“There were warriors who choose to get up early today to see us at eleven am. I’m very happy for that and thankful.”
We spoke to Avatar drummer John Alfredsson shortly after their set to talk about their festival experiences, how Download compares to other festivals and the first ever Download Festival in France.
Broken Arrow: Nice one with the set earlier, it was pretty awesome!
John: Thank you very much
Broken Arrow: When did you arrive to Download? Was it today?
John: Yes, this morning. Yesterday we played Download Festival in Paris.
Broken Arrow: How was that?
John: That was phenomenal
Broken Arrow: How was the atmosphere? Because it was the first Download in France…
John: Yeah it was the first year and it was really good. Today was also really good, but we have a really, really strong following in France. So in France, we got on stage at about five thirty in the evening and played for a good hour. There was probably about 50,000 people checking us out. It’s a massive difference to playing about eleven in the morning. But there were warriors who chose to get up early today to see us at eleven am. I’m very happy for that and thankful.
Broken Arrow: Is the festival bigger over there capacity wise?
John: No, this here is definitely bigger. Download UK is ridiculous, I have no idea how many people are here.
Broken Arrow: Before there have been figures of about 100,000 people here…
John: Oh ok, I do not think there were that many people in Paris. We’ll see what happens, it was a good festival, I’m happy the festival organisers are expanding to new cities. We’re going to need one in Gothenburg soon.
“An 11am stage slot is something you might have to do to just to be on the bill because there are so many bands playing.”
Broken Arrow: Last time you played here you opened up the second stage and this time you opened up the main stage. How does it feel to be moving up the stages?
John: We are getting one step closer to headline. Hopefully, next time we’ll make it past a lunch time slot.
Broken Arrow: A month ago, Avatar released the ‘Feathers and Flesh’ album, has that been as well received as you hoped?
John: Very well, the crowd seem to like it and that is what I care about.
Broken Arrow: Are you sticking around to catch some more bands?
John: Yeah, hopefully!
Broken Arrow: Who are you excited to see? You mentioned Black Sabbath during your set…
John: Well I think that one was a lie because we have to sadly leave before Black Sabbath. But we had a chance to see Black Sabbath in Germany at Rock Im Park. We saw the whole set and it was phenomenal. It was really, really good so I at least got to see them once.
Broken Arrow: How does Download compare to other festivals in general?
John: Compared to competition it is very good, it’s a good festival. What makes Download so different is that it is so big, its so huge. This is a good thing and a bad thing. When you’re a band, an 11am stage slot is something you might have to do to just to be on the bill because there are so many bands playing. But it’s still mind blowing.
Check out our review of the Avatar show at Download!