Credit: Louder than War
Last year we went to see The Blinders supporting Cabbage in Leeds. What followed was a devilish display of sweat, face-paint and raw energy. After the show, the guys were nice enough to let us interview them in their tour van. What followed was a conversation about pre-gig rituals, their influences and growing up with other bands.
Please say your name and your role in the band?
Thomas:Guitar and vocals
Matt: Drums and backing vocals
How was your summer?
Charlie: Playing in the Isle of Wight was probably a highlight!
Matt: We played at this festival called Rec Rock, which was a charity festival. We got treated better there then any of the other festivals.
Credit: Louder Than War
At a festival it might be the first time someone’s seen you, does that make it more nerve-wracking?
Charlie:We don’t really get that nervous for shows anymore.
Thomas: (Jokingly)Ever since booze got introduced to the shows we’ve been fine. But in all seriousness festivals are very different, yeah! But once we are in that state of mind it doesn’t really matter where we play, or who we play too. Whether it be two people or a thousand watching, we will always give the same energy.
Matt: When you support bands like Cabbage or headline, it’s assured that the crowd will always be responsive which is nice. So, in that sense festivals are definitely a challenge, we like the idea of trying to win people over in such a sort space of time.
Do you have any pre-show rituals before getting up on stage?
Charlie: Confident lunges.
Matt: We like donning the faint, its quite an experience. It allows us to go onstage as another being, creating a mask. There’s thace pat and I’m just quite keen to look like Arthur Brown.
Credit: Louder Than War
How long have you been doing the face paint for then?
Charlie: A year and a bit now. It’s grown as times gone on.
Matt: Yeah it stopped for abit. We initially painted our body and stuff. I guess we were just infatuated by the idea of being someone else, creating an alter-ego. We treat it as an art form.
Did it take a long time for you guys to develop such a good stage presence?
Matt: If you look at an early show you’d definitely see a difference.
Charlie: We’ve tried to develop an alter-ego as the shows have gone one. Our show is always developing though.
Thomas: We never want to put on the same show more than once, so we are keen to constantly try new things on stage.
You’ve supported Cabbage a bunch of times, what’s the story of you guys meeting?
Charlie: It was quite naturally really.
Matt: Not to be pedantic about it, there was a real attraction. I feel as if we were always going to cross paths, we were two bands of the same calibre and ethos. It’s been so natural; those boys have really helped us out.
What music have you guys been listening to recently?
Charlie: The new LCD Soundsystem album has blown my mind. It’s the best album I’ve heard in a while.
Matt:Avalanche Party, those guys are like our brothers. We always turn up to each others gigs, it’s so cool to get on with bands we love so much. I’ve also been loving Fat White Family who’ve heavily influenced us. Their frontman has got more buckfast than blood in his system, he resonates the likes of Iggy pop.
Above: Avalanche Photo: Chronicle Live
Becoming friends with bands you’ve admired must be surreal. Have you found that being around them has taught you a lot about being in a band?
Matt: In regards to the bands around us, I feel like we’ve developed together. The only instance would be Cabbage, we were so into them before we met them. We are very much about the current music, it’s all well and good saying you love all these great bands from the eighties. But it's equally important to support the bands out there today who are playing up and down the country.
What made you home in on Manchester as a city to play so many shows in?
Charlie: University was the main thing. We all went to University in Manchester so we were well aware how good the scene was.
Matt: Me and Matt have left to pursue other means of happiness. I.e being sat in here talking to you.
Any upcoming news?
Matt: We’ve got some news coming out very soon that will allow us to pursue this full time.
Charlie: Next year we’ll be fucking millionaires!