October 31, 2007
There is nothing more pleasing after a hard day's work in an office or public library than returning home, kicking off your shoes, making a hot cup of tea and sticking on an album where a man is trying desperately to ruin his tonsils. This is just one of the reasons that we currently like The Blackout in our office. Described as 'metallic troubadours' by their management company and as 'a tour de force of rawk' by ourselves, The Blackout are quickly making a name for themselves in Britain. Currently promoting their new album We are the Dynamite, The Void managed to track down and harangue Sean from The Blackout about life, nu-metal and gigging on the moon.
Where did the name The Blackout come from?
We were originally called Ten Minute Preview, but then one day we decided to just stop playing all the songs that we had wrote in that band and start afresh, so we needed a name change. We just stuck a bunch of different names in a hat and pulled one out and that was that. It kind of came about because in 1997 there was a Blackout in New York and we remembered seeing a T-shirt that said “I survived the Blackout”, and it just sounded like it would be a good name.
So how did you all get together as a band?
We got together about four years ago. Five of us all started out in a band at school together. And then James the guitarist got added about a year later. It kind of just happened because we were bored at school and wanted to do something with ourselves.
Your new album, We are the Dynamite, came out last month, for those who haven't heard of you, what can we expect from it?
Just a bunch of hard rock songs that you can party to, get drunk to, get naked to, just really have a good time to. It's not one of these deep and meaningful kind of albums with seven minute epics all over the place, it's just simple, straight to the point songs with choruses, riffs, singing, screaming and stamping.
You toured with the Lostprophets, how did that come about?
We are all big fans of the Lostprophets; in fact during the first gig we ever played we did a cover of their song The Fake Sound of Progress. There was a Kerrang! Weekender gig a while back and the Lostprophets were playing there. I ended up talking to Mike Lewis, whose the guitarist in the band, for ages, so when I got home I emailed him because we had a good time together hanging out at the gig. He liked the band and wanted to come and do guitar tech for us when he wasn't doing the Lostprophets. A bit later they were looking for a support act for their tour and Ian and Mike just asked us if we wanted to do it.
That must have been a pretty good experience.
It was awesome. It was just unbelievable to play with one of our favourite bands ever, and then, to see the crowd enjoy us as well was just amazing.
How does it feel to have toured with the Lostprophets earlier in the year, then going on your own tour and drawing in similar crowd numbers, but they have only paid to see you?
It's truly unbelievable. The gig we did at the Mean Fiddler in London was just about the best thing I have ever done in my entire life. We played to a completely sold out crowd there and then when people start singing our songs back to us, it made me feel like when you get goosebumps so bad that you genuinely can't move. I was just frozen there as they were singing back!
Any good tales from the road?
Not really, when we're touring we spend our days just challenging each other on Guitar Hero and Pro Evolution Soccer and then in the evenings just get on stage and play. I don't think we have any good stories yet. But saying that, I bet something happens tonight now!
So what's next for the band?
Just the usual: global domination. By the end of November I want to play on the moon so that everyone can see the gig wherever they are! We are doing Taste The Chaos in November, and then a European tour in January. I think there's also maybe some talk of us doing a US tour in February as well. We are just working on getting Europe and the US done quickly so we can then just do the rest of the countries one at a time. Then become Presidents of the world.
You covered My Generation by Limp Bizkit for a Kerrang! CD, why did you choose that track?
We did it because, unlike every other band in the world, we are not scared to admit that we like nu-metal. Nu-metal was one of the biggest genres in the world a few years ago, I mean, Limp Bizkit sold out Earls Court, which holds 25,000 people, and apparently now no-one likes Limp Bizkit or nu-metal, which is weird as three years ago, twenty odd thousand did. When we first got into music, it was because of nu-metal. I've always wanted to have a crack at covering a Limp Bizkit track so we decided to do My Generation. We changed it slightly, but it's still My Generation. I even emailed Fred Durst to tell him that we had done this but he never got back to me, which was a bit disappointing as I thought I would be doing him a favour as he probably would have got some royalties from it to put in his massive pockets!
Five Quick Questions
Dead Man's Shoes
Last CD you bought or listened to?
Pierce the Veils new CD - A Flair for the Dramatic. Check it out on Myspace.
Cherry Cola. I don't drink, so probably Cherry Cola
If you could re-record one song from a movie soundtrack, what would it be?
Ohhh.... Either This is Halloween from Nightmare Before Christmas, which was done by Danny Elfman, or the theme from Lost Boys - Cry Little Sister, which again is a dark gothic tune. I would probably rather do the Danny Elfman one so we could have violins and I can make funny voices.
What would your Top Gun callsign be?
Assmaster (laughs) as I master the ass!