MUSIC INTERVIEW: Blessthefall
This year’s Download Festival may seem like quite some time ago now, but with the festival season far from over, we’re reliving some gems when it comes to conversations we had at this year’s event. Blessthefall were such a pleasure to chat to – from crazy video ideas to signing to Rise Records there was plenty to talk about after their set.
We’re talking to you at Download Festival this weekend. What does that mean to you guys?
We know a lot of legendary bands get to play this weekend – fucking Ozzy and Guns N Roses. And last time we played, like Aerosmith played and Linkin Park played Hybrid Theory in full, so…
We were there that year!
Yeah, it was big! We watched from the soundboard…it was amazing, wow. It’s a staple though. Download in our scene, if not in the world, is just a staple for a rock festival. I feel like it’s what a lot of other festivals try to replicate in the United States, and it’s amazing. It’s cool, it’s historic, and we’re stoked to be here.
So are you going to stick around all weekend? Are you going to see anyone while you’re here?
We’d love to watch Ozzy! But we have to go right after. We have shows over on the mainland (Europe) and shit to do, so…but like when am I ever going to get to see Ozzy and Guns N Roses? We’re kinda bummed that we have to go, but we’re gonna try to see our buddies in Stick To Your Guns today, and our friends in Ded, but I think we missed them, I think they’re on now. So we gotta go right now!
Uh, yeah, so a lot of friends’ bands are playing today, which is nice.
It’ll be nice to catch up with your friends. So let’s talk about your latest album, Hard Feelings. You worked with Tyler Smith, Matt Good and Howard Benson to produce the record. How was the experience working with three different producers?
It was cool. The way we kind of portrayed it on the internet seemed like we did a lot, but it was really mostly with Tyler Smith. As rappers say, he was the executive producer! We call him the chef! We made up a name for him, sort of just like his producer name…the chef. So just like, we go in the kitchen, we cook stuff up…but it was awesome, I would write with Matt Good in Phoenix, he’s just like a good friend and he was like, “hey, let’s get in the studio and write some songs together!” So we would do that and then our label kind of presented the idea of maybe writing a song with Howard Benson and like we already had a song finished. So we were like “let’s see what it would sound like if we were with Howard Benson for a record,” and we did Sleepless In Phoenix with him and the song came out amazing, but it wasn’t really the direction we wanted to go for the entire album, and then we wrote with Tyler, and it just clicked immediately. And we were like, “this is the guy we want to do our record with.” And then Tyler, you know, took grasp of the entire record and was a big part of making it sound the way it sounds and it was awesome. So it was cool. A collective, but at the same time, it all kind of came down to what we did with Tyler.
Awesome! So you signed to Rise Records to release the album. What impact has that had on the band?
It’s fresh. Yeah, it feels fresh. We’d been with Fearless basically our entire career so you know, you just kind of exhaust relationships – especially business relationships – so we finished our last album with Fearless and just decided to go somewhere else, and Rise was really excited to take us on. They were just like “we’ve been watching you guys for a long time, we wish we could have done this differently with you guys, like if it was us, you know we would have done this, so…” and they were just really stoked to have us. It feels good to feel wanted at a label. Or in life, in general.
We can relate! It’s true for everyone right? So your latest video, Sleepless In Phoenix is actually filmed in Phoenix. Cool concept, performing inside the TV, and there’s a narrative running alongside it, so where did the idea come from for that?
Yeah, so the idea came from sort of this old 90s video – I think it was The Cranberries – had this old video. We were like “fuck, that’s so cool, it would be cool to do something similar and have that same aesthetic,” and it sort of just morphed to our director saying “why don’t you guys be playing in the TV? And the TV will be possessed!” – and we were like “fuck, yes!” It’s like a melting pot. You know, almost like we just picked an idea out of a hat like “oh, cool, we’re gonna make it haunted, oh and you’re going to play in it!” We didn’t really know what we were going into doing it and then when we saw the final product we were like “holy shit, that came out really cool.” Artistically it’s just a cool concept, and there’s so much going on that you kind of have to watch it more than once to really understand what’s happening. We’re really the focal point being in the TV, but there’s so much stuff happening in the background. So you’ve kind of got to go back and see where we’re going, and that kind of tells more of a story than us performing in the TV. The director just did and awesome job. It’s funny, because some of his concepts are just like really fucking insane. He sent originally like a few concepts and we were just like…holy shit, okay…so with this this dude…like, Godzilla was involved!
So maybe for the next one, ha?
Maybe, ha! Well we reigned it in a little, and that’s what we got.
So you just finished a tour in the US. Are there any particular tracks on the new record that you love to play live?
All of them, so far! On the last tour we played Wishful Sinking, Cutthroat…oh, and Sleepless. We played all three of those songs for the first time. And we’ve never thrown in just like three new songs on a tour, we usually just work our way into it. We add one in…then add another, but it was cool doing it this way though. It was really interesting to like see how people were taking the album, and it was awesome. We were playing to a lot of new fans each night. So with those songs specifically, we won over a lot of new kids. We had people coming over to us like “that Sleepless in Phoenix song, I’d never heard of you guys, but that song’s amazing!” and we were like “cool” – ‘cause that’s the point.
It’s what you want.
Right. And it’s fun! It’s really cool playing new songs. For us, there’s a lot of repetition touring and doing the same thing every day, the only thing that can really change is us putting in new music. So, it’s cool.
With regards to you coming here for us guys – obviously Download Festival is your first UK appearance since releasing the album, so can we expect any news of additional dates soon?
Yeah we wanna! We’re talking about doing a headliner this fall, or maybe like winter. We were here in October and did some small shows and stuff like that, and we came back pretty soon! And so hopefully that’s the plan right now. We love it out here, we just wanna kind of get back to where we were. We had momentum, you know and I think we went away for too long, and everyone’s like “who, what?”
Yeah! But it’s a top priority right now to do a headliner in the UK, so we’re hoping we can be back in late 2018 or early 2019.
Yeah, soonish. Maybe when it’s snowing!
So finally, do you have anything else that you want to say to our readers?
Yeah of course! Thank you so much for supporting us, and if you’ve never listened to us before, thanks for giving us a shot out there. And check out all the records. There’s lots to catch up on, if you’re new.
That’s awesome. Thank you so much guys! We really appreciate it.
Interview by: Claire Louise Sheridan