SONISPHERE FESTIVAL is hugely excited to be welcoming back guitar legend WILKO JOHNSON. Credited as a major influence for the English punk movement, this musical heavyweight last played KNEBWORTH in 1978 with Frank Zappa, The Tubes, Peter Gabriel and more, with his band Wilko Johnson’s Solid Senders. His outstanding contribution to music was recognized when Jimmy Page presented Johnson with The Innovator Award at the Classic Rock Magazine Roll of Honour in November last year, in front of an audience including Black Sabbath, Ray Davies and Manic Street Preachers. Since being diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer, the former Dr Feelgood guitarist refused chemotherapy treatment so that he could keep on playing live and record a final album with Roger Daltrey. Johnson’s ongoing commitment to his fans and his music will resonate with the passion surrounding KNEBWORTH for a bold, beautiful and unforgettable performance.
Commonly referred to as ‘the heaviest band in the world’ with at least three of their seven albums widely recognized as genre benchmarks and heavy metal classics, Dorset’s ELECTRIC WIZARD will be stopping off at SONISPHERE for the first time to headline the BOHEMIA stage on Friday Night. The band’s unique blend of stoner, sludge and doom together with their stylistic obsessions, ranging from the occult to psychedelic art, have made ELECTRIC WIZARD one of the UK’s most influential and consistently interesting bands. With a new album in the works in 2014, SONISPHERE FESTIVAL might be a rare chance to catch these grand masters of doom.
When an unknown band from New Jersey released their debut album called ‘All Boro Kings’ in May 1994, no one could have predicted they would make history. With the combination of hardcore riffs, rap and rock vocals coupled with the emergence of the ever-popular skate & snowboard style, DOG EAT DOGbecame a defining band of the nineties. Landmark album ‘All Boro Kings’ went on to sell 600 000 records worldwide, with single ‘No Fronts’ being featured on an episode of MTV’s Beavis and Butthead. As the summer 2014 marks the 20th anniversary of ‘All Boro Kings’, DOG EAT DOG will be performing a special anniversary set of the legendary album in its entirety for SONISPHERE FESTIVAL.
Says the band:
“Dog Eat Dog are very excited to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the ‘All Boro Kings’ album at Sonisphere. We look forward to partying with everyone like it was 1994!”
Joining them are Pittsburg punk rockers ANTI-FLAG, who will also be celebrating their 20th anniversary with SONISPHERE this summer. The band have been spreading their political punk message to the masses for two decades focusing on human rights, equality and peace, environmentalism and more. Through the years, they’ve gone from non-stop tours criss-crossing North America in a dilapidated van to world tours travelling as far as Australia. ANTI- FLAG’s performance at KNEBWORTH will be a unique opportunity to hear the band playing their signature anthems, as well as reaching deep into the catalogue and playing rare material. Their set promises to be a highlight of the weekend.
Says the band:
"Anti-Flag is always searching out new places to play. Especially now, at 20 years of being a band. Knebworth is historic and an honour and a privilege for our band to perform at. Sonisphere is a new forum for us to discuss that we are a band that stands against racism, sexism, homophobia and cynicism. It is an opportunity we do not tread lightly upon."
Sometimes, you can’t get enough of a good thing, which is why SONISPHERE is proud to welcomeBLACK SPIDERS back. A name synonymous with highly charged rock’n’roll tunes made in England, as showcased on their latest album ‘This Savage Land’, BLACK SPIDERS say you will like them if you “like the first three Black Sabbath albums…or masturbating in church”, which sounds extremely promising.
Says the band:
“We're majestically elated that we have been invited to the Sonisphere knights table yet again. After our last performance there, headlining the Jäger stage in 2011, it seems only fitting that we come back and wail our merry song once more to a happy throng of waifs, larks and gadabouts. With such a great line up already, we feel adding the Spiders lament will make this the festival of the year. We've had an amazing reaction to our last opus and will rain down some heavy metal rock 'n' roll into every brain and beating heart. The gauntlet is down and the challenge is accepted, so it's 'Balls to the Wall!!”
Also joining the festival’s superb line-up are BRUTALITY WILL PREVAIL. Drawing influence from metal, doom, sludge and metallic hardcore, the hotly-tipped UK metallers’ assault is like no other. Armed with heavy hitting numbers that blend snarling riffs, devastating grooves and unique but distinctly memorable vocal hooks from forthcoming album ‘Suspension of Consciousness’ out later this year, their set is bound to please their dedicated fan base and casual observers alike.
Says the band:
"Well, with that lineup we were going anyway…. Now we just need to bring our gear – stoked to be playing this year's Sonisphere!"
Also appearing will be EMP!RE. Hailing from the South West of England, the band are carving out a name for themselves with their frontman’s impressive vocal range on mini album ‘Where The World Begins’.
Says the band:
“We are so happy to be given the opportunity to play such an awesome festival like Sonisphere with some incredible bands and in front of some amazing people. We will be bringing the show like never before for this one, excited doesn't even begin to cover it; we look forward to seeing you all there for the party!”
SONISPHERE is the event of the summer to see the best in new music, which is why the festival is excited to announce the addition of the supergroup KROKODIL. Featuring members of Gallows, Cry For Silence, sikTh and current Radio1 Rock Show main man Dan P Carter (ex A/ Hexes), KROKODIL promises to be as deadly as the drug it is named after.
Says guitarist Lags:
“Finally the summer of beers, friends and riffs is nearly upon us. Can't wait to bring the thunder but let's keep the rain out of the tents. This will be our first time at Sonisphere. Get down early to insure the perfect spot to bang your head!"
Another special appearance will be the recently reformed RAGING SPEEDHORN. Corby’s finest are reuniting with the two original vocalists, Frank Regan and John Loughlin, and will give festival-goers a treat performing tracks from their first two albums: 2000′s ‘Raging Speedhorn’ and 2002′s ‘We Will Be Dead Tomorrow’. Formed in 1998, the band quickly established itself as a major presence within the UK metal scene, supporting acts such as Slipknot, Rammstein and more, but sadly parted ways in 2008. Now they are back to blow your mind! RAGING SPEEDHORN’s performance at SONISPHERE is sure to be an incredible one.
KNEBWORTH welcomes RECKLESS LOVE with open arms and feet ready for a set full of infectious anthems. Following the band’s recent headline tour in October 2013 and the release of new album ‘Spirit’, the UK cannot seem to get enough of the Finnish glam metallers whose performance promises to be the perfect way to party.
Says the band:
"Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time? A classic question somebody asked me years ago in an interview for a local paper in my small little hometown in eastern Finland. I remember I answered, ‘performing at Knebworth Park with Reckless Love’. The journalist gave me little smile and must have thought I was crazy because Reckless Love wasn't even signed at this point. I admit, I was crazy and still am; just like our live set at Sonisphere 2014 Knebworth Park will be. We toured the UK last autumn and we're so excited to come over again. UK audiences are the best and craziest we've seen. By the way, that interview was not ten years ago!! more like five or six."
In addition, there will be an unmissable set from STAMPIN’ GROUND as their SONISPHEREperformance will be their first show since 2006. Kings of the UK hardcore scene in the early 2000s, the band toured with the likes of Anthrax, Chimaira, The Haunted, Agnostic Front, Sick of it All, Soulfly, Arch Enemy and more. The promise of Adam Frakes-Sime, Scot Atkins, Ben Frost, Paul Fletcher and Neil Hutton taking the stage for a STAMPIN’ GROUND show will undoubtedly satisfy not only the festival ticket holders, but a good many of their peers on the bill too.
Says the band:
“We're more excited than Kriss Akabusi on a waterslide to resurrect our fortified blend of hardcore/thrash and play our first show in eight years alongside the likes of Slayer, Gojira, Metallica and Iron Maiden at Sonisphere. Many thanks to Sonisphere for giving us the opportunity to reinforce our legacy at such an awesome event. Bring it on!"
Masters of modern progressive heaviness, TESSERACT will bring back their familiar blend polyrhythmic riffs and odd time signatures this year. Since the release of the critically acclaimed album ‘Altered State’ and recent support slots with Karnivool and Protest The Hero, the band have gone from strength to strength, winning the support of the likes of Radio1 Rock Show and their performance is not to be missed.
Says guitarist James Monteith:
"Words cannot express how excited we are to be playing Sonisphere and be a part of its triumphant return this year. Sonisphere 2011 was probably one of the most memorable gigs we have ever played, so to be asked back is not just a huge honour, it's one of the shows we're most excited about playing this year. And then there are the other bands on the bill: We're of course very proud to be on a bill with the likes of Maiden and The Prodigy, and hanging out with our touring buddies Karnivool and Devin Townsend Project will be a lot of fun, but knowing that we'll be in the presence of Chas and Dave is just mind blowing. CAN'T WAIT!!! "
Also joining the festival’s superb line-up are UK metal powerhouse THE DEFILED who are no stranger toSONISPHERE, having played every single edition of the festival. Hot off their recent headline UK tour,THE DEFILED have established a reputation as one of the most exhilarating live bands as they toured relentlessly throughout 2013 to promote their incredible album ‘Daggers’, including the Jägermeister Music tour with Ghost & Gojira, a support slot for Motionless In White and Warped Tour UK, not to mention picking up a Metal Hammer 'Golden God' Award for 'Best New Band' and being featured on ITV2's 'The Exclusives'. This is a band primed and ready to dominate the metal world and the main stage of theSONISPHERE FESTIVAL.
Says The AvD:
“Now that's what I'm taaaaaaalllllllking abouuuuuuuuttttt!!!! We've played at Knebworth every year that there's been a Sonisphere in the various tents but this – THIS IS THE SHIT! To be invited to be the first band of the festival to play on the main stage is a huge honour and we can't wait. We've always had big plans and big ideas about what we want to do on stage, but have often been restricted by the size of the venues we're in. Well it don't get bigger than this, and we are going to give Sonisphere one hell of a show to remember. This is the stage that Rammstein did their first outdoor show in the UK, so hopefully I will finally be allowed to set my keyboard on fire!”
Since releasing their first song at the start of July 2013 followed by an album that they released for free only a week later ‘You’re listening to the Hell’, THE HELL have been causing quite a stir. Putting the fun back in metalcore, offensive and hilarious at every turn, THE HELL remains shrouded in mystery whilst winning over influential ears such as those of Radio1’s Zane Lowe. Their SONISPHERE performance is sure to be incredible one.
Over the last 2 years, Essex’s THE HYPE THEORY, have swept across the nation with their infectious brand of melodic pop rock and have recently been handpicked by Kerrang as one of the top five bands for 2014. The band are absolutely thrilled to be invited to perform:
"We are so excited to be playing Sonisphere 2014. The line up is incredible and we are so honoured to be a part of it!"
Fans of technical progressive metal will be delighted to see THE SAFETY FIRE returning to SONISPHERE this year. The band first made a name for themselves in the UK scene with the release of their critically acclaimed EP "Sections" in 2009 and their reputation as a powerfully energetic live band. They have toured extensively across the UK with bands such as Malefice, Periphery, Monuments and most recently, with Protest The Hero in support of their new album ‘Mouth Of Oceans’.