With Reading and Leeds Festival just around the corner, we decided to see how some of the bands on the bill are feeling about playing, and what we can look forward to from their sets.

This time we talk to Hacktivist, and after having to pull out of their Leeds slot in 2014 and finally releasing their debut album Outside The Box, they’ve got a lot to prove. Bassist Josh Gurner lets us know exactly what the festivals are in for.

How does it feel to be playing Reading and Leeds this year?
Josh: We’re really glad to be invited back to Reading and Leeds festival for a third time, for what I feel like is going to be our best slot to date! An evening slot in the rock tent alongside Crossfaith, Thrice and Asking Alexandria puts us in our prime! 

You had to cancel your Leeds set in 2014 – does it feel like you’ve got more to prove this time because of that?
Josh: That was such a heartbreaking failure, we’ve had more to prove at every show since! You don’t make that same mistake twice and now we carry duplicates and triplicates of everything in case something breaks…

How does playing bigger festivals like this differ from regular touring?
Josh: I love touring and the close bond that grows between bands when you’re on the road. Festivals are great because it’s a huge get together of bands you know or can get to know! Reading and Leeds is particularly special because you have twice as much opportunity to make an impression / get up to mischief.

It feels, certainly from an outside perspective, that you’ve been going from strength to strength since you released Outside The Box earlier this year. Does it feel the same for you?
Josh: We’re so glad to have the debut album out finally! We’re doing longer sets and longer tours to more distant fans and it all seems to be received well! But the last thing we want to do is be complacent and sit around congratulating ourselves. We’re on a mission to make everything better than the last thing.

What can we expect from your set?
Josh: You know that end-of-the-world Zion party scene in The Matrix Reloaded? It’s gonna be a lot like that. Sweaty, carnal, with a fear for the impending end of the world.

Finally, is there anyone else you’re looking forward to seeing?
Josh: I’m a massive fan of Crossfaith and Thrice so I’m hoping we get to see them on our stage before we get dragged in to load out! It would be impossible to see all of the acts we want to see, but I would love to see Die Antwoord, Boy Better Know, A$AP Rocky, The Internet, Nas, Little Simz, Netsky, Krept and Konan, Bugzy Malone… But there’s a very good chance I’ll spend most of the weekend hungover in a soggy tent like usual.

Interview by Luke Nuttall

Hacktivist’s debut album ‘Outside The Box’ is out now on UNFD.
The band play The Pit Stage at Reading on Friday 26th August and Leeds on Saturday 27th August.

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