Blindside is one Swedish rock band whose ship may have just arrived. At least in America, anyway. With two memorable indie releases under their belt, the scorching foursome have signed with Elektra in the U.S., and have been busily putting the finishing touches on their American debut � Silence - produced by Howard Benson (P.O.D.). Despite the title, Blindside�s much-anticipated disk is anything but silent. Marked by brilliant, flaring guitars that complement an almost mystical vocal presence, the group has carved out a rock masterpiece in a series of stunning, but simple strokes. The appeal of such immediacy was not lost on producer Benson. �I met them through P.O.D.,� says Howard. �They were blown away by how talented they were.� Sonny, of P.O.D., indeed heaps a fair amount of praise on Blindside. �They play with such a high level of emotion. I believe they will be the next big thing in rock. Silence is by far the best album of the year, a refreshing break from all the cookie-cutter acts that are out there today.�
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Howard says the band was ready to roll from their first meeting. �The minute I heard them I knew they had what it takes. We did a quick demo in the studio and I was immediately impressed by their sense of musicianship and by their understanding of the dynamics that went into the songs. Their style is simple but explosive, with a lot of complexity swirling around underneath the surface.�
He�s talking about incandescent gems like �Sleepwalking,� complete with definitive Blindside undercurrents - searing guitar work and raw, plaintive vocals pouring from the heart of Christian, their charismatic lead singer. �That song really illustrates where the band is at right now,� he says. �We�re a rock band yes, but our lyrics and the personal way we try and relate to our audience is always in the forefront of our minds.� Christian�s probing lyrics are a defining trademark of Blindside. He points out that the teeming verses of a song like the aching �Pitiful,� - written at the very end of the recording sessions - are sometimes improvised during the vocal session. �I write everything down,� he says. �But the band can tell you that sometimes I will just come up with something while I�m singing, trying to connect the feeling and emotion of a particular vocal with the right words.�
Guitarist Simon also points out the band will re-work material until they get it right. The thunderous �Caught A Glimpse,� is just such an example. �We had the verses but couldn�t get the chorus,� he says. �Howard came into the studio and pushed us to come up with something that made the whole song come together. We learned that you never throw anything away.�
Formed in 1994, band members Christian � lead vocals, Simon � guitar and backing vocals, Marcus � drums and Tomas � bass, have known each other all their lives. �Growing up in Stockholm you tend to stick together,� says Simon. �Music is very important in Sweden, and we believed from the start that we could make an impact as a band.�
And even though the group has been critically identified with a host of other Swedish rock groups currently making a splash in the U.S., they earned their stripes touring Europe and the U.S. long before American A&R reps discovered the overseas scene. �We were always kind of quietly plugging away,� says Simon. �We came to the states and played wherever we could. Even in Sweden, we weren�t known as much as some of the other bands that were starting to get attention, but we never stopped working out our songs live.�
The hard work paid off. Blindside�s crucial audience-building treks throughout America have made them one of THE rock bands to watch this year � period! Fans in the know are already buzzing about them daily via internet sites. It�s exactly that kind of under-the-radar drive that has garnered them acclaim from American rock critics, as well. Said CMJ about their pulverizing 2000 release, A Thought Crushed My Mind: �A visceral forward thinking album�. it makes you want to hug your best friend and pound your fist into a wall.�
Christian says the group�s own creed is simple, with every member of Blindside believing that music can be a vehicle for hope. �We keep it personal but also positive,� he says. �There�s enough depressing messages already out there. Our songs can be heavy, but if you listen closely, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.�
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