Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Interview With Blindside

Blindside has been around for longer than I've enjoyed music, as their first release came out in 1996. After taking a five year hiatus, the band is back with their new album With Shivering Hearts We Wait. The band graciously offered to take up some of their time to answer some of my questions, which include comparisons to the band's past releases, charting on Billboard, nu-metal, an upcoming US tour, and many other things which you can see below.

Firstly, can you introduce yourself and say what you play in the band?

Simon, guitar

With Shivering Hearts We Wait was released this week. How have the first impressions been by your fans?

It’s been over the top really. A lot of people seem to think it’s our best album to date.
That’s a great feeling!

This is your first full length release in six years. Are the emotions you are feeling coming up to the release date similar to those from your earlier years, or is it just a totally different feeling at this point in your careers?

It is a bit different. Mostly because we’ve been on tour the last couple of album-releases.
We did throw a releaseparty/show here in Stockholm, Sweden though. It was also broadcasted on our webpage so we could share the moment with our worldwide followers.

You worked with Howard Benson, the producer for your two most acclaimed albums Silence and About A Burning Fire. Why did you decide to go back to him after working with Lasse Marten on The Great Depression?

The Great Depression was a very emotional record that moved us on a number of levels and it had to be done in that way. Lasse is one of our best friend and we had a very special couple of weeks recording it.
When we looked at the material we’d written for this new album we felt Howard and his crew would fit perfectly. We needed someone who could execute all our ideas we had with the sound, instrumentation and arrangements.
Of course he’s now one of the top producers in the world so we were very lucky to fit into his busy schedule.

How has the process of releasing and promoting the album changed in the time that you’ve been on hiatus?

The difference in the music industry is huge. We knew we had to reinvent everything we’d known to make things work and we’ve put a lot of work into everything surrounding websites and social media. I think we’ve managed to do a lot though with our web-campaign leading up to the release of this record but there are of course much more that has to be done to spread the word again.

Each of your last three full lengths charted on the Billboard charts. Do you have any expectations for this record to do the same? Will it be disappointing if you don’t, or will it just be something you need to build back up to.

We didn’t have any such expectations. What you have to remember is that we were a fully active, more or less non-stop touring band at the release of the last three albums. I don’t want to say that we had to start of over from scratch because I know we’ve had some support all through the years we’ve been “invisible” to the industry.
It’s interesting to see how things are spreading now though and we’re very aware that it will take some time to build this album and we do feel it’s worth putting that extra effort and time into it.

First single “Monster On The Radio” is quite different than any Blindside song from the past, as electronics and beats are fairly prevalent throughout the song. Along with the lyrics about being “a monster on the radio”, many of your longtime fans may believe that this is Blindside “selling out”. Do you feel that their claims are warranted?

You’re always going to alienate some people when you release something slightly unexpected. MOTR came out as the first song from us because it was featured on a Swedish radio station.
Beats and electronic elements are nothing new to us though. First time we featured this was in 1999 and it has been coming back on every album since.
The lyrics are written with a different angle than our fans are used to and I think people were afraid we’d skipped out on the spiritual side of things. That’s not the case though and if you look at the lyrics of MOTR there are things to dig up. The lyrics deal with things you might think you want and how you can get drawn into that. Also you might want to question what “the monster” is representing.

Many of the bands you used to tour with (P.O.D., Papa Roach, Hoobastank) have lost a lot of popularity in recent years, as the appeal of “nu metal” and “radio rock” has gone down considerably. However, it seemed that your album still attracted a considerable bit of hype even to those fans, and not just purely for nostalgic reasons. Is there a reason you think that you guys have continued to excite fans rather than make them think “oh, I would have loved this about five years ago?”

It’s always hard to answer something like this. I can’t say that we felt we could relate to the nu-metal genre very much. We did do a couple of tours with bands because we got invited and it did great things for us. At that time we probably could relate more towards what bands like The Used and Finch were doing, if you ask me.
One of the reasons that people might be attracted to what we’re doing still is that we’ve never tried to fit into any genre and we’ve always followed our hearts when it comes to making music. We don’t really decide on what we’re going to do next because we’ll just write whatever music comes out and if we all feel that it’s right; we’ll stick to it, no matter what people might think.

Are you guys planning on doing a full tour soon?

We’re doing a 3 week run in the states in September of 2011. We’ll see how that goes and where we’ll go from there.

Is there any expectation that more records will be made in the future? Or are you going to see how this one does and then base your future recording plans off of that?

We’d love to make more music. If enough people are interested and we can make ends meet I think we’re ready to keep going.

What are your plans for the rest of the year?

We’re playing the Cornerstone Festival in Illinois next weekend and then we’ll do festivals in Europe through the rest of the summer. Then the U.S. tour in Sept and a European tour after that. That’s how far we’re booked but things are moving so we’ll see.

Any final words?

Just a big thanks to everyone who’s been patient with us while being away and a big welcome to all new listeners who might have stumbled upon our new album.
We hope to see everyone on our U.S. tour.
Further info of course on our webpage and Facebook.

Again, I'd like to thank the band for answering all these questions excellently. The new album is great, and is one of the better "heavy" albums I've heard this year. Definitely check them out on Facebook (link seen above), and check them out on their upcoming US tour. 

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