Why and how did BLACKOUT RAGE get started?
Whitey: Blackout Rage was really born in 10th grade when Pauly slept over at my house and we moshed in my basement to the new Hellfest 2000 DVD and the Throwdown- You Don't Have to Be Blood to Be Family record (You can see me singing along on the back of that record at Hellfest 2000). Since then a friendship forged while moshing to bands like One Nation Under, Earth Crisis and The Promise, has been through ups and downs of being roommates at war with one another and slamming low carb monster drinks together. The day after Edgeday 2008 while hanging on Newbury street in Boston, I talked to Tomdom and Pat Benson from Forfeit about doing a straight edge band with Pauly singing. Originally I was going to go for more of a Chorus of Disapproval sound but we ended up with something more metallic. Over a couple weeks in January 2009 Tomdom and Ben from Forfeit and I came up with the songs and Our buddy Karl Buechener helped us out with the name and some lyrical guidance.
Pauly: Blackout Rage was born in a backlash against what hardcore has turned into in recent years. It's sickening to know that the haven that I found escape in early on has turned into a bunch of expensive shoe, hat, clothes wearing judgemental pieces of shit. This band was born to be hated.
Obviously this is quite a step away from what you and Paulie were doing in Meltdown was that the plan?
Whitey: If you ever saw Meltdown you know that Pauly liked to mention Straight Edge on stage but the band as a whole was far from Edge. He wanted to talk about a lot of things that the band didn't really as a whole stand for. Neither of us ever had the chance to do the outspoken Straight edge band that we wanted to, so our desire was to follow that instead of doing a repeat of Meltdown. Meltdown was the result of a lot of people with different ideas. Some people in the band wanted there to be shirts about smoking weed or with anti God messages that not everyone in the band stood for. Blackout Rage is a little more unified in what we are doing from the music to the message.
What is BLACKOUT RAGE all about?
Whitey: Blackout Rage is about being sick of a lot of things in hardcore. A lot of people want to tell you that being into punk or hardcore is about being yourself. However, that only goes as far as being yourself doesn't conflict with what the majority in hardcore or punk deem acceptable. I always liked that in hardcore you would get all these people from all of these different places saying what they thought. Do I relate to being a Hare Krishna or think it is the best path? No, but I love 108, Shelter and Cro-Mags and respect that they are speaking from where they come from and not trying to conform. In the hardcore scene saying things like you believe in God or have more conservative leaning political views can make you an outcast and have nerds on message boards calling for your blood. We are about not apologizing for who we are. As a band we express that through being outspokenly straight edge and playing the kind of music we enjoy, not the sound that will put us on top. Personally Pauly and I believe in God and are more conservative leaning, so from us personally and not necessarily the whole band that gets expressed when you hear Pauly yelling "American Straight Edge"(yes, we do think there SOME problems with America, we aren't idiots.) and "guided by Yahweh". Another thing that we aim to bring attention in our next material is the worship of some sort of criminal/gang culture in hardcore. This bottomfeeder crap is something we really don't stand for.
Pauly: Blackout Rage came out of the gate hated and that's the way we will stay. We want to come back to the same sort of shock and hate that Earth Crisis, Youth of Today and Tyrant experienced when they first appeared on the scene. You either love us and support what we are doing, or you absolutely hate us and want us to never play again. The records will continue to come, the issues will continue to be addressed and we will continue to be a "seeker of truth" in a hardcore scene that is brainwashed by what you wear, who you know and how fast you will cut your neighbors throat. As for us being a Christian band, we are not entirely uniform in our faith. It makes me laugh that the new Trapped Under Ice record references the "maker of life" and Freddy Madball tells us "only G.O.D. I look up to" and brainless hardcore kids STILL have the nerve to crucify us for having faith or asking questions about beliefs. If these brainwashed fools looked a little closer and saw that bands like Madball, 108, Cro Mags, Merauder, and Trapped Under Ice all have some type of religious or spiritual questions or faith, they'd eat their words faster then they could post their "old school" playlists on twitter. Fuck all of the sheep.
BLACKOUT RAGE has taken a much harder stance on straightedge than a lot of bands out there today, what is it about the world today that motivated such a response from you guys in terms of BLACKOUT RAGE message?
Whitey: Well we took a lot of inspiration from the Judge and their idea of giving people something to hate. When put in the position of feeling alienated for what we think and a hostility against us, we push back. We don't hate people that aren't Straight Edge. Our buddy Ben Shaw who helped us do writing for the 7inch on drums isn't Straight Edge. The song Straight Edge Holy War? We don't believe we should be out there killing people who aren't Edge or anything ridiculous, the war is internal. Not everyone in the band is a Christian but I will point to how the Bible says "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world". It come down to, again, us not apologizing for who we are. We aren't going to be another band afraid to say we are Straight Edge and think it is a great choice. We aren't going to hide that drunk driving and substance abuse are evil things that need to obliterated to avoid offending someone.
Pauly: Blackout Rage was built on disappointment, sadness, anger, hatred and disbelief of the all the sellouts and the lack of respect, integrity and decency of so much of the hardcore scene these days. I see the infection in hardcore becoming worse and worse, so you can expect more records from us on Seventh Dagger for years to come.
Why did you guys want to release your record on Seventh Dagger?
Whitey: Seventh Dagger appealed to us for the one main reason. Both Blackout Rage and Seventh Dagger stand for an intense, in your face Straight Edge message. No other label out there really communicated that as a label. We wanted to come out the gate and have have people feel one way or the other about the band. We wanted to appeal to the Straight Edge maniacs and not the nerds on the Bridge 9 board. We wanted to say things people wouldn't like and would make us hated in some circles. Seventh Dagger is not PC and doesn't try to water down it's Straight Edge message so it is obviously a perfect fit.
Pauly: I met Danny on tour with Earth Crisis last year. He is a hard working, blue collar American like myself. He's a great dad and a great business man. He's real and edge for life. I can trust Danny to never sell out and that's why we will forever be affiliated with Seventh Dagger. He loves what we bring to the straight edge war and we love what we see in him.
What are you guys plans for 2009-2010 not that the record is out?
Whitey: With the record coming out we are finally gearing up to play shows. You can expect to see us a lot this winter. We will be coming to the areas like Buffalo and Cincinnati and trying to connect with other like minded edgemen. We have more songs written after the 7inch was recorded so we will be figuring out what to do with those and get kids some more material. Expect us to be saying things people don't want hear all year in 2010. Blackout Rage- I live forever true.
Pauly: No one in this band will ever sell out. EVER. See you on the road