Last week the Australian enormo-fest announced its first batch of bands including Slipknot, Faith No More and Soundgarden. All massive bands in our world, but what could the down-under weekender mean for British festival season 2015?
What Soundwave could mean for UK festivals
A sign of things to come?
Faith No More
When, in 2013, Faith No More’s singer Mike Patton suggested the band’s reunion had run its course that more or less seemed to be the end of things. The fact that he then spent a lot of time involved in his myriad weird and (sometimes) wonderful side-projects apparently confirmed things. But now the band are headlining Soundwave, it suggests they have other plans. They have said that they are creating again, and have promised that 2015 will bring change, which suggests that not only will be there be new Faith No More music but that the band will also be touring it. Which is exciting.
The mystery surrounding Slipknot at the moment means that all bets are off when it comes to predicting their future. Who is their drummer? When will they release their new album? Will it be any good? One thing is for sure, though, if they head out on the road, then they do it properly. The fact that they are headlining Soundwave bodes well for their activity next year. A Download headline slot, after their 2009 and 2013 triumph seems a cert. Or perhaps they'll follow in Metallica's footsteps and do Glastonbury… Unlikely, perhaps, but it would be very funny.
Lamb Of God
Earlier this year, Lamb Of God singer Randy Blythe stated that his band were going to take a break and that he needed time out following his difficult court case in the Czech Republic. The break appears to be over. But, then again, the rest of the band never really followed suit, instead saying that they were working on music while Blythe had a breather. It could mean new material next year and, therefore, the usual festival tour to follow. Always a great main stage act, could they be an even better second stage headliner somewhere? Also of potential significance are the rumours that Lamb Of God drummer Chris Adler will be the man filling Joey Jordison's shoes behind the Slipknot kit. Could he be pulling double duties across Europe in 2015?
Marilyn Manson has been working on his ninth studio album for over a year and has toured intermittently in between. His presence at Soundwave is not necessarily confirmation he will have new music out in 2015, nor is it a definite sign he will be back on the road and playing festivals next year, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction. The question is: does anyone wants him back in a prestigious festival slot? The Manson of old was a phenomenon live; the Manson who played Download in 2009 was a tedious old goat.
The grunge legends’ reformation in 2010 now feels slightly old hat, given how often the band have toured since then. That doesn’t mean it’s not a treat to watch them and it’s gratifying that they offer few concessions to the nostalgia circuit, meaning that they are as likely to play new songs (or a lengthy jam) as they are to play Black Hole Sun. They have tentative plans for a new album in 2015, so expect them to be around for a while longer: a solid and engaging early evening main stage slot seems almost guaranteed.
Somehow, it always feels as though the fact that Judas Priest are still touring is something of a treat. They have so often lost band members, broken up, reformed and announced retirement plans, that the very fact they are at Soundwave and apparently happy on the road is something not to be questioned but simply enjoyed. Will they still be as happy to be on the road next summer? Who knows? But with a new album out this July and Download's occasional policy of retro Sunday, who better to close the festival come June?
For so long, Slash has struggled to settle into anything of any real substance since his Guns N' Roses departure. His Snake Pit project always felt a bit half-hearted and Velvet Revolver were great for one album, poor for a second and then struck down by a singer with an attitude problem (which must have felt like familiar territory for the guitarist). Myles Kennedy, though, is a pro and he and Slash seem to rub along nicely. They're not going to set the world on fire, but what they are going to do is release consistently decent records, which they'll then tour expansively. A night with Slash may never blow your head off, but nor will it ever disappoint – making him a potentially excellent choice to fill that spot three or four before the headliner on a festival main stage.
When Ministry guitarist Mike Scaccia died in 2013, the band’s leader Al Jourgensen was heartbroken. He promised that From Beer To Eternity, released later that year, would be their last album and, though they would support it, they would not record any more. Well, they’re still on the road and still playing so could it be that things have changed? Another dose of Ministry in 2015 would certainly be worth having.
Check out the full Soundwave line-up below: