Roam: Slam Dunk Festival 2018 Interview

Before their first set of the bank holiday weekend, we caught up Roam’s Alex Costello (vocals) and Alex Adam (guitar/vocals) to find out more about their new album and what exactly happened at Wetherspoons...

Noizze: It’s been two years since you last played Slam Dunk, how’s it feel to be back?

AC: We’re very excited to be back and see how much the crowd has grown.

AA: It’s always exciting to play Slam Dunk because it’s one of the best festivals there is for our kind of music, like the UK version of Warped Tour.

Noizze: How much do you notice your fanbase grow after playing Slam Dunk?

AC: You see all these kids come from all over the UK to come to this festival so it’s sick to see how many people we’ll play in front of.

AA: It’s effectively like if we went on tour but only played three shows. These are the biggest crowds we ever play to and it’s by far the most fun we have as a band.

Noizze: You were quite involved in Slam Dunk’s Signature Brew, weren’t you?

AC: We weren’t but the others were.

AA: We don’t drink beer because we think it tastes like cat piss. Beer’s so horrible, you get so angry about it, don’t you? [laughs]

AC: Just the smell of it…

AA: When someone spills it on you on a night out, that’s it, you’re going home. [laughs] So we didn’t actually go. We were asked to but we thought this’ll just be pointless because we’ll be like “this one tastes shit, this one tastes shit, this one tastes shit…” I think the others had a good time though. We’ve got our name on a beer which is cool and it’s supposedly the world’s biggest band-beer collaboration, so I’m just going to take a can home and never drink it.

Noizze: Who are you planning on seeing over the weekend?

AC: I would love to see Counterparts but we clash with them every single day I think.

AA: I want to see Knuckle Puck but they’re on right now, and Lower Than Atlantis, State Champs, Homesafe and Stand Atlantic. Not Grayscale though, they’re a REALLY BAD BAND. [Side note: Grayscale were being interviewed five feet away] Pretty much any band that isn’t heavy – if they’re shouting then I don’t wanna know. [laughs]

Noizze: But you guys do a fair bit of shouting in ‘Deadweight’ though...?

AA: Yeah but it’s not screamy, it’s just us thinking we’re hard!

Noizze: You’ve toured and played other festivals with a lot of bands on this year’s line-up, are there any other bands playing this weekend that you want to support or have support you?

AA: I’d love to do another run with State Champs, that was so much fun last time. Grayscale too.

AC: Good Charlotte.

AA: Sleeping With Sirens would be sick, I bet they’d be so fun to tour with.

Noizze: Can we expect any antics between you and As It Is over the weekend…?

AA: I will destroy Ben [Langford-Biss, As It Is guitarist] onstage because he’s decided he’s going to dress like a bat, which I will comment on that. But other than that I don’t think they’re going to crash our set or anything but maybe, I don’t know!

Noizze: So for those that don’t know, what’s the backstory with you and As It Is?

AC: Well we started playing shows together when we were tiny. We started our bands at a similar time and played together in pubs and watch each other because no one else turned up. [laughs] We’ve kind of grown up with As It Is.

AA: And now we have to comment on everything they do.

Noizze: You tweeted you got kicked out of Wetherspoons the other day, was it really as dramatic as it sounds?

AA: Yeah she had a go at me!

AC: So we tweeted our table number so people could just order us stupid stuff through the app like milk and peas, but we were waiting for like half an hour and nothing came. So I went up to the bar and asked if we had anything coming out…

AA: She went mental at us and told us to finish our drinks then leave while she refunded everyone. I think her problem was that we were ordered like seven kids’ milks in the space of about ten minutes, five portions of peas, some mayonnaise, an egg…

Noizze: Getting onto the serious questions though, what’s your Spoons order?

AC: Just a burger and chips, lasagne, or the chicken tikka curry.

AA: I quite like the pie, I’m a pie man after my grandad. He’s got a Cornish accent but he’s not even from Cornwall, we don’t know why he’s picked it up.

Noizze: A lot of your fans get tattoos inspired by your lyrics and such, how did you first react to that? Do you kind of consider it normal now?

AA: Yeah I think so, I’m not shocked by it anymore but I think when the first few happened we were like “oh my god…” What if we aren’t exactly…nice…people? You don’t necessarily know the people in the band, so it was insane to see people get tattoos of our stuff at first but now we’re just like “ah that’s cool”. But I do think it’s very cool to see people that are willing to do that because it’s going to be there forever so that’s a commitment to our band.

Noizze: You’ve said before that you’re not exactly mad rockstars when on the road, has the last few tours changed that at all?

AC: We drink more wine now.

AA: Because we don’t drink beer, we’re not necessarily that rowdy because you get given beer on tour, you don’t typically get given a bottle of wine unless you ask. I might start asking for it and have a bottle of red wine before going onstage. If I could have a bottle of red wine and a giant straw so I can drink while I’m playing…

Noizze: You did that at Sound Control in Manchester a few years ago though, didn’t you?

AA: Yeah with mulled wine that I boiled in the kettle, that was sick! Entrepreneurial there, I did a good job of that. [laughs] But no we’re not more mental now, we go to Travel Lodge, put on Family Guy and go to bed. Sometimes if we’re doing DJ sets or are having a night out, that’s when we can get rowdy because I try and fight people when I get drunk. I turn into what they call “Fightman” and I do stuff like kick cubicle doors open when people are in them. [laughs] I go a bit mental when I drink which is why I don’t do it that often. I unleash a side of me no one wants to see. No one ever actually fights me though because I think they look at me and they’re like “you don’t mean that you scrawny little man” but nonetheless it is quite fun.

Noizze: Have you noticed any become particular fan favourites while performing new songs?

AC: Yeah other than the singles which we figured people would know, there’s ones like ‘Left For Dead’ and ‘Flatline’ that they know all the words to.

AA: Yeah I agree, ‘Playing Fiction’ and ‘Alive’ obviously.

Noizze: Do you think Great Heights and Nosedives was the album that made you find your feet in pop punk?

AC: It’s definitely the best thing we’ve ever done.

AA: I think it’s definitely what we want to sound like. Backbone was great and it was a great stepping stone for us in the world of touring professionally and headlining. It taught us a lot but I think as a representation of what we want to sound like and where we feel confident, Great Heights and Nosedives is a much better example of that. I think it shows as the crowds have grown significantly since we released it, and it’s starting to feel like it’s our time as a band to headline and rather than always being the support band.

Massive thanks to Roam for taking the time to chat to us! Catch the guys on their intimate tour across the UK this July.