Interview: A Conversation with Blaenavon

Dot to Dot festival has just begun in Manchester, and I’ve left Babeheaven to head over to watch Blaenavon at The Ruby Lounge – click here to check out the review. After their set we head backstage for a super quick chat with Ben, Harris and a hungover Frank to talk disgusting festival memories and other weird shit.

So, you said on stage you just got here and started playing, why the rush?
Harris: Yeah, we were straight on, straight off.

Ben: We arrived, took the stuff out of the van put it straight on stage and just blasted out some rock tunes.

Nice. Sticking around for anyone else?

Ben: Yeah we’ll be hanging around with some mates, gonna go to Soup Kitchen, have some soup.

Harris: Might watch LISS.

Ben: And FEWS, but we’re probably see them tomorrow at Bristol. FEWS are cheeky tomatoes.

Sweet, what other festival are you doing this year?

Ben: Reading & Leeds, Latitude, Blissfields

Harris: Bingley Music Festival, Truck

Ben: Latitude, did I say Latitude?

You guys are Reading boys rather than Leeds massive right?

Ben: We’re closer to Reading than Leeds yes, but we’re not from Reading.

Harris: As soon as we finished our GCSE’s we headed to Reading not Leeds.

Okay, best festival memory?

Ben: That time that girl fell down into the toilet at Reading, she got gunged into the sewage of turd. Another great festival time was Brainchild 2012, we’d just had our school prom and we were all completely hungover and hadn’t slept at all and Harris was sick out the window on the motorway.

Did it splatter all across the car?

Harris: Yeah. We were only going at like 20mph but these two guys were pulling up alongside and filming it. We tried to find it afterwards on YouTube by searching “horrible goblin is sick outside”.

Ben: I tried to search “sick pig” but it didn’t come up with anything.

Harris: I felt fucking amazing after that though, probably dampened it up with Coronas.

Frank: Another great festival moment was when Harris “Dragonball Z’d” those guys

Harris: Did I?

Frank: Yeah you did the fucking flaming dragon.

Ben: Basically Harris had a fag up each nostril. Wait, no was that Frank?

Harris: Yeah but with spliffs.

Ben: Yeah we’ve had lots of good festival times. Arriving at Leeds 2013 and having the leakiest tent ever and just me and Harris taking 1500 selfies on my Sony Ericsson like completely drenched. And then the Foals DJ Set when we were fucking DJing with them up on stage, scratching the decks, doing the lasso dance to women. Shout out Transgressive.

Do you prefer city festivals or field festivals?

Ben: You know what, I think I might prefer city festivals.

Harris: I know what you mean, you get a bit of nice nosh afterwards.

Frank: We’ve done a lot of city festivals recently like Live At Leeds, SXSW – and they usually sound better too.

Didn’t realise you did SXSW!

Ben: Yeah man, do you not follow the socials?!

I try! I did see that picture of your tinnie tower a few weeks ago.

Ben: Yeah that was Reading 2012 with all my old homies from school. It smelt like shit and old beer, it was disgusting. My mate did a shit in a condom and threw it at someone’s tent and got kicked out of the festival and they wouldn’t let him back in. He was dragged away, there’s a video of him calling his mum explaining why he had to leave. True story.

Really? I’ve just heard that you lie all the time in interviews.

Ben: What? Yeah all the time.

Harris: Who’s said that? I need to know so we can get them.

Ben: An interesting tall tale is much better than our horridly flaccid truth.

Harris: That’ll be the headline of this interview now. “Blaenavon: The Horridly Flaccid Truth”.

I could just print a lie and convince the world that it’s true.

Ben: I actually haven’t lied to you once today, might start now.

Uh oh. Moving on, how old are you guys now?

Ben: The ink has just dried on our A Levels… No we’re 20. Everyone thinks we’re younger though.

Yeah everything you read puts you as “just out of school”.

Ben: We are all kind of just out of school, we all got held back.

Harris: I was held back in 4th grade for 3 years, Ben was held back in 2nd year of college and Frank is still being held back.

Ben: Frank’s got his GCSE Maths exam tomorrow.

Hope the revising is going well. I think it’s weird you released your ‘Miss World’ EP before that whole debacle. 

Ben: Yeah, that was weird. #MissWorld was trending and we were like “Fuck yeah! This EP is big for us” but it was just about the Princess of Columbia or something getting her crown taken off her. No, we actually named it after the previous Miss World from, erm, Sweden.


Frank: *mumbles*

Harris: What?

Ben: Huh? You’re bad at this mate.

Harris: Frank’s brain disappeared last night.

Ben: Frank doesn’t have a brain anymore. He just has like really soggy toilet tissue moulded into a brain shape.

Any favourite new music to wrap this up?

Ben: Shout out to FEWS and PLAZA – sick bands. Oh fuck and the Ariana Grande album came out last week and it’s fucking amazing – album of the year. ‘Into You’ – biggest tune, ‘Dangerous Woman’, ‘Thinking About You’, all amazing tunes.

Is that the van jam?

Ben: No, the van speakers don’t really work so just Frank and our tour manager at the front get to hear really quiet Foo Fighters.

Lastly, is there a question you never get asked but wished you did?

Ben: Where’d you get your band name?

[everyone laughs]

Harris: How’d you say your band name, how’d you spell you band name…

Is it worth the pain of having such a confusing name?

Ben: Fuck no. Biggest regret of my life. Harris what’s a question you wished you got asked?

Frank: Where do you get your suit tailored?

Ben: Where do you get your hair cut? Why are you picking skin off your fingers?

Harris: I get a lot of calluses.

Ben: Is that the question you want to be asked?

Harris. Yeah. Where’d you get all those calluses mate?

I’m guessing playing the drums?

Harris: No, gardening.

Ben: And Franky what would you like to be asked?

Frank: Erm.

Ben: Why don’t you have a brain?

Harris: *sings Basement Jaxx’s ‘Where’s Your Head At?’*

Frank: All our answers are shit. I guess that’s why you guys ask the questions not us.

Ben: That’s true.