Interview: Zebrahead [Slam Dunk 2015]

By Samarth Kanal

Matty Lewis from Zebrahead stopped to have a quick chat with us at Slam Dunk South. He was as friendly as ever, and his enthusiasm about touring with the rest of the Californian pop-punk band, wet wipe showers and powdered ice teaΒ was infectious.

How’s Slam Dunk been for you so far?

Slam Dunk, Sam, has been great. Well we had one show already and crowds were great, and everything’s just been wonderful

Did you catch any bands that you really liked?

Patent pending – love those guys, they put on a great show. Big D and the Kids Table are awesome.

You’ve been going for ages now, so has touring improved from what it used to be or has the novelty kinda worn off?

No I think as you continue to tour down the road, you get smarter when it comes to touring. You start to bring the proper tools that you need, like wet wipes – you start to to tour smarter.

So less rashes?

Absolutely. So sometimes, in a bind, you can take those wet wipes, and take a wet wipe shower.

That’s an inspiration to me.

Thank you! So as you continue to tour you start to know these things. I bring ice tea in a powder form – I’m addicted to ice tea. They only have peach ice tea or other fruit, and that’s a lot of sugar so I bring unsweetened ice tea in powder form.

That’s a brilliant idea. So, do you love the UK or what, because I remember seeing you guys in 2011 and the protests were happening across London, but people still turned up!

Absolutely! I remember that show, and it was a great show, but all of a sudden after our last note hit we had to run. It’s fantastic, because: rain, snow, sleet, riots – no matter what, kids show up.

That’s a great memory, so have you got any good tour stories from your current stint in the UK?

Honestly, after the last note of ‘Anthem’ last night, I don’t know what happened. The thing was, we started drinking and we didn’t have any food because we missed catering. And we got drunk so quickly, uh, I don’t know exactly what happened. And that never happens to me. I brought meal bars from home but I forgot..uh I forgot where I put them.

Apart from that instance, do you find that touring has gotten better as you’ve matured?

Well that’s the thing – you don’t mature, but you grow up. I tell my mom that I’ll mature because she likes to hear that but there’s no guarantees.

Do you have to weigh up the costs, and I know this is the worst side of it, but do you now have to weigh up the costs with the benefits of touring?

No the thing is, when it comes to touring and this job, the worst day at our job is still a great day. And it’s better than something like digging a ditch. People need to dig ditches and stuff, but we’re so fortunate and we have to step back. If somebody says something like ‘oh I didn’t get the right kind of water or’ – just shut up. Your worst day in a band on tour is better than most people’s.

Try these three interviews

Interview: Greywind [Reading 2016]

Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]