You’ll remember our story about Blitz Kids’ new video for their song, “Keep Swinging“. They’re an alternative rock band with their origins in Nantwich & Crewe, formed in 2009. The name was inspired by Joe’s grandfather, who’d been in a gang by the same name during the Second World War. They’ve just been to SXSW in the US and we were lucky to catch up with them before they left. Here’s our chat:
Talk us through “Keep Swinging”. We find it to be a very positive, uplifting song – what’s the underlying message?
It’s a funny story. I started writing it with Jono in a rainy garage one afternoon back in Nantwich.
We were going through a tough time in the band. We were broke and sleeping on floors and we wrote this song to keep us going but we never finished it. Fast forward two years and we were sat outside John Feldmann‘s house in LA writing our album and we remembered this song and we finished it that day.
The video features Brock O’Hurn. How did that come about!
The director needed someone massive to play the bad guy, we didn’t know anything about it until he showed up on set and made us all feel very physically inferior.
You’ve played at some of the UK’s biggest festivals. Which was your favourite?
We love playing festivals but I think our favourite slot of last year was at Slam Dunk Festival. It’s a UK version of Warped Tour and we opened the main stage and got a great reaction.
SXSW – pretty huge! How are you feeling? Are you buzzing?
Yeah, we love playing shows in the States. I’ve always had a fascination with America. I honestly can’t wait to stuff my face with bbq food and get complimented on my accent every day.
You’ve come a long way from Nantwich – was it a difficult choice to leave friends and family behind in order to make a go of Blitz Kids?
Yeah, it’s hard being away from home. I miss my friends all the time. But I’m also on tour with 5 or 6 of them so that helps. Most of our touring party is made up of our friends from home. We’re one big family.
Blitz Kids’ style is described as alternative rock, what does that mean to you?
I am so bad with genres. Whenever anyone asks me to describe my band I just freeze up. I guess it means we’re a rock band but we’re doing our own thing at the same time.
“The Good Youth” debuted at number 5 in the UK rock charts and you were nominated for Kerrang’s “Best British Newcomer” – how did that feel?
Pretty surreal. It’s a great feeling to get the recognition from the magazines and it’s even better to know people care enough about our band to actually pay for the record in the age of streaming.
Who are you most influenced by, musically?
I’d say Thrice are probably my biggest inspiration as they were the first rock band I ever loved. Dustin’s in particular had a huge impact on me.
Dream collaboration – living or dead?
I’d love to work with The Neptunes/NERD I think we’d create something really sick. I love the production on all their albums.
Reading the summary of “The Good Youth” you did for Rocksound – Joe, you say you wrote Perfect in the vocal booth after struggling with the subject – do you find you have a similar problem in all your song writing? That you won’t rest until your songs are absolutely perfect? Do you find perfection a help or a hindrance?
It’s a blessing and a curse. It means that I hopefully won’t put something mediocre out but it also means that once a song is done, it never truly feels done to me. It’s a delicate balance that drives me mad sometimes.
Again with Joe – “Sometimes” is about the bullying you faced in school – we’ve spoken to so many artists who’ve taken that pain and turned it into music – do you think if you’d been on the other side, the bully rather than the bullied, you’d be where you are today?
I don’t think I would but I can’t even picture myself in that situation. I despise bullying. The stuff I had to put up with has made me the person I am today and I’m glad I’m in a position where I can shed light on the problems that other people face daily.
And finally, what does the future hold for Blitz Kids?
This year we’ll be writing a new album and touring all over the world so come out to a show if we pass through your town.
Thank you so much for talking to us!
Keep Swinging is available on iTunes – while you’re there, check out the rest of “The Good Youth“, their first album on the Red Bull Label, as well as Blitz Kids’ other releases. You can catch up with Blitz Kids online on their website, VEVO, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Soundcloud.[youtube https://youtu.be/Dagq3Ysq8Uk]