Tuesday 29 January 2013

Blitz Kids // Interview & Live Review

A busy year lies ahead for Nantwich’s Blitz Kids. Ready to build on their successful 2012, the band are getting ready to release their new album, head out on tour with Lower Than Atlantis and are currently on the road with We The Kings and Natives.

Est.1987 headed down to Leeds Cockpit to check them out and the boys took time out to chat about the progression of their sound, touring and why you should never play Goldfinger in John Feldmann’s house.

Blitz Kids on stage at Leeds Cockpit

You’ve just started out on the tour with We The Kings and Natives. How’s it going so far?
JOE [James, vocals]- Yeah, it’s a lot of fun. We get a really good reaction, considering we’re on first; I just get really surprised when we go out and everyone’s screaming, jumping and singing every word. You don’t expect it when you go on first, you expect to get booed.

You’ve just announced you’re going to be supporting Lower Than Atlantis in February and April, are you looking forward to that?
JOE- Yeah, it’s our first time in Europe and I hear it’s great and they treat you really nicely.
JONO [Yates, guitar]- I’m also slightly worried about going out with Lower Than Atlantis, because they’re crazy. They’re the same sort of band as us; we play the show and after that it’s absolute carnage. It’s going to be f*****g fun; it’s going to be incredible…
JOE- …if we survive [laughing].
JONO- Yeah, I’m worried about my liver.
Nic [Montgomery, bass]- Loads of our friends are flying out for the Amsterdam show too.

Blitz Kids

Who are the dream artists that you would love to be on a bill with?
NIC- Rihanna!
JONO- Honestly, if Destiny’s Child does a reunion tour in the UK I’d want that tour more than anything. And I’d want to play rock covers of “Bug a Boo”, “Jumpin’”, all of the classics. I’ve been practising.
JOE- I’m going to say Biffy Clyro, serious answer. Non serious; Beyonce and Rihanna.
JONO- I’ve got a Biffy tattoo…
JOE- Which he forgot to show them! They came up to us at the Kerrang Awards and said they were routing for us, which was amazing
JONO- Yeah, I didn’t show them, and now I’m pretty upset.

“Never Die” came out at the end of last year. You stepped things up on that mini-album; was that a conscious decision or just natural progression?
JOE- Yeah, it was a conscious decision for us to improve as a band, because we hadn’t realised anything up until that point that we were happy with. So, this is the first time that we were able to release something that was sonically and audibly how we wanted to sound production wise and everything; it was perfect, to us. Until then we’d had to compromise and I think this is the first thing that we’re proud of. Now we’re playing them up on stage we enjoy being in a band so much more.

Joe James & Jono Yates on stage in Leeds

What can we expect from the full length album out this year and when can fans expect it?
JOE- Erm…they can expect it, end of June. And there’ll be a single that will go to radio at the end of February. I mean it’s going to be different; I’m not going to lie. It’s been a while since we’ve put out a full length. The mini-album was just a thank-you for sticking with us really. To us, we don’t think it’s that different, but everyone will think it is. To us, that’s just what we write now; I think people will be surprised, but I think they’re going to love it.
NIC- It’s another step up. We stepped up the mini-album and this is another step up.

You recorded it with John Feldmann; what was that like? Are you Goldfinger fans and fans of albums that he’s produced and worked on?
NIC- Just never play Goldfinger in his house! He hates it! [laughing]
JOE- He’s awesome; he’s like a weird, surrogate, crazy dad.
JONO- He’s like us, but older.
NIC- Did you ever see that film Uncle Buck? He’s like Uncle Buck.
JOE- He knows what he’s doing basically and he’s easy to work with and he’s mental, in a great way. His house is awesome, his pool’s wicked, his hot tub’s pretty good and his family is lovely. It was one of those things where we went in and were thinking of an idea for a song and we’d record it within an hour and then do another one and we’d get like twelve done in a day and the next day do the same. He works so quickly and in the moment, and after like three days you have like forty songs, half demoed that sound incredible that you can whittle down. To have that capability is mental. He’ll go “I’ve got this idea for a song, I’m going to demo it”, and then he’ll show it to you and it’s full production, strings, choir, everything and we’re like “Oh my god”.

Blitz Kids vocalist, Joe James
I guess being out in LA made it fun too?
JOE- No, it was awful. It was cold, it was snowing and grim…no LA was fun. We went there before and didn’t really make the most of it, so this time we went to a whole bunch of really cool bars and restaurants and Universal Studios.
JONO- I didn’t, I went to watch United. Everyone was like “We’re going to Universal” and I was like, “Absolutely not, I’m going to the nearest pub”.
JOE- Yeah, nice one. You missed out on the Transformers 3D ride, which was the best thing I’ve ever been on; we went on it three times in a row…
JONO- You missed out on a solid two-nil victory.

You had a great 2012, what do you have planned for this year? Is 2013 the year of Blitz Kids?
JOE- Yes, there’s this tour, the February tour in Europe and then April with Lower Than Atlantis. And we get to release our best thing ever, the album and three singles, and do massive budget videos and make lots of sweet merch.

And finally, it’s meant to snow really heavily tonight so what would be the three things you couldn’t live without if you were snowed in?
After listing numerous things we couldn’t possibly mention…
JONO- A nice novel, candlelight and aromatic spices [laughing]
JOE- My girlfriend, Rihanna and Beyonce
After even more discussion…
JOE- The entire back catalogue of Craig David, a Friends box set and a flare gun, oh and a double stuffed pillow.

And here’s what happened when Blitz Kids took to the stage…

Joe on stage at The Cockpit
“Never Die”, Blitz Kid’s latest mini album, was released at the end of last year and marked a turning point for the band; things are now about to get even bigger and better. The Nantwich four-piece has headed out on the road with good friends Natives and Florida pop-punk band We The Kings, ahead of their much anticipated new album, due out in a few months. Being the first band on the bill usually means you play to a smaller, less enthusiastic crowd who are more interested in getting a beer in at the bar. However, that myth was dispelled with the room filling quickly and the majority of the audience singing along to every word.

Guitarist Jono Yates
No messing around, Blitz Kids get straight to the point and command the stage from beginning to end. “You’re Dead To Me” soars straight out into The Cockpit and perfectly sets the tone for the evening. Another track from their latest EP, “Strangers With Memories”, follows and by this point the crowd have warmed up from the increasingly snowy weather outside. The rest of the set follows suit with huge sounds and big hits. “Story” is undeniably catchy and even members of the audience who weren’t already aware of Blitz Kids can’t help but join in with the revelry. They close tonight’s set with the anthemic and epic “Never Die” which marks a new sound and direction for the band set to make 2013 “their” year. Blitz Kids are an exciting band to watch; their aggressive stage presence and passion is captivating. With songs drenched in big riffs and infectious melodies, the countdown is on for the new album and we are expecting great things. 

Catch Blitz Kids on the road...

29th Jan - Birmingham, Academy 2
30th Jan - London Scala

Feb 19 Hafenklang Hamburg, Germany
Feb 20 Magnet Berlin, Germany
Feb 21 Orangehouse Munich, Germany
Feb 22 MTC Cologne, Germany
Feb 23 Melkweg Amsterdam, Netherlands
Feb 24 Dynamo Eindhoven, Netherlands
Apr 13 Mandela HallBelfast, United Kingdom
Apr 14 The Academy Dublin, Ireland
Apr 16 SolusCardiff, United Kingdom
Apr 17 Wulfrun Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
Apr 18 Academy 2 Manchester, United Kingdom
Apr 19 QMUGlasgow, United Kingdom
Apr 20 Met University Leeds, United Kingdom
Apr 21 Westlands Yeovil, United Kingdom
Apr 23 Waterfront Norwich, United Kingdom
Apr 24 Pyramid Centre Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Apr 25 Shepherds Bush EmpireLondon, United Kingdom