Today’s Feature, January 4th-5th: Blind Rhetoric

January 5, 2008 at 4:36 pm (Today's Feature)

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The name of your band is important. Very important. And there is no formula to devising such a thing – some bands name their act after an angry gym teacher, others after their favorite food. And then you have Blind Rhetoric, a band that developed their designation out of lifestyle. They describe themselves as “what is spoken, with no ulterior motive. What you see is what you get.”

And what you get is something novel and inventive. Blind Rhetoric exclusively occupies its own genre without even trying. It isn’t much of a surprise to hear about such originality if you’ve learned about the distinctive musical tastes of lead singer Brian Wade, guitarist Kevin Molitor, bassist Justin Temple and drummer Ben Zamzow. Blind Rhetoric finds itself well-rounded by their influences, ranging from the hip-hop beats of Jay-Z and The Roots to the alternative styling of Silverchar, the innovative melodies of The Cure and the classic sound of Eric Clapton.

Their first EP, “The Clockwork,” is a tribute to these authorities, boasting “depth and song structure that isn’t present in a lot of mainstream contemporary rock music as well as a soaring vocal quality that is vastly different from what is heard on the radio.” The songs on the collection were written as if for a movie soundtrack, containing an “epic feel” that provides the listener with a distinctive rush of emotion.

If you find yourself at a Blind Rhetoric show, watch how the band builds on one another. James Calvert from “The Magazine” exclaims they don’t “so much play music as they construct it.” A new EP will be out shortly, and you can sample some of the new tunes on January 11th at the band’s MySpace page. Until then, it’s “more shows, more writing, more recording, less sleep” for Blind Rhetoric. Jump into the XXQ’s.

XXQs: Blind Rhetoric – Justin Temple

PensEyeView.com (PEV): How and when did Blind Rhetoric first form as a band?

Justin Temple (JT): We all kind of just found each other through circumstance. I guess all bands wind up together in that sort of fashion but us coming together is directly related to our personal friendships outside of music.

PEV: Growing up who were you listening to?

JT: For me, my tastes have always varied greatly but the majority of music I listened to growing up was hip-hop, Jay-Z and the Roots more specifically. Brian listened to a lot of Days of the New and Silverchair and still does to this day while Kevin spent his time with Eric Clapton and Cream. Ben still sites the Cure as his all time favorite band.

PEV: Tell us about Blind Rhetoric’s first live performance together. What was going through your heads?

JT: It was a combination of appreciation and excitement because early on you can’t even wrap your head around being on stage and back then it was only our friends that came out to see us. So looking out and seeing the people you care the most about supporting you just gives you that weird dichotomy of emotion.

PEV: How have you changed from the first year together to where you are today?

JT: Well our most obvious change is the fact that we don’t suck. I think having Ben as our drummer (he’s our third and final) has helped us greatly with that, he’s just a very talented writer.

PEV: Describe to us the first time Blind Rhetoric stepped into a recording studio?

JT: The most frustrating and heartbreaking day of our lives because you have forced to recognize the fact that what you are doing instrumentally and song writing wise might not be as great as you thought it was.

PEV: Tell us about your first EP, “The Clockwork.” What can people expect?

JT: Depth and song structure that isn’t present in a lot of mainstream contemporary rock music. Also a soaring vocal quality that is vastly different from what is heard on the radio.

PEV: How is “The Clockwork” different than any other music out today?

JT: We dared to push boundaries and try to write songs that just are catchy but epic. I want to coin just one more sub-genre and say we are like soundtrack rock, just an epic feel; we want you to get a rush of emotion listening to us.

PEV: I’ve read that the meaning behind the band is “what is spoken, with no ulterior motive. What you see is what you get.” What does it mean to you to stand behind that?

JT: It mean’s everything you know? It’s what makes us who we are. If we ever changed that about ourselves we’d HAVE to change the band name because we just would be operating under a false ideal.

PEV: What is your take on the current scene of pop/rock music?

JT: There’s a lot of great music that exists and is coming out into the mainstream. But just like with everything there’s a balance and with that said, there’s a lot of terrible music existing and coming out into the pop/rock scene.

PEV: One Blind Rhetoric critic said, “This is where it would help if they fit into some clearly defined genre, or sounded like a knock-off of some other band or style but that is not the case. Blind Rhetoric is truly original.” Can you provide some of your thoughts on this?

JT: I appreciate the sentiment but that was never our goal to sound different. We just always have. It’s a by-product of our creativity.

PEV: I’ve heard rumors of a new EP… is there something in the works? Can you give us a sense of what to expect?

JT: Yes there is a new EP, it’s in the mastering stages now and we took the ideal of what was going on in Clockwork and breathed more life into it. We wanted something where the songs would make anyone listening react emotionally because that’s what we all like in our music, no matter what any of us listen to individually. This effort is way more refined this time around. We are so proud of what came out of it especially for it being just an E.P.

PEV: What do all your friends and family think about your success?

JT: I would say we are successful yet but all of friends and our families especially have lent us nothing but endless support. We hope to keep elevating it to give them something to really be proud of.

PEV: Is there one artist that you have not had a chance to collaborate with that you would like to?

JT: We have done no collaborations yet but I would love for someone to remix one of our songs for a hip hop beat I think that would be a really cool treatment of our music. Another thing that Brian and I have discussed is, as far fetched as it is at this point in our career to want, to have Alicia Keys do vocals on a song.

PEV: What is one thing we’d be surprised to hear about the guys of Blind Rhetoric?

JT: We are all Kelly Clarkston fanatics.

PEV: When you guys get some downtime what can we find you doing?

JT: We are all really laid back and chill so downtime for us is just watching football or hanging out with friends. It’s nothing too out of the ordinary.

PEV: What can people expect from a live Blind Rhetoric show?

JT: A lot of energy. And fun, that’s what is most important to us. Otherwise why come out to a live show. I don’t think anyone has more fun during our shows than we do.

PEV: What is the best part about playing live?

JT: Just making a connection, you spend so much time growing up and listening to music and feeling a certain way about it and then you write and perform and people tell you the impression that what you create has made on them. It’s just very rewarding.

PEV: Is there an “up and coming” artist that you think we should all be paying attention to?

JT: Yea, blindRHETORIC!

PEV: In one word what best describes Blind Rhetoric?

JT: The music: Organic. The band: Smelly

PEV: So, what is next for Blind Rhetoric?

JT: More shows, more writing, more recording, less sleep.

For more information on Blind Rhetoric, check out www.BlindRhetoric.com

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