After a year that included a headline tour of the UK, signing to Red Bull Records, touring with Mallory Knox (see the video above) and appearing at festivals including Download, Cheshire pop-rock four-piece Blitz Kids are keeping up the pace in 2014 with the release of their new album The Good Youth, out today. But despite their success, they still find time for the important things in life: such as bad anagrams and inspiring the kids.
Did you always know you’d make it?
Joe James: "We always wanted what we’re achieving now, but we didn’t realise it could actually happen until recently. We just did it for fun. Then we got to the point of deciding to get a real job or keep going. Me and Jono went out one night, and I was like, ‘That’s it, I’m not working for another day in my life in a job that isn’t music from this moment on.’ So I quit my pub job, and that was three years ago. I’ve literally not worked a day in my life since that point."
Jono Yates: "He’s begged, borrowed and stolen. He’s been a huge burden on society."
Joe James: "I am a taxpayer’s worst nightmare."
Why Blitz Kids?
Joe James: "We took the name from a little gang my granddad had when he was a kid in London. During the blitz, he and his mates would sneak out and kick a ball around and spray graffiti when they were supposed to be in the shelter. It was a cool punk-rock attitude, so we took it. It’s how we treat life, essentially – in a very reckless manner."
Jono Yates: "It’s also an anagram of Zinedine Zidane."
Joe James: "No it’s not. "
You’ve played together since you were 15. How has your sound evolved?
Joe James: "We used to play heavier music. We were young and rebelling."
Jono Yates: "Now, musically, it’s popular rock. "
Joe James: "We get called pop-punk a lot too, and it’s a weird term."
Jono Yates: "Yeah, pop-punk’s not a thing. It’s like saying, ‘I’ll have a vegan steak please.’ "
Joe James: "We get described in all sorts of ways, but essentially we just love pop music. We’re not a band you come to observe while standing still. When you leave our show, you’ll be sweaty, tired, drunk and happy. Even if it’s everyone else that gets you moving. No one wants to stand still in a room while strangers rub up against them."
Nic Montgomery: "That’s a good Friday night for me. "
What should people expect from your new album, The Good Youth?
Nic Montgomery: "In a word: better."
Joe James: "It’s very different to what’s come from us before. We never thought in terms of what we wanted to say as a band with an album, and my lyrics used to be very negative, hard for people to relate to. This is a positive album. I was trying to inspire people and make them happy because there’s a lot to be sad about, isn’t there? The title is an underlying message, telling kids something we never heard, which is you can get a job you love. It took us a while to realise that, and I don’t want anyone else to waste that time. "
Check out the rest of this feature in the February 2014 issue of The Red Bulletin, the global monthly magazine. For access to the international issue, download the free app for iOS or Android now.