Room Thirteen cornered Breed 77 at Download to make them tell us about their new album, touring, and what it was like to play the third stage after opening the Main Stage last year.

R13: How are you all? I saw you play at Download this year, and also when you did a mini tour of record stores...but how did this years set compare?
B77: Yeah, it was a very different kind of feel, since last year we were the only British band on the main stage...we were opening it up and we wanted to start it with a bang. We told ourselves we were going to kick if off like Download should be kicked off! It was an incredible experience. This time though, we weren't going out there to prove anything like we were last year... We've been away for about six months now so we wanted to test the water. It was a great set.

R13: Are you more comfortable playing on the size of the third stage than you are playing on the main stage?
B77: The bigger we get, the better... We were expecting everyone to want to see Velvet Revolver, but we pulled a big crowd. I mean, even we wanted to see Slash playing! I was very surprised with the crowd we had. Happy, but surprised.
R13: Then again, Velvet were playing a bit later...
B77: Yeah... We caught up with Slash in Gibraltar last year, of all places! I mean, no one goes to Gibraltar! He was going to have a holiday in the south of Spain with his family...and he talked to us. It was very cool.

R13: Your latest single 'Shadows' is really different from your older stuff - different, but still really good. How come you decided to change your sound?
B77: We really enjoy doing acoustic shows, so for a while we did lots of them. We played this semi-acoustic version of 'Shadows' and everyone really liked it. Someone told us it was worth putting down on record, so we decided to. We did it, the company liked it, and so we put it out. It was a weird step for us, just like it was for out fans- the same for us, but we like experimenting and pushing away from what we know. It did pretty well as well. We were happy with the reception. And now we're recording new material for the album and it's different again. It's more fun to experiment. It keeps you on your toes.

R13: You're playing Bloodstock Open Air this month - what do you think about that?
B77: (laughs)
R13: How come you decided to be part of that? I was rather surprised when you were announced.
B77: We wanted to do it because it's got a great credibility. There are so many bands playing that we love. We wanted to play with them. Everyone there does their own thing so we wanted to join in.
R13: Surely the audience is very different?
B77: Of course, but we've loads of classic things in our songs. We might be rock, but we do have classical influences.

R13: What bands will you be checking out at BOA? Are you staying for the whole thing?
B77: No, we can't because we have a concert in Switzerland and that's the next day. We're playing with System of a Down, The White Stripes....

R13: Is it the first time you've played with System of a Down?
B77: Yeah, we're looking forward to it.

R13: Are you doing more European festivals this year?
B77: No, we're trying to cut back because we want to nail recording our album. We want the album to be out next year. We're also waiting for some news from the USA. We've been there before, but we want to do a tour there. There are lots of territories that we need to break still. We want to play Australia as well. A lot of bands say they want to, but no one ever does!
R13: Yeah, they are slightly deprived of music compared to the UK and the US.
B77: But it's so stupid! They have brilliant venues over there! As well as wanting to play Australia though, we'd like to do a homecoming gig this September. It's a possibility, but I don't know if we'll be able to with the new album and everything. We're trying to keep it all mixed up and a bit different, with the plans to tour other places and the album. We're trying not to become bored - or lazy.

R13: Do you still have to have a job alongside the band, or is that something of the past now?
B77: Yeah, for a couple of years now we've not had to have a job. We're not rich, but we can pay the rent. There's no point in being rich if you can't do things. Loads of our mates are working in banks and shit like that and they're loaded, but we've had so many experiences they'll never have. They always complain about their lives.

R13: Have you done any wild things since you've been in the band?
B77: Got naked! (Laughs)

R13: Are you off later then?
B77: Yeah... wish we could see System though because their new stuff is great!
[Band are dragged off still talking about System of a Down]