Barry Hyde brings the Rock!

Appearing at Newcastle's Evolution Festival, ClashMusic grabbed a minute with the North East's The Futureheads.

Frontman Barry Hyde talks about playing to a home crowd, how being self-financed affects their career, the freedom of avoiding a major label and just how to bring the Rock!

What do you think Evolution Weekender does for North East music?

This is a great example of a successful festival. it's built up so gradually over time, over a fair few years and now it's a colossal festival. It's inspirational to me because me and my mates organise a festival over in Sunderland. Last year was the first, this year the second. And we very much aspire to be a festival that can grow. And they've done that really well here.

Regarding the live performance, what's changed now that you self finance?

You've got to be smarter. You don't have bugs bunny's cash to spend. So you've got to be shrewd. Which is a good thing for musicians, because musicians tend to waste a lot of money. So for us to have to be more conscious of what we're spending. We're more efficient, and there's no A&R people stealing our beer while we're on the stage.

Do you think this Northern crowd is intimidating for the bands travelling up here?

The crowds get wilder, closer to Scotland. Up here is more Scottish culture than English to be honest. There's a Celtic bloodline flowing through us, and we get a bit rowdy.

Is this your first festival of the season?

No, we played in Poland yesterday. We played a student festival with loads of Polish heavy metal bands. And we went down really well.

You've got three Sunderland bands in a row with Frankie & The Heartstrings, Field Music and yourselves. Is it a family reunion of sorts?

Three Sunderland bands on the main stage at a Newcastle festival. Come on Newcastle! Where are the bands? The Sunderland boys are embarrassing you.

How do you think this festival helps the grassroot infrastructure of North East music?

When we started, there was nothing like this festival. What this festival does up here for young musicians, is it allows them to come and see something... tangible. Something they can aspire to. As opposed to thinking, well there's no point trying to do anything up here, no festivals in the North East. No opportunity. I love festivals, they celebrate the pure essence of life... to revel.

What can we expect from you today?

Well, we're gonna bring the rock mate. Someone's got to bring the rock, and it's gonna be us.

Has anything changed now you;re without the restraints of a major label?

Well our new album has great artwork eh? This is our ten year anniversary. We've come to the end of some sort of cycle from being young and naive and on an adventure in my mum and dad's garage. Your first album does well and suddenly your attitude can get completely blown out of the water by expectations. We've held on for so long, and now we've finally come back to our original attitude. Just not giving a shit about what anyone thinks. Sometimes it's hard to maintain that when you're surrounded by people who really give a shit.

What would you say to bands still to play?

Enjoy it. Don't play in an apologetic manner. People don't wanna see someone who doesn't know what they're doing. You've got to make them feel like they are in good hands. When I go on stage, I look into about 50 people eyes directly. And then I know, I've got them. And then I take them somewhere.

Words by Joe Zadeh

View a photo gallery from the Evolution festival HERE.

Read a review from the first day at the Evolution Festival.

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