Slam Dunk Festival returns next weekend and, ahead of the three day punk, rock, metal and hardcore party, we had a chat to Nathan from returning emo favourites Madina Lake about his festival experiences and, most importantly, what they’re going to be bringing to Slam Dunk 2017. Read on to get you in the mood for their long-awaited return to UK stages.

What memories do you have of your UK/European Festival appearances?
Nathan: I remember at Download 2008, we shared a bus with Dillinger Escape Plan. At the time I guess they had some press beef with Disturbed and of the millions of buses parked behind the stage, we parked right next to Disturbed’s. Our windows were tinted and the guy from Disturbed with those walrus tusk things got out and stood 2 feet from our bus with a death stare for the ages. He knew DEP was on our bus but didn’t know that we were all inches away on the other side of the window laughing our faces off. He stood out there like a greek warrior statue with his arms crossed, ready for combat for over 45 minutes straight. It was weird and awesome.

What is your favourite festival Madina Lake story?
Nathan: Playing main stage at Reading/Leeds was probably the greatest experience of all time. Matthew and I had travelled to England as kids and saw Smashing Pumpkins at Reading 15 years prior. That show was stunning and Matthew and I decided right there/then we wanted to start a band and pursue a career in music. 15 years later we got to play the same stage.

UK festival weather is always fairly unpredictable, what is the craziest festival weather you’ve experienced?
Nathan: I think it was also Download when it poured rain and turned the fields to mud. As any reasonable crowd would do, they turned the skies to mud. It was flying everywhere and people were gettin’ pied with it left n’ right. Good times.

What five things would you advice a fan going to a festival this Summer take with them?
Nathan: A raincoat, rainboots, an umbrella, a poncho, and errrr did I already say a raincoat?

What advice would you give a punter going to a festival looking to hook up with a member of the opposite sex?
Nathan: I would say now’s the time of your life so as long as he or she is also up for it, make it happen! Side note – don’t be the dong that tries to molest random girls (or dudes) that are crowd surfing. It’s about the creepiest thing in the world and I’m pretty sure illegal. Otherwise – enjoy!!

You’re playing Slam Dunk this May, what do you know about the festival?
Nathan: Well I thought we played it once before but it turns out we didn’t. If that tells ya anything. However … it’s clearly got one of the best reputations of all the festivals so they’re doin’ something right!

Are there any bands you’ll be checking out?
Nathan: As many as we can!

What can Slam Dunk punters expect from the Madina Lake show?
Nathan: We selfishly set out to have the best time we can possibly have every time we play .. it may get weird at times, but hopefully, we’re all lost in that weird moment together.

Madina Lake play the Slam Dunk Impericon Stage from 8:40pm to 9:25pm


I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.