Dec Hart, bass player with rock band Lower Than Atlantis, says he is glad his day's of wading through festival mud are over.

Instead he is looking forward to headlining, safely up on stage, at this year's 2000 Trees Festival in Gloucestershire.

"We started out camping, with the tent and mud, but now we get paid to play. There is so much cool stuff happening,'' said Dec, who had just returned to the UK, from their Safe In Sound European tour.

The musicians took the brave decision of playing all new material for half their set and were delighted at the reception.

"It usually takes time to connect with new music, but this was massive from the get-go,'' said Dec.

The band will be playing songs from their latest album Safe In Sound at the Gloucester greenfield festival in the summer.

Much of the recording for the album was done at their own recording studio based in Watford.

Dec said: "It was my dream as a kid of owning a recording studio. But I don't take it for granted. It's too easy to get bogged down by watching your peers doing well, and there isn't a person alive who hasn't been a bit jealous, not human otherwise, but it's kind of cool that we are doing well now.''

The guitarist says that the guys all get on really well, even on the tour bus in a cramped space. He says they have known each other for so long that they know what will annoy and don't do it.

"It is a brotherly feel. We experience the world through a tour bus. We came back a week ago and touring is so intense, it is weird,'' he said.

Dec says that appearing in BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge is still exciting. In the last few years it has really happened for Lower Than Atlantis but the musicians still feel the passion for playing live.

"It still feels like the first gig, just in front of millions of people listening,'' said Dec.

Recognition came with the band's Far Q album and although their musical direction has taken a different turn their punk ethics are still the same, with their DIY approach to managing the band and a democratic rule over decisions.

Lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Mike Dulce and lead guitarist Ben Sansom started the band in 2007, when they were at college. Dec was in a band called We Stare At Mirrors who supported Lower Than Atlantis.

"I had never heard of them,'' he grinned.

After Dec joined, the band went through a tough time with their record label.

"They didn't understand us or what we were doing. We had a punk ethic,'' said Dec. "But it's cool, in five years we are self sufficient, out on our own. The music industry has changed and it would be wrong if a kid of 14 was sitting in his bedroom, really talented and not able to express it.''

Lower Than Atlantis recorded a Christmas single, Merry Christmas Wherever You Are, which was featured on the festive episode of the TV show Made In Chelsea.

Dec says it would be fun to do more music for television, but the next plan for Lower Than Atlantis is to spread to a worldwide level. They will be starting in Gloucestershire, headlining the main stage on the Saturday night at 2000 Trees Festival, which runs from July 6 to July 8 at Upcote Farm near Cheltenham. Tickets for the festival are £83 for a two-day ticket (Friday and Saturday) £100 for a full three-day ticket (Thursday, Friday and Saturday) For booking or more details visit - Flicky Harrison