Blameshift has created enough buzz in such a relatively short amount of time as an indie band that major label attention is simply inevitable. The intense loyalty from fans nationwide around this Long Island based quartet sensation—fronted by the captivating Jenny Mann, has grown immensely since its humble beginnings approximately five years ago. During that period, the band has toured nearly non-stop across the United States, released a high quality EP entitled The Black Rose, toured some more, recorded a half dozen amazing new songs recently that the band hopes to release soon and did we mention, toured some more?
RockRevolt™ caught up with the engine that makes this machine tick, Jenny Mann, and got the skinny on what the band has in store now; including of course – their new “Fortune and Flames Tour” which kicks off TONIGHT (10/25/2012) in Philadelphia!
Interview with Jenny Mann:
Rick/RR: Jenny, it’s great to speak with you.
Jenny/Blameshift: You too Rick! It’s always a pleasure!
Rick/RR: In the true Blameshift road warrior spirit, you are getting set to leave for yet another tour. They say that “Home is where your heart is” and it seems that’s where the band lives to be – on the road performing.
Jenny/Blameshift: Definitely. We would all agree that our home is out on the road in our bus. We would rather be out on the road than anywhere else in the world.
Rick/RR: What are the one or two things you’ve come to realize are imperative to pack before you hit the road?
Jenny/Blameshift: Well, I usually pack the morning we are leaving, so I’m always going crazy trying to get everything done. On every single tour I forget something really important at home; it’s a no brainer. But, the one thing that I absolutely can’t leave home without is my pillow. I can’t sleep comfortably on any other pillow other than mine. It sounds weird, but I even bring it into hotels with me. Another thing I can’t leave home without is my laptop. I would be lost without it!
Rick/RR: What is the craziest thing you’ve witnessed or been a part of during the last several tour dates this past year?
Jenny/Blameshift: I would have to say the craziest thing I have been a part of was the last night on the 12 Stones, Digital Summer and Throwing Gravity Tour when I convinced all the guys in my band, DS and TG to dress in “drag” and get on stage for a song during 12 Stones’ set. There are pictures on our Facebook to prove it. It was by far one of the funniest tour pranks I’ve ever seen. The guys were wearing everything from my underwear to my bras to my dresses. It was a classic night!
Rick/RR: You are heading out this month on the “The Fortune and Flames Tour” with fellow East Coast rockers Dive for a set of approximately 20 dates highlighted by multiple shows with Bobaflex as well. This should be a fun tour to see live. What should fans expect from this bill?
Jenny/Blameshift: They should expect a lot of fun and a lot of tour pranks. We have been good friends with Dive for a while now and they have continuously warned us about the tour pranks they already have planned. We have been known to do some pretty crazy pranks ourselves so hopefully they are prepared for the retaliation! All joking aside, this tour is going to be a lot of fun for us. Dive is a great band and the guys are awesome; we are looking forward to the next month.
Rick/RR: You are going out to the much of the Northeast and Midwest on this run. The tour is additionally highlighted by a few stops where you’ve already made new fans and friends while you were out earlier this summer with 12 Stones, Digital Summer and Throwing Gravity. Was this by design?
Jenny/Blameshift: Why yes it was! We wanted to revisit some of the markets we played on the 12 Stones run. We look forward to seeing all the friends and fans we met over the summer again!
Rick/RR: You are touring in support of your most recent EP entitled The Black Rose which includes the single “Ghost.”
Jenny/Blameshift: Yes. This will probably be one of the last tours in support of The Black Rose EP. We will have new music very soon that we can’t wait for the world to hear.
Rick/RR: You are also playing several new songs off your upcoming release as well. What can you tell fans about the status of those new recordings right now? I can say from what I hear this is a great step forward for the band and a recording that features all of the current members of the band including Tim Barbour (guitar) and newer members Nathan Saake (drums).
Jenny/Blameshift: We have been playing four new songs for the last few months. We are really excited about these songs and wanted people to start getting familiar with them. We already have six songs recorded and head out to LA in December to record a few more. We had initially planned on releasing an EP, but now it looks like it will be a full length album. More details will be coming very soon so stay tuned.
Rick/RR: One of the songs I am eager for fans to hear is “Not Enough” which is an amazing song that captures all of the elements that makes Blameshift a standout band; great vocals and chorus, driving rhythm and passionate lyrics.
Jenny/Blameshift: Thanks! This is definitely one of our favorites as well. This song definitely encompasses everything that Blameshift is about. It’s heavy, but melodic; dark, but uplifting and full of emotion.
Rick/RR: “Revolution” is a song that really seemed to capture fan’s interest at the show in July that I was fortunate enough to attend in St. Joseph, Missouri, and is also a signature on some of the new merchandising.
Jenny/Blameshift: We have had that song in the works for a while now but this is the first time we will be releasing it. The lyrics are what make this song so powerful and that’s why we chose to use them on our t-shirts. They are available online and at shows.
Rick/RR: You’ve also recently spent time in the great state of Kentucky shooting your latest video for another new song entitled “Secrets.” Talk about that experience and when we can expect to see it?
Jenny/Blameshift: Shooting the music video for “Secrets” was an experience we won’t forget any time soon. It was truly a gift to be able to shoot in a house with so much history that was built in the 1800′s. The town of Lawrenceburg, Kentucky was so hospitable and the people were amazing. When you see the video you will see why we picked this location. It is really one of a kind.
Rick/RR: How about as a singer/songwriter? With all of your recorded efforts to date, you really seem to pour your heart and soul into your music.
Jenny/Blameshift: As a singer/songwriter, the goal is to be as honest as possible. There are always a million things in my head and things that I want to say, but the challenge is to be able to express it on paper. It is always amazing to hear how lyrics that you wrote about your own experiences can touch someone who you’ve never met before. That is the payoff for me. My goal is to make music that makes people feel something. As an artist, that is what I aim for!
Jenny/Blameshift: As an artist, I find there is a time and place for creativity. I find that being out on the road provides the most inspiration for me personally. Traveling, playing shows every night, meeting new and interesting people. Those are the things that spark ideas for me. I always have ideas, thoughts and words swirling around in my head, but they don’t always manifest themselves unless the atmosphere is right. For me, being on the road provides that atmosphere!
Rick/RR: If you could switch roles and become the interviewer, what favorite musician of yours would you interview and what one “must ask question” would you pose?
Jenny/Blameshift: I would probably interview David Grohl from the Foo Fighters. I would ask him how he came back after hitting rock bottom? Most artists would have given up on music after what he went through after Kurt Kobain died. Instead, he took all that energy and created one of the best rock bands of our time. I feel that as musicians, we hit rock bottom daily. There is always something that is trying to drag us down, but it’s the people that get back up and keep going that will have success and longevity in this business. Blameshift has recovered after hitting rock bottom so many times and that’s what makes us strong, passionate and driven. It’s made us who we are!
Rick/RR: Jenny, it has been a pleasure to catch up with you again as always. Best of luck on the tour, I’m looking forward to catching your 11.16.12 date in South Dakota! Is there anything you’d like to add?
Jenny/Blameshift: Thanks again for having me. Please check out all the tour dates on our Facebook page and come support us on this tour! We look forward to meeting all of you soon!
Rick Lindner, Journalist – RockRevolt™MagazineBlameshift on Facebook Blameshift on Twitter Blameshift on MySpace Blameshift on PureVolume