Since forming back in 2008, Leeds-based bruisers Blacklisters have been causing quite a ruckus having played shows with the likes of Melt Banana and Rolo Tomassi. Recently signed to Leeds brightest new label and home of everything good and noisy, Brew Records, we caught up with vocalist Billy Mason-Wood to get the skinny on what his band are all about...
What's your earliest musical memory?
Billy Mason-Wood: My mum used to sing 'There Aint Nothing Like A Dame' from South Pacific to me when I was little I remember that. I still know all the words.
If you could hold a recording session with any five artists, who would you choose?
Billy: Dime Bag, Tupac, Karen Carpenter, Elvis, and John Lennon, because they are all dead and wouldn’t be able to offer their opinions musical or otherwise on anything we do. Also hanging out with corpses is well metal.
You want to describe your music to a stranger on the street, who do you compare yourself to?
My mum said not to talk to strangers. So I would probably scream and run about while people looked on concerned for my well-being. This ironically would be quite an apt description of my part in our band. But I usually say things like we are very heavy, that we have a pounding rhythm section and that me and Dan (Guitars) supply all the filth. People usually think we’re really angry when they have watched us or heard us but it couldn’t be further from the truth, we are all lovely
men who like aggressive music.
You are going to live on a desert island for a year, which three albums do you take with you?
Billy: Graceland by Paul Simon because it is the greatest album ever made, Head/Pure by The Jesus Lizard because it is the greatest album ever made, Snake Magnet by Kong because it is the greatest album ever made.
Everyone has a defining music moment, one that lives on in the memory, what is yours?
Billy: There is no one defining moment that I can think of that is more defining than living in and coming from Leeds. Being involved in such a diverse music scene has had a huge effect on me and us. You have real extremes of taste and musicians that all have grown with each other, most of which were in bands with each other at some point or another. What you end up with is friends who may be on the other end of the spectrum musically but all support and influence each other.
The effect that those people, their bands and this environment have had on me and our band is unimaginable.
What is the best gig you've ever been to and why?
Billy: There have been a lot of best gigs I have ever been to. Seeing The Jesus Lizard at All Tomorrows Parties a couple of years back when they reformed or the first time I saw Shellac are both massive highlights, but I’ll go for seeing The Melvins at Leeds Met a few years ago. The reason being that I had never got them before. I always thought they were a bit over rated and a bit chump metal. But when I saw them the penny dropped and it suddenly made sense and all their albums were suddenly really good. I had been a massive idiot.
If we were to look at your MP3 player, what is the most embarrassing track or album that we'd find?
Billy: I have no embarrassing music on my mp3 player but I do have a thing for shit bands I used to listen to when I was younger that aren’t on there, like Pearl Jam and Bush, I spend most of my time annoying/impressing friends/whoever with my “impressions” of Eddie Vedder and Gavin Rossdale.
Where do you see Blacklisters in five years time?
Billy: Hopefully we’ll all own hover boards like it promised we would in Back To The Future Part II. There will be no reason for music when we have hover boards and trainers which resize themselves.
What three words would you use to describe the experience of seeing Blacklisters live?
Billy: Heroic x 3
What's next for Blacklisters?
Billy: We’re playing the Thursday night Leeds Festival (25th of August) this year on the Dance To The Radio Stage. It’s part of the Welcome to Leeds Night, which is pretty cool and hopefully will be a killer. Then in September we are part of the last Public Service Broadcast Compilation to come from Small Town America Records from Ireland. We will be doing a launch gig with Talons on the 1st of October to celebrate. In general though it’s all pretty much going to be a build up to our album that is coming out next spring. We will be touring and playing a lot and maybe some more recording just for good measure. Strong Strength.
Find the band on Facebook here!
Check out a free track from the band below: