The Blacklist Union are prepared to unleash their fourth studio album ‘Back to Momo’ on July 10th. I spoke with lead singer and band founder Tony West about what inspired the new material, including why he named the record after an infamous massage parlour renowned for their extra attention to detail…
The Blacklist Union are part of a dying breed – true outlaw rock n’ roll. Inspired by bands like Aerosmith, Tony West is not shy about what he thinks of the current generation of pop and rock stars and why he thinks he’s one of the last guys carrying the rock torch from better days left behind. We spoke about his lyrical inspiration for some of the new tracks, why Nickelback is bullshit, which singer that he dated was “crazy” and if he gave a shit about naming a track on the new record with the same title as one of Taylor Swift’s most popular new tracks.
Keven: You’ve said before that the classic breed of enigmatic frontman is dying and that your goal is to rectify that. What pisses you off most about rock guys like Chad Kroeger who you’ve specifically called out?
Tony: Chad Kroeger is a tool he can apply at K-Mart or Taco Bell and get a job. There’s nothing rock star about that guy to me.
Keven: You pride yourself as being an outlaw rock singer but you’ve also said that you’ve toned it down as compared to your younger days living as a kid in Hollywood. What’s the one thing that you’ve ceased doing that you wish you could still do now but just don’t anymore?
Tony: Party every single day but I’ve actually worked through most of my pain and am just not obsessed to do that anymore.
Keven: When you say you’ve dated every chick in Hollywood I feel like you’re probably not exaggerating, your music certainly can attest to that. Was there ever a ‘bad’ experience with some girl that you just look back at and think to yourself, what the fuck was I thinking?
Tony: There are many bad experiences with women in Hollywood; specifically I dated this girl named Inger Lorre* who is this musician chick; she’s nuts, threatened to stab me.
Also, I married Cat Woman off of Hollywood Boulevard for 3 days, which was a huge mistake!
* Inger Lorre (above) is the singer of The Nymphs and Motel Shootout.
Keven: ‘Back to Momo’ is named after a massage parlour but I’m assuming there’s more to that place than just backrubs. What kind of shit happened to you where you felt the need to name the new record after it?
Tony: Rather than dealing with a whole bunch of horseshit and Facebook posts, girls calling my Mom or my ex-Wife or what-have-you. I figured going to a whorehouse is much less drama than anything else because you are going to pay one-way or the other!
Keven: Your last album was heavily influenced by the deaths of those close to you, what are the main influences this time around?
Tony: The main influences on the ‘Back To Momo’ record are about having a good time and letting go of pain. Then enjoying your life rather than being weighed down by all kinds of life things like death, breakups and other negative stuff like that.
Keven: Shake it Off. Great track and so much better than that annoying piece of shit with the same name, was there any discussion about re-naming the track even though one of the most played songs in the country carried that same title?
Tony: I never listened to any song called “Shake It Off”…I’ve heard about it but haven’t had the displeasure of hearing it at all; so there was never any discussion of renaming a track because of some pop-stars stupid fucking song!
Keven: Who is Superjaded about? Tell me about the inspiration behind that standout track?
Tony: “Superjaded” is about the whole town of Los Angeles really. Going through the ringer, walking through whatever life throws at you. You know, just eventually having it take it’s toll on your soul.
Keven: Which song on ‘Back to Momo’ was the hardest to write and the most emotionally draining for you therapeutically?
Tony: “Meet Me On Zen Street”; I actually went away on this spiritual retreat with the music of that song and the intention of writing the melody and lyrics, which I obviously did. It was extremely therapeutic for me as well as a very spiritual song.
Keven: Your music is so entrenched in the classic rock sense that it may be hard to go over the mainstream who is still hypnotized by a primarily pop and hip hop influence, what is your plan of attack?
Tony: Our plan of attack is Aerosmith’s plan of attack, which is; let the music do the talking.
Keven: If you could push a button to kill what you deem to be the main problem that this world has in terms of music right now – what would it be?
Tony: I think the main problem with the music in the world right now is all these people that don’t write their own songs and are soulless having 10 people write and produce them. When you look at people like Queen, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and The Rolling Stones…they have written their music. I think people can tell what’s fake and what’s genuine without even knowing…they just know instinctively.
Check out Keven’s review of ‘Back to Momo’ by clicking the below album cover: