Metal Hammer

The Prodigy On Headlining Download: “People Can Judge It By The Crowd Reaction”

The Prodigy 2012

With Download Festival 2012 on the horizon, Metal Hammer grabbed Prodigy’s Maxim to talk pre-show nerves, the new album, and strangely enough, wildebeest. Yes, we know, “Not Da Metulz” and all that, but they’re headlining Donington, and we have a few pressing issues to bring up.

Here’s what went down…

So, Download is getting close now…nervous?

“No. [laughs] I don’t really get nervous. Never have. It’s more excitement you know.”

Do you feel any added pressure given the size and stature of the other headliners this year?

“No not really, well… you know there are certain expectations, but we always go out there and make it massive. However big the show is, or the other bands. We always go out and give it.”

Now that you are main stage headliners, how do you plan to step it up?

“We’ve been doing this for twenty years and we always go out there and give it everything. Obviously now there is more pressure because we are headlining Download, it’s one of the biggest UK festivals and one of the best. But we just go out and do our thing, make the people dance and go crazy.”

Do you have any favourite memories of the other two times you have played at Download?

“We really enjoyed both times at Download ‘cos the crowd are just mad. They go wild. One year we were playing on a really dry day and there was this dust cloud right in the middle of the crowd where everyone was moshing and going crazy. Like a wildebeest in the dust [laughs[. That’s what I love about Download you know; the people just go crazy.”

Chase and Status are supporting you guys, how do you see them going down?

“Yeah, hopefully they will go down well. They are doing a similar thing to us; we put down the beats but still have that rock edge, and I think they have the same. So yeah, hopefully people will get into their stuff.”

There are still a few cynics who aren’t sure that The Prodigy belong at a festival like Download. What do you have to say to them?

“I’m not going to disrespect anyone or their opinions on music, but I think people can judge it by the crowd reaction on the day. If people like it and they go fucking crazy, then who cares what other people say?”

Do you think it’s important for festivals like Download to expand their line up and the kinds of bands they put on?

“Yeah, definitely. I mean, we never thought we would be headlining Download - it was never on our radar before, you know? But I think that says something about music, and the way it is changing. And you don’t need to put a ‘rock’ or ‘dance’ label on things any more.”

Can we expect some especially heavy new material?

“The thing with The Prodigy is, there’s always a foundation, there’s always beats, bass, it’s always heavy, and it’s always in your face, and those are always gonna be the elements in The Prodigy's music. But, you know, I think when bands try to diversify and think ‘Oh yeah let’s try and do something else’, it doesn’t [always] work. You know Rage Against The Machine don’t try and write a ballad. Rage Against The Machine is always Rage Against The Machine, and the foundations are the same on every album and that’s the same with us. It’s always music that moves the crowd, it’s party music. That’s what we’re good at.”

The Prodigy headline this year’s Download festival, also featuring Black Sabbath and Metallica, as well as the likes of Machine Head, Lamb of God, Anthrax, The Devin Townsend Project, Soundgarden, DevilDriver, Megadeth, Black Label Society, Slash and many more!

Day Tickets are on sale now from the official Download site and priced at £75 (plus booking fee).

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