Blowsight from Stockholm have managed to grow quite big in Germany, but at the homefront it is still quiet over this hard placed quartett. Maria Bergman took the whole band out for a coffee, and to find out why this is.
Blowsight is a Swedish band that was formed in 2003, and have since then released 3 albums "Destination Terrorville" (2009), "Dystopia Lane" (2010) and "Life & Death" (2012). The latter has just been released in the USA and they have managed to build up a big loyal fan base especially in Germany, where they were number 12 on the metal/rock chart last year.
" In a few years when Metallica are playing support for us, and we have a big budget, can we afford a big orchestra on stage"
Most people in Sweden have never heard of them. The reception in their native country has been so cold that they have moved their base to Germany. Which is a pity, they are Swedish and have no plans of leaving Sweden.To celebrate the release of their album in the USA and the new single "Hit on the radio", did I meet the whole band: Nick Red (vocals/guitar), Seb (guitar), Fabz (drums) and Mao (base) over a cup of coffee in a café in Stockholm. But let's start from the beginning - How was Blowsight born?
- (Nick) Me and Seb used to hang out at Club Nirvana at Bäckahästen. We were both grown up with Pantera, Metallica, Machine Head, Sepultura and Fear Factory. It was that, that made us find our chemistry. I used to load up terribly bad songs on a web page called MP3.com, where I sang like a choirboy. Sebbe heard some potential or he felt sorry for me, and to be nice he supported me.
They later founded Blowsight together with Fabz and heir first base player Flavia Chanel. Her boyfriend Mike was manager to start with.
It was after they had left, and they found Mao that they got a German record contract with Fastball Records and German management with Artist Alliances. The Blowsight guys try lo live off the music even though there are so many more well paid jobs, but they have shaken hands with each other and promised to only do what they feel good of. They realized from an early age that they should work with music.
- (Nick) Mum sang in a Big Band, dad played piano, brother played base and my sister is terribly good at singing. So I come from a musical family.
- ( Seb) I picked up the guitar when I was 13, because a friend started. Have nothing musical in my family.
- (Mao) I started playing when I was 15 when a boyfriend of my sister brought a guitar.
- (Fabz) I started to play drums when I was 9 and lived in Björkhagen. My drum teacher was so bleeding boring… Just got to play rudiments. Right, left, roll..practice marsch rythms the whole time. I wanted to hit on cymbals and make noise. Did that for just half a year, and thought it was boring. Then we moved to Södermalm, where I sang in a choir, but I have to give that up when my voice broke. When I was applying for higher education, I thought that I might as well apply for music school. Had just bought a drumset the year before, so I applied to Söder Rytmus and was accepted.
Flop on the radio
- (Nick) There is no right or wrong in the interpretations of the name
Blowsight. The word comes from oversight, that you can accept problems
and mistakes. But instead of dealing with your problems you blow them
Nick adds that he thinks it is great to hear different versions of the origins to the band name.
- ( Mao) I have seen on the news the same word, but with a different spelling that it is the cordoned off area around an explosion.
- (Nick) ..or that it is windy…( in Swedish blåsigt means windy )
Personally I like that your music is so diverse. Has this caused you any problems?
- (Seb) Many find it difficult to understand. They think we should stick to
one style so that they know what we are. That's not what we want, and I don't think we fly too far outside the borders.
- ( Nick) If we like a segment we keep it, even though it might not have
guitars. It was especially a period around 2006 that we were too metal for the pop world and too pop for the metal world.
- (Seb) There are instances when I pick up a record, and after the three first
Songs I know how the rest sounds. Then you know it, and gets bored.
- ( Nick ) I always refer to Beastie Boys. First album was loud punk, after
that they have made bossanova, jazz, funk, hiphop, pop and acoustic singer song writer. This is exactly how I think Blowsight is starting to become. This is what we want.
The new album has just been released in USA. How has it gone?
- (Seb) It is so recent that we haven't had any results yet.
( Fabz) We are noticing it on Facebook, we get 150-200 new friend requests from the States every day.
- (Mao) The states are our top priority and we fit in there as well.
(Fabz) They understand us! Just like you said, that we are so diverse.
- (Nick) Everyone have their own favourite song. There is no definitive hit
on the album.
But "Hit on the radio" really is a hit!
- (Nick) We first named it "Flop on the radio", but the record company did
not think it was a good idea.
Symphonic "Dystopia", from "Dystopia Lane" and "Dystopia II" from "Life & Death" are personal favourites for me. They stand out with their majestic pomp and atmosphere, which makes me think of Queen, Muse and Dream Theatre. The question that follows is logical: Will there be a "Dystopia III"?
- (Nick) I think so, absolutely! It is the chapter on the albums where you
ignore all rules. You have a big canvas and just layer it on. The disadvantage is that there are so many orchestral bits. It can be a bit tricky live. In a few years when Metallica are playing support to us, and we have a good budget can we have a big orchestra on stage.
Nick is the one that writes most of the material and all the lyrics, after that the other comes in and plays around a bit as he puts it.
- (Fabz) We produce and mix everything ourselves. It's Nicke and Sebbe
that do all that. I just play drums, so I don't have any hearing left.
- (Nick) He can't even hear what you are asking. He is just guessing.
Classical subjects like love, everyday life, personal thoughts and not to give a damn about what society thinks are the inspirations for Nick's lyrics. On the latest album the lyrics are mostly about tackling aggression. Something that is portrayed in the boxing video for " Hit on the radio" Nick explains.
- It was an idea just for that video. We were on tour with Oomph last
Autumn. A band everyone in Germany have heard of, but no one in Sweden. Maybe it is because they sing in German.
We had a few days off, when our record company guy Bob came up and said: " We have to make some videos. We have booked a boxing hall!" So, there was no thinking about it, just get in the ring!
Do you box for real?
- (Seb) No far from it!
- (Nick) But sometimes in the Studio.
- (Fabz) When some one says that the next album should be Polka!
Nick also paints and draws. That he will continue to be in charge of the design of everything around Blowsight is for granted.
- (Nick) Yes, I have a bit more flesh on my bones at that front now. I have
loads of shit at home. On the new album I made a painting that wasn't even finished, but Fabbe said it should be on the album. It's in the middle of the cover.
Did you use to be out on the streets tagging when you were a teenager?
- I tagged very rarely, but I painted graffiti. When the music got more
serious it was not worth it to continue.
Do you have any special Street Art favourite?
- In Sweden there has been a lot of New School, which I don't really like. I like a lot of stuff from Denmark. Daim, Banksy, RK, Circle, Zappo. Would be great fun continuing to design and add to the records, but the music is the most important.
New album next year
A Swedish band with a German record deal and management, can seem a bit strange. Seb tries to explain how that happened.
- I was a guitar technician for Sonic Syndicate a few times during their tour.
When you are out on tour you meet a lot of people, and I got another job offer from a German band called Samsa's Traum. Our present manager worked for him then. We started talking and I introduced us to her.
- (Nick) Seb put us in contact with her, and then Germany simply became
On "Life & Death" they collaborated with rapper Patto Pooh. Nick gets so excited when he talks about their collaboration that his Swedish suffers a bit.
- (Nick) Linnea that is a friend of us knows him. He wondered if she knew a
rock singer for a song that he wanted to make for a compilation album.
I am a big fan of a lot of different music, for example old school flavoured hiphop. I was a guest artist for him, and then happened that thing on Utöya in Norway. We then made an in honour song, "Through these eyes", that I played a bit of for him. Then I thought it would be fun if he could return the favour and write a few lines in it. Two days later he sent over a piece. I also think it's a statement for us - if we are having guest artists it has to be someone that can contribute something that we can't. you would laugh your head off if you heard me rap. Sebbe has rapped a bit after a few adult pops, but we deleted that.
Next year the boys hope they can release another album, but it is also possible that an ep will be the next step for the quartett. On earlier ep-releases they have included their interpretations of both Britney Spears and Lady Gaga. What will be the next cover?
- (Seb) I don't know, we like making odd choices.
- (Fabz) Psy is next! Gangnam style!
- (Nick) Especially Pokerface with Lady Gaga was so easy. The riff in her version is quite "evil" so it felt like us. We got permission from herself to release it. She has to put the thumbs up to give you permission. We heard from the German office that Lady GaGa herself approved. That was quite cool.
- (Fabz) Would be fun to do a nice Björk cover.
- (Nick) She hates everything that has to do with Rock covers.
Linkin park wanted to do something and she just said: "Go away, and play dead!"