May is here and brings with it the inaugural Meltdown Festival, ready to take the East Coast by storm! The festival kicks off on Saturday 12 May at Melbourne’s Spotted Mallard, followed by The Bald Faced Stag in Sydney on Saturday 19 May, and wrapping up in Brisbane at the famous Crowbar on Saturday 26 May. The lineup is as face-melting as you’d expect from Dirthouse Agency, the crew behind this fiery fest, and you’ll catch the likes of Gay Paris, Born Lion, Child, Arteries, The Black Swamp, Sumeru, and Never on the national run. There’s also a slew of local acts for each city, so it’s a show not to be missed!

Ahead of their appearance at the festival, Luke Hosking and Brendan Woodley from The Black Swamp answered a few questions for me about how they ended up on the bill and what you should prepare yourself for in their presence.

For anyone who’s never come across The Black Swamp before, how would you describe yourselves?

LUKE: I guess you could say we are a sludgy almost stoner style Metal band built on a framework of Southern groove. Influenced by bands like Sabbath, Down, Orange Goblin, High on Fire, Crowbar and so on.

What is the number one thing you think everyone should know about you?

LUKE: That we are down for heavy riffage and good times. Also, that we have a bunch of awesome festivals coming up such as Meltdown Festival and Dead of Winter so you can see us soon if you’re into that kind of thing.

How did you come to be a part of the Meltdown Festival 2018 lineup?

BRENDAN: We had booked a show on the Central Coast with Jason Finlay of Dirthouse Agency as part of the 2016 ‘I Am’ album tour and loosely discussed at the time the idea of a tri-state co-headlining tour of sorts. Some of the bands that are on this line-up were in the loop and now Dirthouse has brought it to fruition. It took a couple of years but the seed was planted, it grew into a great big plant and now we’re finally about to f*ck that plant!

What are your thoughts on the festival being entirely Australian in its line-up?

LUKE: I think it’s a great festival with a fantastic line up of some of the best Australian bands around. Stoked to be a part of it and looking forward to catching a bunch of killer sets and havin’ a good time.

Are there any bands on the Meltdown lineup that you are particularly looking forward to seeing?

BRENDAN: Looking forward to jamming again with Never and Sumeru and keen to check out Child and a few others.
LUKE: All of them, these are some solid line-ups.

Anyone you’ve not seen or heard before?

LUKE: Brendan mentioned Child, but yeah, there’s a couple we haven’t seen before so I’m sure our minds will be blown once or twice, and hey, that’s what it’s all about. You always find a new favourite band at a mini-fest.

What’s the most recent thing you have released?

LUKE: We have recently released a new EP ‘Witches’ and finished an east coast tour with the ever-crushing Sydney based Flaming Wreckage which was a hell of a lot of fun. Now these festival shows will back that up and help us get our new tracks into ears and eyeballs.

What does the rest of 2018 hold for you?

LUKE: A bunch more shows and some new riffage is the plan for us. You definitely don’t have to try too hard to see us live over the next few months.