Influences: Include John Cooper Clarke, Slaves and Nick Cave
Political, punk rock band The Blinders are frontman and guitarist Tom, Charlie (Bass) and Matty (Drums) from Doncaster, South Yorkshire. For too long now the music scene has been lacking bands that have passion and are not scared to voice their feelings, anger and opinions. The Blinders are one of the small handfuls of bands that are finally escaping the indistinguishable masses that have dominated the music scene. Finding their unique style, however, wasnt something that came easy for the band and developing their sound took time. This however proved successful with the band catching the eye of many music moguls and bands.
You describe your sound as ‘Punkadelic’ can you elaborate on this for me, where do your influences originate from?
The description is meant to be quite literal. We caught the eye of Tim Abbot, Creation Records extravagant and all around guru, around a year ago and he described us as something along the lines of ‘A Punkadelic mess’. We really liked the term and coined it. Our musical influences are far and wide, making it very difficult for us to pinpoint individual influences. But what you hear is what you get. If you think it’s a combination of The Doors, Fat White Family and The Fall, you’re probably right. But we try not to dwell on who we sound like too much like that. We’re very interested in constantly developing our sound. We get bored very easily you see.
How hard is it to be original, in a period, musically, where everyone seems to sound very similar?
We’ve not really had an issue with this. You’ve answered the question yourself quite frankly. There’s so much shite floating gently onto the plates of would-be music fans; so much so that when you do have the balls to shake things up a little, you end up sticking out like a sore thumb.
What are your thoughts on the music industry in general?
It’s quite well known to us that this whole thing ends up turning into a business, there’s no two ways about it. That, for us, has been established. And with business come the masses of vampires and leeches and diplomats on chrome horses with Siamese cats that are really not where it’s at. So what we’ve done to get around that is built up a gang or a team if you like from the ground up that makes sure we don’t get fucked over. We don’t want this handed on a plate to us; because that’s just not very fun at all. The industry is a bitch, but we’ve got a feeling we’ll be alright. Does that make sense?
On the musical front, are you concerned about how musicians will make money in the future with diminishing album sales?
Again, what a crying shame that musicians actually have to work for what they’ve got, God forbid. It’s like we’ve actually got to live normal lives now and graft like everybody else… Look, as long as we’re not commuting to Leeds every weekday for the rest of our lives and sat behind one of those desks where one leg is shorter than the rest making you want to kill yer sen, then we are very, VERY alright with that. Live for tomorrow, not for a holiday to Sharm el Sheikh.
Do you think that by living in the generation of having technology at your fingertips, and having access to practically every piece of music ever created has also desensitised the value that we place on it?
Almost certainly. But, it does like you say allow access to every form of music that has ever been/will be created. That’s going to have some serious effect on future of musicians with inspiration at the click of a button. But also, it looks as if this “desensitisation” is creating a niche of neo-luddites, referring to of course vinyl collectors. That’s where the beauty of music lies. Material copies of your favourite music that you’ll treasure, instead of having a stack of awful records that you wish you never bought. You know, I bet there are a lot of middle-aged blokes with Chris Rea records rotting in the attic, as they ponder to themselves “if only there were a way to listen to records for free before I buy them…”
Your songs have a political theme, so what would you say are the biggest issues facing the UK and Europe at the moment? Or if that’s a bit long-winded, sum up in a nutshell what your political views are for our readers.
The rise of this populist right is clearly a concern. It appears that the working masses are being used as puppets by those in positions of power to fulfil their own selfish goals; the likes of Farage and Trump who are nothing but the establishment in dress rehearsal drag. People are fed up of being told what they can’t have but seem to be putting their trust in the wrong people. You see it now, post-referendum, with the stream of broken promises. Nothing but contempt is being shown for those that are supposed to be being represented; people should be on the street. There’s this huge self-interest culture that has developed through years and years of neo-liberal rule, Thatcher’s parting shot perhaps. There is a small silver lining though; you can see the genuine fear of Corbyn from the twisted Murdoch press, which just shows how dangerous such a movement could be. Change does seem possible.
Do you think other musicians and artists, particularly those in rock, are too afraid to speak out about political issues? Do you think it’s lost its bite?
The only logical explanation would be apathy towards politics and ignorance on the topic. You write what you know, right? For some, it’s a scrap in the chip shop on a Friday night or that time you got fobbed off by a bird in Leadmill. All of that seems a little trivial to us. We’re not trying to give off all that ‘Holier than thou’ bullshit, if anything we’d like to open a few ears and eyes. What we do seems to get people riled up. Some like it but some do not, and we’re very cool with that. For us, our music allows us to discharge strong emotions on the subject, what’s more important than that?
How important are relationships with other bands and artists to The Blinders? Who do you listen to and go and watch when you’re not out gigging yourselves?
Who else is gonna drink with us backstage? Our soul brothers, CABBAGE, have showed us why it’s so important to have solid connections and relationships with other bands. They are wonderful eccentrics, true to the cause and on the brink of fame and self-destruction. The truest of true heroes. We also absolutely adore The Moonlandingz. Best thing UK music has to offer right now. Why they are not on the front page of every mag and the top of every ‘2017’ list is laughable. Avalanche Party also, they’re fucking mint. That’s about it really.
Are you currently working on any projects? Tell me about them and what’s the band’s touring like for 2017?
We’re about to embark on our first tour of the UK, set up by This Feeling and X-Ray Touring. It’s going to be non-stop good times with plenty of nudity, talc powder, and face paint. Take that how you will. We’ve also got some recording to get through; in an ideal world, we’ll have a brand new EP for the summer. This whole tour is literally a fundraiser. Reckon I can take back on what we said about not caring about the dough…?
(Look out for a Birmingham and Glasgow date coming soon)
Why should people get off their arses and come and watch The Blinders?
Don’t be a square. Dig it.
Finally, give me 3 words to sum you up?
Virtuosic, totally-wired Bolshevists.
The Blinders ‘Swine’ is available on the iTunes here….
Follow the band on their social media:
Twitter – @TheBlindersBand
Soundcloud – https://soundcloud.com/the-blinders
Main photo: Katie Willoughby