Festivals · Musician interviews

An interview with DUSK- Leeds Festival

FORMING after meeting at Leeds College of Music, I chatted to three of the four members of the electronic/ trip-hop band, DUSK, following their first festival debut…


“It’s our first time playing any festival ever… in the world!” Nathan Francey, bassist, excitably mentioned.


Before forming DUSK, all of the members had been in previous bands of different genres, ranging from indie rock to hardcore.


However, now finding each other, the four members combined have come to form a truly unique sound.


“We formed about ten months ago,” Holly Matthews, singer, then mentioned. “It was love at first sight really!”


Finding each other in the smoking area at their university, it was here that the band first decided to form a band together, which would soon to be known as DUSK.


With dark synthetic sounds and aggressive rhythms, DUSK explained their inspirations.

“Anything inspires us really,” said Dom.


“We’re massively inspired by trip-hop too,” Nathan continued: “Artists like Massive Attack inspire us and all the more experimental kind of music.”


“I’d see Nathan and I was like, ‘you have cool hair man what music you into?’ and we hit it off straight away,” drummer, Dom Reed laughed.


In the words of Nathan Francey, “It’s been crazy these past few months for the band- mental!”


Having only played around thirteen gigs prior to their festival slot, the band explained how they earned their spot at the festival by taking part in the fuse sound competition.


The band also “did a stripped down set live on air for BBC Introducing a while ago now, and about a week later we had a song played through the uploader, it’s a great way for any band to get their stuff shown,” Holly advised.


Being lucky enough to perform on both the BBC Introducing stage at Reading and Leeds, the band explained the reaction they received performing their first gig outside of their hometown.


“It was amazing to see so many people we haven’t seen before,” Dom explained.


“We all came back with a tan, too!” Nathan said… It became obvious that the festivalgoers at Reading had been a lot luckier with the weather than Leeds.


“I’m glowing today, I feel a bit like Rudolph!”


Returning to the wet and muddy fields of Leeds to perform their set at the Yorkshire festival, DUSK received a lovely reaction from the northern festivalgoers too.


“There were a few people there that we knew and a few people there that we didn’t so it was positives all around. People seemed to enjoy it- all in all a good little show!”


Adjusting to life in the guest area, the band told me how they found it mixing alongside their idols.


“It’s so weird, we’ve seen a lot of people we admire and look up to just hanging about and stuff!”


“We met Blossoms yesterday,” Nathan continued, “They were lovely guys- really nice!”


Appearing alongside a star-studded line up at this years Reading and Leeds Festival, DUSK told me who were their highlight acts of the weekend.


“We just went to see Die Antwoord and it was, well, hands down one of the best things I’ve ever seen,” said Holly. “I’m now going to join a rap-rave group, I’m doing it, sorry guys!” she joked.


Aside from Holly leaving the band to create her own rap-rave group, the band told me their plans for the rest of the year.


“We’ve only really gigged in Leeds but we’re hoping to get a tour sorted for around October and November, we just want to get out there as soon as possible really!”


And with their first single release arriving by the end of September, DUSK really does have even more exciting months to follow…


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