Blacklisted Heavier Than Heaven, Lonelier Than God

Blacklisted Heavier Than Heaven, Lonelier Than God
In a short, sweet and furious package you will find Blacklisted’s newest piece of dynamite work, Heavier Than Heaven, Lonelier Than God. This album harasses your ears and mind with gritty music and vocals that can pluck heartstrings as easily as turn knuckles white. Their distinct mix of neck-breaking, head-banging hardcore on the intro of "Stations” will leave you reaching for the Oxycontin to slow down the sting. In this genre, finding differentiation of sounds can be elusive and confounding but Blacklisted have embraced their own aesthetic, making a gruelling yet entertaining parcel. "Self Explode” takes hold of these new musical elements: Southern guitar sounds and hardcore punk speed. Vocalist George Hirsch’s rage and emotion tears through the wash of distorted and harmonised guitars to bring the lonelier than God aspect ever so poignantly to the listener’s heart on "Circuit Breaker.” This album has set a benchmark for this year’s hardcore releases, one that’s going to take more HGH to compete with than even the MLB can offer.

Where does Heavier Than Heaven, Lonelier Than God fit in Blacklisted’s musical canon?
Hirsch: It fits as our latest progression. It’s where we are at in our lives, musically and personally.

The Beat Goes On was a more contemporary collection of hardcore songs. What were you trying to do with Heavier that you were unable to previously?
The Beat Goes On was to keep us on tour. It was a project that we rushed to make ourselves available to be on the road steady. At the time of making it that is what mattered most. It was a need to be on the road; I guess you could say our fascination, curiosity and from a young age, need and want for travel got the best of us. That was our means of accomplishing that and it was successful in that respect. Heavier Than Heaven holds more intensity than that; it incorporates what I mentioned but it also adds elements of needing to play music along the way. It’s not some, "hey, we are gonna go on tour and have so much fun.” It’s, "we are going on tour and we are going to play and destroy everything.”

Both "Circuit Breaker” and "Wish” stand out, partly because they are the two longest songs, but more precisely because they differ from the fast, punchy hardcore of the rest of the album. What were you trying to accomplish with these songs?
There was no goal with them. "Circuit Breaker” was written like a song falling apart/giving up on itself. Its length is a simple equation: the beginning is a Blacklisted song, plus a noisy middle part that reflects the aggression one feels when everything is coming to an end, plus a small declaration of doing whatever it takes to stay afloat in this world "by hook or by crook,” plus a detuning bass that should conjure up the mortality in us all, letting us know everything ends equals "Circuit Breaker.” The song also ends side A of the vinyl twelve-inch. "Wish” is just a song about a person coming to terms with feeling like they are completely insane and how afraid of it/themselves they are.

This isn’t the first time Blacklisted have recorded with Kurt Ballou. What brought you back?
He reminds me of Kevin Shields.

Does Ballou unearth something in Blacklisted that other producers haven’t in the past?
When our egos expand, he is quick to make us feel like the smallest people on Earth by letting us know "there is work to be done, my friends.” He lives near a great soup factory.

The lyrical content on the new record seems very dark, psychological and pensive. Why the change in perspective?
I don’t know or realise that there is a change. I just write what comes naturally. I wish I felt something else to write about but unfortunately, I do not. At the end of the rainbow there is still rain.

A lot of your lyrics are confessing your giving up and frustration with people. Have you lost faith in humanity?
I don’t think I have given up on, or lost faith in, people as much as I sometimes lose it with myself. My patience with myself is really thin. The things I think/see really disturb me; it’s been a scary few years in my life. I think that is what the album reflects. It’s a very scared person trying to figure out why they feel that way.

You also touch on being comfortable with yourself as a person. Do you think people don’t know themselves as well as they should?
I don’t know. I think everyone is his or her own worst critic.

Do you feel like the new record has ushered Blacklisted into a new stage of songwriting?
It represents an evolving emotional state of Blacklisted; I’m interested to see what we do next, or if we even make it that long. (Deathwish Inc.)