MUSIC FEATURE: Five Minutes With…Blackout Problems
Blackout Problems have kicked off the new year with their brand new album DARK, the follow-up to 2018’s KAOS which saw them build their reputation across the globe, including their debut international tour, a variety of festival appearances and a run of forty shows supporting Royal Republic. We caught up with the band to discuss their formation, influences and more.
Firstly, tell us a bit about yourself and your band.
Hey, my name is Michael, and instead of being in a van right now on the way to the next city to play small and sweaty release shows in support of our new record DARK, I am currently sitting on my couch answering these questions for you. The band is our main outlet for creativity and speaking our truths. We would have been completely lost without being able to somehow do what we do despite the fact that there is a global pandemic going on.
How did the band form and how long have you been together?
This current and final line-up formed over time with Mario and Marcus starting out with different members. I joined the band in 2012 and Mo in 2016. We feel a very strong bond and chemistry between the four of us, that causes tension sometimes but most of the time it is the right kind of pushing and pulling. We try to remain friends first and take care of each other throughout everything.
Can you remember the first time you realised you wanted to make music?
I did a good job of forgetting a lot of stuff from the beginning of me making music and also with Blackout Problems. You should have been talking to Mo instead, because he actually keeps track of the history and even archives stuff. I can sort of remember the first time I actually saw another drummer play. I can’t really tell you any details on who he played with or if it was a drum solo or not, but I know that the instrument resonated with me and I fell deeply in love with playing drums at the age of eight. As soon as I heard Chad Smith with the Chili Peppers it was over and I couldn’t stop practicing and playing along to records. I also remember recording my first band onto a tape deck recorder and showing it to people. The fact that you could produce music and record it on a device and onto something you could give to people to listen to blew me away and it still does in a way. That feeling of holding your own record in your hands is so hard to describe, but for sure immensely satisfying.
Who and what are the band’s main influences?
This goes way beyond music. Since we’re music lovers ourselves we can’t help but be influenced by the different genres we listen to, but what I think is even more important and influential is everything outside of the music bubble meaning stuff like politics, art, skateboarding videos, books, our mental health and so on.
What do you aim to achieve as a band?
We want to be an honest, hardworking and raw band that does not take stuff for granted and always puts the music first. We want to empower others and ourselves to start digging deeper into stuff they’re interested in or passionate about.
For those who are yet to see you live, what can they expect from a Blackout Problems show?
Expect a safe place for you to be yourself and enjoy the music in your favourite way. Stand in the back or jump on somebody or on us. We appreciate every human being that goes as far as supporting this band. Yes, Brexit made it harder for us to go tour the UK but fuck it, we love you and being able to play shows in your cities is a dream coming true for us, so we’ll do everything to make it work.
What’s next for Blackout Problems?
As we are in the middle of our release week I look at it day by day, but in the grand scheme of things I hope that we are able to play shows in the second half of 2021 and hopefully make it to the Download Festival someday.
Blackout Problems latest album DARK is out now via Sony Music/Music For Nations, available to stream or purchase HERE.