With Parklife festival set for another triumphant return this year, Louder Than War caught up with the festival first-timers, Easy Life, ahead of their performance this weekend.
The ever-growing mad-dash of events will play host to a diverse range of artists from across the music-sphere. As always, the mixed-bag of artists will come from far and wide to help us all clog up the MET and drink our bars dry for two days straight. It’s going to be fantastic.
This year has one of the most eclectic mixes of artists I’ve seen for a long time. David Rodigan, Andy C, Solange, Crazy P Soundsystem, The Streets, George Ezra, Disclosure and Dave, Mark Ronson, Skream, Maya Jane Coles, Chase and Status, Jungle, and of course Patrick Topping – who literally seems to be everywhere. And that isn’t even half of them.
A few years ago, I was working at Almost Famous in Manchester alongside my sideline gig as a freelance writer. I looked on in wonder at the carnage that ran through town each day: kids, kids, kids. At 25, I already felt too old for Parklife Festival. As I tossed burgers and sweated my booze out of every pore in a 40,000 degree kitchen, I grumbled to myself about festivals ‘in my day’ and all the usual bollocks of a man who thinks he’s older than he is. This year, I’ll have just turned 29 years young, and I’m going to Parklife completely sober. Isn’t life just full of surprises?
To celebrate this, I spoke with Leicester’s youngest sons, Easy Life, who are gracing the Parklife stage this year for the first time.
Here’s what the guys had to say about losing their Parklife Festival virginity – at a much younger age than I, this year, am losing mine. The shame.
LTW: You guys have come a long way in a short time. How will your show at Parklife compare with your first gig in Leicester?
EL: Thank you for saying so. I guess we have come a long way. The first show we played at home I had to beg people to come out on a rainy Wednesday night. They got to watch us prancing around like wannabe rockstars. It was very embarrassing. I’m pretty sure there were only about 20 people in the audience at best. Lately, the shows have been full of surprises though, it’s always a trip to have strangers turn up to our shows and sing obscure verses from b-sides and navigate my regional accent so effortlessly. We’ll never get used to it.
One of the things I love about your sound is the attention to detail with instrumentation. How do you guys vary your live sound with what’s on record?
Our live show is a different entity from the records. Records are considered time capsules however our live show is a jam in the rawest form. Obviously, we play the songs and they inevitably sound similar to the records but anything goes. We use different synth patches, breaks, beats etc. For example, a particular record might be a drum machine, piano chords and vocals and then live it is us five jumping between keyboards, guitars, sax, trumpets, and samplers. In short, live is a lot of fun and a place where we all feel free to fuck with our art (respectfully, of course).
Let’s say I’ve never heard of Easy Life and I’ve stumbled across you at Parklife. In your own words, how would you describe yourselves?
Five bitterly insecure weirdos from the East Midlands just trying to get down and dirty.
Parklife Festival 2019 is a pretty eclectic mix of artists – who are you most looking forward to catching?
The Parklife Festival line up is really good every year. We are gassed to be a part of it this year. There is so much good shit. For us though, Solange, Peggy Gou, Kaytranada, Slowthai, Earl Sweatshirt, and Nas. Fuck, this is actually the hardest line-up!
What other festivals have you guys played and is there anything you prefer about playing outdoors to clubs?
This year we’ve been blessed to play SXSW, Coachella, Hangout festival, Boston Calling, and Governors Ball – all in the States. Parklife Festival is actually our first outdoor festival in the UK this year. It’s always cool playing outdoor festivals because you get the opportunity to play to people who have just stumbled across you and who perhaps wouldn’t usually listen to your music. The challenge is to convince these lonely wanderers that they want to fuck with your sound and a festival slot gifts us this privilege.
If you could play alongside any artists, past or present (dead or alive), who would it be?
That is a profoundly difficult question to answer and I’m sure that all of us would respond differently. For me though, it’d be Bob Marley, Ella Fitzgerald, Stevie Wonder. This list could well and truly be endless.
After Parklife, what’s next for the group?
We want to write the album. We are touring the UK in October and then touring the US in December, so lots of time on the road. Hopefully, we are able to make some crazy videos in between all of this which is something we obsess over and have a lot of fun with. Exciting times for sure.
Standard industry question here, but what’s the most boring thing on your rider?
Carrot sticks. Boring but essential in order to see in the dark and as a vehicle for hummus.
To find out more about Easy Life you can check them out on their website, YouTube and Facebook. I’d also strongly suggest kicking back in your garden, cracking open a cold one, and hitting shuffle on their Spotify.
Parklife Festival tickets are all sadly sold out. For more information on the festival, head to the website. If you are going to Parklife Festival, be safe and plan your journey. We all know how mad the MET is on a Thursday afternoon – Parklife weekend is going to be mad.
All words by Toby Cryne, you can find Toby’s archive here.