The Blackout have been firm favourites in the UK rock scene for many years. They are frequently seen playing at the UK’s biggest festivals and gracing the pages of music magazines on a weekly basis. It is however, their recent change in direction from Nu-Metalers to renowned Party Rockers that has thrust them in the direction of mainstream limelight. Following the release of the bands 4th studio album ‘Start The Party’, I caught up with The Blackout’s pro screamer ‘Sean Smith’ during their UK Start The Party Tour for a good old Q&A session.
Rebecca Rayner: What do you think of the public’s reaction to ‘Start The Party’?
Sean Smith: 99.99992% really liked it, anyone who isn’t a miserable Goth who wants you to record the same album over and over. I’m really happy with how it went, anybody who I like, likes it. If you don’t like it, there must be something wrong with you.
RR: And what would you say to the people that don’t like it?
SS: I will fight you!
RR: For somebody who hasn’t heard ‘Start the Party’ how would you describe the album?
SS: Fun in a can! It’s just about having a good time. When everything is miserable, kinda like the world is at the moment, you can just listen to this album and escape for a half hour and enjoy it. Its even better at our live shows because we go mental and the crowd goes mental.
RR: What’s your favourite song off the album?
SS: Ohhh it’s like asking me to choose my favourite child. I love ‘Start The Party’ I love ‘Take Away The Misery’ and ‘Sleep When I’m Dead’. All of them really, there’s not one I don’t like I guess. Sorry, I know that’s a cop answer.
RR: ‘Start The Party’ is quite different from your previous material. What made you decide to make such a drastic change?
SS: We stopped caring. We just thought, these are the songs we like, this is the vibe we like and we don’t care if people like it or not, lets just have a laugh. We just thought we wrote some really good songs and if people didn’t like them, there must be something wrong with them because they’re just straight up rock songs.
RR: And is this a Permanent change in direction for the band or do you see yourselves shifting again with your next album?
SS: The next albums going to be Death Metal. We’re all gonna dress up in long black wigs, paint our faces white and black and scream about corpses. So yeah we’ll see, we’ll see what happens.
RR: How is your tour going?
SS: Its going very well, well I say going very well. It would have been good but we’ve had a few offs. We’ve got a new motto, if it can go wrong it probably will. The first show got cancelled due to snow because Welsh people are scared off snow, and then we did two in Glasgow which were good, Newcastle which was alright but we had a balloon drop, and that didn’t work in Newcastle. Then we did Edinburgh and the show got cancelled halfway through because the roof started leaking, so rather than just going home we played an acoustic show for everybody that was there. We were in Birmingham yesterday that went quite well, and now we’re in London tonight. So hopefully fingers crossed nobody will die.
RR: In December you guys did a DJ set tour, what was that like for you?
SS: It was good fun. Me and Matthew love DJing, we just love trying to work out what the crowd want. Because a lot of bands try and be really cool and play obscure songs that them and only five other people know. We’re just about making people dance and having a good time.
RR: What songs would be on your top DJ set playlist?
SS: Limp Bizkit- Rollin’, Papa Roach- Last resort, Prodigy- Omen, Skrillex – Bangorang, Bon Jovi- Livin’ On A Prayer and Green Day and Pendulum always go down well.
RR: Currently the British rock scene is really going strong, there are some great new bands coming through, what new bands do you think are set to become big this year?
SS: I would love ‘Canterbury’ to become the biggest band in the world! Their new album is brilliant, they’re lovely guys, they’re extremely talented, they’re brilliant musicians. ‘Heavy in The Day’ is just brilliant, a brilliant album.
RR: What do you think about the popularity of rock music in the charts now?
SS: I don’t think the charts really matter any more sadly. I mean when our first album came out it sold 12,000 in the first week and if we did that now, we’d be number one by 6,000 albums, we’d be like double number one. So because people are not buy as much music anymore its kind of pointless I guess sadly.
RR: Do you think that The Blackout is starting to become more mainstream than when the band first started out, and if so what do you think about that?
SS: Probably yeah, but I don’t know. I think when we first started we we’re a bunch of 16 year olds who didn’t know anything about song writing and now we can write a good song. I don’t think mainstream or whatever matters anymore, its just if you can write a good song, you can write a good song.
You can read this interview on the Electric Banana website-
The Blackouts new album ‘Start The Party’ is available on iTunes now for £6.99