Originally forming in 2006, pop-rockers Blitz Kids are starting to make quite a name for themselves. The four-piece have been seen supporting the likes of Mayday Parade, Tonight Alive and Lower Than Atlantis as well as appearing at Download and Slam Dunk Festival in 2011 and 2013. After a year of heavy touring with names such as Mallory Knox and All Time Low, Blitz Kids embark on their own headline tour with Natives and Scholars as support. Their new album, The Good Youth, is their latest release since 2012 and is already proving to be a hit with the old fans as well as being the starting point for some new Blitz fanatics. The name Blitz Kids has been seen on many festival line-ups over the summer including Methyr Rock and Slam Dunk. They’re no strangers to the world of live performance, but this tour will be their biggest headlining tour to date. We caught up with front man Joey James to see what’s going on with Blitz Kids.
Your new album The Good Youth has been really successful, did you expect the success it has had?
No, not really. We’d hoped it would be good but I guess you never know really. You just stick it out there and hope people like it but all of us put everything into this record, there’s nothing more we could have done at that time. Thankfully, people seem to really like it!
What part of the album are you most proud of?
We all like different parts of the album. There’s a song called ‘Roll The Dice’ which I’m quite proud of. Originally it was just a chorus idea that wasn’t going to get used. We’d started celebrating finishing the album in the hot tub with some beers like, “we’re finished!” and then we had another idea of how to finish it, so we went back in to the studio half-cut and we’re really happy with how it went.
You’ve released EPs and albums, which was your favourite release?
I think the Never Die EP. Just because it was the first time that we’d done something with Matt as a four-piece. It was a real rejuvenation; it gave us a new lease of life. It was just us locked away in a cabin in the middle of nowhere with no WIFI, no reception and it was really good.
How did you guys meet? What brought you together?
Well I met Nic at primary school when I was 4 or 5 then I met Jono at high school then we met Matt because we toured with him – he came and played one of our local venues. We played a show with his old band and we were like ‘wow, these guys are wicked’ and we always wanted him to be our drummer, then that band broke up and we needed a drummer. It just works really well since he’s joined – its always existed at this level before that and then since he’s joined its just taken off.
What inspires you to create the music you create?
I think we just want to write music, we just want to be a band. We write stuff that we think is going to be fun for us to play live. So energetic, heavy or catchy music to get people singing along to it. That’s what it’s all about for us – everything we do is for that medium.
Your lyrics can be quite deep, are they influenced by things in your personal life?
Yeah, I used to be more conscious of hiding my feelings and writing about other stuff. I was into a lot of music like Brand New and Thrice as I was growing up and I’d listen to the lyrics. What I got from it was they weren’t telling their own story they were telling other people’s, which interested me. I was very young and I didn’t really want to put all my cards out on the table. I think on this record especially, I felt more comfortable and I felt ready to express myself in that way and it’s been really well received.
Do you think changing labels did anything for you or changed you in any way?
Maybe, I mean it wouldn’t have changed us but I think maybe it changed the ambition of the whole project because Hassle were a great label for breaking us as a band. Most of the other bands on their roster were a bit more experimental and cooler. When we gave them the demos for the latest album they said ‘we don’t really think this will fit with the rest of the bands in the label’, so it was better for us to go our separate ways. Luckily Red Bull had been keeping an eye on us.
What’s your favourite band that you’ve toured with to date?
Mallory Knox because they’ve become really close mates of ours. We didn’t really know them before we went and we ended up hitting it off so well. The tour was about three weeks in total and we just made lifelong friends. Now we just give each other shit constantly and I think people probably think that we hate each other, but it’s actually because we love each other so much that we can give each other that much shit.
Do you still get nervous going on stage?
No not really. I’d like to know the exact number of how many shows I’ve played in my life because I think it’s probably in the thousands now. It feels normal now in a weird way. If somebody I know hasn’t seen us before or if a family member is there then there’s a bit of pressure and I might get a few butterflies!
If you could work with any artist or band or producer who would you work with?
I think if I could work with any producer I’d really like to work with Rick Rubin or Pharrell Williams because he did that Fall Out Boy record and that was really cool. I’d quite like to collaborate with Paramore too. I think if I was going to do a collaboration with anyone it would have to be a female singer or someone like Marmozets.