Heading on over from Beligium, post-hardcore outfit Campus are definitely one of the most lively and energetic acts to be performing at this year’s Hit The Deck Festival in Nottingham. Set to be a strong up-and-coming band following their recent signing to Small Town Records and a new EP soon to be dropping, we had a chat with frontman Martijn Leenaers about all of the above and more in the run up to the festival ahead:

DP!: How are you guys looking forward to playing at this year’s Hit The Deck Festival?

Martijn: We’re really excited. It’s quite the trip for us, coming from Belgium, but we’re absolutely up for it. We’re playing a show the day before the festival with our label buddies in Violet and we’re looking forward to meeting a ton of new people in the UK. We already played there before, but this is bigger, supported by Small Town Records and with the new line-up. We’re up early, but we’re really looking forward to tearing the stage apart. Hit The Deck has a bunch of amazing names, and some people we know in Shadows Chasing Ghosts, Bury Tomorrow and The Black Youth playing. Also, our buddy Dougie at Big Deal Clothing is running the stage that we’re playing on. So yeah, to say we’re looking forward to it is an understatement I guess.

There’s a lot of different band on the line-up this year, is there anyone that you’re particularly excited to see or plan on catching?
Martijn: Well, I’m looking forward to seeing a ton of bands. I’ll be running across stages like a mad man probably. I don’t wanna miss out on Heights, Bury Tomorrow, Cancer Bats, The Dangerous Summer, Deaf Havana, Lower Than Atlantis, Shadows Chasing Ghosts and forgive me, I’m probably forgetting a couple others. I’m even bummed POLAR. are playing at the same time we do, otherwise I would catch that set too. I guess when we went through the line-up in the van last week, everyone kinda talked about the same bands. We’re mostly into the same things. I know that our drummer Josse is looking forward to watching The Dangerous Summer, and Tuur, Fabrice and Tijs aren’t missing out on Cancer Bats, Bury Tomorrow or Heights either.

DP!: How do you compare your shows over here in the UK to those back home in Belgium?
Martijn: Well, first: these are my first shows in the UK. I joined Campus around November last year, so together with Fabrice (on guitar) I’m a tour rookie. Three of the other fove guys have been here before but it’s been a while. I guess we’ll just have to step up our game a bit and make things a bit harder. The UK scene has become big and important over the years, with strong and dedicated bands, but that’s something that motivates us to prove ourselves and push ourselves even harder to conquer it.

DP!: You recently signed over to Small Town Records for the release of your forthcoming EP. How does it feel to be a part of that label’s roster and how is the new EP coming along so far?
Martijn: Needless to say we are honored and proud to be a part of the Small Town family. We already knew they take care of their bands and keep contacts really close. Once you really join the family, it feels like they’ll help you out any way they can. It feels good to be backed by solid people, and Small Town backs us up in a way we could have only wished for at the start of this year.

As far as the EP goes; well, it’s done, named and ready for the rest world as soon as possible, and we’ve already got our video wrapped for the first single about a week or two ago with plans of doing a second somewhere at the start of May. We’re proud of what we’ve realized in that short amount of time, with two new members filling in on core spots in the band. It sounds different, harder and a bit rougher, but it still has that Campus feel and sound to it. We’re happy with the finished songs and we’re eager to hear other people’s opinions on them.

DP!: With so many different bands on the line-up, why should people come and check you guys out?
Martijn: We’re that band that will wake you up and get the festival started right there and there. We’re energetic, pumping, loud and eager to conquer your heart.

DP!: Will you guys be letting yourself loose at the after party?
Martijn: Well, we’re Belgian, so what do you expect? Bring those beers!

DP!: Finally, is there anything else that you’d like to add and share with our readers?
Martijn: Go and check out some of our music and photos on our Facebook page (here). We’re dropping our first tour video just before Hit The Deck and just be sure to come and say hi to us when you see us at the festival. We’re all about meeting as many new people as possible. It’s going to be rad.

SET TIME: 13:30 – 14:00 (Rock City Basement – Big Deal Clothing stage)
RIYL: Carcer City / Heart Of A Coward / Underoath
LISTEN TO: Fate Suits Us Perfect / For Battle Or Worse / Living Ghosts (below)

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