So this year you return for the second year running to Leeds Festival. How do you prepare yourself for a gig of this magnitude?
TB: It’s difficult to say, especially for me anywhere. I kind of go into a different zone, it’s one I naturally click into. The biggest crowd we have played in front of is around 80,000 so far and I don’t think about it or think about what could go wrong, it is just pure excitement. It doesn’t actually sink in that I’m actually playing a show until I come off. The band does have a kind of pre-gig ritual thing where we come together, shake hands but I just want to get out there. It’s that hour before that really drags as you wait for that pinnacle moment, that 45 mins goes by in what feels like 10 secs but that hour before felt like 4 days.
Does Hacktivist have any special surprises in mind for the festival?
TB: Playing some new tunes and probably we will be hitting it 10 times harder on stage but unfortunately that is all I can relay at the moment, everything else is hush.
If you can hang around after the festival, who will you be itching to see?
TB: We play Reading on the Friday so get to head straight to Leeds after so we will be checking out lots of acts. Personally I’m looking forward to seeing Netsky. I’ve met him a few times, an incredible producer and all round nice guy. I have a wide variety of musical tastes so it’s not about seeing ‘bands’, it’s why I love Reading & Leeds, it’s so diverse musically.
Die Antwoord is someone I’m very excited about, I’ve never seen them and never thought I’d get a chance to. I have a ring ready so I can propose to Yo-Landi, she is definitely mental but you know you’d never have a boring life with her.
Being such a hybrid band, how do you even start to put a set list together for an event like this, where you’re playing for an audience of not just fans but also people who have never seen you?
TB: We just go in with the thought process to make it as intense as we can, the layout, the beat – it has to be in your face. We like to have a gap in the middle to not just let the crowd catch their breath but to also show what we can do, where we can go with it. I can promise it is going to be intense, exciting and something you have never heard before. It’s a good time to play older songs but also the perfect time to debut new songs from the upcoming album.
You played last year on a smaller stage how was that?
TB: It was intense, the tent was to capacity and people were climbing up the rigging to get a chance to see us which was just amazing. The fact it happened at both Reading and Leeds was just mind-blowing.
Can we expect something special from Hacktivist over the coming months?
TB: Yes definitely. I can’t say too much just yet but hopefully soon the album will be out. We have had a couple of crazy years and kind of worked backwards to how a band normally does. We played pretty much every festival there is to play and just kept gigging so, where in it’s infancy most bands write and record, we instead hit the road and sold ourselves. Now, we have started working on the product. We got a chance, we got put out there and there was no way we could say no. Who knows what is going to happen in the future. It was just amazing to do what we did, I mean we got to go out as support to KORN.
It’s just as important to be out there as it is to have a record. We have taken our time to create something we know is special and we are confident that when it does come out it will be better than what is expected of us. We have a few interesting collaborations with people who we have made good links with over the years and wanted to be on the album, which is incredible and will surprise a lot of people.
So tell the people out there who may not have heard Hacktivist why they should check you out?
TB: Well, in all honesty there is actually no-one out there who sounds like us. A perfect example is iTunes. When you release a track on there they put you into whatever genre you fit closest with. They couldn’t do that for us, nothing was like it and so they had to create a new genre titled ‘Hacktivist’. We have a self-titled song so when you get it and put it on your iTunes it reads Song - ‘Hacktivist’, Artist - Hacktivist, Genre - Hacktivist which is wicked. We are Hacktivist, you get blood, sweat and tears every time from us and we have a strong message – to unite people who don’t think they can be united. That is what we strive for.