Bring Me The Horizon: Why 'gradual growth' beats overnight success

Bring me The Horizon performing in Los Angeles Image copyright BG017/Bauer-Griffin

It might seem mad to think Bring Me The Horizon have never headlined a major festival, but that is about to change.

Not only are they top of the bill for All Points East festival on Friday in east London, they are curating the whole day's line-up.

"It's equal parts scary and exciting," frontman Oli Sykes tells Radio 1 Newsbeat.

This is a huge milestone for the band that comes in the same year they were nominated for their first Grammy Award.

"We've been a band for 15 years now so it has definitely been a gradual growth," Oli agrees.

Image copyright Rich Fury
Image caption Bring Me The Horizon at the 2019 Grammy Awards, nominated for Best Rock Song for MANTRA

"We have always appreciated everything we have done along the way, so this is just another thing to be like 'Whoa this is crazy, I can't believe our band is doing this'."

Oli says they have watched other bands have big moments early on and what seemed like overnight success.

"I have definitely felt jealous in the past of artists and bands like that and wondered 'Why did they get a break and we didn't?'" he admits.

Image copyright Gareth Davies
Image caption Picking up their first Kerrang Award for Best Newcomers back in 2006

But Oli and the band are reflective and positive about how their career has panned out. After all, they are still together.

Now they fill out large venues in the States and are climbing up the festival bills, most recently on stage right before the Foo Fighters at a festival in North Carolina.

"At the end of the day having that gradual build has meant we have always been able to do things on our own terms," he says.

"We have never had to answer to anyone, we have written the music we want to write and we've never let anyone control that.

"We have always just stuck to our guns and done what we want and not been moulded by anyone else, so I think that definitely helps with the longevity of the band.

"If you don't like what you are doing and don't like the music you are making then it's not really that fun."

Image copyright Theo Wargo
Image caption Bring Me The Horizon picked hip-hop act Run The Jewels to be on their line-up at All Points East

When it came to deciding the line-up for their day at All Points East, Oli says they wanted to do something that reflected them as a band.

Hip-hop act Run The Jewels, alternative rock band Nothing But Thieves and relative newcomer Tillie are among those on the bill.

"One of our least favourite jobs as a band is picking support acts," explains Oli.

"It is not just a question of wanting a certain band, it is also if that band can do it, does that band want to do it is that band going to work?

"It is a slow, painful process. I wouldn't like to be a concert promoter."

It's like skydiving

Will they at least enjoy the day?

"I don't imagine I'll enjoy it very much," Oli sighs.

"The nearest thing I can compare these things to is skydiving, where you are scared out of your mind up to the point that you take the big leap - and then it is the best thing in the world.

"You're thinking 'Why am I doing this?' and then you go out and do it and you get that adrenaline rush.

"It's an awesome time but up to that point it's probably going to be hell."

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