Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Interview with Jamie Yorke and Dec Fox of Blame Bilston

Critical Mass: Thanks for taking the time to talk with Critical Mass guys. So, the new album, Yesterday Again, is officially out in the U.K. and will be out shortly here in the states. How has the response been to the new album? 

Jamie: I think the response has been great. We've had a lot of people sending us messages sharing their thoughts on the album and so far it's been really positive, so we're really pleased and we hope it continues. We just want to find a way of getting the album to reach more people!!

Dec: I think the response has been great, people close to us have a commented on how much they enjoy the album but also it seems to have brought new people in who appreciate our music to, which is really nice.

CM: How do you feel this album is different from your last release? 

Jamie: Well, I'd say the album is different to our previous release for a few reasons: 
It's better quality, better songs and since "Ta-ta For Now" I've recruited Dec on bass, who has written some amazing bass lines and we mesh really well. And we bounce off of each other, but before with "Ta-ta For Now" that was pretty much just me, so this time around it's been more fun! And overall I'd say the attitude towards the album was to record it at our pace
and not to cut any corners.

Dec Fox: I enjoyed Ta-ta For Now as I could see what Jamie was trying to achieve and I think with this album we're both pleased with the quality of recording and as well as the range of styles we've incorporated. For example, going from songs like Sunshine, Silly Little Black Bird, Strange Girl and Adolescence 

CM: I can still hear some old school alternative influences in your songs. Bands like Alice in Chains and especially Nirvana come to mind. Do you still look at those bands as major influences when it comes to songwriting?

Jamie:  When it comes to influences we often get branded for just sounding like a "Nirvana" rip off by people who obviously didn't listen to a lot of the "grunge movement". We have many, influences and yes it'd definitely fair to say Nirvana and Alice In Chains are a big influence, but we also have many others. We try to create a sound mixed with a lot of different elements from a lot of different genres such as Psychedelic, "Grunge", Punk Rock ( E.g The Germs ), and Hardcore punk. 

CM: Speaking of songwriting, do you find it easier to write songs now as opposed to early on? And do you feel you've both grown as a songwriters? 

Jamie:  For me, writing songs, is neither easy nor difficult. for me it's a release, if I didn't have that I think I'd probably implode haha. In an average week I write between 3-5 songs in that time span. and I think I've definitely grown, especially by having a full band behind me, who are all very competent musicians.

Dec Fox: I feel I have definitely grown as a song writer as me and Jamie both understand  the creative mindset behind each others songs, so we are able to make each others songs better, also now being in a band where we play a lot it has improved me as a musician and its made me work harder and be more willing to branch out into other styles

CM: You have some really powerful songs on this album in the forms of Alien Whore and RaPe ApE dEbAtE. Can we expect more heavy hitters like this on upcoming releases? 
Jamie: Definitely. "RaPe ApE dEbAtE" is literally the most metaphorical song on the entire record, its angry but at times, I think it's sweet. (Hear me out) It's gentle in an aggressive way. "Alien Whore" is a funny one, as when I wrote it, I had two ideas in my head a softer version or a hard punky version. After showing the song to Dec, we went with the heavier version and he wrote the bridge to that song as we felt it was lacking something. and we enjoy writing these heavy songs just as much as we enjoy writing our softer songs, so there fore we want to always incorporate both of our styles.

CM: You also have a pretty controversial track in What If God Were Gay. Here, in America, Homosexuality is more accepted than ever...except in the eyes of the Government who try and keep same sex marriages illegal. Personally, I have no issues with it. Where do you stand on same sex marriage? And how different is it in your native country as opposed to here in the states?
Jamie: "What If God Were Gay?" That's a track I've been asked about a few times and I don't do this often, but why not haha.  The song is literally me (and I'm sure the rest of the band word agree with me) just being pissed off with how homophobia can still be found in our current society. It's ridiculous. People are people, why can't we just let them be happy? And we are all for same sex marriage and over here they "say" it's fine. But we live in a very.."secluded" area in England, where racism and homophobia is still very prominent, which we are fully against.

CM: You have a lot to say in your music. And it's pretty deep material, which I find refreshing. Do you try and stay ahead with the times as far as socially conscience goes? Or do you just write from the heart?

Jamie: Every song I've ever written and will ever write is from the heart. It can be me dealing with a personal 
issue, or me just being pissed off about certain things in this world and example used before "homophobia". But it's not always about the lyrics. I like the music to reflect how I'm feeling as well. I personally like writing lyrics that are either metaphorical, or sarcastic as you can still say what you want to say, but no one knows which way to perceive it.

Dec: although I do not write vocals or lyrics the tone of the song I write tends to reflect the mood I am and it just comes naturally.

CM: With the release of Yesterday again, will we see Blame Bilston hitting the road for some tour dates in the near future?

Dec: Well we cannot wait to start playing regularly, but first we're sorting out a few logistical issues that are holding us back. We're also moving to a city with the band so at the moment this is taking up most of our time. But we're still playing a few local shows and then come January we'll be on the move up and down the country! 

CM: Will there be any new material by years end? And will we see any singles from the album released?

Jamie: It's hard for us not to release something instantly as all we do is work on songs together and so we'll definitely be releasing at least and EP or two before the years end. With regards to singles, we're currently trying to sort out a video for Adolescence and we did shoot a video for "Silly Little Black Bird" however we're still toying with the idea of releasing it.

CM: As always, it's been nothing short of a pleasure talking with you guys. The new album is amazing and I wanna wish you guys all the best in the future. Thanks again for talking with Critical Mass guys.

Jamie: The pleasure has been ours, thank you for listening to the record and for taking the time to speak with us. We look forward to the release in the states! Peace & Love - Jamie/Dec

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