The Blinders have always stood out from their peers.
An indie group whose songwriting touches on societal concerns, their left-leaning viewpoints open up seldom heard conversations.
The band's debut album was a thrilling underground success, leading to a series of storming, inspirational live shows.
Lead singer Thomas Haywood spearheads their forward momentum, and The Blinders will release their second album shortly.
It's a project fuelled by righteous anger, and a deeply held fear about the dystopian direction the country is moving in.
“These are some of our darkest and bitterest fears put into writing and music… to almost eradicate them by having them in music form,” he says. “It can sometimes be borderline misanthropic, it’s losing faith in humanity completely.”
Ahead of the release, Clash sat down with The Blinders to chat cultural touchstones...
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Literature has always been a big part of the band and we’re always seeking new literary influences. Getting into the beat writers around the time of 'Columbia' gave us a big awakening and we aim to take a lot from the prose the likes of Ginsberg and Kearouc used.
I’m currently working my way through, By Grand Central Station I sat Down and Wept by Elizabeth Smart which documents her love for the poet George Baker. What you get is this stream of incredibly intense but rather beautiful poetry. It reminds me almost of the way Lolita is written in parts.
I was recently captivated by John Le Carre’s The Spy Who Came in From the Cold. I’ve hit a bit of a brick wall with things I’ve been trying to pick up of late, reading a bit of something and then moving on to the next but this was the antidote to that, I could barely put it down so I’m just debating where to go to next with that series having started it a few books in.
It’ll have to be Twin Peaks. We were spending long days in the studio while recording 'Fantasies...' and this ended up being the thing we’d stick on at the end of the night to unwind. I think every band has a phase of wanting to sound track a David Lynch piece and we certainly swayed that way at points.
Rob also introduced me to The League Of Gentlemen during our time in the studio. It was filmed not too far away from the studio and I wasn’t understanding the references people were throwing about. I love that dark sinister humour. When I think of the character I had in mind when writing the song that was originally 'Fantasies of a Stay at Home Psychopath' I can imagine him living in Royston Vasey.
Psycho had a significant impact on the album. Again the character Norman Bates really connected with the Stay at Home Psychopath character that we were toying with and suddenly things were starting to fall into place. Film’s a bit of a tough one. I’ve been avoiding anything too serious, too heavy. I did however enjoy Spike Lee’s new film Da 5 Bloods. It gets a bit daft but it’s worth the watch.
I recently had Bad Seeds TV on, it's a continuous loop of Bad Seeds videos and I just had it on in the background. A lyric video for the track 'Ghosteen' came on and I was stopped in my tracks. The album came out while we were in the studio so it took me a while to really get into it. I’ve just put the album on now as I write and I’m being balled over by its beauty.
The new Pottery album is also getting a lot of love from me. They’re very high up the list of bands to see once that’s a thing again. I can only imagine that it’d be a ball.
I’ve recently become the proud owner of a ‘proper’ cocktail shaker by which I mean it came with all the gizmos you see in proper places so it was a bit more upmarket than the one we used as a pint glass in our student house. I’m getting myself into espresso martini’s in a big way.
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The Blinders will release new album 'Fantasies Of A Stay At Home Psychopath' on July 17th.
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