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Blackleaf Gardens - Blackleaf Gardens Interview with Jess Blackleaf

26 Sep 2012 // An interview by Terry McIntosh

Recently I had an opportunity to sit down and have a quick chat with Jess Blackleaf from the Auckland metal band Blackleaf Gardens. I definitely look forward to hearing more from these guys in the future.

How did you come up with your band name?

It was originally thought up by our guitarist Joshua Chapman I think it was inspired by the Opeth album Blackwater Park and it kind of just progressed from there. It’s quite an interesting name I haven’t heard any other band names quite like it so we thought it would just represent our sound well it was kind of dark but expressive as well and everyone was like wow that’s such a cool band name and I like it.

I noticed on your bio some of the band members had even changed their names?

A little bit of a stage name thing there I think it’s pretty cool.

How would u describe your music?

It’s hard to describe but we put it as experimental progressive metal which we have a passion for, experimenting with different ways to play metal. Two of the members of the band came from metal backgrounds but the other three were classical and blues and I come from a funk gospel background so we try to get elements of all that in there showing our individual styles as well as what we can come up with as a group unit. So we try to play music that people haven’t really heard before and we try to push the boundaries for musical experimentation as well as putting singing and screaming lyrics in there as well.

How long have you been together?

On our Facebook page our official start date was September 2010 so were coming up on two years nearly and we have been gigging for about a year and a quarter maybe and we are doing really well with that just gigging all around Auckland and we have got a record contract in the works and so were just working on that the moment so hopefully we will have some sweet tracks to play for you guys soon.

How much touring have you done and what are some of your favourite venues?

In Auckland we play the Kings Arms a lot, I like Rising Sun, 4:20 is mean as well our singer has a liking for the Thirsty Dog that’s just on K Road. We have played gigs out of Auckland as well Diggers Bar in Hamilton and we are playing in Wellington at Bodega on October 6 opening for Lord from Australia.

Who would you most like to be support band for?

Well me and our guitarist would both say Dream Theater at some stage in our lives I would say they are one of our biggest influences were quite worshipful of them and our drummer Matt would probably say Opeth if they ever came to New Zealand that would be mind blowing.

You have your EP 'Seeding State' out when was this released?

We released it on the 27th of April 2012 which coincided with the bands numbers 4 27 which is a song of our and is also kind of a group of numbers that every band member sees around the place and it’s kind of a mystical wonder of the universe. You won’t see it for ages and then it will just pop up and it will be oh my god.

Where can u get the EP?

You can download it off Facebook, Reverbnation and Bandcamp for a small fee and you can also get a hard copy off us at our shows.

What can we look forward to in the future from Blackleaf Gardens?

We are going in to record an album and then we have been told we could be quite successful in Europe so maybe in the next 5-10 years head overseas but for now just gigging lots and the album we are about to go record.

 

About Blackleaf Gardens

Blackleaf Gardens is a four piece progressive metal band that brings crushing riffs, groovy tune and chaotically progressive rhythms together with catchy bipolar vocals delivering screams through lullabies. Likened to prestigious acts such as Opeth, Mastodon, The Faceless and Tool. The band brings an explosive, bizarre and maniacal performance.

The band formed in 2011 and has been climbing the local music scene with relentless ferocity leaving a lasting impression and building momentum. This has lead the band to open for Lord (Australia), El Schlong as well as many leading local acts.

2012 saw the release of the band's first five track EP "Seedling State," produced entirely by the band, which received repeated radio play and led the band to win the K.I.L.L. (Keep it Live & Loud) competition run by local radio station The Flat FM. The prize included means to record a debut album.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Blackleaf Gardens

Releases

Key To Infinity
Year: 2013
Type: Album
Seedling State
Year: 2012
Type: EP

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