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Festival season is hotting up and it’s not even the end of May yet, so fuck knows what state we’re going to be in once June rolls round. What we can be certain about, though, is that we’ll be in France and getting our contintental mosh out to some of the biggest and baddest names in metal and rock at Hellfest. There’s millions of stages (slight exaggeration) with some of our favourite bands from every corner of rock – from death metal to hardcore punk. Here’s what some of the sick bands playing the weekend have to say…

Who do you recommend watching at Hellfest?
Fat Mike (NOFX): Bad Religion and NOFX.
Nic Endo (Atari Teenage Riot): Kiss, Voivod, Danzig and Retox.
Neil Westfall (A Day To Remember): My personal favourites playing are The Ghost Inside, At The Gates, Between The Buried And Me, NOFX and Korn. Just to name a few.
Jim Riley (The Ghost Inside): Kiss! Detroit Rock City is one of my favorite movies and helped me fall in love with Kiss.
Lags (Gallows): The one band I would say everyone has to see is Ghost. I went to see them play in New York a few years ago and it’s just a completely different experience compared to watching other rock bands play. Every festival Gallows play and Ghost are on the bill I make sure I watch them. Both their albums rule too plus they’ve just released their own dildo and butt plug set.

What are the crowds like in France?
Fat Mike (NOFX): Lots of black clothes and big noses.
Nic Endo (Atari Teenage Riot): Very stoned, usually, but no less energetic and wild. They have stamina and go all-out, all the way.
Neil Westfall (A Day To Remember): The crowds in France are always crazy. I remember playing a small venue in Paris with BMTH and kids were jumping off our equipment off the stage. Just mental!
Lags (Gallows): The last time we played Paris it was a crazy show. The crowds go hard in Europe and we need to play some more shows in France. I’m half French and a big fan of the music out there from classic artists like Serge Gainsbourg to modern artists like Justice and Kavinsky. There’s a great artistic vibe from street art to music that makes playing shows out there more interesting.

It’s headlined by Def Leppard, Kiss, and Volbeat. Who do you think parties hardest?
Fat Mike (NOFX): If I made a list of the 500 bands I would like to party with, Kiss would not be on the list. I remember when I was eight years old I hated Kiss and I’ve learned to dislike them more as I’ve grown older.
Nic Endo (Atari Teenage Riot): Nobody parties harder than Atari Teenage Riot. Period.
Neil Westfall (A Day To Remember): Well I am gonna have to go with Volbeat. They are the only ones not partying at a nursing home.
Lags (Gallows): In my dreams KISS party harder than any other band in the world. They really went full on back in the 70s and 80s but I’m not too sure if they still have it in them. Kiss, if you’re reading this and need some reminding of how to have fun then drop us a line.

What’s the hardest you’ve ever partied?
Fat Mike (NOFX): Once at my daughters 6th birthday party, I ate three slices of birthday cake and got a crazy sugar high. Crazy times!
Jim Riley (The Ghost Inside): I can’t say in case my mom sees it, but let’s just say it ended with me sleeping in a hotel bathtub in my underwear and a very, VERY bad headache the next day.
Lags (Gallows): Summer festivals usually mean lots of friends, lots of booze and lots of fun. Some of my favourite party nights have been on the road but the danger can be unbelievable hangovers on planes, buses or worse, sweaty vans. I’m not sure what the hardest I’ve partied is but let’s just say if got paid for partying hard I’d be a millionaire. Seriously, I’m pretty good at it when I think the night merits it!

What’s your best festival memory?
Fat Mike (NOFX): Once Courtney Love punched our drummer in the neck. That was cool!
Nic Endo (Atari Teenage Riot): My first festival I went to when I was 14. Camping out overnight in a tent for the whole weekend and seeing all the bands I loved at that time.
Jim Riley (The Ghost Inside): The first festival we played in Europe was Groezrock in 2011. We played the small stage with no barrier and it was absolutely insane. Kids were stagediving and going nuts the whole set. It was the first time we ever played and SO many people cared about us!
Lags (Gallows): The first time Gallows played Reading festival meant a lot to me. It was my favourite festival growing up and a teenage dream come true when we got to play the punk rock tent.

What is your vision of Hell?
Fat Mike (NOFX): Bakersfield, California.
Alec (Atari Teenage Riot): My vision of Hell is what governments around the globe are trying to set up right now: a modern surveillance state. Make no mistake, Germany’s been there twice in the last century. It’s wrong.
Neil Westfall (A Day To Remember): I would probably have to say anywhere with no food or music. That sounds like my own personal Hell.
Jim Riley (The Ghost Inside): Hell is a place with no coffee and that stupid Tim And Eric Show playing all the time!
Lags (Gallows): We’ve started our own label VENN to produce records and clothing. I can honestly say my idea of Hell is being trapped at a Post Office with hundreds of packages. Anyone who runs a mail-order company will know what I mean. Total fucking nightmare.

What’s the most metal thing you’ve ever done?
Fat Mike (NOFX): I went to see Iron Maiden and Twisted Sister in 1984. I hated it!
Alec (Atari Teenage Riot): Recording with Slayer! We will always remember Jeff. Slayer’s sound influence us more than any electronic band ever could.
Neil Westfall (A Day To Remember): My grandfather who I am named after was a master welder. That’s pretty metal!
Jim Riley (The Ghost Inside): One time, I shotgunned a beer with Adam D from Killswitch Engage, Derek Kersweil from Unearth and Tim Lambesis from As I Lay Dying. I’m not sure how it happened but I kicked all their asses!
Lags (Gallows): I interviewed Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath once for a guest piece in a guitar magazine. He invented metal so I guess that counts!

So you’re coming with us to Hellfest then, yeah? Good. Check the line-up and get more info HERE.

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