INTERVIEW: Blackout Problems

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

What up VENTS, thank you so much for being interested in what we do! Right now I feel very relaxed as I am sitting on my couch in Munich answering these questions instead of being in a van on the way to the next city to play a small and sweaty release show in support of our new record. Though I like being at home I of course would trade a lot to be able to play gigs, especially now with DARK being released I would love to see people’s reactions in a live environment.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “DRIVEBY“?

We wrote that one in Berlin with our friend Philip Koch. We sort of jammed out the push and pull feeling in the verse and came up with the chorus while playing around with one of Phil’s synthesizers. Lyrically there’s one line you’ll find easy to hold on to: I don’t get your ignorance. You can apply that to many cases, for example people who ignore or even argue against the climate crisis.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

Nothing in particular, it was more about a general feeling we had that a lot of people just don’t get how dramatic and irreversible these issues are that we are facing as a human kind when we keep doing damage to the earth.

How was the filming process and experience behind the video?

I know from Mario that it was very very cold since the location was a garage in February. Adding a bathtub full of fake blood does not really make that more comfortable and then having to get into that bathtub multiple times isn’t necessarily enjoyable to say the least but as always he killed it and we are very lucky to have a video team that is creative and willing to do everything they can to get the job done. Love to the video crew. 

The single comes off your new album Dark – what’s the story behind the title?

DARK is a word that has a very special meaning to the four of us and Sebastian, who produced the record together with us. We started out the process by defining the word DARK musically and lyrically. We still can’t really explain what it means exactly, it’s more of an invisible bond and hidden language that the five of us share. There came a time in the process when we knew what is dark and what is not dark and that is much more based on a feeling or emotion of a song or part than on instrumentation or so.

How was the recording and writing process?

It took us two full years from the first writing the session to the final master so it was quite a journey for us and as always there were barriers to push trough and logistic issues, like a fuckin pandemic, that we needed to find workarounds to but all in all it was a fantastic process to be a part of and everybody brought their best to the table and we were lucky to have the best team there to work with. Thank you Sebastian, Jan, Karan & Moritz E.

What role does Germany play in your music?

We do not have a strong relationship with our country and we aren’t patriots for sure. Looking into the history of our country can make you feel very anxious, especially when you compare certain political agendas or statements of the right wing party nowadays to those in the 1930s. You will find parallels and we feel like being a generation that has to speak up about this. We have to call out the right wing fanatics, we felt a strong need to speak on the murder of Walter Lübke and write a song about that (Murderer). We can never forget what this country looked like and stood for less that century ago because with that in mind it feels very obvious than we for sure will do everything we can to never let that be the case ever again.

How has Bring Me The Horizon and Enter Shikari influenced your music?

Those bands stand for pushing the boundaries of modern rock music and that is exactly what is needed to be done right now. It’s not even really the music it’s more the attitude, the visual component, the live shows and standing for something.

What aspect of 2020 did you get to explore on this record?

Everything from racial motivated murders to mental health issues, so pretty much everything life throws at you will somehow come out through the art you make.

Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

To me I find it much easier to draw inspiration from outside the music world. Watching Milton Martinez ride a skateboard inspires me in a way no musicians ever could so I automatically go to stuff outside the music bubble like skateboarding, art, books, food and so on, but I guess it’s different for everybody.

What else is happening next in Blackout Problems’ world?

As we are in the middle of our digital release week right now I take it day by day but I really hope we can be back to playing shows in the second half of 2021. It’s truly a dream coming true for us so we’ll do everything we can to come back as soon as possible.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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