♦♦♦ Aurora Borealis ♦♦♦
Interview mit Nick Red [Blowsight], September 2010, mailer

Pop, Metal und Punk – wie passt das zusammen? Scheinbar sehr gut. Das stellen zumindest Blowsight einmal mehr auf ihrem neuen Album “Dystopia Lane“ unter Beweis. Aufgenommen wurde das Zweitwerk der schwedischen Band im Homestudio von Sänger und Gitarrist Nick Red, der allerdings nicht gänzlich zufrieden mit dem Endergebnis ist. Im Interview für Zillo verriet er mir warum.

Hei, how are you doing? Did you have a nice summer in Sweden?

Nick: Hey! All is well here, still trying to calm down from the adrenaline rush after the weekend's shows. Summer in Sweden is always nice! Especially whenever I take the time and head out to my parents` house outside the city. That's kind of my sanctuary, where I can calm down and just enjoy the woods, you know. A great contrast to the city chaos! [laughs]

Soon your new album “Dystopia Lane” will be in stores. How does it feel holding the finished CD in your own hands?

Nick: I am not sure if that feeling of holding a fresh new album – that has your name on the front – ever goes away. It's our second full-length album and to hold the final product in your hands is surreal. It's definite. No turning back. It's somewhat a scary feeling and I love it.

Are you completely satisfied with the final result or did you already find something you would have done in a different way nowadays?

Nick: There will never be an album that you feel completely satisfied with, and I wouldn't want to feel that way. Being 100 percent satisfied would mean that this is the best album we will ever do, and I know for a fact that we have SO many ideas, riffs, themes and shit that we still want to try. You always have to push yourself to do better, creatively. In one corner, I am Blowsight's biggest fan, but in the other corner, I stand there as well being the band's, or at least my own, greatest critic.

Does the new album tie in with the previous one or does it completely stand for itself – musical and lyrical wise?

Nick: That is a good question, Lea. During the recordings of our previous album, “Destination Terrorville”, I was a lot more insecure, a lot more depressed and I didn't have the world's strongest self esteem. The lyrics that surrounded that album were about that: being uncertain, feeling alone, sad, heartbroken, being torn apart. What “Dystopia Lane” shows lyrically is the way out of it: embracing the uniqueness in you, not being shaped into a form and to be proud of who you are instead of feeling you are different. There are so many people who find the word “different” being something negative. To hell with it! We are all snowflakes, and wouldn't the world be an extremely dull place if we all walked around like lemmings? Musically I think we stepped it up a couple of notches, trying a lot of different styles and just recording whatever we enjoy playing, whether it's heavy, aggressive, mellow, fast or slow. There is a lot of different styles on the new album that we slide in under the Blowsight-umbrella!

The album title sounds quite pessimistic. What have been the inspiration sources for your new album?

Nick: Everyday life, relationships, casual drama, egos, friends, enemies, basically everything. All songs come from a different source of inspiration, hence the variety of the album. There are too many bands just trying to play one style for 14 songs. That stuff bores me. Put it this way: I got Meshuggah, Dillinger Escape Plan and The Haunted in my record collection, but I also have Imogen Heap, Björk, Turin Brakes and other less aggressive music. Variety rules!

To what extend is your own life being reflected in the songs?

Nick: Some songs show a character that is based on someone I know, someone I've read about or someone I just made up from out of the blue. Songs like “Dystopia”, “Compassion For A Dream” etc. are basically storytelling. Those songs are me putting on a masquerade costume, so to speak. A mask. Blowsight is my other planet, an escape from reality, if only for a couple of minutes or hours. When I return, I touch more realistic issues regarding myself as a private person, and my private life. The man behind the mask.

Do you consider that “Dystopia Lane” is a depressing album?

Nick: No, I certainly do not. I think that this album touches more feelings than the previous album. This is more naked, more raw and more honest. Even if I bring up the issue of depression, since I myself suffered from it, I do not focus on the...depressing part of it, but on the way out of it. 35 percent of the population suffer from it at least once during their lifetime, and in Sweden 50 percent of the women suffer from it. It's an epidemic problem, so why be quiet about it? People need to hear about it. The world is not a perfect place, so why act like it is, you know? A majority of the songs touches the theme of leaving this way of living – embracing the fact and the possibility that you can avoid the norm and be proud. That, to me, is not a depressing thought!

What is a dystopia for you?

Nick: A dystopia is the opposite of the more popular word “Utopia”, showing a place that is too good to exist. Dystopia is the complete opposite. An anti-utopia. Global warming is something that was considered something too bad to ever be able to happen. It did. Same thing with the two world wars. If we continue living the way we do today, we will cross off more things of the dystopia list. Animals become extinct, we constantly find new diseases, new ways to die, we explore new things that no one even dared to think about it could happen. Nightmares becoming reality, kind of. But in old books utopia was shown as a state where everyone was “perfect”, which back then was considered shaped in the same form, thinking the same and having the same goals. No individualism. Would you want to live in a world like that? I know I wouldn't.

When and where did you record the new album?

Nick: It was all recorded in less than two weeks in my studio here in Stockholm – all synths, guitars, drums and vocals. Mini even brought in a trumpet and a trombone for “Compassion For A Dream” and “Bandit For life”, which was really cool. Give him an instrument and he'll play it for you, that little f*cker.

Any anecdotes to tell us about the recording sessions?

Nick: Yeah, we invited some of our best friends to the studio for some booze, drank them under the table and then put a couple of microphones in front of them. You can hear the result in songs like “Blue Hair”, “Miracle” and especially the chorus of “Three Words”, the so called hockey choirs, are from that night. Another memory is us sitting up the actual night before the mastering day, doing the final touch ups for the album. I remember seeing the sun coming up while we were doing the last songs. Two hours later we were in the Cosmos Mastering Studio with Christofer Stannow, packed with coffee and energy drinks. Deadlines can sometimes be a bitch! [laughs]

Pop, Metal and Punk – How does this actually work together?

Nick: Catchy, heavy and raw! Those are the three elements of our music. The new album has stuff heavier and faster than we ever played before, but it also contains punkier and poppier stuff.

In which section of a record-store do I have to search for your new album?

Nick: [laughs] I haven't been in a big record store chain lately, I buy all my albums at second hand shops, since people working there have more acknowledge regarding music that is not only Jay Z and f*cking Kings Of Leon. But I bet it would be in the “Hard Rock” or the “Holy-shiznit-this-stuff-is-good” section.

How does a Blowsight-song usually come into being?

Nick: It depends on the situation. “Miracle” came to life, when I didn't have any guitars in the studio, so I did the synth intro on the computer. The rest of the song was written the day after, when I had the guitars back. Most of the heavier riffs come to life in the rehearsal studio, when we just jam. “Days Of Rain” was this piano thing I played backstage at a club during the Cinema Bizarre tour we did, and we found it on a clip and just went for it. I also sing a lot of melodies on my cellphone and save them. People sometimes stare at me in the subway, when I sit there humming into the cellphone microphone... [laughs] So, there's no laws on how a song is supposed to be written in the Blowsight camp.

You once covered Britney`s song “Toxic”, now it was time for Lady Gaga`s “Poker Face”. Haven`t you been satisfied enough with the original versions?

Nick: [laughs] Great question! Nah, both of those songs are f*cking killer songs. What struck my mind the first time I heard “Toxic” was that it has this evil feel to it, the notes are devilish. I actually wanted to go for “I'm A Slave 4 U” first, but “Toxic” felt more obvious. And for all you Metallica-fans out there, maybe you can hear what inspired me on the intro riff on the cover…? Same thing goes for “Poker Face”. No one can deny that there is a classic metal riff hidden in the harmonies of the “oh, oh oh-oh-oh”-part before the chorus on Gaga's version. So we just translated it into distorted metal guitars.

Do you already have another song in mind you`d like to cover in future?

Nick: I would love to do a duet with a lady for “No Air” by Jordin Sparks and make it “Devin Townsend”-heavy and epically huge. I hate it when bands do covers of similar artists and just try to make them sound as close as possible to the original. That's not being creative. That's why we always aim for something a bit more unpredictable. Although, I guess we won't be unpredictable if we do yet another megapop-song again!! [laughs]

What`s your personal highlight on the new album and why?

Nick: “Wake Up Dead” is one of my favourite Blowsight songs ever. I love the mood of it. Also, we've opened the recent shows with the album opener “I Wish You 666”, and the way it moves the crowd instantly is crazy. It's one of the fastest songs we have and I love it to death. All songs are my babies though, it's hard to put any of them in front of the others. It's also fun to see that people always go for different favourites, there is no obvious general favourite on the album. People mention different titles every time.

At the moment you`re on tour with Sonic Syndicate. How does a live show of Blowsight look like? (Might it be possible that I have once seen you live on stage, being together on tour with Blind and Illectronic Rock?)

Nick: It might be possible! That was a while back. We have evolved a lot on stage since the Blind tour, things are more spontaneous. We just get up on stage, have a f*cking blast and enjoy the fact that we are four best friends on the same floor. It's energetic, we give 100 percent to the crowd and they return it in what would be best called “recycled energy”. Give, receive, give, receive. What I love with live shows is that you NEVER know what will happen. Every show is different from the other.

Is Blowsight a band created to play intensive club shows or enter big stages?

Nick: It's a band created for live shows, no matter the size. It's the audience and the mood that makes the difference, not the size of the venue. We've been playing arenas with bands like The Scorpions and Danzig, and we've been playing crappy, shitty, smelly clubs with a capacity of three and a half people. We still pour in all our energy and adrenaline every time.

What are your plans for the remaining year 2010?

Nick: We will continue our tour with our friends of Sonic Syndicate throughout Europe, release some singles and just have a blast. When we come home it's Christmas time and Stockholm will be covered in freezing goddamn snow. Then we roll up our sleeves for 2011. Tons of tours and tons of new songs are in the making already!

How would you continue the sentence “Music is…”?

Nick: ...a drug and then you die.

Thanks a lot for this interview, Nickt!

Nick: Thank YOU! Hope to see you on tour. [smiles] Much love and respect!

Interview: Lea S.
Foto 1: taken & (c) by www.foto-franz.com / taken from myspace.com/blowsight
Foto 2: taken & (c) by Anni Thulin / taken from myspace.com/blowsight
Website Band: www.blowsight.com
(c) Zillo Musikmagazin / Ausgabe 11/10 / www.zillo.de
copyright: Aurora Borealis 2007-2015
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