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Let's talk a little about the history of your band. When did you originally form and is this the original line-up?    

The band was formed in 2014 with founders, Mark Sean and Josh Ross, and the band debuted at SXSW music festival early that year. Unfortunately, something we are very familiar with is, dealing with multiple line up changes. We will always be grateful for the experiences with were able to create with our previous members and the hard work they put in to help BHS reach our goals.


Do you remember how the idea of forming the band first came up?  

What led to getting the band started was, Mark Sean came across a paper ad placed at a local music store that featured Josh Ross, who at the time was new to Austin TX that relocated from Louisiana. Mark Sean would moved to Austin just 2 months or so before Josh and would be looking to chase after his music career. He made the phone call to Josh and the rest is history.


How would you categorize the style of the band?  

We would categorize the band as a Hard Rock band. Dirty and dangerous. All the things we loved about the bands, GnR, Motley Crue, Stone Temple Pilots, and the list goes on. We want to put the attitude back in rock n roll, which we feel is being sucked out of today’s rock music. Let’s bring the excitement, risk, and for god sake, put some damn iconic guitar solos back into rock music.


What image do you want your music to convey to your fans?  

All we are trying to do is create experiences. What we hope those experiences are is, good times with good people and the ones you love. We want to see you at the shows, smiling, screaming, jumping, and banging that head.


Who are your influences and how have they shaped your bands’ sound?  

We are influenced from legendary acts like I mentioned before, Motley Crue, Stone Temple Pilots, Soundgarden, GnR, and there’s so many more that has helped us create the sound of BHS. We wanted to create high energy rock n roll. Keeping it groovy, soulful, but with a punch and the attitude that rock n roll demands.


Let's talk a little about your latest album what are the listeners in store for with this release?  

I think with this new EP listeners could expect a better version of Black Heart Saints. Years of working together as a team, and helping build each other up, is starting to show in our new releases. We work with our fantastic producer, Omar Vallejo, at 512  studios in Austin TX. He has helped bring our vision to the tracks, and we are super thankful to work with someone who understands what we want to give to our listeners.


Producers are a very important factor in recording a good record. Who did you use to produce your record?  

We would have to agree with you on this. We are very grateful for all the hard work our producer, Omar Vallejo, has put into working with Black Heart Saints. He has now become like family, and we are very fortunate to work with someone who sees the same vision and is willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish our goals and to release the best product we possibly can. Omar has produced all our albums so far, and each one only gets better than the last. We want to say thank you to our producer, the unheard/unseen member of BHS, Omar Vallejo of 512 Studios


Does the entire band contribute to the writing process?  

We do have a format for BHS when it comes to the writing process. Usually the song starts with a riff idea by guitarist Mark Sean, then gets structured and shaped by vocalist Josh Ross, who the guys then, bring to bassist Ian C.G and drummer Nathan Flores. These guys help put the cherry on top, they give the songs that head bob we all want to feel in the songs. We truly believe it takes the whole team to make a fantastic song, album, show, and so forth.


How do you feel the band has evolved musically and personally over the last year?  

Well I think the band has seen some major growth over the past year. I believe this is due to that “team” I mentioned earlier. Having the right group of guys is a big factor in the success of the band. Each member dedicates so much to live for the dream. Our current line up have been the most consistent since BHS has started. Not something we are proud of facing, but has only made us stronger. We do our best to handle every bad situation in the best way possible. We dust off the dirt from our knees, pick ourselves up, and keep on pushing forward! We refuse to lose, and that hungry of, never giving up and finding the guys that live for this life, is the only reason we are still here.


Where do you draw the inspiration for the songs you write?  

I think there’s inspiration all around us, as long as we stop and look to see it. We get so caught up in life, that we may forget, every little thing holds meaning. Looking at life as a coloring book, waiting to be colored. A book full of life lessons, experiences of good and bad, love and hate, happiness or sadness, all intertwine within each other. What I have done with my coloring book is release those messages through song. Some of us may do it through painting, or dancing, being an athlete or becoming an actor/actress, or so many other talents. We are all artist to this world. I say, take a second to stop, to look around, and began to color your way through your life, and I would then be the one to ask, what would you be inspired by.


How important do you rate the lyrical side of your albums?  

I don’t think the lyrics are ever meant to be super complicated or necessarily pertain to a certain message I’m wanting to get out to the listener. Now, BHS songs definitely have personal meanings to me when I’m writing them, but once those songs are released, its up to the listener to create their own meanings for themselves. I like to look at it this way, if songs allow someone to deal with whatever they may be going through, then why create limits/boundaries on songs by forcing the listener to not let their minds roam and create their own experiences with the music. One song could have different meanings to the listeners. Let them listen, experience, and allow their minds to be free to roam.


What are your current tour plans, if any?  

We are working on a tour headed out to the east coast, something we’ve been aiming towards for some time now. We are excited to get everything in order so we can release the official dates soon. We are looking at this tour kicking off Late March / Early April. BHS wants to get on the road as much as possible, and we can’t wait to meet you all on the road. Keep your eyes on the website tour dates, you may see us coming to a city near you


Describe your live performance for those who have never seen you live?  

BHS live experience is what you would want from a rock show. Killer guitar solos, big sounding drums and bass, high energy and vocals that earn your attention. Come see us, lets get loud, and we promise you, we will give all we got to show you a good time.


Do you see as we do that most local radio rarely support the up and coming new bands and even more local bands just starting out?  

I definitely think there’s a barrier that could be broke when it comes down to the radio and local bands. I do think there are some out there that are trying their best to get attention to local groups, but I feel there might not be much they can do, if their hands are tied behind their backs. There’s always someone to answer too, and following the rules is your job, well you kinda take your seat and move along I would think. So for upcoming bands, or local bands starting out, the very little attention given to them, hardly ever helps. It would be nice to see a stronger platform made to showcases these bands more often, and finding good ways to get these bands attention that could truly be beneficial for their music careers.


What do you think of the music industry right now?  

I think the music industry is very confused right now. Things are changing fast, and old methods aren’t working anymore and everyone is freaking out on how to make enough money to carry on. With that said, offers just aren’t available anymore. This makes it harder for any band to have an opportunity to get their big break. I believe the industry has always been hard to achieve, but these days, almost seems impossible without your own resources.


Did you find it hard to break into the business and what was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome?  

I think any business is hard to break into, rather music or not. We have been fortunate to be a band that has been able to see some success. There’s always so much more to achieve and to work on and look forward too, and as long as we are working towards our goals, nothing is ever too hard to tackle and overcome. We love what we do, and the old saying goes, if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. Now, one of the biggest obstacles we ever had to face was having a member step out of the band. When you work and spend so much time with someone, its just hard to see them go. Finding the right group of guys, can sometimes be the hardest part of the job. Keeping your band together, will be your biggest job as a band. The rest is easy, just show up and play.


Tell us about your thoughts on your local music scene?  

Austin TX has a very strong and thriving music scene. You can usually catch music every night of the week and usually being presented by very talented musicians. There’s definitely a little disconnect from the city to the artist aspect. The city is having a hard time making it possible for artist to be sustainable enough to live here, which is what makes this city so special, THE ARTISTS. But if you want to hear all types of music, then I would say look here first, you may find what you’re looking for in the music capital of the world.


Are there any new and upcoming bands that you are into?  

There’s definitely a couple rock groups that are making the charts or getting some great hype that we have been digging lately. Some of these are Blacktop Mojo, Dirty Honey, Them Evils, and Empty Trail just to name a few.


How has Social Media impacted your band?  

Social media as been a great factor in BHS success. We have been able to get our music all over the world. Its a lot easier for bands to do a lot more on their own. We have platforms now that allows us to stay connected with each other 24-7 and reaching audiences we would have never had the opportunity to get to before, or at least, not as easy.


Where can our readers find you on the web?  

Readers can find us at our website, blackheartsaintsmusic.com. We have all our dates and upcoming news there. Also, a good way to keep in touch is at our facebook page, Black Heart Saints.


What equipment is the band using and do you have any endorsements currently?  

The band endorses Pork Pie Percussion, JH Audio, Headrush FX, Zemaitis Guitars, and Roknutz. We also love Marshall amps and Fender basses.


Outside of music gear partnerships, we’re proud to represent ATX Vodka – a craft vodka made right here in Austin at the Sangiovanni Distillery.


Thanks for answering these questions. Do you have any last comments for our readers?    

Our goal is to play EVERYWHERE someday. If you want us in your city, talk to your local venues and promoters. See you all very soon!