By Nicholas Jason Lopez
If bands like Movements, Microwave, Wilmette and Title Fight are regularly on your playlist, you just might fancy these guys.
Like a number of other bands that formed when COVID first became a force in 2020, we have Boston emo quintet BLiND DRiVE added to that list, who dropped their two-song debut EP ‘Redemption’ earlier this year, centered around self-reflection in a positive light, recorded with Matt Blanchette at Revelry Studios in Manchester, N.H..
BLiND DRIVE are vocalist Aaron Noj, bassist Nick, guitarists Jack and Joe and drummer Timslizz, who were all familiar with each other from previous projects and focused on a bouncy sound that embraces a keen mix of punk, post-hardcore and rock.
The Music Bugle had the opportunity to talk with the band about what they’ve been up to lately and more.
Music Bugle – How would you describe Boston to someone who has never been there before?
Aaron Noj – Boston is an incredibly diverse city. You could run into any kinda person at any point of the day. You’ll never run out of interesting people to meet.
Music Bugle – How did you guys decide the band name?
Aaron Noj – Well, I thought of the band name because I saw a really cool sign that said “Blind Drive: Ahead.’ It looked like it was homemade and I thought it could make a cool album cover. For example, ‘Blind Drive: Ahead’ for an album. I pitched the idea to the rest of the band and we went for it.
Music Bugle – What was your goal for your debut EP ‘Redemption’?
Jack – Our goal was to put out some authentic music that we could be proud of. We didn’t want to limit ourselves by having a certain genre or sound in mind. We wanted our sound to reveal itself in playing what we want to play.
Aaron Noj – Our goal really was to pack as much of a punch as we could, to say to the world, “We are Blind Drive,” lyrically and musically.
Music Bugle – How would you define the word “emo” in 2021?
Aaron Noj – Lots of major 7 chords.
Jack – There’s jokes about what the real definition of emo is and so, it’s one of those things where it can mean different things to different people, but for me, I take it literally. Emo is short for “emotional,” so emo is just making music that is powered by and evokes emotion.
Music Bugle – What is the biggest challenge in being a band with five members?
Aaron Noj – You would think it would be something like finding time for us all to meet, or not agreeing, but I honestly couldn’t tell you, because this has been the first band I’ve ever been in where it’s honestly just so easy.
Music Bugle – What was it like making the video for “Nowhere Near”?
Aaron Noj – It wasn’t what we initially had in mind. We were initially going to film inside an abandoned building, but realized the spot was too hot. Cops were kicking people out already, so we did the second best thing and filmed outside it. Hence, the building in the background of the video. We made the best of what we had.
Soph – I was the filmer! Shooting the video was such an amazing experience! We shot it at an abandoned incinerator, which was cool, but then we had the sunset going on at the same time and that just made it a magical atmosphere. It was fun, but challenging to capture Aaron’s emotions while he sang the song. You can tell what he sings about means a lot to him and I wanted the videography to match that rawness. Thank you to everyone that’s checked it out and be sure to look out for more videos in the future.
Jack – Honestly, it came together pretty last-minute. I wasn’t even there! (Laughs)
Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?
Jack – I’ve been getting back into some albums like ‘Youth’ by Citizen and ‘Colourmeinkindness’ by Basement. I’m always listening to new stuff, though, like Dumpweed, bruiser, Oakum, etc..
Aaron Noj – I’ve been listening to a lot of Movements and Knocked Loose and Dance Gavin Dance.
Music Bugle – Does social media help or hurt musicians?
Timslizz – Social media is a great tool to use to get your message, or art, out into the world. We love using our social media to reach out to our fans and interact with them and other creators! Also, if your band’s name is in more places, then there’s a bigger chance of finding new fans! On top of that, networking is just a super important part of being in a band in general.
Aaron Noj – Social Media helps some musicians and beats down most musicians, because everyone has access to it. The competition is just incredible. It’s harder to find your “local scene” on social media, which is where the music should be.
Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Timslizz – Performing is maybe my favorite part of being a musician. The energy of live music is unmatched and to have had to live without such an influential part of my life and drive as an artist for so long has been difficult, but I’m excited to see what the future holds.
Jack – Not playing shows has been tough. I know for all of us, it’s an emotional outlet that we’ve been really missing, not to mention, the importance of shows in getting our name out there. The silver lining has been that we’ve had a lot of time to write songs and fine-tune our set, so we should be sounding pretty good when we hit the stage now.
Aaron Noj – Of course, everyone is going through hard times. Most people are feeling isolated, especially during the fall and winter of 2020, which is when the band took a month break because of precautions to Covid-19. It’s incredible how much live music has suffered in the past year-and-a-half or so, however long it’s been.
Music Bugle – What’s a quote that motivates you to keep doing what you do?
Aaron Noj – I don’t know too many quotes, but something my mother tells me with one-hundred percent authenticity is that she believes I’m the strongest person she’s ever met. I know she means that with her heart. That shit keeps me going.