good friends now! Having the opportunity to stand tall with giants like those 2 bands was a challenge, but we took it on knowing it was a chance to show Europe what we can do.
AH: A lot has happened since you made your Slam Dunk debut two years ago. What are your memories of playing the festival in back in 2015?
Harry: I remember walking into the venue for the first time, we opened the stage and Architects headlined it. As we walked in they were sound checking and it just blew my mind. The crowd reactions we got at all three dates really surprised us, by the end we felt we really could come away from Slam Dunk with a new live energy which has carried on in our shows ever since.
AH: For anyone who hasn’t seen Shvpes since then, how would you say your live show has developed since then?
Harry: We’ve gotten a lot more confident, a lot more aggressive, a lot more in your face. If you’re at one of our shows and aren’t moving, you will be named and we’ll do everything to get that ass shaking.
AH: You’re playing early on the Impericon stage. Do you feel any extra pressure by being one of the first bands on?
Harry: Being first on is what we are used to, theres a certain beauty to it as you have to set the tone, set the standard for that stage going forward all day. We already opened at Slam Dunk 2015 and all three shows went off, so coming back this year, it feels more exciting more than nervous.
AH: Which bands would you recommend festival-goers make an effort to see over Slam Dunk weekend?
Harry: Black Foxxes, The Bronx, Don Broco and, obviously, Enter Shikari are the bands I can’t wait to catch over the 3 days, so be sure to go check out some of those guys.
AH: Slam Dunk is the start of a busy summer of festivals and a EU tour with While She Sleeps and Northlane. Besides Slam Dunk, are there any festivals or places you’re especially looking forward to visiting?
Harry: For me, Rock Am Ring/Rock Am Park and Hellfest are at the top of my list. I went to Hellfest last year, and in terms of festivals, it’s up there with one of the best I’ve ever been too. It’s really well organized and the stages are set out so well. Rock Am Ring is legendary. It is something I’ve always wanted to say my band is playing just because of its world wide status.
‘Pain. Joy. Ecstasy. Despair.’ by SHVPES is out now on Search and Destroy/Spinefarm Records.
SHVPES will be playing at 2:40pm on the Impericon Stage at Slam Dunk Festival on all three dates.
Slam Dunk Festival 2017 takes place on the following dates:
Sat 27 The NEC, Birmingham
Sun 28 City Centre, Leeds
Mon 29 Forum, Hatfield (SOLD OUT)
Tickets can be purchased here.