Artist: The Blend
Single: STARS & STRIPES
Release Date: 23 March 2017
Album: All Departures
Release Date: 26 August 2016
‘THE BLEND FRONTMAN TELLS DECLAN MCKENNA TO FUCK OFF, HIS MUSIC IS FOR SCHOOL DISCO’S’
With the attitude, young rock band The Blend keep creating their music which is foot-tapping and edgy but makes sense lyrically. Their lyrics are very important – indeed, as much as the sound. The band are now working on new music with Adrian Smith from Iron Maiden and recording at his studio. STARS & STRIPES is the most recent single, which was released in March this year.
Once when Dylan Smith, the frontman of The Blend and I were talking about the cover photo of their debut album All Departures, which was released last August, he said something like “It’s a dig at all the typical wanna be ‘mod’ bands that are going nowhere! They are all hanging on and stuck in the same old clubs playing Jam covers! Fuck them!” Strong opinion, but I thought that was an understandable description of the photo. This album was produced by Chris Tsangarides (Thin Lizzy, Depeche Mode, AC/DC) then mixed and mastered by Andy Macpherson and Jon Astley (The Who). Andy described their 16 year old drummer as the closest thing he’s ever heard to Keith Moon!
Earlier this week, Dylan took sometime out to be interviewed by us. You can find out a little more about the band and their music.
Hello, The Blend! Would you mind introducing yourself and the band? Your names and your roles in the band?
I’m Dylan I write the songs, play guitar and sing. My brother Freddie plays Organ and Keyboards. Francis Whitley is on drums, and Ethan Harris now plays bass with us.
Could you tell us how you all met up and became a band?
Well I met Fred because he’s my brother. That’s how I know him, believe it or not. But we became a band in school, that’s where we met Francis and we began writing songs and rehearsing every night. We knew we sounded good from the start. Ethan has always been a mate and hung out with us, when everyone else took the piss, he didn’t give a fuck like us. He used to come and watch all our gigs with his girlfriend at the time, but he kind of joined the band after we’d recorded our debut album and started playing the O2 gigs and all that. In fact he’d performed with us on live TV before he’d even played a show with us.
Thanks Dylan. Who are your influences? Does everyone listen to similar music and bands?
To be honest we all like different stuff, obviously we are all into bands like The Who, The Clash and all that. That’s what makes our sound what it is. But really we all have our own taste! I’m really big on Blondie as I always say, I think they’ve really influenced my style of playing. My brother being a mental keys player has always been into bands like The Specials and Madness. Francis seems to like T. Rex a lot which is cool. So basically we only listen to real good music. You won’t catch us blasting out that ginger gay boy that has absolutely embarrassed the music industry with his ‘early learning’ toy guitar – Ed Sheeran.
Okay. How do you go about writing your songs?
I like to write everything on my own, and then take my songs to the band. I spend a lot of time really thinking about what I write. It’s just the way I do it. This ‘co-writing’ shit is for talentless gobshites like Declan McKenna! When you hear his music you know he doesn’t write his own songs, it’s tragic. It’s for 10 year old girls at their school disco. He can fuck off. If he doesn’t like what I’ve said about him, then he can come and have a go if he thinks he’s hard enough!! I’d love to see him mess with The Blend.
To be honest, I haven’t listened to Declan McKenna. So I’m useless about this subject haha! Could you tell us about your single “Don’t Waste My Time”? What is your message?
“Don’t Waste My Time” was the first single we did as a band. It was the perfect way for The Blend to enter the music industry, the music video implies we want to hang Simon Cowell. Enough said. The message is pretty much ‘fuck off’ to just about every single ‘heartbroken soppy loved up’ twat in the charts right now. We’ve had enough!! Music needs to change. It’s embarrassing.
You released your debut album “All Departures” last Summer. Could you describe this album for us?
“All Departures” is our debut album. It’s a special album, you need to hear the whole album before you comment on it. People just don’t get it, this album is what the world is waiting for!! It’s the first time in years and years a real young band with the whole package have made a full album that means something. It puts everything else around right now to shame. We are kids that have come from the bottom and we are going to the very top, you can hear that in the music if you know what you’re talking about. Everyone else around right now just puts out shitty singles on acoustic guitars with meaningless lyrics about how much they miss their ex-girlfriends. One of these days, we’re gonna put out a proper good acoustic record and show them all how it’s done.
Do you have a favourite track? And why?
That’s a hard one, but personally my favourite track from the album would have to be one called “The Flavour”. It’s the last track and we couldn’t have written a better ending for our very first album. It’s the track that just keeps giving, it goes on and on, and gets better and better. We used Thin Lizzy’s producer, he did a real good job of that track. He captured the magic in the room. “The Flavour” makes us stand out from every other young rock n roll band out there like ‘The Strypes’ who are shit. Me and the boys need a word with them actually, I’m looking forward to the next time we bump into them. I know Fred is pretty pissed off about something.
Ah, it must be something you said about him or his band! Hope you clear it up! Well, how did you feel about the album release?
We worked so so hard putting our album together!! We spent two years rehearsing three or four times a week and I’d spent so many days writing. We really pushed hard to get our music to where we knew it had to go, everyone thinks we’ve just been given it all on a plate… They know nothing. They don’t get it, and they never will but that’s fine. So yes, it felt wicked to finally be able to make our mark and get it out there!
Great! Did you plan a special show for the album release?
We ain’t that type of band. We weren’t gonna hire some lovely venue and invite all our celeb mates down for the photos and the meet and greet. That’s bullshit. We just got really drunk and had a massive studio party the day of the release.
Nice one. Is there anything you would like to say?
We are rock n roll, I bought someone a fruit machine.
Thank you for your time, and good luck!
This young rocker is not shy when he talks about his opinions. He puts his chin up with his self-belief and pride. When he is not talking, the music does the talking and connect with listeners.
You can watch and listen to The Blend‘s debut single “Don’t Waste My Time”
To find out more about The Blend, visit their sites using the links below;
Official Website: www.theblendmusic.co.uk