“I can’t wait for people to hear [the new album] and be a millionaire this time next year. I’ll probably own Australia by this time next year. I think we’ve found a concrete sound on this album."
Sean Smith, co-vocalist of Welsh rockers The Blackout, doesn't care what anyone thinks of him. Case in point: his willingness to admit what countless rock fans now try to deny; he still adores nu-metal. “It's what got us into music,” he explains. “Our first ever gig, we did three covers and two of our own – they were Limp Bizkit's Counterfeit, Faith No More's Digging The Grave and Lostprophets' The Fake Sound Of Progress – so it's played a big part. Anyone who makes a band now in the last ten years and says it's got nothing to do with their band is a liar,” he says, spitting the last word in his thick accent. “At some point, everybody liked a nu-metal song; otherwise nu-metal wouldn't have been so big. So many cool punk kids are like, 'I never liked Limp Bizkit'. Yeah, you fucking did, you liar.”
What does he make of the recent resurgence of bands like Fred Durst's Bizkit? Nostalgia value? “I love it,” he says. “We went on tour with them in 2010, it was a dream come true. The 16-year-old me was going mental every night. I wrote a letter asking them, could we see them do Counterfeit in sound-check? I got sent down to the stage and Fred (Durst) was like, 'If we're gonna do it, you've gotta sing it'. I was like, 'I was born to do this; bring it on, Fred'. We did it in sound-check and after he said, 'Don't get so drunk after you play tonight, 'cause we're gonna do it live'. There's a video on YouTube of us playing the first song we ever played live, with the people who wrote the song. It's come full-circle; it's a world gone mad.”
If it isn't yet apparent, instantly likeable Smith doesn't take himself or the interview process too seriously. We willingly indulge him in a hilarious conversation spanning which pro-wrestlers his bandmates resemble, the singer jokingly planning to put a hit out on Soundwave boss AJ Maddah for not booking them the same year as Limp Bizkit and Australian hip hop (“I'm kinda like the Welsh 360”).
This feel-good, up-for-a-laugh spirit translates to their music. For instance, new record and fourth overall being titled Start The Party, or affinity for covering the likes of Limp Bizkit, Andrew WK and Katy Perry. “That's one of the things we've always liked about nu-metal bands, is it's fun, it doesn't have to be serious or sad all the time. You can have a laugh; you don't have to be miserable, don't have to be a goth. It's more rock with a hint of pop, which will probably get us slated.
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“I can't wait for people to hear [the new album] and be a millionaire this time next year. I'll probably own Australia by this time next year. I think we've found a concrete sound on this album. I want to say party rock, but that sounds like LMFAO. The way to describe it would be Beastie Boys meets Andrew WK meets us. It's boisterous, fun and if you don't like it you must be a dickhead.”
The sextet plan to bring the party to Soundwave, too. They're no strangers to festivals, having played Download, Reading and T In The Park. “If you like fun, are not deaf and like good music, come see us,” Smith explains. “[We're] self-proclaimed, one of the best live bands of all time. Print that – 'self-proclaimed best live band of all time'. I think if anyone was to beat us it'd be Queen, but apparently their singer's busy or something. And Michael Jackson; those two would probably have been the two better entertainers than us, but apparently he's on hiatus. They both split their bands up. I'm not sure why? Personal reasons, I guess.”
The Blackout will be playing the following dates:
Tuesday 26 February - Billboard The Venue, Melbourne VIC
Thursday 28 February - The Hi-Fi, Sydney NSW
Friday 1 March - Soundwave, Melbourne VIC
Saturday 2 March - Soundwave, Adelaide SA
Monday 4 March - Soundwave, Perth WA