Ahead of the Blend’s debut release of their latest single ‘Back to Business’ I caught up with guitarist and vocalist Dylan Smith to find out how their latest single came into creation.
It’s no secret that the band’s sound is rooted in the landscape of the classic field of Brit Rock, yet, what they have achieved with their sound is no mere revival, it’s a reinvention of the classic fit for the contemporary.
Here’s how it all came into fruition…
How do you see the future of guitar music, is it written in the past, or the futurism of electro?
Well, the main problem now for guitar music and bands that ‘actually play’, is that computers are trying to program our musicianship. Drummers are being turned into drum machines, singers sound like synthesizers. What the fuck has happened? Most producers have become lazy, sometimes what they do isn’t an art anymore. It’s a shame. Any uni kid in their bed room with a laptop is a producer now. I mean most ‘guitar bands’ these days are shit anyway, so realistically it doesn’t matter how their music is recorded because they don’t know the difference. For bands like The Blend, it is very frustrating. It’s hard to tell what the future will be like for guitar music, but I think the next real band to make it big will be the last of the last. Everyone’s selling out.
Honestly, I do like electronic music when it’s done properly. Our new track ‘Back to Business’ has some real good electronic sounds in the mix… But they were actually created on real instruments! My brother Freddie is absolutely tearing it up some of Pete Townshend’s synths on this track. We recorded it at Pete’s place.
What was the riff that made you pick up a guitar?
I was never really into playing catchy riffs as such, I just loved making real powerful gritty sounds and still do. It’s my style and what I love, but I suppose The Stone Roses really got hooked and I do really like a lot of their melodic riffs… ‘She Bangs the Drums’ and all that.
There’s plenty of angst towards society in your earlier tracks such as ‘Don’t Waste My Time’, how does the current political climate inspire your music?
‘Don’t Waste My Time’ was a great music video, it is a very bold statement. Totally rips X Factor and the whole ‘boy band’ thing. We were basically saying all these so called ‘artists’ and pop stars are all toys and puppets being controlled by the media and the machine. We’ll always stand by that.
As for the current political climate inspiring our music… we are living in mad times! Too many people are scared to open their mouths. It’s something that I am actually writing about at the moment.
How did you end up working alongside Alan Ford with your latest single?
Well we’d finished recording ‘Back to Business’ at Pete’s. Then we were ready to do the music video. I won’t give too much away before the screening but, it’s a pretty hardcore video. Very ‘British gangster’ related.
So, we had this great idea of how the music video should be, but we needed the right person to direct it. It had to be done properly and couldn’t be ‘fake’. After having a good think about it, I met up with my good friend actress Carol Harrison. She’s really looked out for us, she’s great. We met at the BBC. I asked Carol to direct it, she agreed to, then we put together a script and storyboard.
We needed a proper hard man actor and thought Alan would be the perfect man for the job, he is Brick Top for fuck sake! He can be one nasty fucker, that’s what we needed. Knew him through a few friends so called him and asked if he’d like to do it. He said yes, think he loves our attitude.
Biggest fear as an emerging artist in the UK?
We don’t fear anything. We will be the new biggest band in the world.
If that doesn’t get you excited for the Blend’s release of Back to Business, then I don’t know what will.
The Blend will be launching their new record and music video starring Alan Ford (AKA Brick Top from Snatch) on September 18th at a private event in Soho.
You can catch them performing their new material at their live event alongside Terminal Gods, Big & the Fat and Graves at Nambucca, North London. Head over to Facebook to find out more.
Stay tuned for a review of the live debut.
Review by Amelia Vandergast