Before their Edinburgh headline show with support from We Are The Ocean, Canterbury and Page 44, Air3 caught up with The Blackout’s Gavin Butler and Sean Smith to ask them a few questions and to share a tour stories.
Air3: 3rd date of tour, how’s it been so far?
Gavin: It’s been amazing. Bristol was our first show back for about a month and a half or 2 months so it was a bit ropey for us. It was an awesome show, the crowd were amazing but for us it’s getting back into the swing of things. But then Leeds yesterday, everything just seemed to click and we swapped the set around a bit and it just seemed...
Sean: Perfect, perfect. One of the best sets we’ve done for a while I think. We played a good mixture of old and new stuff and it seemed to go down quite well.
Air3: I’ve had a look at the setlist for tonight, is it important to keep that balance of old and new songs just right?
Sean: Yeah yeah for sure! We don’t wanna be one of these bands that just like forgets everything they’ve ever done. It’s awesome and it worked really well last night. It’s a lot of fun playing all the new songs, like we’re playing a song called ‘The Last Goodbye’ which we’ve never played before this tour and ‘This Is Our Time’ as well that we’re doing for the first time, so yeah it’s really good. And we know like every time we come to Scotland it’s been awesome so we’re really looking forward to this, should be a crazy one tonight.
Air3: I noticed that all your albums are very different...
Sean: Well we just get fat and lazy so we don’t really bother anymore. I think as time’s gone on we’ve kind of become better song writers I think so we’ve focussed more on good catchy songs rather than bits. Cause there’s bits on our first album where we just went ‘well I’ve got this bit it might fit’ and then just jammed it together and stuff so it wasn’t heavy for the sake of being heavy, it was heavy because that’s what we had at the time I guess. Like ‘The Devil Inside’ on the new album is one of the heaviest songs we’ve ever done.
We love every music and I think a lot of people are not happy that we, like I’ve read in press that we’re not finding a sound for us but then why when you could cover everything and be a little different? Like I get fed up of hearing the same song over and over on 1 band’s album.
Gavin: Yeah 10 songs of the same thing really.
Sean: Break it up a bit, have a heavy one, have a pop one, have a rap one.
Gavin: At the end of the day that’s what you write music for, it’s for you. And you always have the fans in mind, but the be all and end all must be if you like the song. Cause if you don’t when you go out to play a live gig it’ll just be horrible and it’ll come across as false.
Air3: What are you’s currently liking?
Sean: I like a lot of dance music at the moment, there’s a band from Birmingham called I Spy Strangers, there’s a band called Proxies.
Gavin: I’ve been listening to the new Noel Gallagher album a lot..
[Someone comes in and gives Gavin coffee] Gavin: Oh you fucking legend.
Sean: Gavin’s got his own tea tech.
Gavin: I honestly didn’t ask him to make me a cup of coffee, he just did out of the kindness of his Irish heart.
Sean: He makes him, he beats him if he doesn’t bring him coffee. Yeah proxies there’s a great band.
Gavin: I find myself going back to a lot of older music.
Sean: See he’s not happy with the music kids are making these days, he’s become an old man.
Gavin: I only listen to Metallica and nothing else! But yeah I’ve been kind of rediscovering bands like Aerosmith and Queen, cause I dunno why I’ve just, not a lot of new music has grabbed me.
Sean: Gavin hates life.
Gavin: I think We Are The Ocean’s new record is wicked, and Canterbury’s last record was great as well. There is good young British music coming up but..
Sean: Gavin said there is no good British music coming up. Gavin said The Blackout are the only band he likes. Everybody else can piss off he says, I dunno if I’m allowed to say that.
Air3: I’ve previously seen you with All Time Low and then My Chemical Romance, is there any bands out there you’d like to tour/play a show with?
Sean: We’ve literally played with everyone we like. Every Time I Die would be good, we’d love to tour with them.
Gavin: We’ve tried to get them.
Sean: They hate us and they hate our fans and decided that all our fans suck so Every Time I Die is out.
Gavin: They’re one of our favourite live bands ever.
Sean: Refused would be good if they ever got back together. Like, we’ve toured with Limp Bizkit...
Gavin: It’s stupid when you think about it, like to sit down and actually make a list.
Sean: Toured with all our favourite bands from when we were kids as well I guess.
Air3: Yeah, what did you grow up listening to?
Gavin: Lost Prophets, Limp Bizkit.
Sean: Refused, Guns and Roses, Tina Turner because of my dad, Bonnie Tyler because of my dad - the only 2 tapes he had in the car.
Gavin: Stereophonics, Oasis... actually we haven’t played with the Stereophonics.
Sean: Yeah we’d like to play with the Stereophonics if you can sort that out.
Air3: If I’m ever gonna meet/interview them put in a good word?
Sean: No no...
Gavin: No, just sort it out for us.
Sean: Take the time, dedicate your life to getting us to play with the Stereophonics.
Gavin: Give Kelly a ring and say, oh they’re from the Valley over it’ll be fine.
Air3: So one of the bands you’re on tour with is Red Bull Bedroom Jam Winners Page 44. How did you get involved with that?
Sean: Red Bull came to us with 200 million pounds and said ‘please take Page 44’ and we said ‘no, they’re a big pile of dog poo’.
Gavin: So they said 400 million pounds!
Sean: ‘Urm, alright then’. That’s exactly what happened.
Gavin: It’s kind of good that Red Bull have set that up as a platform for all these upcoming new bands to get out there really. It’s always hard starting to get on tours, and I think what Red Bull are doing with the bedroom jams is great, not just through the internet but like Page 44 have the chance to come out and tour with the big men - The Blackout.
Sean: Big man, Gavin Butler.
Gavin: Yeah so, it’s awesome. The guys are amazing as well.
Sean: Gavin fancies them.
Air3: Yeah I went to see them in London and they signed my boobs...
Sean: Woooooah... I dunno what to say now. I hope that stays in for whatever this is for.
Air3: So... do you have any tour stories?
Gavin: Hahaha, well there was this one girl right...
Sean: Yeah she came in to interview us and told us that our support band singed her boobs... the dirty slag.
Gavin: Sean’s brother got absolutely hammered last night, and drunk some guy’s piss.
Sean: Fact that is, it’s a fact.
Gavin: And then we found him later curled up on the floor, hugging a fire extinguisher. Hahaha, as a comfort blanket.
Air3: What’s the weirdest thing a fan has ever given you?
Gavin: Ah, see I was gonna go with an STD! I was gonna go with Syphilis.
Sean: I thought you’d heard the rumours.
Gavin: Nothing really weird.
Sean: I’ve had thongs. But like, for me which is strange.
Gavin: For you to wear like.
Sean: Yeah like ‘Oh wear this’ and I’m like ‘I’m not wearing that!’.
Gavin: We’ve all had badges that said ‘Sexy Welsh Cunts’ on them, which is a bit like, offensive.
Sean: We are though.
Gavin: It’s usually cakes and letters and stuff like that. We’ve tried to ask people just to...
Sean: Not give us cakes, I’d rather money. I’d rather a couple of quid.
Gavin: We’d rather them keep their money for, if they wanna help us out buy a t-shirt, buy a ticket to our show and if you do have extra money make sure you buy some nice clothes to warm up you know sitting in the queue all day.
Sean: You nutters, you mad nutters.
Air3: Have you ever been asked to sign anything weird?
Sean: I signed a willy. It was some boy showing off in front of a bunch of girls and he just came over like ‘I dunno who you are’ I was like ‘Okay, well I’m not asking you to know who I am like you came to me, like I wasn’t walking around going I’m Sean, this is what i do’. He was like ‘Aw, bet you won’t sign my cock’ and I was like ‘Well get it out then’, so he got it out and I signed it, he was completely shocked that I did it.
Gavin: As was I.
Air3: So do you have any advice for bands who are trying to make it in the music industry?
Sean: Yeah, stay the fuck out of my way... just try and be nice to everyone.
Gavin: Haha, he says after saying stay the fuck out of my way. Yeah, please and thank you cost nothing and can get a lot of things. I dunno if it’s just the way we’ve been brought up, but there’s no point being a dick. Every big band you’ll ever meet are the nicest people and I think the reason why they’ve become big bands is because they don’t have ego’s, they don’t judge.
Sean: Yeah like, we toured with I guess the world’s biggest bands and they’re the sweetest, nicest guys and then we always find that you get shitty local bands who always think they’re these big rockstars.
Air3: [Laughs], right well that’s me. Thank you very much and good luck with tonight’s show and the rest of tour.
The Blackout’s new album ‘Hope’ is available to download on iTunes.