We caught up with Josh Brozzesi of With Confidence at Slam Dunk Festival to talk about festivals, bands he loves, the manchester attack and who is real life Voldemort...
Kate: Hey guys, welcome back to Slam Dunk Festival! One year later, and a bigger stage… how are you feeling about these performances this weekend?
Josh: Hey! I’m feeling really good. I think last year we had no idea what to expect and we were little babies just chilling outside of Australia for the first time. We did Japan on the way over and some shows with As It Is, but they were some of the first international shows we’ve ever done. Just having people care and show up, jump along, and sing along was really nice to see. We’ve done some side shows and they’ve been going down really well. I watched our friends play the same stage last year like Roam and As It Is, The Story So Far and the crowds were insane. I remember this room in particular having great sound so I have pretty high expectations. I’m hoping these shows will be some of my favourites.
K: Any bands you’re excited to see over the weekend?
J: Yes, yes! I have a list of about 30, Against Me! is one of them, Don Broco who we just toured the US with, amazing! Seaway, Deaf Havana, Like Pacific, Trophy Eyes, The Maine, Boston Manor, Citizen and Turnover.
K: A full scale variety then?
J: I love all kinds of music, that’s why I love this festival!
K: I mean it started out as a pop punk festival back in 2006 but it has branched out.
J: Yeah, you’ve got guys like Stray From The Path and Frank Iero, I mean you’d never expect Frank Iero.
K: Hailing from Australia, how would you say UK shows compare with those back in Australia?
J: They’re very similar, I’ve found between the UK, US and AUS people kind of know what songs are the energetic ones. What songs to jump in and run around to. I love that over here people are so vocal, constantly shouting things out. Glasgow they love their chants. We lost a bet a few nights ago and had to play 500 Miles there and it was just a good time. I think over here you all just love to have a good time.
K: If you had to say, who is the better crowd?
J: It’s so tough, I feel like Australia is always great because we’re at home and we’re surrounded by our friends. I mean the US shows were some of the biggest shows we’ve ever played with State Champs though, that was one of my favourite tours we’ve ever done. US tours are always so long like you’re doing about 35 dates often, two months pass. I think US is just my favourite market at the moment, but I think it’s the variety that makes it so great. I just love playing to all three really.
Photo Credit: Benjamin Robson
K: You’re currently on a co-headliner with Set It Off, how has this been so far?
J: It’s been really good, I know we just headlined in March and I feel like people are like “Oh you’re already back”, but so many people go hard like crowd surfing and mosh pits. So many familiar faces, it’s nice to see. It’s nice to see people supporting us after two months, we’ve just done a signing and so many kids came down.
K: In light of what happened on Monday in Manchester, you guys still decided to continue with your show in the city on Thursday, despite other bands cancelling their shows. Was this a difficult decision?
J: Honestly, no. We got a call from the promoter asking ‘Do you wanna go ahead? How do you feel? How do the other bands feel?’ and we felt like we were going to play the show no matter what. We understood some people wouldn’t want to come and that’s fine. Of course you might not feel like leaving the house, we knew Manchester was hurting but we also knew that some people would feel a lot better if they could go and do something and they had that option. We just wanted to give people the option. Any kind of terrorism and acts like that of violence that try to control you with fear is something we don’t like to see, it’s disgusting. Attacking a concert where everyone is so young, where the audience are so young it’s disgusting. It’s just plain wrong. We thought the best way to go about it was to be like “fuck you” and just play a show. We’re just totally against this, we just want love and peace, good vibes.
K: When writing Better Weather, what were your biggest musical/lyrical inspirations?
J: Just life experience, mainly the last two and three years, coming out of school awhile back and just dealing with life. I think all through school you have a sense of direction and everything all planned out. You just kind of drop out and think “shit what do I do?” I feel like a child now still at 24 like even in school I didn’t know what I wanted to do. We also had a lot of friends go through depression and mental illness, experienced it ourselves even. I think that was something that came through the album a lot without it intending to. It’s really cool that we can put something out and people can say it helps them, they don’t feel alone and it’s something a few people are going through. With it being a poppy record it can be put on and have in the background, it’s not too serious.
K: What does the rest of 2017 have in store for With Confidence fans? Will you be writing any new material in the new future?
J: A lot, I think. It’s been the busiest 12 months of our lives. I think we’ve spent about 9 or 10 months touring. I think we’re going to try record album two before the end of the year because we’ve been writing a lot. Definitely more touring. I’d say we’re probably going to try come back to the UK, we love it here so we’re going to try come back.
K: Is the new material going to take a new direction?
J: It’s hard to tell right now because it’s still early days. I think it’s already being taken somewhere different. All our favourite bands have always progressed and matured as they went a long and even thinking back to when we started the band, I was like nineteen almost twenty and we were writing about completely different things- we were such different people. I feel like as we grow our music is going to change but it won't be anything too radically different- just like my favourite bands Kings Of Leon, Coldplay and definitely Paramore who always change it up and do something different. I’ve heard some of the new Neck Deep stuff and they’ve definitely changed it up with Sam Carter from Architects and a few slower tracks. I don’t know, I think the best bands are never afraid to see where the writing goes and for us it’s never planned, we just write how we feel and it’s very organic and it’s very much just “How’s it fitting together, how are we going to make this cohesive, how’re we going to make this an album”.
K: Having a song called ‘Voldemort’, it was hard to resist, we know Voldemort is the fictitious bad guy in Harry Potter, but who is your real life equivalent?
J: Who’s the big bad guy in the world? Donald Trump definitely, we fucking hate Donald Trump. Anyone who’s gonna alienate and isolate people over something they can’t control, he’s a scumbag and just had dirtbag policies. I think we all kind of swing towards the left a little bit as well, we had the divide between the rich and poor especially when we see that in some countries more than anyone’s. Anyone who’s going to alienate people for their race, sexuality or gender... we hate that shit, it’s not welcome at our shows. Our shows are a safe place, that’s why we wanted to go ahead with that show after Monday, it’s just a place that people can be together and not have to worry about things like the shit they’re going through because I mean we’re all going through shit I don’t know we just want to give people an hour to have a good time and come out of it in a great mood.