After a review of their latest record, here comes a review our boy Fernando did with Lennon, vocalist of Blistered.
Hey Lennon, thank you for doing this interview with me. How are you at the moment?
Hey! I’m good. Just got home from work and now I’m hanging out and deciding what I want to eat.
Alright let´s start with the first question about your band. Please introduce every member of Blistered and how have you guys found each other?
I’m Lennon and I sing. Other members are: Ethan the Hot Dog Man on Bass, Matt and Evan on guitar, and nice Drew on drums. I’ve known Drew since we were way younger, before we got into hardcore. I met Evan when I moved to Tampa to go to college, and then he introduced me to Matt and Ethan.
There is so much influence in your music from bands of the 90s era, bands like Morning Again, Culture, Kindred or All Out War. What was the main idea behind Blistered, what did you want to create with your friends?
We are definitely influenced by lots of late 90’s metallic bands. We’re super influenced by lots of FL stuff from that era (Morning Again, Culture, etc.) as well as bands like Arkangel, Reprisal, Sentence, From the Dying Sky, etc, amongst other bands. While these are obviously our influences, we have made an effort to not just sound like a rip off of another band. We want to, first and foremost, sound like ourselves. We don’t aim to be a “metalcore revival” band or a “90’s style” band anything like that. It’s 2015, and we’re just a heavy hardcore band, that’s it.
Most of the 90s metalcore bands were straight edge or vegan or both. Is there anybody in your band who is straight edge or vegan and what do you think about the straight edge and vegan lifestyle?
I am Vegan Straight edge, Drew is Vegan, Ethan is Straight Edge, and Evan and Matt are neither. Vegan straight edge is something that is super important to me. It’s a humongous part of my life and I would be a completely different person without it.
It´s time to talk about your music. “Soul Erosion” was released in early 2014 on 6131 Records and I can´t describe my feelings for this awesome record, it´s an almost a perfect record in my eyes. What was in your mind when you wrote the lyrics for this bulldozer?
Wow, thank you for the kind words. When I wrote those lyrics, I was at the lowest point I’ve ever been in my life. Everything that had been a constant in my life for the few years leading up to that time all changed very suddenly and I was having a very hard time coping with all of it. Basically the lyrical theme of that record can be summed up in the idea that everything in this world is going to try and force you to be a certain way, and if you know deep down that it isn’t the way you want to be, you’re going to have a hard time. Those lyrics were very therapeutic for me and writing them definitely helped me get through a lot of what I was dealing with.
After only one year you´re gonna release your first full length record named “The Poison Of Self Confinement” which will also be published by 6131 Records. For those who don´t know 6131 Records, please let them know what this label is all about!
6131 Records is a label that has been very awesome to us. When I was still new and getting into Hardcore, they put out a lot of records that I was obsessed with. Bands like Bad Seed, Backtrack, Cruel Hand, Alpha & Omega, etc. Now the label has changed a lot and focuses on putting out records for all kinds of different bands, not just hardcore, but they have still been awesome to us. Joey and Sean, who run the label, are sick. Sean came up going to shows in FL in the 90’s so he definitely gets what we’re about.
I preordered “The Poison Of Self Confinement” already and we also did a very positive review of your new record. When is the release date exactly, what are your expectations, do you think your followers will like what you have created?
The official release date was August 21. The record in full went up online and on spotify then. Still waiting to get the actual vinyl records back right now, pressing plants take forever sometimes. I have absolutely zero expectations for the record. If people love it, that’s great, but if nobody cares thats okay too. I’m proud of it and so is the rest of the band and that’s really what’s most important.
Can you explain the process of how you write lyrics to our readers?
I don’t really have a process. Usually we have the music written first, and whatever issue im dealing with that the song makes me think of when I hear it, I’ll just write about that.
I don´t know the feeling of doing rehearsals with your own band but I can imagine it´s pretty funny. Is it that funny in reality? Tell us something about your rehearsals!
We actually very rarely get to rehearse. Drew and I live in Pembroke Pines (just outside Miami), and the rest of the band lives in Tampa. Those two places are about 4 hours apart, so we really only get to practice when we meet up right before we leave for a tour. Usually the practices are rushed and there’s not really time for too much funny stuff.
So you´re from Florida, how is life over there and please tell our readers something about your scene, positive and negative aspects!
Life in FL is awesome. It never gets cold and we can swim and go to the beach year round. FL is a really big state so I don’t wanna speak for the scene in other cities besides my own (although from an outsider’s perspective/the times I’ve visited, the scenes seem great all over FL), but where I come from in SOUTH FLORIDA, we have a really fucking awesome hardcore scene. Lots of sick bands, and lots of really excited younger kids coming out to every show, making zines, starting labels, drawing flyers, filming shows, or just getting involved in one way or another. The negative aspects are really the same as any other hardcore scene, and while there are definitely things that need to be worked on within our scene, I think the biggest problem is that sometimes people focus TOO MUCH on those negative aspects instead of taking a moment to step back and appreciate what a good hardcore scene we have right now. We have a hardcore scene that is, in my opinion, relatively really incredible and I would rather focus on the positives than the negatives, because who knows, it could all be gone tomorrow.
It would be so cool to see you guys tour Europe soon, are there any European bands you really like,? If so, please let us know which.
Europe is something we’ve wanted to do for a while and we’re definitely trying to do that in 2016. It’s currently in the planning stages! There are lots of European bands right now that I really dig. Foreseen is incredible. Repentance from the UK is obviously badass. Renounced is possibly my favorite, they’re doing a style of hardcore that NOBODY touches anymore, and doing it well. Guidance from the UK was also really sick, but I don’t think they’re a band anymore. I also really like Day of Rights. As far as older European bands, I love Arkangel, as well as all the Italian Arkangel worship bands (Reprisal, Sentence, From the Dying Sky, etc.) Also, European ICEPICK is incredible, and “Gold Rush” is a very underrated record!
Have you guys toured before and what country would you love to tour in the future?
We’ve done a good amount of touring in the US and a few Canada shows over the last year and a half. I would LOVE to play in Japan and Australia just because they’re SO FAR from where we live and it would be cool to get to play some place so distant.
We are coming to the end, do you have some bands we definitely have to check out?
In 2015, there are so many good new hardcore bands that I absolutely couldn’t name them all, so I’ll just stick to a few of my favorites. DAY BY DAY is a newer band from FL that just put out a 12” EP called “Never Ending Lies” on EIGHTY-SIXED Records. They have a very bleak, heavy sound, taking influence from bands like Cold As Life, Neglect, Brethren, etc. Also you’ll hear a little VOD in there when certain parts come up. Everyone needs to check them out right now. BIND is another newer band who really kicks ass, just very primal sounding thrashy heavy hardcore from North FL. SPM is a sick moshy powerviolence band from SFL. TRUTHS LAST HORIZON is a vegan straight edge band from Birmingham AL that is super heavy and awesome, I can’t wait to hear what they do next. CRISIS UNIT is a newer band who sounds like Outburst, very catchy and awesome. PUT IT ASIDE is really awesome Ten Yard Fight worship. If you haven’t yet, check out DISCOURSE, FORCED ORDER, BARGE, JUKAI, HOMEWRECKER, TIMEBOMB, and TRUE LOVE. I’m definitely forgetting some but yeah, those are my favorites off the top of my head. Hardcore in 2015 fucking rules.
Again, thank you so much for this interview, have a good time with your band and the last words are up to you.
Hardcore rules. Check out out Day By Day. Listen to Strife – “In This Defiance once a day“. Vegan Straight Edge forever.