Blameshift On the Rise to Success
By Tiffany Razzano
During the past year, since the release of their most recent album, last May's full-length, The Test, Blameshift has shown the entire country why they're one of the next big things to come from Long Island.
Photo by BSpana Studio
Since the group was founded in 2004, Syosset's Blameshift has already traveled the country several times over, each time winning over more fans - in true grass roots fashion - with their energetic live sets, the duel vocals of Jenny Mann and guitarist Tim Barbour and their catchy, yet aggressive, hard rock. Closing in on 20,000 fans on MySpace, the group has won Taco Bell's Feed the Beat contest and has amassed other sponsors, including Crunk Energy Drink, Sullen Clothing and Bogner Amps. Last year they also captured the attention of Alternative Press magazine as a band to keep your eye on.
Produced by Michael Birnbaum and Chris Bittner (Coheed and Cambria, Straylight Run, The Sleeping,) The Test, which can be purchased on Blameshift's online store at MerchDirect.com, FYE stores across the country and Smartpunk.com, has taken the band to another level. After having their first album recorded and produced by the group's drummer, James Miller, this was the first time anyone in the band had recorded in a professional studio setting. "I don't think any of us had worked with guys of this caliber," said bassist Joe Meyer.
The group made the trek to Woodstock, living in a tiny cabin for a month, just hundreds of feet from Birnbaum's studio, in the midst of a small farm that consisted of horses, chickens, roosters, goats, pigs and llamas. "Being away from the Island and in an unfamiliar neighborhood was important to us so we could focus on the recording, and not worry about our day jobs or personal lives interfering with studio time," Meyer said. "It was a sort of working vacation, you could say."
As fans of Coheed and Cambria and The Sleeping, Blameshift hooked up with Birnbaum and Bittner through the magic of the Internet, by simply sending them an e-mail. After an initial meeting, they immediately got to work, also with the help of the Internet, by working on pre-production aspects of all songs via e-mail.
The result is an album more fluid than their first, with music and lyrics more "naturally evolved," Meyer said. The album also was a group effort for the first time, with everyone getting their say on the final result. "Some good ideas hit the cutting room floor, but so did bad ones. But that's the compromise you make when you have five individuals bringing five different ideas to rehearsal."
Despite their travels, Blameshift is also well versed in the local music scene on Long Island and has found itself playing alongside many different bands on many different stages. "I don't think that the scene on the Island is as limited as we think," Meyer said. "[But] we made a promise to ourselves to not let the Island suck us in. We see a lot of bands come and go in this place that have potential, but never seem to get off the Island. That's why we have made it a point to tour as much as possible. It gives us an opportunity to see what the scene is like in so many other towns."
He added, "We would like to think that we could fit in with anybody's scene - either here on the Island, or on the West Coast, even in the Midwest. But we'd also like to make music that will evolve with the changing times. Trends come and go at the drop of a hat. We want people to remember us in five years as good songwriters and solid musicians and not simply just another flash-in-the-pan scene band making a quick buck off the exploitation of disenchanted youth."
And Blameshift is proving just that. While on yet another tour of the nation - with a new single, "The Sirens Are Set," produced by Birnbaum and Bittner in April, set to be released in early May - the group shows no signs of stopping.
"We'd like to make music that people will always remember, and will hopefully evolve and transcend the trends," Meyer said. "This band was started with intentions to take over your ears and eyes, and we're a super hard-working band." When it comes to promoting its music and booking shows, the group does a lot of footwork, keeping control of the band as a business entity, he said. "That's super important when trying to make a life-long career out of any kind of artistic or musical endeavor. Which we plan to do, of course."
To learn more about Blameshift, visit www.myspace.com/blameshift.
Published May 13, 2008
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