In Conversation - As Lions

In the comfort and madness of backstage at Download Festival 2016 As Lions guitarist Will Homer has a quick chat with us about the fledgling band and their plans for the year.

Here we are at the spiritual home of rock, Donnington Park, how does it feel to be here?
We had a really good time today, it was awesome to see so many people come and check us out.

Playing a larger stage like the Zippo Encore stage, do you prefer that, where the crowd are far away from you, or the little club gigs where the crowd are right in front of your face?
All of the shows, the small shows, the bigger shows, they all have their perks. I mean I love playing the small, intimate packed club shows, where everyone is in your face having a great time. Playing bigger shows like today though is great also.

And you get the extra exposure from playing to thousands more people on big stages like this.Is it a challenge only having two songs released, because the crowds coming to see you won't necessarily know your material?
I think that's one fun part of the set because you get to see the crowd gradually get into your set as it progresses. We have played quite a lot of shows in the last year and we see the same faces come to the shows and gradually people are recognising the tunes and singing along to the lyrics.

With the previous material in Rise To Remain, it was a lot more heavier and less anthemic, do you think that the newer material is going to work better in the enormo-domes that you are going to be playing with Five Finger Death Punch at the end of the year?
Yeah we have just really responded to the way we are writing at the moment. As you said it's a lot different to what we did previously and we think that's what will come across in the upcoming arena shows.

With you having toured over the last year as you mentioned, has that helped hone your sound on the upcoming EP?
To be honest, yeah we have been honing our skills and style ready to record the last bit of the album and just picking up on things along the way and see what works and what doesn't.

Now, it was absolutely leathering it down with rain at the festival, what are your worst tour experiences so far?
On stage, nothing too terrible, the van has broken down enough times and like into today's set I had a bit of technical difficulties, but the show must go on.

I saw Austin's mic chord get caught in the monitor and he made a little gesture like "oh for gods sake!"
That happens at EVERY show, but as long as every ones having fun, that's all that matters.

At most metal shows you have the pit down the front and it can get quite dangerous, whereas today Austin had people with arms around each others shoulders jumping up and down in lines. That felt almost like a community coming together.
Yeah, we are at a festival, there is thousands of strangers in a field and its a way for us to bring everybody in together.

As Lions debut EP Aftermath is released on October 14th, available in places music is sold and streamed.

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