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WeirdMusic.net EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEWs - Blacklist

Magnum PR ( The Prodigy, Portishead, Chemical Brothers, Primal Scream, The Futureheads, The Verve , Gnarls Barkley etc ) & WeirdMusic.net Magazine Presents: "Blacklist" ....

Blacklist Release Their Debut

"Midnight of the Century"

on Wierd Records

July 28, 2009

 

http://www.myspace.com/blacklistmusic

 

To listen to Blacklist is to listen to people who have chosen to stand in opposition. Complex and modern themes are wound tightly inside impressionistic lyrics, available to be unravelled by the curious listener or ignored by those who find themselves moved primarily by the force of the music.  The band's debut LP, Midnight Of The Century , is raw ambition mixed with raw power.  Mixed by Ed Buller (Suede, Slowdive, Pulp, White Lies) and mastered by Howie Weinberg (Muse, Jeff Buckley, Iron Maiden, U2, Nirvana...) , it is a potent dose of rock and roll maximalism.

 

When the revolutionary Victor Serge coined the idea of a midnight in the century, he was referring to the dark pact between two of the cruelest tyrants the world had ever seen.  And yet Serge is perhaps best known for his rambunctious, stubborn attitude in the face of such darkness: "the course is set on hope," he wrote.  It is precisely this marriage of extremity to romantic optimism that characterizes Midnight Of The Century -- not just in the realm of ideas, but musically as well.  Despite its density of sound and shadowy atmospheres, the record is the soundtrack to an uplifting journey that is as personal as it is universal.  It is also a fitting manifesto announcing the arrival of Blacklist.   

 

"icy sound and quaking bottom end is counterbalanced by a more inviting, anthemic impulse" - Village Voice

 

"bell-ringing guitars and dark-overcoat charisma transport you back to the Chameleons' anthemic heyday." - SPIN [ Songs You Must Hear Now!]

 

"equal parts pornography, poetry, post-punk and politics"  - The Big Takeover

 

"a much-needed anomaly in NYC's music scene .. with their chiming guitars and dark, romantic melodies" - Other Music

 

"simultaneously celebratory and melancholy... they create the soundtrack to an explosive resistance" - RCRD LBL

 

WeirdMusic.net EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEWs - Blacklist

 

  Do you Like/Write Weird Music ?

I probably like "weirder" music than Blacklist writes--at least at the present moment.  Someone might listen to the most recent single off of our record and be surprised that my headphones are filled with Sunn O))), Wolf Eyes, Ulver, Mastodon, and Lindsey Buckingham.  But you make certain conscious choices--sometimes it's about reaching out to lots of people and finding a universal language for doing that.  Other times it's about total immersion in extremes and experimentation and whoever gets it gets it.  This record was about reaching out, but everyone in the band loves difficult music.  It's not impossible to imagine us indulging that side at some point down the road.   

When and where did your experience in music start?

One of my most distinctive early memories of music was coming home from the record store with my Dad and he put on a solo record by Kerry Livgren, an ex-member of Kansas that had Ronnie James Dio singing to this synthy prog rock tune about Satan.  Livgren was a born-again Christian by then, so he was trying to proselytize, but the vibe and experience I walked away with was a total fascination for the darkness of it.  

  What are you currently working on and what are your plans for the rest of the year?

Currently working on bringing 'Midnight of the Century' to the masses.   We've just booked a trip to Germany and Austria, and are looking forward to going more places and playing.  We write an occasional new tune here and there as well, and I've actually got the whole concept for the next record already mapped out.    

What do you consider your greatest inspirational sources in music?  

Personally my greatest sources of inspiration are Scott Walker, Adrian Borland, Arthur Lee, and Black Sabbath.  Scott Walker and Toni Iommi are demigods when it comes to bringing mindblowing sounds out of the depths of their imaginations.  Adrian Borland's spirit is the absolute ideal mixture of emotional and political, of a restless optimism trying to break through the bullshit.  He and Arthur Lee struck this unbelievable balance between dark and light.  They observed, they didn't preach, but they didn't shy away from shouting about the truth, either.  These kinds of questions are always hard though because I could easily explain why The Comsat Angels, Leos Janacek, Einsturzende Neubauten, Fleetwood Mac, Pink Floyd, Comus, Kate Bush, David Sylvian, Suede, and Arvo Part are massive influences to me.  And even then I'd be leaving out too many.  

What are your favorite readings?

'The Elementary Particles' by Michel Houellebecq, 'Great Jones Street' by Don DeLillo, 'Letters to a Young Contrarian' by Christopher Hitchens, 'Violence' by Slavoj Zizek, 'Journey to the End of the Night' by Louis-Ferdinand Celine, 'Sincerity and Authenticity' by Lionel Trilling, and the writings of Hafez and Omar Khayyam.  I'm a neuroscience junkie, too--Ramachandran, Dennett, Damasio, etc.  Online, I try to visit Real Clear Politics every day, and the site Butterflies & Wheels now and again as well.  

In your opinion, what role does the third sector, public and non-profit entities; have for music on the Internet?

Right now, there are artists all over the world making music where it's illegal to do so.  The third sector should be doing everything they can to make these people famous.  The more famous they become, the harder it is for their home governments to harm or persecute them.   That would be a start. 

  Who is Wacky Jacky ?

Handsome Jack? The procurer of young girls?  No, seriously I have no idea.  Michael Jackson?  

Anything else ? 

Plenty else.  The renaissance of experimental, extreme, avant-garde, art-, and post-metal, the Green Revolt in Iran, The Mighty Boosh on-demand, the rise of the far right in Europe, the defeat of it in Lebanon, North Korean nukes, particle accelerators, Barack Obama, anti-social Internet narcissism, and somebody somewhere is mixing a mojito I should be drinking...

 

 

"Midnight of the Century"

 

Tracklisting:

 

1. Still Changes

2. Fight of the Demoiselles

3. Shock in the Hotel Falcon

4. Language of the Living Dead

5. Odessa

6. Julie Speaks

7. Poison for Tomorrow

8. Frontiers

9. The Cunning of History

10. When Worlds Collide

11. The Believer

 

http://www.myspace.com/blacklistmusic

 

ABOUT the "Blacklist"

In a way, Blacklist was an accident.  Not an accident like cars colliding - more like atoms crashing.  Singer Josh Strawn hadn't expected to end up in another rock and roll band, but he landed in one anyway.  When bassist Ryan Rayhill first met Josh, he immediately identified a potential co-conspirator.  The two bonded over their shared enthusiasm for the intellectual anxiety of Wire, The Sound, and The Comsat Angels as well as the unapologetic bombast of Motorhead and Sabbath.  Amongst these seemingly disparate elements, the spirit of Blacklist was born.  

 

Once Rayhill and Strawn met drummer Glenn Maryansky and guitarist James Minor, the circle was complete.  Maryansky's brutal way with his drum kit and Minor's shoegaze-inspired "airplane hanger" guitar sound rounded out the sonic template, creating a new mutation of grandiose, loud guitar music.  It wasn't long before they caught the eyes and ears of Pieter Schoolwerth, painter and founder of Wierd Records.  The label, which specializes in experimental noise and minimal electronic music, latched on to Blacklist as a rare instance of a rock band with its heart in the same place as the label's other acts.  

 

Ryan had coined the band's name long before initially meeting Josh, but it would become the perfect moniker for a band that devotes so much energy to glorifying outsiders.  "I was reading books like Darkness At Noon by Arthur Koestler when we were writing," says Strawn.  "It communicates the total isolation of being betrayed by your comrades and ideals--separated from everything you ever held dear.  It's the willingness to stand in opposition, even when doing so means you'll have to go it alone and maybe pay dearly for your choice.  That particular temperament matters more than anything.  I'm always trying to sing in that voice."  

 

To listen to Blacklist is to listen to people who have tried to take that path, who have both succeeded and failed, and who want to pay tribute to that way of life.  Complex and modern themes are wound tightly inside impressionistic lyrics, available to be unravelled by the curious listener or ignored by those who find themselves moved primarily by the force   of the music.    The band's debut LP,  Midnight Of The Century , is raw ambition mixed with raw power.  Mixed by Ed Buller (Suede, Slowdive, Pulp, White Lies) and mastered by Howie Weinberg (Muse, Jeff Buckley, Iron Maiden, U2, Nirvana), it is a potent dose of rock and roll maximalism.

 

When the revolutionary Victor Serge coined the idea of a midnight in the century, he was referring to the dark pact between two of the cruelest tyrants the world had ever seen.  And yet Serge is perhaps best known for his rambunctious, stubborn attitude in the face of such darkness: "the course is set on hope," he wrote.  It is precisely this marriage of extremity to romantic optimism that characterizes  Midnight Of The Century  -- not just in the realm of ideas, but musically as well.  Despite its density of sound and shadowy atmospheres, the record is the soundtrack to an uplifting journey that is as personal as it is universal.  It is also a fitting manifesto announcing the arrival of Blacklist.    

---

 

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