After a successful run on the road following their hit album ‘Asymmetry’, Mallory Knox are set to take back to the stage at this years 10th anniversary Slam Dunk Festival! Soundcheck-Live caught up with Bassist Sam Douglas, to find out whats happening in the Mallory Knox camp, and chat all things Slam Dunk Festival!
Hi Sam, It’s been a mad couple of years since the release of ‘Asymmetry’ which was an incredible follow-up to ‘Signals’! How has this album cycle been for you guys, and what have been your highlights?It’s been fantastic. We’ve done some things we didn’t think even dream about when we first started this band. Asymmetry took us all over the world and allowed us to play some incredible venues and play be on lineups with bands we grew up idolising. I think for me personally my highlight was headlining Roundnhouse. Not only was it the last show of tour but it felt like everything we had done in the past had led up to that moment. I genuinely haven’t felt anything like it before when the curtain dropped and I saw 3000 people screaming back at us. We’ve played bigger shows and to more people but that was ours, it was our show and we’d spent the last 5-6 years getting to that point. No show has meant more to me.
There have been a lot of pictures in the studio surfacing for album 3 – what can you tell us about it so far?It’s one of those things that we have been working on for a long time now but we are still so far away from the finished product. All I can say is we have been working really really hard to create something that we love and that excites us as listeners and as musicians. It’s all coming together, and it’s sounding really fucking cool to be honest.
How have your influences changed over the years?Massively, more so these last 2 years than ever. I will always love the albums I grew up listening to. I will always love Blink, Alkaline Trio, Jimmy Eat World and so on but I’ve found myself craving more from music lately. Like i’m actually desperate to find and album that made me feel as excited as I did when I first put on Blinks untitled album in 2003. Rarely does anything new I hear make me feel that way. There’s the odd few songs, but never a whole album anymore. The only band that gets consistently close for me is Thrice, but that’s just personal preference. James and Joe are huge Oasis fans, they always have been but these last few years from my perspective, this is the first time it’s influenced their playing as guitarists if you know what I mean.
What are the biggest differences from where you are today and where you were a year ago?I think if anything we’re more driven. When you sit still between album campaigns and you see other bands getting big around you it fills you with pride that UK rock is where it is right now but it also makes you edgy, like you’re sitting on your hands while everyone else is releasing new albums, announcing new tours, selling out certain venues. We don’t want to compete, not by any means, we just have this belief within us that we can do anything if we really want to. We’ve always had this underdog mentality and that’s never died, if anything it’s just gotten bigger and made us hungrier.
You’re off the back of a huge European tour with Sleeping with Sirens, how does that compare to a UK tour? Is it difficult to keep your energy levels high?Not at all, we’ve been chomping at the bit to play more shows in Mainland Europe, and in all honestly we should have played way more shows out there than we have. So when the offer came into support SWS it was a no brainer. We were fortunate enough to have toured 2-3 months with them in the States at the start of 2015 so it really did feel like picking up where we left off with them. There was no having to make friends and awkward handshakes because there was already a big friendship between us all and I think that makes a tour so much more enjoyable and I think it shows in the actual shows that you play. That tour was a lot of fun, the only thing wrong with it was that it wasn’t long enough.
Naturally, you’re playing a number of festivals this year! Who are you most looking forward to sharing the stage with?Me personally i’m really looking forward to being on the same line up as The Starting Line and Yellowcard. Both those bands were soundtracks to my teenage years and if you’d told me when I was 14 one day you’ll be in a band on the same line up as then I really wouldn’t have believed it. Its a huge honour for me and I genuinely cannot wait to watch them.
It’s your hat-trick at this year’s Slam Dunk Festival, can we expect any match-ball winning surprises?This feels like the first show back for us. It feels like this is the start of the new album campaign. Although we won’t be playing any new songs or anything like that I think the whole energy and the vibe of the show will be like, here we are, we are back now. All that pent up energy of being locked away writing and not playing shows will kind of just explode out of us. Obviously we’ll try and make our show as stand out as possible and I hope that people will be as excited to see us again as we are to see them.
How does it feel to be a part of the 10th anniversary of Slam Dunk and what are your fondest memories of it?It’s a great privilege to be asked let alone play the Main Stage. I remember I went a couple of times as a punter when our band was nothing and think how much i’d love to play the smallest stage, just to be a part of it. From my experience is one of the funnest festivals to be a part of, it’s such a relaxed and fin vibe. Everyone seems to know everyone and the whole festival just comes with the greatest atmosphere. Some of my favourite shows we have played have been a part of Slam Dunk. I remember when we first played the Main Stage a good few years ago now coming off thinking it was the biggest and best show we’ve ever played.
How does the vibe of a festival based in a city centre like this, differ from a field based festival?I’m excited for that. I haven’t played a show in a city centre before. I hope people start crawling up traffic lights and stuff like that. I hope people are still working in their offices and watching us from the windows. It’s gonna have a somewhat anarchist feel to it, like the city has to stop because a shit load of Rock bands has took over. It’s gonna be a lot of fun i’m sure.
There’s a bunch of rad bands on this years line up! Who will you be catching throughout the day?Like I said The Starting Line & Yellowcard are musts for me. But i’m also so excited to catch up and watch Moose Blood. Genuinely, they are my favourite UK band right now. It’s been really good to see their rise. They supported us in 2013 and seeing them take step after step since then and to get where they are is a truly lovely thing. They’re a brilliant bet and even better bunch of people. They’re gonna be massive.
Finally what do you have planned for the rest of 2016?It’s the beginning again for us. We’ll record our new album and see what happens from there. Hopefully we’ll be everywhere, I want everyone to know about Mallory Knox.
Mallory Knox will play this years Main Stage at Slam Dunk Festival at the following times: