Blitz Kids

By Tom Aylott

Tom caught up with Jono from Blitz Kids to have a chat about all things forthcoming, the UK scene and some TV show that ruins Saturday night on Twitter for sane people…

Afternoon Jono – How are you, and how are Blitz Kids in general?

I’m suffering from a bit of a hangover today. The other guys are fine. They have a bit more sense than me.

Your new album is on the near horizon – do you guys have a final title / tracklisting ready for it yet?

The title is still up in the air. We’ve been chopping and changing it for about 4 months now. We were certain we had the right one, but things change. We do have a tracklisting, but Joe will no doubt have a fiddle with those titles too. When we’re finally settled, I’ll call you, and we’ll do lunch.

Do you know what the first single is going to be?

We’ve known for a while which song we want to introduce people to the album with. It has a guest vocal from our good friend in a much bigger band than us. It even has a key change that would make Whitney weep. It’s very 80’s, in a good way. That’ll be a free download in November. We’re all about the free stuff.

Compared to your last EP, where have you taken your sound for the new record?

To be perfectly honest, we don’t even sound like the same band that released ‘Scavengers’. We’ve had so many knock backs and obstacles in our way since then, that the frustration and anger really comes across in this album. Musically, it’s more akin to the material we released when we were Rig Up Explosive. It’s the heaviest we’ve ever been, but also the poppiest. That doesn’t make sense on paper, but when you people hear it, they’ll understand. Lyrically, Joe’s never been this good. When we got into the studio and he showed us what he’d got for some of the tracks, we were just blown away with the intelligence and delivery of some of the lines. We knew he was good, but this really raises the bar.

What’s the song on the record that you’re most looking forward to getting out there to your fans, and why?

I’m particularly fond of the album closer, ‘When To Say When’. It sounds like the lovechild of Deftones and Brand New. It’s also probably got the best chorus we’ve ever written. There’s more raw emotion in that song than anything we’ve released up to this point.

You recorded with Red Bull in their studios in London – describe the recording process that you went through there…

We wanted to do something completely different this time round. We went in for 2 days and recorded the whole thing live. No click tracks, no drop ins, no autotune, no nothing. Just a band in a room, playing music. If one of us played a bum note, we had to stop and roll it again from the top. It was a really daunting, but exciting prospect, and the guys at Red Bull were really supportive throughout the whole process. They even went out every day to bring us Sushi and Pizza. We rehearsed solidly for a fortnight before we went in, and most of the tracks were either first or second takes, to really capture the energy. Energy that everything else we’ve recorded has lacked. We’re absolutely over the moon that we pulled it off, and it sounds so good.

What guitar rig were you using in the studio to record with?

The folks at Orange hooked Billy and Nic up with some incredible gear. I went with a Marshall JCM 1000 and a 1960 cab in the end just to mix it up!

You’ve got some big tours coming up soon – what shows/bands are you most looking forward to/with?

We’re playing with some really good friends at Kerrang’s In The City showcase on October 13th in Manchester, so it’ll be good to catch up with everyone again. It’s a pretty dangerous idea putting us all in a room together with free beer. Also, we’re going out for our first ever headline tour in November, which is a totally new experience. I really hope people come down to the shows, and we aren’t just playing to the sound guy and the other bands, which happens all too often! We’ve just been picked up by The Agency Group, so you can expect us to be that annoying band that opens every show for the entire year. We all love being on tour. It gives us something to do other than sit around playing FIFA 11.

Who’s your favourite band in the UK at the moment?

It’s really hard to pick out one band from a plethora of great British talent. I don’t think we’ve ever been this fortunate to have so much quality, driving up and down motorways, playing their hearts out every night. If I had to name a handful – Young Guns, Deaf Havana, Francesqa, Canterbury and Kids In Glass Houses are on my iPod day in, day out.

What’s been your favourite moment in music of 2010 so far? (Onstage/offstage/Blitz/someone else!)

I’m not embarrassed to say that it’s probably the first time I listened to our mixed album. Either that or My Chemical Romance‘s final return to the scene. I’m a massive fanboy.

Your Twitter indicates you’re in the X Factor “guilty pleasure” club. What draws you to watch the show?

Last year my Twitter feed was full of people ranting about it, which really vexed me every Saturday night. This year, it’s literally been a case of ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve got a bit too involved. Make no bones about it, it’s compelling television. I’m Team Cardle, by the way. Follow me at @jonoBLITZ and I’ll tell you all about it.

Are shows like X Factor “detrimental” to the music business and bands like yourself, or does it make no difference at all?

It really doesn’t make any difference to bands like us. People will always complain about it, but it’s a money machine, and until it stops making millions, it’s always going to be there. Ask me again in a couple of years when our Christmas single is pipped to the number 1 post by a single mum from Birkenhead covering Mariah Carey.

Try these three interviews

Interview: Greywind [Reading 2016]

Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]