2000trees Festival Preview: Conjurer – ‘It’s much better playing 2000trees than the Arse & Trumpet in Barnstable’

By Jay Hampshire

Over the last decade, 2000trees festival has steadily expanded in both size and scope of line up to become one of the most diverse weekends of independent and underground music of the British festival calendar. 2018’s slate of bands is no exception, ranging from the electronica infused high-energy rock of Enter Shikari to the dizzying, uplifting post of And So I Watch You From Afar and a UK festival exclusive appearance from post-hardcore progenitors At The Drive In. Rugby’s Conjurer are more than likely the heaviest band on this year’s bill, further proof that 2000trees are fast proving a bastion of UK underground hardcore and heavy metal. We had chat with guitarist/vocalist Brady Deeprose about how their set at the fest came about.

“I’m not actually sure! We got an email offer out of the blue in January and were pleased as punch. I know there were some Holy Roar bands that have played previously but it’s never the kind of festival that we thought would take a chance on a band like us, so it’s really refreshing to see their commitment to a diverse, alternative line up in action.” It might be the first time the band have graced the 2000trees stage, but have they ever been as punters? “We’re all virgins actually! On an unrelated note, none of us have been to the festival before”, Brady quips. It seems like he’s excited to catch some of the other acts as well as to get onstage. “The line up this year is killer. I’ve been dying to see Turnstile so them getting added was massive. Outside of that, people have got to catch Turbowolf, Palm Reader, Gold Key, Nervus, Haggard Cat and Gender Roles. There really is something for everyone.”

The band will be no doubt airing some cuts from their absolutely stunning debut, ‘Mire’. How have people reacted to the new stuff since its release back in February? “Honestly it’s been far crazier than we could ever have hoped and I think the summer shows we have locked in are a testament to the support we’ve seen overflowing from all angles. We’re just pleased that people seem to get what we were trying to do and that actually, a lot of people want the same shit as us from their heavy music.” Brady is especially pumped about how fans have been reacting to the new material in a live setting. “I’m starting to see people yelling along which is beyond humbling, especially as our lyrics are incomprehensible so they’ve taken the time to sit down and read them! We’re a weird band in the live arena in that our music doesn’t provoke much movement – people don’t tend to mosh or anything, just stand stoically nodding their heads, which is totally cool.”

While they’ve been selling out sweatbox venues up and down the country, surely there’s a different approach to playing on a festival stage? “We’ve never been a band to write for a specific setting or audience and we’ll likely go out there and just play the best and most diverse set we can which has been our game plan from day one. People want honesty and consistency of approach, that’s certainly what I want to see from a band – we do the shit we want to see other bands doing.” In fact, Brady thinks the extra breathing room will be a real benefit for the four piece. “We’re an active band and I find bigger stages much more comfortable from a physical standpoint. As a smaller band on a big line up, it’s about trying to win over a likely hungover, disinterested crowd, hours before they’ve had a chance to get smashed. It’s much better playing 2000trees than the Arse & Trumpet in Barnstable, let me tell you.”

We won’t have a bad word said against the Arse & Trumpet, so let’s talk about something else; are there any festival experiences that you wouldn’t want to repeat? “My girlfriend and I got so smashed at ArcTanGent last year that we peaked by five and passed out by nine, fully missing Converge. We awoke in a state of shame and regret but luckily caught them in London and they were amazing. We also ended up in a two-man pop-up tent which was NOT SUITABLE. A larger tent has been purchased for this year”. Unfortunately that’s an experience too many of us can probably relate to. If Brady could put on his own festival, who could we expect to see on the line up? “you’d be talking Gojira, Kendrick Lamar, and Converge. I’d also have sub-headline slots from Sylosis, Ghostface Killah & Badbadnotgood (performing Sour Soul in full), and probably Turnstile to be honest. Full on Metal, Hip-Hop, & Hardcore days”. Sounds like 2000trees aren’t the only ones with diverse tastes.