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DeadSet Records 12/05

HEAVY Q&A: THE BLACKEN

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We caught up with Jeff Carter Jnr, the frontman and guitarist from Brisbane band The Blacken for a quick Q&A. You can keep up to date with all the happenings with The Blacken HERE.

The Band
How did the band first come to exist?
In 2012 I started writing music for a yet to be named project. It wasn’t until 2015 when the demos were finish that I decided to show a couple of guys I had known for a long time to see what they thought. They pretty much jumped at the chance to join after the first listen and the line-up was done.

Is there an interesting story behind the name?
We were pretty lucky with the name. I was searching online for something dark to represent the style of music I was writing something with the word black in it. I tried ‘blacken the name’ ‘life in black’ and a few others but everything was taken. Then the search engine gave me a suggestion ‘The Blacken.com’ I looked up the name and couldn’t believe it wasn’t taken nor trademarked.  So I snapped it up!

What’s your most recent release?
Life Love Death is our debut release. I spent over 2 and a half years working on it. I didn’t want to release a record unless it was the best I could get it. In the past I’ve always recorded the first version of a song without too many changes, so I pretty much kept working on them until I was happy.  I must have written close to three albums worth of material before settling with the eight tracks on Life Love Death. It also took a long time getting the vocals right. The recording is left quite raw with minimal edits, no auto tune, bugger all effects and I didn’t bother fixing every little mistake.  You can easily lose the heart of a song from over-production.

What’s the one must have item on the rider?
Being the singer I have to have lots of water, I’ve damaged my voice in the past screaming metal and drinking and so on.  I have to take care of my voice, the rest of the boys love a couple of beers, I prefer honey bourbon.

What do you think is the hardest aspect of being in a touring band?
The costs, the amount of money it costs to tour is out of control, especially when there’s too many hands in the pie, everyone gets paid except the band…

What’s on the cards in the next few months for the band?
Rehearsals mainly, we need to get the band super tight before we do any live shows.  Contemplating whether to do a proper film clip for the yet to be released songs. I have no desire to do film clips with the band pretending to play, I don’t see the point in that. We might do some live performing clips and go from there.

The Music
Any band, album, or song that you personally credit as a major influence?
Yes heaps! …And Justice For All, Roots, Vulgar Display of Power and all the old metal bands. The first band I heard as a kid was Metallica and then Sepultura. I was a big Igor and Ulrich fan growing up as a drummer. When I started playing guitar it was more the Eagles and CCR before moving back into heavy bands.

Most prized music related item you own?
I kept all my passes from bands I’ve supported over the years. Slipknot would be up there as one of the best, I’ve also got, Sepultura, Trivium, Hatebreed, Machine head, Mudvayne and performed the Big day out with Metallica Headlining, that’s also a special one. I have them hanging in my office/studio, it gives me a good feeling to see past gigs I’ve performed. I hope I can get back to that level with The Blacken.

Last album you picked up?
That would be John Fogerty, he’s one of my favorite acts. I’ve lived my life based on his music along with Hetfield, Johnny Cash and a few others. I only listen to music that tells a story, especially the ones I can relate to.

What album is currently on high rotation?
No album but I have a mix of old school Guns N’ Roses, Metallica, Korn and some country stuff like Willie Nelson, Slim Dusty, Neil Young, and The Eagles to name a few.

What do you think of online music sharing?
I guess as long as people are listening to your music then that’s the real goal of any song-writer.

The Man
Who are your non-musical influences?
Everyday people doing it tough, I don’t care for celebrities. Things I see or hear of someone fighting against the odds or doing it tough, that influences me.

What are some of your pet peeves?
The main stream media and celebrities, I can’t watch TV and barely read anything anymore as its all garbage.

When you’re not with the band, what are you usually found doing?
Playing with my children, a bit of gardening, chopping and clearing some of my paddocks. I love chainsawing, and chopping with an axe is good exercise.

AFL or NRL?
NRL, love my League.

The Final Say
Our debut record Life Love Death, will be out 14 June 2016 through all online stores and hard copies via www.theblacken.com. Hopefully you will like it and thanks for reading.

Life Love Death: Track Listing
1. All Hail (to Live and Die)
2. Judgement Day
3. Rethink Your Life
4. Life in a Day
5. Down That Road
6. Life Love Death
7. Never Ending Black
8. Trapped in your Life

 

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