It’s an incredibly warm Saturday at Slam Dunk festival. It’s the early afternoon, and the partying is already well underway; while bands are already kicking things off on the surrounding stages, we grabbed a few minutes at the festival with Louisiana’s Cane Hill before their first ever UK performance, on Kerrang!’s Fresh Blood stage.
BM: Are you excited to play Slam Dunk, three dates in three different places?
Witt: We didn’t know why it was Saturday, Sunday and Monday… Is Monday a holiday? We’re so weirded out because yesterday was Friday
BM: It probably could be Friday, Saturday and Sunday but most people have the day off on a Monday. Anyway, your full length debut album is out in July, how are you feeling about that?
James: We’re very excited, yeah
BM: On listening to you guys, it’s so surprising that you don’t even have a full length album out there yet
Witt: It was supposed to be a full album, the self-titled EP that we put out. But we hated a lot of it, there was a lot of shit on it
James: We just took the songs that we considered the best and put them on there
Witt: There is a song that I really wish had been on the album, but you can illegally download it, so I don’t give a fuck!
BM: What should we illegally download?
James: Well there’s like five more tracks that we never really released and they’re all over the internet
BM: So the new album is called Smile, and the artwork is really striking, what was the idea behind that?
Witt: I wanted to vomit for an album cover for a very long time, and a lot of photographers are against that. So we came up with a solution, where I would vomit jewellery. But the back cover of the booklet is me actually vomiting, so we got it in there somewhere!
BM: So how did that come about, did you drink loads or…?
Witt: I’m very good at vomiting. So I drank a bunch of Gatorade that we mixed with yoghurt, and I was just in a bathtub naked, it was very awkward and weird.
James: There was one moment when it got weird and they wanted him to ejaculate…
Witt: They wanted me to jerk off! Our manger was well up for it, and that was like the only time that I’ve ever really felt uncomfortable on a camera
BM: So they were against you vomiting, but that’s fine…?
Witt: Well the photographer was against it, but we found an amazing photographer that was super down for all the shit we wanted to do, crazy woman. Honestly probably like five months later and I would have jerked off… I dunno why I was so nervous. Second album though!BM: How are you doing so well without an entire album even out there yet?
Witt: I have got no fucking idea.
James: Well, when you sell your soul to the devil, everything is really easy.
Witt: Robert Johnson is one of the greatest guitarists of all time, because he sold his soul to the devil. He might not be the most famous, but he’s the best.
James: If you want a serious answer, it really all goes to Raw Power management, they just wanna see us succeed.
Witt: I think the music is also good, so that helps. We’re playing some new songs today so…
BM: We’ll be there, at 5.40pm
Witt: Five forty? There’s definitely a ‘t’ in there…
(Some confusion between accents goes on…)
BM: Not when you’re from Leeds there isn’t! So you probably get this question quite a lot, but what are your influences? Because there’s a lot to hear in there…
Witt: Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, Britney Spears…
BM: Well who doesn’t love Britney?
Witt: Britney is from Kentwood, Louisiana, which is almost where we’re from
James: To be honest, most of my influences would be like Metallica, Pantera, Alice In Chains, a lot of older stuff- White Zombie, Rob Zombie. Nothing really current
BM: Not sure if you’re going to be offended or glad, but I hear some Marilyn Manson in there?
Witt: Yeah Manson is the OG!
BM: You’re touring with Bullet and Killswitch at the end of the year, are you excited about that?
Witt: Still not really even hit me yet…
James: It’s crazy like when I first got into metal, Killswitch were one of my first ‘holy shit’, y’know
Witt: I don’t think I’ve ever listened to Killswitch… I don’t listen to metal
James: He listens to weird shit
Witt: 90s alt; Pearl Jam, Third Eye Blind, The Wallflowers, Cranberries…
BM: But anyway, with Bullet, that’s pretty massive
Witt: Yeah it’s fucking tight, we keep getting emails over and over again about more tours, and we’re like ‘what the fuck is going on’. Yeah it’s really cool
James: We made friends with Michael and their fill in drummer and bassist, and most of their crew members. We had a really good time so it’ll be good to see them all again.
Witt: And they’re fucking so good live!
James: Matt’s very talented
BM: Have you played in England before today?
Witt: No, today in Leeds is the first time!
James: I’ve never even been on a plane before!
BM: So how did that go?
James: It was trippy, the only thing that really sucked was sleeping. The turbulence wasn’t as bad as everybody made it sound, it wasn’t storming but I’m sure it could have been much worse…
Photography by Ian Collins