Welsh band The Blackout have just released their Epitaph debut ‘The Best In Town’ and vocalist Sean Smith was kind enough to answer a few questions for me.
Thanks for the interview.
Can we start with your name and what you do in The Blackout?
My name is Sean and I sing and leap about like a frog/leprechaun.
Right off the bat, how did The Blackout start out?
We started in high school as something to do, there were a few other bands around our hometown at the time but none of them were doing the style of music that we wanted to do.
This is a two part-er, you guys are from Wales, how did the bigger bands like Funeral for a Friend, Kids in Glass Houses and Lostprophets give you a boost coming from such a small Town in the South?
We were all fans of Lostprophets before we became friends with them and subsequently toured with them and seeing them do well made us think "we can do this too!" We played a few shows with Funeral For a Friend when we were both starting out and as for Kids in Glasshouses we took them out on their very first tour in April 2007. It’s good to see South Wales have so many promising bands and seeing them do well is amazing.
And part two, how is your local scene down there?
The South Wales Scene is one of the best in the UK, We have pretty much got all genres covered and the bands are really good. Check out Straight Lines, Attack Attack, Anterior, You Are Dead Meat, Argonaut, Save Your Breath, Portraits, Decimals, Caesars Rome, The Arteries… the list goes on!
Earlier this year The Blackout signed to Epitaph, which is huge! How did that come around? And what were you initial reactions to such a legendary label showing interest?
We had a played a bunch of shows with Epitaph bands and the European side of Epitaph (Eurotaph) had seen us on a number of occasions, so as soon as we were out of contract with our old label they showed their interest. It’s really nice to think that the biggest independent label in the world was after us and now we are looking forward to a good long relationship.
Coming around to The Best in Town, that was released in May in Europe, and later in June in the US, how has the reaction been to the new tracks seeing as how Shutthefuckuppercut was debuted on BBC 1?
It’s been mind blowing! Our latest single "Save our Selves" has gone up the radio one list and is getting quite a bit of airplay; it’s exciting to see some of the hard work paying off.
Now you guys have two vocalists, Sean and Gavin, what’s the writing process like between the band and with the two vocalists?
Basically same as any band I guess, we come up with the music first and then melodies and me or Gavin come up with a general idea with the lyrics and we work on it together.
So you guys have been on Warped Tour this year, how has that been playing to a thousand or more kids a day?
Warped tour has been an amazing experience; basically we’re starting again in the US so we are amazed to see anyone watching us let alone the crowds we’ve been getting.
You’re playing Reading and Leeds later this year, what’s the general vibe of Festivals like that in a huge outdoor arena?
It’s always fun, we opened the main stage last year and we apparently had one of the biggest crowds for an opening band. Reading and Leeds are always good and the crowd is always nuts so we can’t wait!
Who, in your opinion, are some of the best bands playing right now?
Glassjaw, Faith No More, I’m enjoying seeing Gallows tear it up every day on Warped.
And finally, when can we expect you on our shores?
ASAP hopefully, it’s one of our dreams to come to Australia and melt some of your tanned surf loving faces!
Any last words?
‘It wasn’t me, I found the body!’
Take it easy, enjoy Warped man!
The Blackout‘s new album ‘The Best In Town‘ is out now via Epitaph/Shock Records. For more info on the band head over to their Myspace page.