FOTF recently caught up with Dylan Smith, front man of South East three piece, The Blend, a band already drawing comparisons with a young ‘The Who’.
With a new single on the horizon we talked Pete Townshend’s boat and hard-core gangsters.
Thanks for chatting with us Dylan, for anyone not familiar with The Blend, if you could describe yourselves using the album title of another band what would it be?
‘Who’s Next’. I’d choose that because we’re next. We will be the next real band to make it big.
FOTF hears that you recorded your new stuff on Pete Townshend’s boat. Presumably this was an actual recording studio and you weren’t just stowaways?
It’s been a bit of a mad one making this record. We began recording at Adrian Smith’s studio, he’s in Iron Maiden. This is 100% true… I am good mates with his son who is also called ‘Dylan Smith’ believe it or not. I’m not related to their family in anyway at all – just mates. Other Dylan Smith was on bass guitar for us. However, we just never got round to finishing the tracks.
Then one day Bob Pridden rang me out of the blue. He’s The Who’s sound man. He’d heard our music and really liked it! He asked how everything was going, and I told him we were looking for somewhere to finish recording the new tracks. He said the perfect place for us would be on Pete’s boat (which is actually a studio yes)… So a week later I went to check it out. The week after that, we went in and re-recorded the whole lot. That’s how it happened.
Your new single ‘Back to Business’ is being launched on 18th September and the video features Alan Ford aka Brick Top from Snatch. How did that come about and what’s he like to work with (hopefully he doesn’t really have a garden full of hungry pigs)?
Well firstly no, Alan doesn’t have a pig farm as far as I know. He’s actually a vegetarian like me. But, he is a real frightening guy at times. You do not fuck with Alan Ford. What he says goes. We knew that anyway, and that’s why we wanted him. When you’ve got the man who is known as ‘Brick Top’ stood in front of you with a shotgun shouting right in your face, you’ll know what I mean.
We know Alan through a few friends of ours, and after we’d finished recording Back to Business we began working on the music video. We needed a hard-core gangster for the video, so to be honest Alan was who we had in mind. We asked him if he wanted to do it and he said yes. That was it, a few weeks later he gets the train over to Brighton and we started filming. My mate Alfie Foreman is also playing one of the gangsters in the video too; he’s a great young actor! Him and Brick Top got it spot on.
It’s a good laugh working with those guys. I’m not an actor; I’ve never done any acting in my whole life. I’m just a guitarist. So for me to wake up one morning, leave the hotel and walk straight onto a film set with one of the world’s most recognisable film stars was a bit mad… But it’s just what we do isn’t it.
If you could take the credit for writing any song/piece of music what would it be and why?
I do get asked this one quite a lot. It’s a hard one to answer because I really do love so much good music. A lot of bands I’m into have one or two tracks that really do stand out as being ground-breaking pieces of music. Maybe it would be a Pink Floyd track from The Wall, like ‘Comfortably Numb’. The song writing on that album is so deep.
To be honest, I’m actually really proud of the stuff I’m working on right now and The Blend’s new tracks. They’re a whole new level to anything we’ve done before. It’s exciting to be releasing this music at the moment.
Finally, with being in a band comes great responsibility to be far cooler than us mere mortals. What’s the most rock & roll thing you have already done today?
Ha, we’ve done a lot of rock n roll things in this band. Although rehearsals and warming up my voice for the showcase in Soho next week will be as rock n roll as it gets for me today.
The Blend are:
• Guitar and Lead Vocals – Dylan Smith
• Keyboard and Bass – Freddie Smith
• Drums – Francis Whitley
Back to Business is being released 18th September – look out for the single review on FOTF.