The Blitz Kids are a group of old school friends who have come together and created a rock band with a fresh feel. Despite being hard to get hold of, I managed to catch up with one of the members for a phone call to ask a couple of questions.
Words: Rose Hegarty
Hi there. Thanks for making time to chat with me today. Where are you at the moment?
We’re half way through our tour with Mallory Knox. We’re in Manchester at the moment.
I must mention I like your logo. Are there any reasons behind picking the unicorn?
Basically, it’s an inside joke – we wanted something quite stand-outish. We get a lot of people saying they like the logo, thinking there might be some brilliant back story to it, but yeah. It’s just a really terrible inside joke.
Ah, ok. What about your name, any reasons behind that choice?
Basically, Joe—our singer—his grandfather was a child during the war, and when him and his friends were meant to be hiding, they would play out in the streets and go into old disused buildings. They’d play records to each other and have a dance, which is awesome, and they called each other the Blitz Kids. We heard this story and thought it was really cool.
That’s a great way to get your name. Tell me about your influences, new and old? Do they differ between each member of the band?
It’s quite eclectic, if I’m honest. Me and Jono are all punk-rock kids –we listen to Air Five and stuff like that. Joe listens to a lot of Elvis Presley and Freddy Mercury. We have varied taste but I think the core bands we like are the heavier ones. Now we’re a bit older we’re fiends for pop; we can’t get enough of Bruno Mars.
Do you think having this variety of influences impacts your music?
Yeah, definitely. I think the different styles influence how we play – Matt, he loves Jazz, so he can rock out a nice drum solo if need be. Me and Jono are all about playing hard and fast, and Joe’s all about his soaring pop culture. So, yeah –definitely. I think if there were other people in the band, we’d sound different, I guess it’d be the same for any band – it’s about what you bring personally to the table.
So, I gather you did some recording in the U.S. with producer John Feldmann [who worked with the likes of Panic at the Disco]. How did you find that?
Ah, just amazing. A couple of us were pretty much ready to call it quits, I think, and then we got some feedback saying that John was interested in us. At the time, he was trying to get an A&R position at Redbull, so when he ditched us for them, they signed us and him at the same time. He really put his eggs in one basket for us – I can’t say how much we thank him. He basically went into his own pocket to put us out there and got us recording a load of demos.
It sounds like he was your knight in shining armour…
[laughs] Yeah, he totally was. I don’t think he realises.
So, fairly recently you released single ‘Run For Cover’. Has the response to this single been what you expected?
Yeah, there are always going to be nerves when releasing something, just in case it doesn’t get received very well, but I think it’s helped to gain a new fan base. It’s been very well received so far.
How are you feeling about the release of your album, The Good Youth, in January?
We’re excited – we were nervous but I think, at this point, we’ve been sat on it for nearly two years. Now we’re just excited to get it out and show some new songs. The set we’re playing on this tour incorporated a lot of new material, just because we’re a bit bored of playing the old songs if I’m very honest. We were excited to showcase the new material, it seemed to go down quite well… unless they’re all liars.
A lot of your songs show you write in an exposing manner. Is this something you feel comfortable to do?
That was John’s doing again really – we were writing poetic, fictional lyrics and he said he didn’t believe any of the lyrics or what we were saying. We took it back to the drawing board, wrote about actual personal experiences and dug a little deeper. He said it might be weird to start with – it got like quick therapy in the first few days because we were all moaning about horrible things [laughs], but it was good because people can relate to things in the songs.
I understand you like to perform your music live. Looking at your music videos they seem to have a similar live theme running through them, also. Was this intentional?
Yeah it was very intentional, in the past when we have written songs they have sounded great on the record but they haven’t come across so well live, with this record we wanted to make sure we could put it across as well live as on record, so we definitely had a mind-set to consider that.
Looking at pictures of you guys you seem to have a lot of tattoos between you. Who has the most memorable one?
I have one on my leg and it was done by Joe our singer. We made a pact that if he could tattoo me I could tattoo him. Me, acting like the absolute mug, got my leg out and he did this horrible, horrible tattoo on me. He’d never done a tattoo in his life, and it shows, and I have to look at it every day of my life. So, he finished his tattoo on me and I was like ‘cool, get your leg out’ and he was like ‘no no no, I can’t do this’. [laughs]
My last question relates to something I heard Jono has said – that your long awaited tour will be dangerous. Can you go into any more detail about what he means by that?
[laughs] I don’t think it’s gonna be dangerous for the attendees, it might be more dangerous for us. They keep giving us free booze and we keep testing it and, until they stop, we won’t stop. I think it’s dangerous to our own health.
If Blitz Kids’ sound is for you, watch out for the release of their album The Good Youth in January. Before that, though, they’ll be rocking Corporation on the 14th December.