There will be no shortage of awesome rock stars and bands at Boston Calling this weekend, especially on Saturday night. Before Jack White takes over the Green Stage for his headlining gig this weekend, indie rockers Manchester Orchestra will get in on the fun with a special late afternoon performance. Ahead of the band’s appearance at Boston Calling, guitarist Robert McDowell gets us pumped for the three-day fest.
How pumped are you for your first Boston Calling?
We are looking forward to it. Up until May 5, we had been off doing family stuff. This will be our third or fourth weekend in a row we’re out playing festivals, so it’s kind of fun to be back in the swing of things.
Which bands and stars are you excited to see take the stage when you’re not rocking out this weekend?
Unfortunately, we have to get off stage and hop directly onto a red eye to fly across the country. I’m definitely bummed about that because it’s a pretty gnarly lineup and everything. That’s the downside of running around, won’t get to see Eminem or anyone. [I’ve] never seen him. I always love seeing Queens of the Stone Age and Jack White’s pretty gnarly as well. I would say it’s a fantastic lineup, one of the best this year.
How has Manchester Orchestra’s sound evolved over the years?
The way that we’ve always operated is kind of finding a mission statement for each record and refusing to give up on it, even if it drives us insane. We’ve had different goals with each record. With “Cope,” it was to make a massive rock record that’s just in your face. “Hope” was to be its counterpart.
With this last one [“A Black Mile To The Surface”], we basically just set the bar somewhere where we didn’t know what it was. Our goal was to have every song make us feel like, “Yes, we did it for this one.” There’s a lot of experiment, adding and taking away. It took us eight months in the studio to make. I would say that the sound of Manchester is really dictated by what’s currently going on in our lives around us and what’s inspiring us, rather than what happens to be the hip thing at the moment – which has worked for and against us.