The past few years has seen a natural growth punk music, politically fuelled bands are beginning to dominate the new music scene, The Blinders refresh the genre with their own hard-hitting energy and psychedelic spin. Consisting of vocalist and guitarist Thomas Haywood, bassist Charlie McGough and drummer Matthew Neale, the trio are soon to begin their biggest tour yet, reaching all four corners of the UK, with exciting gigs in Manchester, Birmingham, London and Glasgow then they will be taking to stages in across Europe.
In the run-up to the tour, I’ve spoken to them about their inspirations, achievements and what’s coming next.
In as few words as possible, how do you describe your style?
A rope stretched between two steeples… “And we dance”.
How did you all get involved in music and come to form a band?
We attended the same secondary school and were each very interested in listening to music, playing music, and verging on the desire to create our own. We were the only kids with that mindset in our school I think so we were stuck with each other.
What inspires you?
The fragility of life, a century of beautiful music and a good book here and there.
Do you have a process for writing music?
We do actually. Our songs normally begin with a buzz phrase that we have picked up or its title; then we spiderweb around with lyrics until we’re happy with the material we have to work with; after that we pick up our instruments and play the first thing that comes to our minds and then you jump down the rabbit hole for a couple of hours and come back out the other side with a song. We’ll sit on it for a few months, allowing it to take the different forms it wants to take until we’re satisfied that the song has made up its mind. But there are times, albeit very uncommon times, when a song is written in five minutes and you know it’s perfect exactly the way it is.
Over the past few months, what have you been up to?
Apart from the obvious (SXSW Festival) writing the new material for album two has been taking up most of our time. We have a residency at one of the converted mills in Manchester where we basically live three days a week. It’s going very well.
What was it like performing in the USA for the first time?
If we could, we’d go back in half a heartbeat. Austin as a city on its own was not what we expected at all; progressive, welcoming, people smoking pot on every corner. The show was really well received also and has left us craving for more time spent over in the States.
What has been the funniest thing to happen while touring?
We’re letting all of our funny stories build up until we can sit around as Forty-something-year-old men drinking bottles of non-alcoholic beer and proceed to reel off the good times there and then. Until that day, I’m sorry but you’re going to have to wait.
What’s your guilty pleasure track?
ABBA – Knowing Me, Knowing You. If Fleetwood Mac wrote that, the fucking music world would be all over it.
What would you be doing if you weren’t in a band?
We’re very firm on the philosophy that there is nothing else in this life worth doing with our time.
What’s your favourite song to perform?
There’s a section with which we normally end the set that consists of just under ten minutes of music. It’s called Et Tu/Brutus/Berlin Wall.
What are you looking forward to on your upcoming tour?
Whether or not the live show has the potential to develop further than its current form given the difference in the size of the venues. We’ve thought about it a great deal, and are eager to see if we can pull it off. No pressure.
What are your plans after the tour?
We’re heading to Germany for a run of dates, followed by a stint in Lithuania, Holland, Spain and Portugal which brings us into the heart of festival season. After all has been said and done, we’ll be focusing our efforts on recording album two.
What’s do you consider your biggest achievement?
I think throughout the existence of the band we’ve reached some pretty hefty milestones which you can throw around with some weight gobbing off at the end of the bar and that’s all well and good, but I don’t think we’re anywhere near where we want to be yet. We’re continuously working towards the next ‘thing’ and before you know it another ‘milestone’ has just zipped by as a blur because our eyes are too focused on the next destination. I hope this makes sense.
Name three local artists you recommend.
I’ll name three relevant bands that I think everyone should be listening to. Avalanche Party, The Ninth Wave and Kid Kapichi.
Dont forget to watch the band at one of their upcoming gigs, buy tickets here.
Image copyright of The Blinders and Sam Crowston