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Five Minutes On A Beach With The Blackout

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Fraser McAlpine | 11:29 UK time, Thursday, 26 November 2009

The Blackout - Sean and Gavin

There's no such thing as a good interviewer. There are good interviewEES, there are bad interviewees, and there are bad interviewers - we've all seen and heard what happens when you get any combination of these together - but to get a decent chat with someone of a famous persuasion, all you need is a star who can talk, a list of questions and the ability to listen to their answers, then the job does itself.

Here's a perfect example. Sean and Gavin from the Blackout, speaking backstage at a beach-side gig in Newquay earlier this year. Can we take any credit for the way this turned out? No. Is it our ability to ask amazing questions that drives this astonishing conversation?No. The Blackout are in charge, and we're just along for the ride.

And WHAT a ride...


ChartBlog: So, is this the closest you've ever played to the sea?
Sean: We played a pub once in a place called Porthcawl in South Wales which is quite close to the sea.

ChartBlog: Is it strange being at work on a beach? A bit like mixing business and pleasure?
Sean: I'm scared of sand. I'm not really a big fan of sand, so...
Gavin: He's freaking out right now.
Sean: I'm fearing it, which normally would get me pumped. I'll probably get angry at some point, and be sick. So it's probably doing me justice right now, all this sand.

ChartBlog: Is there a reason for your fear? Bad experience?
Sean: It's just annoying. I don't understand why people...like it gets EVERYWHERE and you can't get rid of it. You'll be finding it for days in your clothes, your shoes, your teeth. How does sand get in your mouth?
Gavin: Well you probably put it in your mouth. But then you can make bad-ass castles...
Sean: You can make castles out of Lego.

ChartBlog: So you're big into sandcastles?
Sean: Gavin likes sandcastles. I just wanna concrete all this over, get some factories, get some jobs, get some foreign people in. Everything people don't want, is what I want, really.

ChartBlog: Ever tried surfing?
Gavin: Never tried surfing before.
Sean: I can just about stand up on my own, never mind on a board, on waves. I worked in a caravan site for two summers in a row, right next to the sea and I never surfed. I don't know why...strange.
Gavin: I'd be pulling wheelies. I don't know if you call 'em wheelies in surfing, but I'd be pulling 'em!
Sean: I think Gavin would be good at surfing because he's agile. He's nimbly-bimbly like a cat. But the other boys are useless.
Gavin: Snoz is a big fella, he's got a high centre of gravity so...
Sean: I think if Snoz falls over in the sea, the sea will fall out.

ChartBlog: Which of you is the best at fainting?
Sean: Oh that's me! I've got that down pat. We just did Warped tour in the states, and it was so hot one day that I was physically sick. And after I was sick I fainted and I woke up and I was still singing the song. Professional! I've got my brain trained - keep singing, while I'm out.
Gavin: No words though, it was like "weargh bleurgh"
Sean: Yeah! I've got it down, I'm pretty good at blacking out.

ChartBlog: Did your roadie have to come and pick you up, Spinal Tap-style?
Sean: Our problem is that at the moment we only have one roadie and he's...he's got big arms, but they're all water-based, there's no muscle, so he's very very weak.
Gavin: I don't think he could lift your arm up.
Sean: I don't think he could hold himself up. I've seen him slumped over things.

ChartBlog: Has he ever put his back out, getting a sack out, in a blackout?
Sean: [after some jokes we really can't repeat] He's always whinging about aches and pains, and he's quite a young boy. He loves a good weight-training session, he's ripped.
Gavin: He was showing us the callouses he has on his hands cos of all the weight-training he does.
Sean: He's a loser, but he does love a whinge. Before he started tour-managing and guitar-teching for us, he was a lovely boy. But now we call him Neggy Rich, cos he's so negative about everything.
Gavin: We've destroyed him. We've destroyed his outlook on life.
Sean: He'd rather be back working in Merthyr Tydfil.

ChartBlog: What is it about South Wales that seems to breed such amazing metal bands?
Sean: There is a lot of good music coming out of South Wales.
Gavin: It's not just metal, there's beautiful pop stuff, like Kids In Glass Houses, there's a band called Attack! Attack! who are kind of like a poppy rock band...but then you've got awesome metal bands as well, like you said. I don't know what it is, there must be something in the water. I think it's the Brecon Carreg water that is making South Wales brilliant.
Sean: I think it's the complete lack of anything to do in South Wales, so you just pick up an instrument and learn the hell out of it.

ChartBlog: If money were no object, what's the best stage entrance you could devise?
Gavin: It's got to involve parachutes at one point...
Sean: Parachute in from a Harrier jump-jet...off the WINGS of a Harrier jump jet...which Bruce Willis is flying. We'd land on a big, downy feathered bed, midgets would crowd-surf us to the stage, while dolphins leap over the midgets. There's fireworks going off, obviously, and then, as we get to the stage there's a team of trained dogs to carry us on their backs...
Gavin: ...and chimpanzees to give all the guys their instruments...
Sean: ...and a robot to pass me my mic. And then we would be introduced by...
Gavin: ...Jason Statham...
Sean: ...Jason Statham, co-hosted by Freddie Mercury, even though he is dead. We'd have so much money that we could re-animate him.


The Blackout are also available in website form...
And BBC Music form...

AND in astonishing Live Lounge form...


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