Blaenavon is a emerging rock band from Hampshire, England, who have just released their debut record, That’s Your Lot. The trio takes their name from a sleepy Scottish town, but their music is anything but. Driving guitars carry quirky and thoughtful lyrics on their new LP, which took the band five years to complete. Now that it’s here, the boys are embarking on a US tour to share it with their fans; you can win tickets to Blaenavon‘s tour exclusively on Thrillcall!
Read our interview below with Blaenavon about the making of That’s Your Lot, their fan hotline, and collaborating with Transgressive labelmate, Marika Hackman. Full tour dates are below; download the Thrillcall app to enter for a chance to win tickets!
Thrillcall: Your debut record, That’s Your Lot, is finally out! Many bloggers characterize it as the end of the beginning of Blaenavon, where even greater things are still yet to come. How does this album release feel to you in the band?
Blaenavon: It’s a massively significant thing for us – the cherry on top of a cake that took us 5 years to bake. It’s pretty grand for us to see how wonderfully people are responding to this record, but I would definitely argue that this is just first step of a pretty tall, shiny staircase for us. I can’t wait to blast people’s brains out with the hypersonic new rhythms we’ve been working on for album 2.
TC: When you announced the new record’s release on Facebook, you mention that it was conceived in large part years before the band was official. Can you elaborate on the difference between those high school dreams and the reality of That’s Your Lot?
B: It feels great to now be considered an ‘official’ band. Is it because we’ve got a blue tick by our name? At the start we were in a lucky position, in that we were under no pressure to write hit material for an album, as the band was sort of a fun side-project to take our minds off school and college. It meant the early writing is all very natural, not at all contrived, uninhibited in length/theme/lyricism. This means the foundations of the record were always grounded in realism, whereas I worry that other bands’ music is masked a bit in pretence because they’re worried about shifting copies and paying rent. That’s Your Lot is shaped by writing purely as a means of self-expression, which is why I think it’s comes across so honestly. We dreamt that one day the songs would mean as much to others as they do to us, which seems to have become reality. That’s pretty special.
TC: You guys have been traveling for awhile, where you’re now headed to the States for a tour. What are you most looking forward to on the upcoming US shows?
B: I’m probably most excited about playing and exploring some cities that my heroes were from. With Portland and LA I get a double-whammy tour of Elliott Smith’s homes. It will also be pretty spectacular to be back in NYC as the shows we did in November were blimmin’ vibrant.
TC: There are some fun little videos on the web of Ben playing with Marika Hackman, a force all her own. Any future studio collaborations in store?
B: I played for Marika a lot promoting her Christmas EP ‘Wonderland’, which was a very lovely time for me. She’s a dream. I’m hoping she’ll return the favour this winter and maybe sing on the Christmas single I’ve been working on – ‘I Met The Devil At A Christmas Party’. It’s a duet – I want her to play the devil.
TC: Finally, I noticed that your band has a phone number for fans to contact you. I’ve seen other indie bands engaging with folks like this, but it makes me wonder: how many people go overboard with it?
B: The funny thing about ‘blaenphone’ is that since it’s been in operation, my actual phone has died. So the number all our fans have is now my actual phone number. The best thing about it is some of the art people send in. Someone drew me as if I were in Gorillaz and I adore it. Lots of people call, not expecting me to answer and then go “oh right, sorry mate.. err yeah the album’s mint. see ya” and hang up. Pretty funny. I’ve had to give out some life/break-up advice as well, which I’m not so comfortable with because I’m a bit of a screw-up in those departments.
Blaenavon US Tour
* with Circa Waves
^ with White Reaper
6/3 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Cattivo^
6/4 – Chicago, IL @ Schuba’s*
6/5 – Columbus, OH @ The Basement*
6/6 – Washington, DC @ DC9^
6/7 – Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade*
6/8 – New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge*
6/9 – Albany, NY @ The Hollow*
6/10 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Foundry @ Fillmore*
6/12 – Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios
6/13 – Seattle, WA @ Lo-Fi
6/15 – San Francisco, CA @ Swedish American Hall
6/16 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Bootleg