Greg James talks to Hozier ahead of his Glastonbury performance

The Radio 1 DJ catches up with the singer-songwriter as he prepares to take to the Pyramid stage

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Have you been to Glastonbury before?
I performed on the John Peel Stage and the BBC Introducing Stage last year and that was my first Glastonbury experience. It was the biggest crowd I had ever played to, my first run of festival shows… I mean, my album wasn’t even out at that stage! So it was a daunting one, but amazing fun.

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And your first impression?
It’s overwhelmingly big… I did a gig just outside Glastonbury the day before and I remember standing on a hill with a view over the whole thing – just seeing it all, it’s quite a spectacle. There was an incredible lightning storm just after Haim played, and that unpredictability is what makes it so special. Everyone is there to have a good time no matter what – we all commit ourselves to spending the weekend living like joyous refugees in a field.

What’s it like going back and playing the Pyramid Stage a year later?
It’s quite a leap, isn’t it?! I only realised that I was doing the Pyramid Stage quite recently. I’m kind of blown away by it! I’m absolutely thrilled, obviously. It’s going to be daunting, but a big landmark for me – very surreal.

And you’re playing before Patti Smith!
Better playing before Patti Smith than after Patti Smith!

How do you prepare for a big show?
I don’t know – I’ve never done anything like this before! Festival gigs are different, there’s no sound check because the changeover can be quite quick, so you go out there and you kind of fly by the seat of your pants, and that provides a new energy every time, which I love.

Do you get nervous?
I would imagine, when the day comes, a few minutes before going on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury, that’ll be reason enough to be nervous. 

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Hozier will perform on the Pyramid stage at Glastonbury at 1pm on Sunday