Since its humble beginnings in 2006, Slam Dunk has become one of the largest independent festivals in the country, and is a must for lovers of all things pop-punk, emo, metalcore and alternative. As Slam Dunk approaches, GIGSoup’s Tom Forrester is catching up with bands and artists, to find out what it means to them to be playing the UK’s premier pop-punk fest. First up, is Ryan Locke; frontman of Seaway.

Since forming in 2011, Seaway burst into the scene in 2013, with debut record ‘Hoser’. The band followed this up with 2015’s ‘Colour Blind’, and 2017’s ‘Vacation’. All three records showcase Seaway’s unashamedly fun and catchy pop-punk sound. As such, they’re a brilliant addition to the Slam Dunk line-up.

What can fans expect from your set at Slam Dunk? How do you select which songs to add to your set?

We are just coming over for the festival, no touring around it so we are looking to have some fun. When picking the set we usually lean heavier on newer songs or releases so we will probably play the new singles off of “Fresh Produce” along with all the bangers from “Vacation”. Maybe some surprise oldies? Who knows?!

What do you guys think of this year’s line-up? What other bands are you looking forward to seeing?

I think the line-up is unreal this year, mostly because we have a lot of friends playing. I’m really looking forward to seeing Boston Manor on the mainstage, Microwave, Trophy Eyes, ‪Tiny Moving Parts and The Stein.

You’ve played Slam Dunk in the past-what are your favourite memories of playing this festival?

I think the festival brings out a serious energy from the crowd. It’s just two jam packed days, not a long tour where people can go to multiple shows. Two days and the line-up is gone forever and I think the crowd understands that so they always bring their A-game. One of my favourite memories is the first time we played, we didn’t know what to expect but the crowd in Leeds was so wild the stage manager pulled me off the stage to tell me I had to settle the crowd down or they would cut our set. It was bitter sweet because I wanted to keep the energy going but didn’t want to get cut off. All in good fun. 

How important do you think a festival like Slam Dunk is to the modern alternative scene?

I think it’s so important because it gives younger fans who might not be able to go to smaller shows a chance to get a taste of what this music scene is like. It’s always such an eclectic line-up so kids can go to see a couple of their favourite bands and leave seeing a day’s worth of brand new bands for them to go check out.

What plans do you have for the rest of 2019? What’s next for the band?

We’re taking 2019 pretty quiet as we will be working on a new record, aiming for a 2020 release. Lots of writing, demoing, and eventually recording it all. We’ve had a very busy couple years so we’re taking 2019 to focus on making the best possible record instead of rushing things between tours. 

Seaway play Slam Dunk Festival on the following dates:

Slam Dunk Festival 2019 – North

Temple Newsam, Leeds. Saturday, 25 May 2019

Slam Dunk Festival 2019 – South

Hatfield Park, Hatfield. Sunday, 26 May 2019

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