With Super Furry Animals, HEALTH, 65daysofstatic and Grizzly Bear

As festival-goers will attest, there’s something magical about the typical All Tomorrow’s Parties experience, and the feeling’s not restricted to the punters – bands, too, have been known to have a great time, often hanging out with fans and checking out their own favourite acts filling the always hectic schedule.

Here, a trio of previous performers recall their time at ATP, and a band taking to the ATP stage for the first time this year lets us know what they’re expecting.

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65daysofstatic (pictured)
Played: ATP vs The Fans, May 2007
Words: Paul Wolinski

“When we played, it was the first time any of us had ever been, as we'd never been able to afford to go as punters. Whilst the band-curated ATP line-ups are relentless in their quality, ending up on the bill thanks to a fans vote felt infinitely more rewarding. It was also the first time I ever saw Les Savy Fav AND Shellac. Which, obviously, was special.

“The day before our ATP slot our guitar tech got stolen by Slint to work on their headline show. We met up with him at ATP less than 24 hours later, and the festival had transformed him from a noble, erudite young man into a broken, mumbling shell with an unlikely but heroic falsetto-metal scream. Which was fantastic.

“We didn't get onstage till about 2am, but it felt like the whole place had only just warmed up. I can't remember exactly what we did afterward, but I remember we had to leave at 7am ‘cause we were in the middle of a tour. So I suspect whatever it was that happened, it wasn't sleeping.”

(65daysofstatic on MySpace. The band’s new live album, ‘Escape From New York’, is released on April 20 via Monotreme.)

65daysofstatic – ‘Drove Through Ghosts’

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Grizzly Bear
Played: ATP vs The Fans, May 2007
Words: Ed Droste

Was it an ambition to play ATP prior to being booked to appear?
We'd always been fans, so when we were asked to play a few years ago we were totally honoured and excited and it turned out to be one of the more fun festivals we ever got a chance to play at.

Were you able to stay around to see more of what was on offer? Is it as much an artists’ event as one for ‘regular’ punters?
Yeah, it's a very manageable festival, at least the time we were there. We got to see tons of other bands and hang out and meet people and wander around and just be merry! Very well organised and lovely, to be honest.

What is it about ATP that separates it from more conventional festivals, and do you see it as being influential on the ‘boutique’ festival market?
Well, I have to say the indoor mall element is pretty unique – I’ve never been to a festival that utilised weird old holiday grounds so effectively, so that gives it a very unique angle. Also the whole curating process is always really exciting and interesting to see unfold. It's not overwhelming like bigger festivals and generally you don't have to miss a band to see another, which is always appreciated (sometimes you do, but generally not).

With ATP events spreading around the world, does the scale of the event now surprise you at all, given its small roots?
I’m not surprised at all! There is a total market for great smaller festivals, and I'm just happy it's thriving internationally. I've yet to go to one in the States but I've heard they are awesome as well!

Having played the once, would you go back in a heartbeat?
Naturally! If we could fit it in our schedule, no questions asked!

(Grizzly Bear’s new album ‘Veckatimest’ is released on May 26 via Warp; find them on MySpace HERE.)

Grizzly Bear – ‘Knife’

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Super Furry Animals
Played: The first ever ATP, April 2000
Words: Dafydd Ieuan

“We played the first one? So we did. Mogwai curated it… I didn’t realise that was the first one. You learn something new every day. The weekend was so much fun, we all had such a laugh.

“Oh man, if they ever asked us to curate it, that’d be brilliant. God knows who we’d get to play it – it’d probably take us two years to come up with a shortlist between the five of us. Tell you what: you put the call in, and we’ll sort it out!”

(Super Furry Animals’ new album ‘Dark Days/Light Years’ is released via Rough Trade on April 13; find them on MySpace HERE.)

Super Furry Animals – ‘Run-Away’

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Playing: ATP – The Fans Strike Back, May 2009
Words: John Famiglietti

Is ATP an event that you’d always wanted to play?
Yes. Long before I had a band. I always wanted to go.

Did confirming the booking for ATP feel any different to you than another festival?
Yes. We really feel validated that we could play an ATP. It’s very prestigious to us.

What are you expecting the festival to be like? Do you intend to stick around and see other bands?
We plan to stay for the whole thing and party, as there’s no way I’m missing the Jesus Lizard. I always try and have low expectations, but I hope it’s as awesome as Primavera Sound.

Do you see an ATP crowd as being one and the same with your own typical crowd?
No. I imagine there is an ‘ATP crowd’. The festival seems to have a very distinct character, that I imagine is ‘sophisticated’. Though I don’t really know.

ATP celebrates its tenth anniversary next year – what acts would you love to see play it to mark the occasion?
Well, you’ve got the Jesus Lizard this year. What more could you want?

(HEALTH’s new single ‘Die Slow’ is released on April 6 via Lovepump United; find them on MySpace HERE.)

HEALTH – ‘Heaven’

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Find the official ATP website – with information on all upcoming festival events and shows – HERE.

More ATP Week content…
* Sleepy Sun Interview
* Apse Interview
* Alexander Tucker Interview
* The Drones interview
* Interview with the first ATP curators, Mogwai
* Fuck Buttons Interview
* Deerhoof Interview
* A Brief History: interview with ATP founder Barry Hogan
* ATP: A Beginners Guide


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