Blown Out are a progressive power-driven psych-fuzz trio from Newcastle (UK). The band, comprised from members of: BONG, Drunk In Hell, Haikai No Ku, 11Paranoias, Khunnt and Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, are synonymous with heavy rolling basslines and waster infused guitar freak-outs, all held together with steady percussive freeform rhythms.
Already with a galaxy of limited and collectable vinyl, cassette and downloadable releases on indie labels Swap Meat, Evil Hoodoo and Drone Rock Records amongst others. One might think that Blown Out would be taking a time out. Thankfully this is not so. Having, completed re-entry, landing and cooled engines. The band have re-energised from last year’s sold out ‘New Cruiser’ LP and tour, just long enough to engage in experimentation and refuel ready for re-launch with a new album and tour.
Our Backseat Mafia Flyer docked with the orbiting Blown Out Mothership and met with Mike to talk about the new LP, forthcoming promotional UK/EU tour, cover art and galactic travels ahead of the March release of ‘Superior Venus’ on Riot Season records.
We first asked about how the creative dynamics work between the band members. Not just in the technical/production sense, but in the ‘spiritual sense’. What kind of chemistry occurs in the lab whilst crafting tracks for ‘Superior Venus’?
“We never stop playing” answered Mike, “Johnny will bring in basslines, play them out and establish a groove. Hitting the root notes creates a springboard for improvisational phrasing, which sets the parameters for Matt and I. The more the three of us play, the better it gets. The guitars are a lot more stripped down for this record, ‘New Cruiser’ was a total saturation of everything. ‘Superior Venus’ has a bit more definition, clarity and space to it. The new record is less obscure, more of a dream than an intrusive vision.
As with all Blown Out albums there is always a strong conceptual, sonic and visual theme to each release. The new tracks on ‘Superior Venus’ are beautifully produced galactic monoliths of psyche-soundscape. Can you tell us more about the inspirations underpinning the new material?
“We took inspiration for this release from the astronomical ‘Theory of the Reversing Earth’. Earth shares the same mass as Venus and was pulled by Jupiter’s immense gravity from Outer Space. Every fifty-two years Jupiter’s orbit brings it in close approach to the Earth. On four historic occasions it has come close enough to cause super-catastrophes. The theory suggests that during one of these cataclysmic events the Earth turned over and reversed.”
Having had chance here at Backseat Mafia to preview ‘Superior Venus’ ahead of release. One can sense the tumultuous cosmology of universal power at the core of the material. There is always a synergy between the fantastic cover art of your releases and the sounds contained therein too.
“All our LP’s have been designed by Anthony Downie. We send the music to Anthony once it is more or less finished, along with a collection of scans and pictures to communicate our idea. He comes back with some designs and suggestions. Changes are made on both sides then boom!!! It’s hard to explain why it works so well, but I think Anthony’s kind of minimalist, retro, future, sci-fi theme style fits really well for us. It’s an unbiased subject to draw from, expansive, infinite, endless mind stretching theories, both fact, fiction and an incredible language to play with.”
And that language, that sonic, visual and conceptual combination translates to the live shows and talks to your audience. The epic, now legendary, live shows attract a cult following of psychonauts. What can fellow travellers expect on this coming journey?
“I’m not really sure which tracks we will be playing, but it will be a mix from ‘Superior Venus’, ‘New Cruiser’. some of our shorter tracks like the split 7” with John McBain (Monster Magnet- Spine of God Era) out on ‘God Unknown’ and galactic material from ‘Magnetic North’ a compilation LP out now on Drone Rock Records”
Will fans be able to pick up merchandise at the forthcoming gigs too?
We are bringing along a full ‘Box Records’ stall with us, copies of ‘Superior Venus’ with us on LP/Tape, the rare remaining copies of ‘New Cruiser’, ‘Jet Black Hallucinations’ and maybe a few ‘Live @ Supernormal’ LP’s plus some Terminal Cheesecake, Casual Nun, Luminous Bodies stuff too, and…. I might have some ‘11Paranoias’ ‘Reliquary for a dreamed of world’ LPs/CDs that came out a few months ago on Ritual Productions”
Superb and great to see the continuing resurgence of releases on cassette?
“’Swap Meat’, sister label of ‘Riot Season’ are releasing ‘Superior Venus’ on cassette. I guess when there can be huge delays with record plants, due to major label interest in vinyl re-issues and such. Smaller independent labels are forced to reach for the next suitable medium. With cassettes there is a quicker turnaround time, and are as still as close to the vinyl/retro sound experience as possible. I would guess that CDs are less popular due to digital downloads. Not many options left. Tapes do share similarities with vinyl, as in the listening, you would play one whole side, then get up, flip it and listen to whole of side b. It kind of shares the same experience. I think it is really good for bands/labels who can’t afford to press records. Gives them a fighting chance.
& like that.. flux capacitors kicked in, the hyper-drive hummed and he was gone…
Catch ‘Blown Out’ across the UK and in the EU throughout March 2017 (see poster for details and dates) and pre-order copies of ‘Superior Venus’ (released March 24th 2017) on Vinyl and Tape online from Riot Season and Swap Meat. Countdown is progressing.