Sunday, April 22, 2007

Blacklisted interview

I was cleaning out my myspace inbox and I found this interview with George from Blacklisted dated Nov 24, 2004. Obviously, much has happened with the band since this was conducted, but I thought I’d post it for anyone interested. Enjoy.

Although you guys are a fairly new band, you've made a lot happen for yourselves; Tell me a bit about how Blacklisted got started and what happened to your old band No Rights.

One day we were sitting in Jay Pepito's (our old guitar player) room and we decided we wanted to be just a heavier NYHC influenced band, more on the lines of the music that we really liked. No Rights was more for fun and Blacklisted was a little more serious. So, instead of keeping the same name we just started a new band, with me, Tim Jay and Zach. Robby, the bass player from No Rights went on to be a chef or something.

How did you get hooked up with Stillborn Records? What was it about Stillborn that made you pick them over any other label that was interested in you?

Jay Reason approached us to do a record, he worked things out with Bobb Macc and we were signed. We kind of just went for Stillborn once they showed interest. We really didn’t think things through.

One thing i really like about your band is that even though you play heavy NYHC influenced hardcore, your lyrics are more personal and varied than a lot of bands of a similar style... when you write, what is the thought process like? Do you take pieces from journals and fit them for specific songs?

Well, for our EP, a lot of things were happening to me on a personal level with someone I cared a lot about, so a lot of the songs are (as cheesy as it sounds) me venting about a specific person. I wish I would’ve written more about stuff that matters, cause wasting your time on one person or one thing is just hurtful in the long run. Our LP will be more understandable lyrically, but still have a little of the same feel… not my just experience with one specific person, cause that is kind of lame. At the same time it is something that everyone goes through, so hopefully someone will be able to take something from it and feel like at least there is one person out there that understands.

What influences Blacklisted outside of hardcore and outside of music?

Music is pretty much our every day lives, I’d say. If not my life, it’s one of the only things I care about. The same could be said for hardcore. I mean, anywhere I go or whatever I do in life, when I wake up I’m gonna be me and those two things play a HUGE role.

What is one of your favorite records of all time? What about it makes it better to you than tons of others?

Supertouch - The Earth is Flat, is a big one. That record is so heavy, but not in like a heavy metal or hardcore sense. It is just heavy when listened to. It’s deep and it just has a feeling to it I can’t explain. This is just one of many records I love, without giving the obvious answer of Age of Quarrel.

To you, what are the elements of a really great song? A great record?

I think it all has to do with how everything fits musically and lyrics are a big thing. You have to be able to feel what is being said and maybe adapt it to your life. I love a lot of old punk records and stuff, but a lot of things they talk about i.e drinking, politics and stuff of that nature, I can’t relate to. So, I’m into it on a different level than I am with some other music. You gotta be able to feel it I guess.

Why do you think so many hardcore bands fall into the problem of putting out a great EP, but a mediocre LP?

I think when bands put out their EP, it is fresh and when the LP comes out your used to the sound, so things might sound repetitive; so you write it off sooner then you would if it were a new band with only a six song record out.

Philadelphia has a rich history of being home to great bands(ink & dagger, shark attack, kid dynamite, conviction, turmoil etc); What is it about Philly that seems to spark something in people? What Philly bands (past or present) do you think never got their due?

Philly sucks.

When was the last time you felt truly afraid and what was the situation that caused it?

I was in an abandoned mental institution and there was a person chillin’ in there just staring at my friend and I when we put our flashlights on him. I ran away.

If you could play with any four bands from any time period of any genre, who would they be and why?

Killing Time, Sheer Terror, Cro-Mags, Merauder.

What is one reason you wake up every day?

I mean, I just try to be at peace with myself. I’ve learned you gotta do what you want to do and live or your gonna be miserable. Once you come to terms with who you are, life seems like it might be much easier to live. So, I’m just trying to do that; find my place in society, where do I fit in, keep my head above water and just keep moving on. I hope to just be happy and have a positive influence on someone, so with that thought, I have a reason to wake up everyday.

What is in the horizon for Blacklisted?

Touring, Touring, TOURING, write an LP and tour some more.

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Death Before Dishonor interview in the May issue of AMP Magazine


Since the release of 2004’s Friends, Family, Forever, Boston’s Death Before Dishonor have been touring relentlessly in preparation for the next chapter of their history. Now, five years after their inception, the band is releasing their first LP and most accomplished record to date entitled, Count Me In. Here is what Vocalist Bryan Harris had to say about hardcore, touring and their new album.

After two EP's and five years together, you are finally releasing your first full length for Bridge 9. Was it a conscious decision to wait on writing a full length?

No, not at all. After the first EP, Friends Family Forever came out on Bridge 9, we hit the road pretty much non-stop and when you're on the road that much, before you know it a year and a half go by and you're like, "damn, we need to write a new record." As much as it would’ve been nice to release a new full-length last year, we got to grow as a band. All that time on the road helped us become a lot tighter and it shows on the new record.

Now that it's all done, how do you feel Count Me In differs from Friends Family Forever and True Til Death?

I know every band probably says this, but I think it’s a step up from our last recordings. With every record we do, we grow a little and it shows on Count Me In. We have a 2nd guitarist now and that alone helped our sound overall and added more to our song writing. All the songs are catchier vocally and musically and in our opinion it is the best Death Before Dishonor record we have done.

What was it like working with Jim Siegel and recording at The Outpost?

It was great. We have worked with Jim a few times in the past, but with this full-length we were able to spend more time in the studio with him. Jim always seems to capture the way hardcore should sound and knowing that makes it easy to record with him.

In your eyes, what is the greatest thing the band has done to date? What do you want to accomplish this year?

Being able to go out and tour a lot of the world is an accomplishment. We have been fortunate enough to play places I never thought I would ever travel to. We were also fortunate enough to tour with Agnostic Front for a few months and for me growing up they were one of the most influential bands I listened to. As for this year, touring Japan and Australia would make 2007 for us.

Hardcore is big enough at this point where certain bands can make a living off it. Do you think making a career off hardcore takes something away from the spirit or the community aspect?

I don’t think so. As long as the bands are staying true to themselves and don’t forget where they come from I don’t think it takes anything away. Who doesn’t want to be able to pay their bills playing the music they love? Look at Hatebreed. They have been a band for over 10 years and they went from selling demos at basement shows to playing the main stage at Ozzfest and yet they never forgot where they came from. Jamey is always helping hardcore bands whether it's putting out a record, taking a smaller band on tour, putting on shows, or just going to hardcore shows.

If Death Before Dishonor could tour with four bands of any genre from any time period, who would it be and why?

Agnostic Front, Cro-Mags, Sick Of It All and Blood for Blood because those are four of my favorite bands and what hardcore kid wouldn’t want to see that lineup?

In the past few years violence in hardcore has escalated to new heights, even resulting in deaths at shows. At what point do you feel it's a bands responsibility to step in and say something?

Hardcore has always had a violent side, I'm not saying it is right or wrong, but its always been there and nowadays its hurting hardcore more than ever with less places wanting to do hardcore shows and more kids scared of what might happen at a show. With that said, I think a band always has some level of responsibility as does everyone involved in a show. Whether it’s a promoter, security, bands, or just hardcore kids that go to the shows, everyone needs to make a conscious effort to keep things under control.

At any given point people in hardcore will complain about how "it's not like it used to be." What keeps you excited about hardcore after all these years? What current bands are you psyched about?

Every generation is going to say “it’s not how it used to be” and I even find myself saying that sometimes. In the end it just shows that times change and it’s part of life. No matter how much hardcore has changed, it’s not always for the worse, I play and go to plenty of shows and see a lot of kids that still have love for hardcore and their beliefs are no different than people that went to shows in the mid 90's. There are plenty of great hardcore bands out there that keep hardcore alive and are at the top of the game such as Terror, Blacklisted, Death Threat, and there are a lot of newer bands like Colin Of Arabia, Shipwreck, Energy, and legendary bands like Agnostic Front, Sick Of It All, and Madball out there and that’s just naming a few.

You tour a lot so I'm sure you have some great stories to tell. Anything you'd like to share?

We were on tour in Europe with Agnostic Front. We get to some club in Germany early and there is a piano in the back room. Our bass player Frankie starts playing it and starts playing AF songs. Roger gets the idea to bring the piano on stage and have Frankie play piano for AF. So it happens, Frankie on piano and Roger singing. Who would ever think they would hear AF playing “Gotta Gotta Go” as a piano ballad?

Anything else you'd like to add?

Thanks for taking the time to interview us. Our new record Count Me In will be out May 22nd and we will be on the road all summer so check us out.

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