This will be very nice indeed.
If you thought that Slam Dunk were done announcing bands on their 2019 line-up – surprise!
William Ryan Key will be performing a set at the 2019 events, and it’ll be all the Yellowcard hits.
We caught up with WRK himself about what’s in store, and how he’s feeling.
HOW ARE YOU FEELING ABOUT PLAYING THIS SURPRISE SOLO YELLOWCARD SET?
“Originally I didn’t even know I would be playing it! I knew that I would be at the festival because I’m playing rhythm guitar for New Found Glory. The festival then asked me if I would play an acoustic set for them while I’m there. I did a similar thing last summer on the Vans Warped Tour.
“Now that I’ve ventured out in to doing my own music, it’s pretty distant from the music that Yellowcard was making. So if I was going to play a solo slot it wouldn’t make a lot of sense to play this indie folk post-rock sound that I’m making. Also I feel like it’s a cool for these types of festivals to be able to represent Yellowcard in some way. I’m not trying to revive the band or get anyone pumped up for a reunion but those songs are a big part of us and mean a lot to the fans. It’s a nice way to pay tribute to all of those who supported the band over the years. In essence I’m now playing cover songs!”
WHAT MEMORIES DO YOU HAVE OF YOUR PREVIOUS TIMES AT SLAM DUNK?
“We actually only played the festival in 2016 and they are full of both amazing and terrible memories. We had been asked to play ‘Ocean Avenue’ in full from start to finish. So the first day getting up to Leeds, I had a nightmare with travel. There was terrible weather disrupting me. So I landed the day of the show, a day later than I should have been there, and had a friend of our merchandise person pick me up from the airport and drive me three hours up to Leeds. So I got there, got on the bus, changed clothes and went on stage and then all of our shit broke. We only ended up playing 3 songs and everyone in the crowd was so pissed. It was not a good day at the office. The other two fortunately were great. But yeah, playing ‘Ocean Avenue’ in full in that kind of atmosphere and festival setting was absolutely amazing. Also just being able to hang out with all of our friends who were also there. Getting to see friends who you haven’t seen for years or had chance to be with makes for a really fun energy to be in.”
WHAT DO YOU THINK IT IS THAT MAKES SLAM DUNK SO SPECIAL?
“It’s the community. I just feel like the idea of putting so many of us bands from all over the world to come together in the UK year after year is a pretty monumental feat. Also just being able to hang out with all of your friends who were also there. Getting to see friends who you haven’t seen for years or had chance to be with makes for a really fun energy to be in.”
AS YOU SAID YOU’RE GOING TO BE PLAYING WITH NEW FOUND GLORY AS WELL AND THAT’S SOMETHING YOU HAVE BEEN DOING FOR A WHILE. WHAT ARE YOU PLANS GOING FORWARD WITH THE BAND?
“Right now they’ve got a touring schedule booked and I’m a part of it and then we will go from there. I keep thinking about how it’s the easiest touring schedule I’ve ever done because I’m not opening the show so I’m not playing anything of my own. I’m literally getting on stage and playing the guitar parts for New Found Glory and that’s it. I’m really looking forward to the low stress and relaxed state of mind where I can just stay in my own head and have some fun.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had a tour like that before. I’m not saying that I’ve not had fun on tour before but there has been quite a lot of responsibility on my shoulders in my touring life up until now. As long as I remember the songs and play them well then that’s all I have to worry about. After that thought I don’t know what their plans are in terms of recording an album but I think we are just going to take all of this one tour at a time. The fact that all of these opportunities keep on presenting themselves to me even at this late point in my career is fascinating. I’m very grateful that I keep on being to do what I love to do.”
SO HOW HAVE YOU GONE ABOUT PICKING THE SONGS YOU PLAY FOR THIS YELLOWCARD SET?
“For something like what I’m doing at Slam Dunk it’s really easy. I have 30 minutes so I choose five songs. For a crowd that big in that sort of festival setting, I’m basically going to be playing the songs that will everybody will be totally invested in and know every word to. I’ll be picking the five or six most popular songs and just banging them out.”
WHAT ARE YOU PLANS MOVING FORWARD WITH YOUR WILLIAM RYAN KEY PROJECT FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR?
“We’re having the conversations now about how we would go about recording a full-length album. Are we going to try and find a record label or are we going to fun it ourselves? I do think at this point we want to get a record company involved just to take the marketing of the project to the next level. I’m also looking for a label that houses artists similar to the music that I am trying to make and getting on tours with other singer/songwriter type artists and collaborate. I think that around late summer I will hope to get into a studio and record 10/12 songs for an album to come out in 2020.”
Slam Dunk 2019 will take place on May 25 in Leeds and May 26 in Hatfield, with tickets available here.
MONSTER ENERGY STAGE:
All Time Low
New Found Glory
As It Is
Bullet For My Valentine
Story Of The Year
The Word Alive
The Plot In You
PUNK IN DRUBLIC STAGE:
Less Than Jake
The Get Up Kids
Saves The Day
Tiny Moving Parts
Plain White T’s
A Loss For Words
William Ryan Key (Yellowcard set)
KEY CLUB STAGE:
Employed To Serve
Between You & Me
Press To MECO