With 2000Trees approaching we caught up with one of the festival’s favourite sons Jamie Lenman for a chat about festivals, surprises and of course everyone’s favourite festival.
Hi Jamie, how’s it going?
Very nice thank you, just organising various bits to go along with the new single – pre-orders, download links, all the social media jazz.
How has your 2018 been so far?
Brilliant! It started very busy when we were preparing for the big album tour and then we did that for a month and then almost straight away we went on a short trip to Europe with Arcane Roots and it was all very exciting, great reactions every night, really enjoyed playing. Since we got back we did a bit of work recording the new single and then there was a bit of a lull but it’s all started going again now with the release around the corner and the festivals on their way!
What does the rest of 2018 have in store for you?
I can’t really see past the festivals at the moment, and that takes us right up to the middle of September, but I expect we’ll have to have a chat at some point in the next couple of months about what we do in the last quarter of the year. Lots of possibilities.
You seem to have a longstanding love for and from 2000 Trees, how did that come about?
My love for them comes directly from their love for me – I don’t really understand it but it’s hard to deny that sort of thing when you’re faced with it. I think most folks will know that my old band Reuben were booked to headline maybe the second ever 2000 Trees festival when they were still quite small but we broke up before it could happen, which could have really hurt them at a critical moment and made them hate me. Instead, the opposite happened – they went from strength to strength and they can’t get enough of me! I think that shows a real understanding and a genuine passion for music, which is very rare.
Last year your mainstage set was one of the highlights [the acoustic set was also excellent]; what can we expect from your set at this year’s 2000 Trees? Are there any surprises/costumes in store?
Oh dear, have I got a reputation for wearing costumes now? Let me tell you, I bought that Freddie Mercury jacket for my own purposes but I reasoned that if I played a Queen song and wore it on stage then technically it’s a taxable expense – it’s all economics, man. There’s definitely going to be some surprises in store this year, though. Maybe no funny jackets but I’m packing the bag full of treats …
How hard is it to balance a set list with so many fan favourites to squeeze in?
What a question! You flatter me. Writing a set is actually a huge task, very important and I spend an awful lot of time thinking about it. It has to have a flow, you have to know when to try the new one and when to bring out the deep cut and so on … it’s great to have so much material to pick from, but each song has to be right for that moment.
Do you have any top tips for this year’s line up?
Lots! It’s an embarrassment of riches out there! Black Peaks and Arcane Roots for a kick off, good friends of mine. Frauds and Haggard Cat too, did a tour with those dudes last year … then they’ve got Jonah Matranga, one of my all-time heroes, Brutus, who I love from afar, Boston Manor, Gender Roles and Black Futures are all my boys. It’s like my birthday party or something. Palm Reader! Dave McPherson! I’ll stop now.
What does the rest of the festival season have in store for you?
We’re doing a couple of regional bits that I’ve never done before, one called Tramlines in Sheffield, one called Rocked Up in Corby, we’ve got ArcTanGent in Bristol at the end of the summer and then out to Hamburg for the Reeperbahn festival at the start of the autumn. I’m sure there’s some I’ve forgotten. Has Download happened yet?
You’ve just put out a double A sided single; does this mean there is more new music to come?
I hope so. It’s all about finding the right time to do these things, hooking it up with a tour or festivals or whatever, giving it the best chance to get heard. I feel like I’ve got a really good team around me – management, label, live, press etc. So that’s a very fertile environment for these things to come out of. Jesus Christ, I sound like a hippy.
Where can we find out more and pick up some records?
Well, you can always skip along to bsmrocks.com where they got all kinds of records by me and also great people like Gender Roles, Getup Kids, Hell Is For Heroes and all that jazz. Great lads.
You can still pick up tickets here and save 10% with the promo code ThirstyandMiserable