‘Once I gave up drink it was a hallelujah second’: Sleaford Mods interviewed at Glastonbury | Glastonbury 2022


Tlisted here are infinite methods to start out your day at Glastonbury: as you imply to go on, with a pint of cider for breakfast; daydreaming within the lengthy line for a espresso; maybe one thing holistic within the inexperienced fields to atone for the night time earlier than.

However over on the east aspect of the pageant on Friday morning, a throng of individuals kicked off Friday by watching Sleaford Mods interviewed by music editor Ben Beaumont-Thomas within the first of the Guardian’s onstage talks on the William’s Inexperienced stage.

Carrying shorts and searching bright-eyed, frontman Jason Williamson and producer Andrew Fearn took questions submitted by Guardian readers. They talked candidly about rising up working class, how changing into profitable affected their identification and kicking – and addressing the roots of – substance habit.

The band shaped in Nottingham and was a manner for Williamson to jot down about “failure”, he stated, describing himself as a “complete loser” on the time: “boozed up, drugged up, actually not very good … plenty of psychological well being points. We are able to all say that as of late. It’s fairly clear that anybody from my technology – or any technology – with points with substances or alcohol that they will’t cease that there’s some kind of trauma.”

To today, he stated, he was nonetheless “guided by my very own destructive points” as a songwriter: “jealousy, negativity, paranoia”. He rejected the concept it was in any manner disingenuous for a now-successful musician to proceed to jot down about struggles in his earlier life. “Which may get interpreted as me attempting to sound like I did eight years in the past, which is bullshit – I’ve carried out my apprenticeship.”

Sleaford Mods interviewed by Ben Beaumont-Thomas on the William’s Green stage.
Sleaford Mods interviewed by Ben Beaumont-Thomas on the William’s Inexperienced stage. {Photograph}: Alicia Canter/The Guardian

He continued: “Your persona’s nonetheless what it was again then. You [may be] dwelling in a middle-class space however the best way you speak, what you giggle at, how you’re, you’ll be able to nonetheless inform. If I attempted my hardest to be center class I couldn’t do it.”

Requested about their famously scabrous method to social media, Williamson recalled how he would get off tour “in a very aggressive temper”, and get hold of individuals who didn’t just like the band as a manner of “decompressing”. He admitted that he had not too long ago stated to his spouse that it was “a type of punishing myself as a result of I felt that manner about myself”.

“It’s associated to the working-class query,” stated Fearn, “feeling unhealthy about who you had been.”

Each Fearn and Williamson mentioned turning 50 and present process seismic latest life modifications. Fearn stopped smoking as a lot weed and joined a fitness center to start out weight coaching.

Williamson addressed his substance abuse and stopped ingesting. After his final bender, he stated, he drank half a can of lager and realised he needed to cease. “I’d tried every thing,” he stated. “Once I gave up the drink it was like a hallelujah second, actually.”

Nonetheless, he stated, change took time. “I nonetheless needed to do it,” he admitted of cocaine. “It took some time to do away with the impulse to go and purchase a load of drugs and sit in a room. It was a strong factor.” He credited his youngsters, his companion, the band and having the means to hunt assist with aiding his restoration. In any other case, he stated, “it was solely gonna go a technique”.

Trying to their very own futures, they mentioned their admiration for US punk musician Ian MacKaye, who fronted the bands Minor Menace and Fugazi and runs Dischord Information. “He’s like, no matter, he has no hang-ups,” stated Williamson. “That’s what I wanna get to.”

The session concluded with Williamson expressing his usually unfiltered views on UK politics. “The nation acquired fucking ransacked,” he stated, and admitted that he seemingly wouldn’t vote on the subsequent election.

Whereas there have been some good individuals in politics, he stated, and “a solution to dwell beneath this technique of chasing cash”, he had “typically misplaced hope [with politics]. However I’m conscious of the truth that I’m in a privileged place and I can afford to not vote … Let’s face it, if you happen to’ve acquired Labour and Keir Starmer telling us to place ourselves behind the fucking Queen, I imply, come on!”

The place do you discover hope, one reader requested? Fearn and Williamson each laughed. “In your individual private house,” stated Williamson. “The place else can you discover it? It’s the explanation individuals have households. They’ve acquired a degree, it’s very nice. It’s why individuals have relationships, friendships.”

The Guardian’s interview collection continues at Glastonbury this weekend, with Self Esteem (Saturday) and Angélique Kidjo (Sunday) interviewed on the William’s Inexperienced stage at 10am every day.


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