Heavy rock vocalist, songwriter and guitarist MICK BLANKENSHIP hasreleased “Transcend the Machine,” the first video from his full-length debut solo album CROWN OF APATHY, which he co-produced with Disturbed bassist John Moyer. In the video, MICK portrays a character who becomes a messenger to warn the people of the consequences of social media and politics. Watch the video here: https://youtu.be/PekEJIHxY_k.
The Dayton, OH-based artist wrote and recorded all of the music on the recently released CROWN OF APATHY apart from guests on various tracks including Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal on “Eye for an Eye”. Listen to CROWN OF APATHY via Spotify here. *See Mick’s Q & A below for insight on the new album, single, and video.
Previously, MICK was the lead vocalist for War of Change and a successful Stone Temple Pilots tribute band, STP2. After viewing a YouTube video of Mick covering Stone Temple Pilots song, STP guitarist Dean DeLeo calledMICK personally to praise him for his work as the front man of tribute band STP2.
This Friday, July 13, MICK BLANKENSHIP will be playing the Gift Of Sight Benefit at the Courtyard Lounge in Englewood, OH (9-10pm). This benefit supports Nicholas Roberts–who has been essentially blind since birth–and his quest for new technology that will allow him to see with 20/20 vision. For more information regarding the show:
In other news, MICK has been endorsed by GHS Guitar Strings and is currently locking up new tour dates later this summer.
MICK BLANKENSHIP Q&A:
1. Can you talk a little about your recently released album CROWN OF APATHY? What would you like people to take away from listening to the album?
Crown of Apathy is rabbit hole into my mind. A glimpse that leads back to my past good and bad. When I wrote the album, I had much to say, I just didn’t know how to express what I felt in a way a common person even begin to understand. So, I used music to tell the story. I have been through hell but I am still standing. Which is the attitude of the album. The title is a metaphor for the weight that I carry from the scars–when you’re so numb that you want to care but you just can’t no matter how hard you try. It feels like a punishment of sorts.
2. Disturbed’s John Moyer co-produced the album “Crown of Apathy.” What was it like working with him?
John is one of the most humble down to earth rock stars I have ever met! He is kind and patient with his musicians. John’s greatest gift, in my opinion, is the ability to help musicians find their self. Before I met John, I was just a guy who could sing. A guy who could clone just about any singer I channeled. I had no idea who I was as a singer though. John was very “father like” in the way of tearing me down and building back up. It wasn’t all peaches and cream in the studio but when it was over, John was right. It tore down a wall that was hindering me from coming into my own. I am very grateful to have worked with such a talented man who is now a great friend who I can count on.
3. What was it about “Transcend the Machine” that made you choose the song for a video?
It is just a catchy swingy tune that is very relatable to today’s generation. Especially our youth and what we have become as a culture. The song just feels good! We love to play it and it just never seems to get old. I believe in timeless music and not everyone can pull it off but if I were gonna put my money on one song it would TTM. It also happens to be John Moyer’s favorite song! It was a general consensus between family, friends and my management that it was “THE ONE.”
4. What was your vision for the “Transcend the Machine” video and how did it come to life?
To give a musical perspective on how technology has affected today’s culture. In the video I portray a character that becomes a messenger to warn the people of the consequences of social media and politics. We are a very divided country right now and I believe that technology and the human condition are the direct result of that! I see it as a disease or “social screen disease” if you will. I hope the song encourages people to rise above the machine and transcend the very thing that consumes them.
5. What have been some of your biggest musical influences?
I have a lot.
Vocally, it’s a strange twist of Geoff Tate, Scott Weiland, Layne Stayley, Chris Cornell, Brendan Urie, Sebastian Bach, Phil Anselmo, and James Hetfield. I think if you listen you can hear them all in my music.
Guitar-wise, Dimebag, Noah Henson, Dan Donegan, Clint Lowery and Zakk Wylde. Bass-wise it is Joel Bruyere, Cliff Burton, Eddie Jackson and Robert DeLeo.
Drum wise, Vinnie Paul, Lars Ulrich, Mike Mangini, Morgan Rose and Alex Van Halen. Some of my top bands include: Queensryche, Sevendust, Disturbed, Breaking Benjamin, Stone Temple Pilots, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden and Led Zeppelin.