'We've got 19 shows in 19 days,' says Blackhole frontman Richard Carter on the band's forthcoming tour alongside the release of their debut album 'Dead Hearts'. 'I can't fucking wait'.
For 5 friends who have put everything they have into doing things their way, it's sweet reward. 'Blackhole started when so many other bands we were in just always fell apart,' continues Carter. 'Andreas (Yiasmoumi, guitarist) and I decided to take things into our own hands and start something new where we would just write for ourselves rather than to go along with what everyone else wanted us to write. We were fortunate enough to know Nick (Mitchell, guitar) and Alex (Hunt, drums) and lucky enough to find Max (Hart, bass), and we discovered that we all wanted to do the same thing, which is simply to write for ourselves'.
'We wanted our band to mix catchy hooks & riffs with a good musical structure,' interjects Yiasoumi. 'And with Rick's vocal.. we've created exactly the band we wanted.'
'We did a bunch of practices and wrote songs as a three-piece for a while,' adds Mitchell, 'before Alex came on board. Our first few shows we actually played without a bass player, but we found Max and the line-up hasn't changed since.' Fast forward 2 years and 2009 finds the same 5 friends fresh from the studio with a debut album with Colin Richardson's (Slipknot/Machine Head/Fear Factory producer/mixer) name on the box. 'Recording our debut album was an amazing experience,' smiles Carter. 'Working with both Colin and with Jeff and Ginge (Bullet For My Valentine)... to have these people be into what we are doing enough to want to work with us gave us a lot of confidence.' The guitarist chips back in, 'It taught us a lot of lessons about recording, and the professional attitude that you have to maintain throughout. Jeff and Ginge were great to work with and really captured the best of our sound in the studio. I honestly don't think that we could have written and recorded a better album.'
The debut release from the record is lead track 'Don't Cry'; 1 minute 32 seconds of pure by-the-balls introduction which the band insisted went up for free download from their website as a thanks to fans who have followed and supported the band through 2 years of life on the road. 'We had a song called 'I Am' which was never recorded and I was pretty low when I wrote the lyrics,' explains Carter. ''Don't Cry' is musically very similar; short and to the point... it's basically 'I Am' part 2. It's about finally being at a point where I can say I'm in control.'
'Both 'Don't Cry' and forthcoming single 'Scared To Change' were written towards the end of the writing process,' explains Mitchell. ''Scared..' was unusual as it was predominantly written with all 5 of us present. Usually Dre will come up a riff and he and I will put a song together around it, but 'Scared' was written in a much more organic way.' Carter expands: 'I think it was the last song we wrote together before we went into record the album. We already had the record we wanted to take in, and as a result it started out as more of a jam than anything else. But then when we got the whole song together we decided it had to go on the record because to us we feel that it's already a progression from the rest of the songs on the album.'
'There are a couple of songs that made the grade from our first EP,' adds Mitchell. 'We always knew that Witches would be re-recorded when it came round to the album. One of the first songs we wrote as a band and I think it's one of the stronger songs on the record - and definitely one of my favourites to play live. Forever is the other EP track. One of the heaviest riffs I think we've ever written and always goes down well live.'
'Going out on tour is great but strange at the same time because it's where you see if all the hard work has paid off. But at the same time I guess it where the real hard work actually begins. That isn't to say that it isn't fun, because it is without a doubt the best time that we ever have.'
'Yeah - touring is tough and it's hard work but we're lucky,' adds Carter. 'We get to play music we have made and have complete strangers appreciate it. Meeting new people every night and figuring out a different city every day is amazing. Although I won't lie - sleeping sitting up in a van with 5 or 6 other guys does suck!'
The conversation descends into laughter and arguments on the pros and cons of sleeping arrangements on the road before Carter brings it back round and sums everything up. 'Being in this band and starting it with 2 of my best friends was the best decision I ever made. I wouldn't change anything about us. We're like a family; we don't always see eye to eye, we fight, we argue and annoy the hell out of each other. But at the end of the day we all feel that what we make as a collective is really special and no matter how much we do fall out we'll always go straight back to being like family because everything we're doing together is so important.'
- Dead Hearts
- Release 10/27/2009
- Don't Cry
- If Only
- Scared To Change
- Can't Breathe a Word
- I'm Failing To See How This Is A Good Idea
- My Lord
- We Are The Dead Hearts