eGigs catches up with Blitz Kids

interview with Nic Montgomery & Matt Freer on Tuesday 29 April 2014

Blitz Kids is a name that all rock fans should be becoming familiar with. Having supported the likes of Mallory Knox and All Time Low in recent months, and releasing new album 'The Good Youth' in January, the band appear destined for great things. They are already booked for the likes of Sonisphere, Slam Dunk and British Summer Time festivals this year and fans should get used to seeing their name higher and higher on such bills.

The band are now midway through a headline run of dates, which tonight sees them appearing at Epic Studios in Norwich. Prior to the show eGigs had the opportunity to catch up with the band's rhythm section in the form of bassist Nic Montgomery and drummer Matt Freer.

You guys are halfway through your tour, how's it going so far?

Nic: Yeah, really good! We didn't know what to expect.

Matt: It's always like that when you announce a headline tour. There's a fear that no one is going to turn up. But all the shows have been great, really good turn outs.

You've mostly been supporting other bands recently, does it feel good to be headlining again?

Matt: Usually I prefer support shows as you're guaranteed a decent crowd, picking up more fans, but after this tour I'm enjoying headlining more. I get to play a long set which is hard to get used to, but it's great because everyone there knows the songs and gets really into it. I just come off stage feeling that much better.

Nic: Plus everyone's really excited to see you.

Out of your recent support slots, who have you most enjoyed touring with?

Nic: All Time Low, all around Europe.

Matt: It was unbelievable.

Nic: They're really good guys as well. I mean you think of All Time Low as such a big band, they've been doing it for so long, that you don't know whether you're going to get there and they're like “don't look at the singer and your dressing room will be the building down the road” and all that. But no, literally on the first day they all came in and introduced themselves and we got on pretty well really. Plus their shows were massive which was good.

You released 'The Good Youth' in January, how have you found the reaction to the album?

Matt: Yeah it's been amazing. It's been really overwhelming how well it's gone down.

Nic: Especially around the album release shows as well. We were going to do just one show but then we decided to do four in the end and sold them all out again so that was another pleasant surprise. We thought maybe we were spreading ourselves too thin and maybe we should have just done a north and a south but covered all the bases and it worked out very well.

You recorded 'The Good Youth' in Los Angeles with John Feldmann. How was that for you?

Matt: Unbelievable! It was one of those pinch me moments. We went over there and did it in six weeks in the sunshine and it was October as well so we got to stay away from the English winter.

Nic: It was really good. John is probably one of the strangest people we've worked with but there's method in the madness and all that. He's a really good dude and he's a hard worker.

Matt: He's like a father figure, in a strange way.

Nic: He was a bit. You found yourself wanting to please him. He'll come in and he'll be like “this songs crap” and you're like “damn I must to do better tomorrow”.

And your obviously pleased with the results.

Nic: Big time! When you go to john you know what to expect. At the time we went out we'd done some demos already and taken them across but we went with the mind to write a lot of songs there with him as well. So yeah it came out pretty good.

Matt: His production's just silly!

Nic: He just knows what he's doing doesn't he. The guys got it down.

You've actually been together for quite some time, do you finally feel that your getting the recognition you deserve?

Nic: Too long some would say! We've been a band for a very long time but I mean Matt's only been with us for just over a year and a half now and we always consider that the real start. We were a different band before basically. Before we went and did the album, even before the 'Never Die' EP, which is the first thing Matt played on we were sort of ready to call it quits. But then we got Matt in and got rid of a couple of losers and then yeah we've taken it from there and think that it's a new era. We've got a better ethos now and are a bit more hard working so there's a bit more recognition with that aspect. We're working harder so we're starting to see results now, whereas before it was a bit of a piss about. So yeah, hard work pays, even when you're in LA in the sunshine for six weeks.

So there was a time in which you almost called it quits?

Nic: Yeah, like I say before that 'Never Die' EP I went back to work and sort of called it a day and I think the rest of the guys did that as well. But we trimmed out a couple of the members and we parted ways with them and at the exact same time Matt's band ended.

Matt: Yeah we'd just called it quits.

Nic: So we cherry picked Matt and we went in and did that EP and everything felt good again. I quit the job and we've done pretty well since then.

Matt: It's been busy since that point; I haven't been home in ages!

When playing live you largely ignore your early material, is that the reason?

Nic: Yeah I mean that's sort of a conscious decision as well. Like I said we sort of take this era of Blitz Kids from the 'Never Die' EP so that's the furthest we're willing to go back.

Matt: We did a tour in September, a headline run, where fans picked the set list and I think that was the final send off for the old songs, so it's a new era now.

Nic: The album came out in January and we are very eager to play the new stuff. We've been playing the old songs for six years or something so it's always nice to change it up. I know the fans want to hear the old stuff but we don't necessarily want to play the old stuff forever. We're going to be playing some of them forever already.

You guys are pretty active on social media, how important an outlet is that for bands?

Matt: I think it's very important. It's huge. It's one of the biggest parts now. I remember when we started bands when we were younger, we didn't really have that thing until Myspace came along so I think it's so important for getting your name out there and interacting with your fan base as well as interacting with other bands. It's priceless I think.

Nic: Yeah big time. It's sort of cementing with your fans as well. It's a direct line from me to you.

Matt: it's like when I was growing up; I could never get in touch with my favourite bands. It was literally their website, their music, and go to the show and that was it. Now you can interact with members of bands.

Nic: You can form friendships with fans and stuff and it solidifies friendships. Now you can go in and have street teams and that sort of stuff and before it wasn't really possible.

Something else that you guys do is your tour documentaries. Are they another way for you to connect with your fans?

Nic: Yeah, our friends basically have a production company and they're pretty much with us the whole time. It was something that I think Red Bull Records were eager to do, to have this behind the scenes aspect of pretty much everything we do. That helps again with the fan interaction as they see us as people not like the big smoke and mirrors thing.

Matt: They can see bands as normal people. It's not like “they're on stage and we're down here”, everyone is the same level.

Given that we are the sister website of eFestivals, I'd like to ask you about festivals. You are booked for some pretty big ones this summer, are there any in particular that stand out for you?

Nic: I'm personally excited about Slam Dunk again this year. It's always a right knees up.

Matt: Sonisphere obviously as well, its going to be huge.

Nic: And we go to Groezrock next weekend which I'm super excited about.

Matt: Yeah, i've always wanted to go to that and its all the bands from my childhood, Descendents, Alkaline Trio, The Offspring, The Hives, Bayside!

You're also playing Hyde Park are you not?

Nic: With Black Sabbath, that's going to be really good. We do Sabbath on the Friday and then Sonisphere on the Saturday and then something secret still on the Sunday, so it's going to be a very good weekend.

Matt: Then we've got Nova Rock in Austria and that'll be really good.

Do you get to explore much at festivals and if so, are there any bands you really want to see this summer?

Matt: Groezrock! We're going for the whole weekend, we may just play a ten minute set so we can see other people.

Nic: Yeah, we play on the Saturday but we arrive on the Friday because if we don't see Descendents then I'll kill myself.

Matt: Apart from that I'm really excited about Deftones and Slayer at Sonisphere.

Nic: Oh and David Hasslehoff is at Nova Rock, we'll definitely be checking him out. He's like a big deal over there still, a huge deal. I'm going to have to Youtube some songs though.

Thanks for taking the time out and speaking with us, if there anything you'd like to add?

Matt: See you at all the festivals!

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article by: Paul Barnes

published: 29/04/2014 14:57

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