Out of the mid-west United States (St. Louis specifically) comes the six-piece rock/screamo band Blinded Black. These guys have been hard at work the last few years trying to create a buzz for their music in St. Louis and its surrounding area and it seems to be paying off... now that the band is attracting several hundred fans a night for their shows in the mid-west. The band just released a brand new album titled Under The Sunrise, released at the end of February and so far it’s done quite well in terms of sales. Recently we caught up with Blinded Black’s lead singer Jeff Nizick to ask him a few questions about the band, how they formed, the new record and their insanely hectic touring plans. Here’s what Jeff had to say:
First of all, Blinded Black has been touring Middle America with LoveHateHero and Vanna. How’s the tour been going so far and how did the tour come about in the first place? Jeff: The tour is going awesome. We love all the bands and love watching them every night. It's cool to be on a tour where you like everyone so much and you all get along. We got on this tour and had it set up through our label Sidecho Records.
Blinded Black originates from St. Louis and has been together now for a few years, but how exactly did the band form and come together in the first place? Jeff: Well myself, Nick and Jake grew up together with families extremely goal oriented and pushed us to push ourselves. We started playing instruments and getting into music at like 13 and started Blinded Black at like 15. We stuck together and practiced everyday and eventually added some new members and formed the band it is today.
Although you’re still a young band, your popularity has exploded in your home town of St. Louis where you can now draw several hundred people per show. What do you think is the main reason why your music has caught on so well back home? Jeff: [laughs] I think the main reason is because we have been playing shows since we were fifteen years old and pushed hard with promoting at venues almost every night. We were known in St. Louis for promoting a shit ton. It all worked out in the end though.
As Blinded Black started to gain more and more popularity, the band eventually signed a record deal with California based Sidecho Records. What was it that attracted you to signing with Sidecho in the first place? Jeff: Well we had showcased for labels like Victory Records and Rust/Universal but one thing we didn't get out of those labels or any other label we had talked to was a sincere devoted label owner. When I met James (owner of Sidecho) we hit it off. He took me out around town in LA and showed me an amazing time and then we talked business. He is a good friend of ours and gets shit done. One of the smartest coolest mother fuckers I know. I love you James. [laughs]
Let’s talk about a bit about the band’s new record. The record is called Under The Sunrise and it’s been out now about two months. How do you personally feel about the record and are you pleased with the fan and critical reaction it’s received so far? Jeff: I fucking love the album. I think that it is a bit immature lyrically but we are immature ass teens so this record will definitely relate more to younger kids who go through problems that a typical teen would go through. It's really not for the critical hardcore kids or SLC punks.
What was the writing and recording process like for Under The Sunrise? How many songs did you write and how long did it take to write and record? Jeff: The recording part was awesome. We stayed with our producer Marc Mcclusky in
Chicago for a month recording this album. We wrote only eleven solid songs that we were in love with and tightened them down and worked our asses off with them and Marc.
Speaking of writing and recording, Blinded Black is a rather large band featuring six band members. Do you guys write individually and then bring ideas into the studio or do all six of you write collectively together? Jeff: Well we are all the best of friends and really we just come to practice and start writing and throwing ideas out right and left. It's definitely more collective. We all feed off each other’s input so in the end everyone is happy.
Under The Sunrise features some very tight production courtesy of producer Marc McClusky who has worked in the past with Norma Jean and Hit The Lights. How did you find Marc in the first place and why did you decide to go with him to produce the album? Jeff: Well at the time we were working with our lawyer Daniel Friedman who decided we needed a solid demo to push labels with. So we made our demo and eventually used him for our album. We loved his work on the demo so much we had to use him again.
Speaking of Marc and his fine production, what do you think was his best asset that he brought to the studio in the producing of Under The Sunrise? Jeff: I'd have to say he helped a lot with our demo so when we went back to write our full length we knew exactly what to do and what he was looking for. So when we did the album there wasn't a whole lot we had to change. He taught us a lot about production.
One of your songs, more specifically “Set In Stone” will be featured in the horror movie "Automation Transfusion" set for release this Spring. How did the opportunity to get your song in the movie come about and are you personally fans of horror yourself? Jeff: Our boys at Sidecho hooked that up for us with director Steven Miller. The movie is fuckin awesome and yes I'm a HUGE horror fan. I'm actually in the process of getting a full tattoo sleeve of horror movie characters.
The buzz surrounding Blinded Black certainly seems to be rising by the day. What does the band have planned for the rest of the year in terms of touring? Jeff: Well we have a ton of shit going on right now and a lot of talk about some cool upcoming tours. I don't want to speak to soon but let’s just say we will be touring all year constantly and you will be hearing a lot from us this year. [ END ]