Interview: The Blizzards

By on Thursday, 4th June 2009 at 2:00 pm

The Blizzards (side)Last week, Jess introduced the rather amazing Blizzards, and since grabbing a copy of their forthcoming album, “Domino Effect” (out in September), I must admit that it’s amazingly catchy, memorable stuff.

We were fortunate enough to sit down with the guys for a rather amusing chat about how they saved the Kaiser Chiefs from getting in a fight and their dislike of Paris Hilton…

Hello The Blizzards. Who are you and what are you up to at the moment?

We are a five-piece band that adores good pop music and dislikes shoe-gazing, self-indulgent, ‘my parents let me down’, ‘my school let me down’, ‘society let me down’, ‘the social system let me down’ music. We are currently washing our boxers and socks and embarking upon a UK tour.

What do you reckon you sound like?

Honestly, we are not trying to re-invent the wheel musically, we try to write tunes that people want to party to but we also want to inject a bit of muscle into it. We all grew up listening to metal music but quickly realized we looked like tools with long hair and Jackson guitars so pop music started becoming more interesting to us. I’d love to say we sound like Abba with guitars, mixed with Weezer with synths… It’s all about the hooks, baby.

On songwriting – how does it start for you? Lyrical concept? A riff? Turn of phrase? Or a drug-fuelled orgy that results in a great song?

Drug-fuelled orgies are totally over-rated and fuck all use if you want to be a competent songwriter. I have no set way of writing songs but nine times out of ten it starts with a hook and then the song is built around the hook. However, lately I’ve started building songs from scratch because, from working with better producers, I’ve become more confident with structure and dynamics etc. I’ve come to appreciate that cleverness and instrumentation does not make a great song… i.e. less really is, more than often, best… let the melody do all the work.

Before going on stage, do you have any rituals, either individual or as a band?

I like to be on my own for a while cause when you come on stage and there is a crowd reaction you go from being in a reclusive situation to a totally balls-out situation and your performance reacts to that. A ProPlus caffeine tablet often helps too!

What’s your favourite part of being in a band? Do you prefer writing and recording or is it all about playing your music live for you?

It used to be live but I’ve become very interested in production and studio work lately. I like working with other writers and bands because I love finding out what makes them tick and how they approach performing in a studio situation. If you approach studio like live, the performances are far superior and hence the recording sounds better. Pro Tools pisses me off sometimes because you get the likes of fucking Paris Hilton going into a studio and recording an album using nothing but Auto-Tune and sexual favours for producers as her talent. Live is cool for looking at the lovely females (unless of course you’re producing Ms Hilton).

Before things really took off for The Blizzards, what were your jobs? Did you have day jobs or just focus 100% on the music?

I was a professional rugby player with Leinster for three years, then I made the logical and natural progression into music.

You’ve supported some pretty big names recently, and of course have the massive Oasis Slane Castle gig coming up – how do you find these big shows? Any amusing tales you can share with us from supporting Kasabian or Kaiser Chiefs?

We approach the big shows in the exact same way as the small ones. It’s the only way. Big stages don’t scare us or put us off as we have huge confidence in our live performance. Kasabian were complete dudes and were bang on. Love to go out on the piss with them. Kaisers were gents too but I remember pulling the keys player out of a fight in Dublin. He was shitfaced and told some girl she looked like his uncle, which didn’t go down well with the boyfriend. I handled it but he was right, she was rather masculine looking!

What music are you guys currently listening to / enjoying?

I like the new Virgins album, just great straightforward rock tunes and also the Noisettes album is hugely impressive. Florence and the Machine’s album is immense also. I’m not really a massive fan of the electro-pop thing but La Roux is top of the crop. Also Abba Gold – buy it, listen to it, if it doesn’t make you happy go to Alaska and live in a cave.

What’s coming up over the next few months for you?

As I mentioned, the UK tour in June, V Festival and the like. Our first single “Buy It Sell It” is out on July 6, then our album “The Domino Effect” is out in September. God, I’m a pro!

Finally, what’s one thing we wouldn’t normally know about you?

I have a rather strange, unhealthy obsession with Dolly Parton and a large healthy hate for Kerry Katona. They are connected in some way but I haven’t figured out the link thus far… Feel free to send any possible psycho-analytical observations to The Blizzards Facebook page!

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