When a band surfaces that catches your attention from the first few bars of their new single, you go down a rabbithole into their back catalogues and wonder why you missed them until now! Blacksound are that new band for me and they’ve got quote the story to tell!
Kicking off in LA before relocating to Tokyo, Japan (yep, seriously) this four piece have been grinding for the past couple of years and even released their debut album Pathos amidst the panic of 2020. Hellbent to have their music and story heard, they’ve kept the music making machine going in full force and recently dropped their atmospheric, post-hardcore single ‘Exit Motive‘ which I’d put in the same category as bands like In Hearts Wake, Escape The Fate, Rogue Half and Pridelands.
As they start making a name for themselves outside of Japan, we grabbed vocalist Taylor Berry for a quick chat about the band’s origins and what’s next for them!
G’Day Taylor, Blacksound has an incredible story of how you came to be, for those who haven’t discovered the band yet, give us a rundown of that eventual meeting!
Blacksound was the result of me being unsatisfied with the band I was in previously. I was the vocalist of that band but I was also writing most of the material for them as well. The type of music I was writing for them wasn’t really what I was passionate about so I started writing what would become the first demos for Blacksound. Eventually I met Andrew (our lead guitarist) online and he really helped me flesh out the basic demos I had.
Around that same time I had become close friends with the Vocalist of the band Bad Omens, Noah Sebastian. Noah and I had been talking for awhile about working together so when the time came to actually record the songs I had written for Blacksound, his guitarist, “Jolly” and him were the first choice for the job. While we were recording I was in the process of moving to Japan to help my grandfather with his growing business. A Japanese musician, Reda Matsumura (our rhythm guitarist) had started to like and comment on my photos on Instagram so I reached out to him, initially just to make friends with other musicians in Tokyo. Quickly we became good friends and realized he’d be a perfect fit for Blacksound.
Since then it’s been Andrew, Reda and I (with friends in US and Japan filling in on drums and bass) working hard to make our goals for Blacksound a reality.
How does the music scene in Tokyo differ from that in LA and did you encounter any struggles along the way to forming Blacksound?
The music scene in Tokyo and LA are fairly similar. I’d say the biggest difference would just be the overall size of the scene. The amount of metal bands in LA is exponential and the over saturation of the scene makes it very hard for even the best of bands to stand out. It’s much easier to network and gain some momentum in Tokyo if you put in the work.
But being an international band, we’ve spent most of our career so far, separated. With Andrew being in LA while Reda and I are in Japan, we’re forced to make trips back and forth to record new music or videos. Because of that we’ve not even been able to play a single live show yet! We had plans for a debut show and small tour in Japan mid 2020 but it obviously had to be postponed due to the COVID pandemic. We’re hoping the Japanese borders will open up soon so Andrew can come to Japan and we can finally start playing live together.
Your sound is predominately post-hardcore with plenty of screams, breakdowns and circle pit inducing riffs – what bands would you say are major influences for your songwriting?
Strictly speaking about heavy music, obviously Bad Omens have had a direct influence in our songwriting, being that they co-wrote a lot with us. Other heavy bands we love are Underoath, The Plot In You, Deftones, The Devil Wears Prada, etc… The artists that inspire us beyond heavy music varies much more though. We’re all greatly inspired by The Beatles, Kendrick Lamar, Circa Survive, Johnny Cash, The Beach Boys, etc.
New single ‘Exit Motive’ is out now and doing the rounds, what’s this one all about?
Our first release Pathos was really dark with every song dripping in grief and trauma. I had written Pathos right after my mother had unexpectedly passed away and much of that album deals with me coming to terms with it. ‘Exit Motive’ is the exact opposite and a big departure from Pathos.
‘Exit Motive’’s main themes deal with letting go of other’s opinions of you and your own self doubt, to stop thinking and start moving. That life will only progress with motion and you can either sit around thinking about how you’ll do something or you can get up and actually do it. As soon as we let go of meaningless desires, motives and reasonings, we can allow ourselves to achieve anything.
What’s next for you lads?
We’ve got a lot of new music coming out this year! COVID has delayed some of our plans but hopefully we’ll be able to finally play some shows in Japan. We’ve also got plans to make our way back to the US to film some new videos, record some new music, and with any luck play some shows out there too. Regardless, the Blacksound train is always moving and we don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon.
Keen to see what you guys do when you’re finally in the same room together again, keep us posted!
Interview by Paul ‘Browny’ Brown @brownypaul