Ahead of the release of their sophomore album, and first on PEE Records, Final Allure (our review here) we sat down, had a beer and a chat with Perth punks Blindspot consisting of Ben Swain, Aaron Graham, Mark Gregson and Steve McCormack. We discussed about the new album, their move to PEE and their musical tastes…
Congrats on the new album. For those who haven’t heard it, what can they expect?
BS: I think a mixture of serious songs and fun, catchy songs.
AG: I believe it is a much more mature album than the albums (Drink and Laugh and EP’s You’re So Phoney and Selfie Titled) we have done previously. We are touching on a lot more serious subjects, with less light heartedness than we normally do…
MG: And there is only one song about beer on this one.
AG: …Apart from the one song about being a wanker. That one is not overly serious. There is slightly more dark overtones to this album compared to the previous albums.
I was going to say it is a little more complex musically and lyrically compared to the debut. Was that intentional or a natural progression as a band?
MG: The album was recorded in two parts, so that makes it sound a bit different in itself as well. We didn’t write the second half of the album until 6-8 months after the first five, and one of the songs were written well before.
SM: A few years ago.
AG: So, we are talking before Ben’s marriage break up, during Ben’s marriage breakup and post-Ben’s marriage breakup. The album spanned all of that section.
This is your first release with PEE Records, can you tell me how that came about?
MG: I sent him (Pete the main man behind PEE Records) the EP’s previous(ly). Firstly, they released a compilation disc and we got a song on there, and I asked if he would be interested in putting out our next album, he said send me when you get the stuff, and then I sent him the album, which we were going to release in April, and he asked us to wait and he was keen to put it out. So, I have been in contact with him since our first album.
BS: We have also seen a lot of great bands from Perth getting signed up to PEE Records. In the back of our minds we have always wanted to do that as well.
AG: It’s the next level for us
Your following in the footstep of like The Decline and…
BS and AG (simultaneously): Alex The Kid
BS: We wanted to get in too.
MG: And chatting to those guys, they were always like, when you do it, hit up Pete.
AG: I just wanted a free shirt, I was pretty excited about that (laughs)
BS: And the stickers that say PEE on them (laughs)
The album is called Final Allure, what is the title referring to?
BS: Alright I’m gonna get deep here. Although not in chronological order, when you listen to the album, each song tells a story, apart from one or two songs, each song tells a story from a part of my life when I knew something was wrong. And things started happening that were not very nice to me, and I went really downhill and it (the album) gets dark, and then there is the Tinder stage, and then there is letting go of the past, which is ‘Cellophane’ (a song on the album) which is very dark. It (the album) tells a story of a time I was having, and since I write majority of the lyrics I guess it came out. And it turned out to be the best thing that’s ever happened to me, and I got some good lyrics out of it.
‘Gas Lit Manthem’ is getting some play on Triple J, it seems a bit of a feminist song. Can you tell us what it is about?
BS: It’s really about anyone, and I think everyone knows someone, that emotionally abuses someone, in some way.
AG: Not necessarily females.
BS: Yeah not necessarily females.
AG: It was actually relating to Swainy in that case.
BS: Yeah, it’s just a story of someone I know, that has been through a bit of shit, and they just happen to be a female, but it really could relate to anyone who has been emotionally abused, at home, at work, in a band, anywhere.
You’ve been playing with this line up for some time now, and in that time, you have supported some big international punk bands. Who was the most exciting and why, and who would you love to support.
BS: Millencolin… because Millencolin.
AG: … because Millencolin
BS: They’re our favourite band, collectively, I’d say, as we all like (them).
AG: As a group here, it is our favourite band collectively.
MG: And our music is heavily influenced by them.
And if you could support anyone?
Apart from Millencolin.
MG: I think I’ve already hit all mine.
BS: Rise Against?
MG: Bouncing Souls would probably be the last (band I’d like to support) for mine.
AG: I’d like No Use For A Name… But that’s obviously not gonna happen.
BS: Or Rage Against The Machine… Apparently that could happen
AG: Actually Miley Cyrus… I’ll take Miley Cyrus.
So no My Chem…. (At this stage, a local interrupts the interview singing Blindspot’s ‘Grabusabeer’ at the top of his lungs).
The album release show is on the 22nd of November at The Den, then there is an East Coast tour. What can people expect from a Blindspot show?
AG: Much drinking
MG: Amazingly funny jokes
AG: And we just don’t give a fuck… If you wanna hang out, just come down, drink out.
On that note, what is your favourite Blindspot song to play live?
MG: At the moment ‘Breakfast Beers’ is my favourite by far
AG: It changes
BS: I’m gonna say ‘My Mate Nick’ because even though it’s not on the album we are discussing, the other night I broke a string and I had to not play guitar, and I got to take the mike for a while.
AG: I got a lot of comments (from people) about that
BS: I’ve actually spoken to Matty Hatton from Two For Flinching and he’s gonna play guitar for that song, if we play it at the launch, and I’m gonna go for a run
AG: Why not? My favourite is ‘Break Down In E’ to play.
(Aaron later changes his mind as he is performing, yelling out to me, “Carys, my favourite is ‘Cellophane’, put that down.”)
Wall of Sound are doing end of year best-of lists. What, in your opinion, is the best album of the year so far?
(Lots of thinking)
AG: Is this local or international?
AG: Bayside’s new album I really enjoy
SM: Umm… what has come out this year?
BS: Hello Exile- The Menzingers
SM: Does it have to be from this year?
MG: Much the Same’s album was killer, that is definitely in my top five… That’s probably the one.
Six? (Referring to drummer Steve McCormack)
BS: Tool man, c’mon.
SM: Oh yeah Tool.
AG: Slipknot’s new album was really good too.
BS (Referring to Steve): Hasn’t he been on a radio show, and the whole time he was talking about it (Tool’s Fear Inoculum) and it was a punk show, and you’re forgetting Tool now?
SM: Yeah. Tool.
Any last words to convince people to come to your shows, buy your stuff…
MG: We’ve been toiling away for a while now, so if you could buy something that would help.
AG: To make some money at a show, would be really nice one day. Or for fuel there and back.
BS: Or come and stand at the front of a show and have a boogie.
MG: And if we’re drunk enough, you might get something for free.
Interview by Carys Hurcom @CarysWos
Blindspot’s album Final Allure is out now. Grab your copy here
Blindspot – Final Allure Launch Show
with Cameo Thieves, REEFEATER, Desert Dogs, Ohm Rune, Naked Wizard, The Wolfbats, Nankasi and Two for Flinching
November 22nd – The Den, Perth
Tickets At The Door!