I fondly remember the day 16 year old me came home from school, switching on the TV to semi-ironically watch mother of the nation Erin Simpson attempting to capture the young teen demographic, only to be aurally assaulted by a technical death metal band called Blindfolded and Led to the Woods.
It seemed like a mistake, yet it kind of didn’t. “The Erin Simpson Show” was for kids, but it also made obvious attempts at being “cool”. They had a live three-piece indie band for example, who played rockin’ tunes from a mezzanine before each ad break and they had a catchy theme song you could buy on iTunes.
Turns out however that it was a mistake. Stu who plays guitar and writes the songs for Blindfolded explains.
So you were on the Erin Simpson Show… What happened next?
I think that the main thing that came from that was the worldwide recognition that kind of came out of nowhere. The video got shared by some of those really big websites like metal injection and loudwire, and it’s appeared in a couple of top 10 lists since then that have gotten like millions of views, so it kind of like went a bit crazy.
We’ve actually played with a lot of international bands from around the world and they all kind of know who we are which is really weird, so it was definitely a worthwhile thing looking back on it
How did it happen?
So we were practicing behind whitebait studios which was Jason Gunns kind of TV studio place and they heard a band practicing which wasn’t us, they were like an indie band or something, and the producer came round to the storage sheds and she was looking at that band. We kind of realized what was going on so we kind of like lied to her and said we were that band and then agreed to go on the show.
And thne obviously the show happened and like it’s filmed in such a way that once it’s filmed it goes on air the next day so they couldn’t go back on it, it had to go on TV the next day, and it was just really awkward aye laughs
That’s crazy it was genuinely a really good thing for your band’s career
Yeah man we ended up having a distribution deal with a record label in texas and some other really kind of random things that came about not long after that as well which was really cool.
So since then you opened for Dillinger Escape Plan…
Yeah we did the whole tour with Dillinger Escape Plan and then we recently did a tour with Revocation from the states who were just absolutely awesome, we played with Sepultura as well and that was really massive, probably the biggest gig we’ve ever done. Just about a thousand people or something like that.
Over the last couple of years since that video we’ve kind of managed to play with some of our heroes which was been really awesome, some bands that I’ve grown up listening to and then from putting in the hard yards we’ve been able to play with some of those bands. Yeah the last few years have been really exciting, we’ve released a couple of albums now and almost finished writing the next one. Currently had some label interest and things like that but we’ve kind of turned everything down and just remained unsigned, which is kind of an interesting choice but I think these days there’s not like a hell of a lot that we aren’t doing ourselves. Kind of liking that independence, but who knows what the future will hold. If the right thing happened we’ll do it but we’re in no rush to sign to anything you know.
We’d really like to hit Japan and Europe next year if we can make that kind of thing happen you know.
So the music is very technical… How do you write that sort of music?
I kind of have always approached music… It’s hard to explain, one of my biggest things that I want to achieve with the music we’re making is for it to not sound like anyone else, and I kind of ignored any sort of inspiration just in case I end up accidentally plagiarizing someone else’s music. I try to go in with a completely open mind and create something that if I were a listened I would want to hear. I don’t want to sound like other kind of death metal bands, I want to bring something new to the table. And then the other guys come together and we kind of hash out the ideas that I have and I kind of write out the songs on the old guitar pro program so we kind of have a baseline, and then they kind of figure themselves out in kind of the natural way. So it’s really nice for us and we’ve got a good dynamic because we’re all kind of best friends.
Yeah because your bands been a thing for like eight years
Yeeah around that, so it’s been definitely a long time. And three of us went to school together and played in a couple of bands before Blindfolded and then one thing led to another and a couple more members joined and we’ve just been a solid unit since.
Is this your first time playing Dunedin?
We’ve played dunedin a few times now it’s just not somewhere we get to as much as we’d like, we just end up playing a lot of shows up North which just end up taking a lot of time.
What’s the live experience like? What should we expect?
In the time that we’ve been going we’ve kind of grown to really want like a connection with the people that we’re there playing with from the stage to the crowd and just one thing we vibe off is just massive amounts of positivity, and a lot of really brutal metal takes itself really seriously and we kind of do the opposite you know, we’re just all about having a good time and making sure everyone else is having a good time and really just throwing a nice party.
And then obviously the music we play is really sporadic, it’s quite unhinged and really intense, so it kind of keeps people on their toes as well. I like to think we put on a really energetic performance and we kind of get a bit crazy so yeah, just craziness and good times, party times.
People should come along, if it’s something they’ve never kind of seen before I think this gig would be a really good way for someone who’s maybe through about going to a metal show but never done it, I think it’d be a really good way to kind of ramp into something new you know? In an environment where everyone’s kind of accepted and just wants to have a good time, my personal philosophy anyone is just come down and have good a time.