Artist Spotlight: Sven Spandex – Download Festival, Dirty Rose and Air Guitar Championships

03 Jul 2019

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Wet and rainy it may have been, this year’s Download Festival did not manage to dampen ACM’s Sven Spandex’s excitement to take to the stage and dazzle audiences with his infectious charm, and of course, with some good old fashioned rock’n roll.  Glammed up in a pair of extra-shiny leather trousers, Sven not only fronted his band Dirty Rose as they performed their new hard-rocking single ‘Air Guitar Hero’, but he also competed in 2019’s Air Guitar Championships. Read below to find out all about it as we catch up with the man himself:Sven

So Sven, this year you performed at the legendary Download festival, what was it like? Tell us all about it!

You know when I started taking singing ‘seriously’, the first real big goal I wanted to achieve was to play at Download Festival, and I’m so thankful that within a year of starting my band I’ve been able to achieve this. It was just absolute madness in every sense, so many emotions and I still can’t really believe that I got to play such an iconic festival alongside some of my absolute heroes. Def Leppard and Whitesnake where on main stage and that’s where I want to be when I’m 60.

What’s in store for Dirty Rose? Tell us what’s been happening for you and the band recently.

Well we’ve just released a lyric video for our latest track ‘Air Guitar Hero’, using footage from Download Festival 2019, so really proud of that! We have a headliner show coming up in Casino, Guildford on the 5th of July which is gonna be our biggest set to date, we’ve just been working on production value stuff too, so really expect a show! It’s all been pretty hectic preparing for Download and our other shows, so I’m really keen to focus a bit more on writing in the summer!

You also competed in 2018’s Air Guitar Championships – please tell us as much as you can about it. Where did you first compete? What made you want to compete?

It was just one of those things, I saw the National Air Guitar Championships, entered as a bit of a joke, I got my friends all riled up so they were all going absolutely crazy, chanting my name and catching me when I stage dove, so I really put my all into it, and then I ended up winning! I was then sent to Finland for the World Championships where I competed against the best of the best, some real air guitar veterans, and I rocked hard enough to make it into the Finals too, finishing with the title of 5th best Air Guitarist in the world.

Fast forward 10 years. What does the future look like for you? What do you want to do after you graduate?

Just keep doing what I enjoy really, playing bigger venues with next level stage production value, moving up to a bigger stage at Download would be a dream. I’d also love to try musicals, I feel like I’d make a kick-ass Stacee Jaxx from Rock Of Ages.

What do you study at ACM and how has your course helped you prepare for moments such as performing at Download Festival?

I study Musician Route – Vocals. I didn’t really sing before I came to ACM, so I feel like just having lessons from industry professionals really gave me the confidence to actually be like “yeah, I’m a singer”.

What is your favourite thing about studying at ACM?

If you look beyond the lessons, there’s definitely opportunities if you’re willing to work for it. They’ve helped with getting me local gigs, tutors have recommended me for jobs and ACM are also going to sponsor me to fly to Oulu, Finland this year for the World Air Guitar Championships.

There’s been a continuous phrase that people in the industry have thrown about over the years, being that “rock’n roll is dying” or that “real rock’n roll is dead”. What can you comment on this?

I think because all of the legendary rock bands have been going for so long, the audience has matured with them so a large percentage of the crowd can be older and don’t quite enjoy going as mental as they used to. But, we’ve had some pretty rowdy crowds before, we had someone crack their head open during a set previously and they had to go to hospital and get 6 stitches! I think the other thing is people are held more accountable for their actions nowadays; no one could really get away with what the big rockstars did back in the 80s. I don’t think Rock & Roll is dead, maybe slightly more accountable but if the music still kicks ass, that’s all that matters really.

What’s the best piece of advice you can offer to students who are wishing to study at ACM?

You get out what you put in. If you want opportunities, you’ve got to work for it.

Describe Dirty Rose in three words.

Freakin’ kick ass.

Describe ACM in one.


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