Ali, you reviewed so few bands at Download, what on earth were you doing?
Believe it or not, despite my incessant praise of 99% of the line-up this year, I spent most of the weekend interviewing and researching before said interviews. My first year as press was hectic, exhausting, yet bloody exciting and, ultimately, I wouldn't change it for the world.
It's been an honour to interview bands that I'm passionate about and who are in turn incredibly passionate about what they do. Having seen enough interviews fall at the first hurdle because bands don't care what they say or how they come across, I was terrified a festival environment could show me a side of the music industry I never wanted to see. Luckily, every single person I spoke to was an absolute trooper, responded like a pro and laughed along with me as we got down to random light-hearted questions to lighten the mood nearer the end.
Would I do press for a festival again? In a heartbeat. Particularly Download, because it's Download. But there's something about that adrenaline of running from second stage down to the press area for an interview in 5 minutes that made everything so exciting.
So without further ado, have a read of all the chats I had with bands over the weekend for Already Heard.