• Sadie Maude


Having not set foot on a stage for 18 months, I couldn’t think of a more fitting way to open up Slam Dunk’s main stage than with "The Bottom Line"’s new single "Long Time Coming". We sat down with their guitarist Tom Newton and bassist Max Ellis to talk all things from new singles to jousting crowd surfing matches!

I saw that you’ve been dreaming of playing Slam Dunk since being teens, what did it meant to you to finally be able to play today AND be opening up the main stage?

Max: For us I feel it’s like an acceptance thing. We’re a pop punk band and Slam Dunk is the home of this music, it’s like the Donnington. If you’re in to pop punk and this sort of stuff, then this is the one. We’ve wanted this for such a desperately long time, and we’ve worked so hard. What’s crazy is that we were supposed to be playing a smaller stage and then one day the guy that runs the show messaged Tom on Facebook like “Do you want to open main stage?”.

Tom: What do you even say to that! “Lol”, “Thumbs up”?!

M: We just love it, and to be around so many bands that have inspired us to get into music or are exciting us to keep going in music puts us in a really good place.

Sadly, you had to push back the "Long Time Coming" European tour a few times, have you got anything exciting lined up for it?

M: Just getting there would be a start! We should get lots of crazy props.

T: Have you heard what we’re doing for "Zebrahead" by the way?

M: Yeah, we’re going to have a jousting crowd-surfing match!

T: We’re going to ride an inflatable swan, and ones a dragon.

M: We’re going to ride them towards each other in a wall of death. We’re sharing a bus with "Zebrahead" and they suggested it to us and we were like ‘Um YES!’. But yeah, we love playing in Europe because it’s like something gets lit inside of us. We enjoy playing England, it’s our country we love it, but when we go to Europe it’s just that little special. It’s almost like going on holiday in the sense that you’re in a different country. Getting 100 people down to a show anywhere is amazing but if you’re 500 miles away from home it’s just so touching.

T: One thing that stuck with me was when we played in Rome. You walk out on stage in Rome which is cool as fuck and they’re all singing the words which is crazy!

M: Over here there’s so many options with live music and you can just pick and choose which ones you want to go to. But in Europe there’s only one rock show like every three months, so what they’ll do is really study every support band and they almost treat the support bands like the headliners. It’s going to be so crazy going out there in the new year too because it’s been so long since we’ve done headline shows so I’m really looking forward to seeing how it is.

Sadly Tom, your festival, Teddy Rocks, has been unable to run this year – how excited are you for it to be back next year?!

T: So, we’ve got an announcement on the 24th which is our full line-up, and we have our first international headliner flying over from America. It’s been really hard because obviously the reasons I do the festival and trying to raise money for a cause. That one really hurt a lot, especially because of what it’s about. It’s going to be really good to get back in that field and I think everyone’s more ramped up than ever. It’s the strongest line-up we’ve ever had, the best site we’ve ever had and hopefully we raise some money because that’s what its about. I really think the 2019 festival put us on the map and it was really cool, so fingers crossed for next year!

Your new singles "Broke" and "Long Time Coming" have both had such a great reception, how does it feel to finally be able to play them live?

M: When you write a new song you just never know how it’s going to go down. You could write your favourite song ever in the studio, then play it live and not really feel it. Then others you could play a song that you didn’t think would be as great live and people love it. You can never tell. Today was our first time playing those singles and oh my god it felt amazing! I think the great thing about the new music is we always fit in to the pathway of being a pop punk band but the music we’re doing now is pretty much like fuck that lets play what we want to play and play what we like. So, we have got a range of different vibes on the album.

T: I’m kind of the darker person in the band, I like the heavier riffs!

M: I think music is changing so much and it’s become so dynamic that gone are the days where you spend two or three years slaving away making a single then another single then an album, those days seem to be gone.

T: If you don’t make music for two or three years now, you’re gone.

M: Now, every six weeks you’ve got to be dropping something or doing something new. We live in a generation where everything is at your fingertips, and if you don’t give people something then they move on. We’re excited to get back in the studio, we’ve got a lot of material that just needs to be harnessed together. We’re going to be so amped after this weekend, so I think it’s all going to come together a lot faster!

While we’re on the subject, your recent video for "Broke" featured Tyler Posey of "Teen Wolf" – how did that collaboration come around?

T: What a lad, what a lad.

M: We did a tour with "PVMNTS", which is a band he played in in 2018 and we just got on really well. He’s such a nice guy, he’ll always back you up he’s super supportive, just such a lovely genuine person. We were just talking to him about the music we had coming out, and we were saying ‘we’re thinking of doing a video like this’ and he was like ‘Oh dude! What about this, this, this and this?!’. We didn’t ask him to star in it because he’s an incredibly busy guy. One thing you’ve got to be careful about is, we are genuinely friends with him, and we don’t want to cross that boundary by asking him to do stuff, so when he turned around and said he’d feature in it we thought that was really cool. What I love about Tyler is that he’s just a guy in a band, yeah, he’s got his acting and this crazy lifestyle but he’s a vans wearing, scruffy guy like the rest of us! He’s a lad though, he really is. A handsome guy too!

*Cal and Matt walk over*

C: Ahhh what’s going on here?! Anything fun?!

Matt: Just crashing your interview!

T: Just talking about how handsome Tyler is.

C: He is bloody handsome…

Max: My mum watched that video and then when he took his top off at the end she was like ‘Ooo he’s handsome!’

T: Imagine if your mum hooked up with Tyler Posey!

Max: Her standards are far too high!

Well, on the "Teen Wolf" vein, if you could all transform into one mystical animal, or have one as a pet, what would you choose and why?

T: I know mine, that’s easy, a penguin.

Max: That’s not a mystical animal!

T: Yeah, it is! Have you ever looked at a penguin and truly known what it was thinking?

C: I would transform into a white golden retriever.

Max: These are not mystical animals! I’d be a unicorn and I'd be really pretty, really horny, I’d be able to fly, and I’d shit rainbows!

T: What would you even class as mystical?

Max: A dragon, a gremlin-

T: A gremlin?!

Max: Yeah!

T: Nahhh thinking you’re big with your unicorn, I’m a penguin.

Max: Hey, at least I chose a mystical animal…

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