Exclusive Interview with Tony West of Blacklist Union

da0734d8-c684-4256-b129-40a838c9db48Blacklist Union just released their fourth album, “Back to Momo”.  With songs written by Tony West and Todd Youth, the thirteen red-hot tracks on this album will provide all the momentum you need to get your summer started in rocking style.

Formed in 2004 by Tony West the band released its first album “After the Mourning” in 2006.  Since then this band has been impressing rock audiences across the globe with their unique blend of rock and roll and social commentary.  Singer/songwriter Tony West tackles real life situations that affect each and every one of us in one form or another. From character assassination, to name dropping, addictions, sexual innuendos, romance, friendships, birth, death and living on the edge of destruction is just a fraction of what is touched on in their music.

Talk Nerdy With Us had a chance to catch up with Tony this week.

When did you discover music and when did you know you wanted to pursue music as a career?

When I was five years old I asked my uncle Jimmy “who’s that girl in that poster up there” he said, “that’s no girl that’s David Bowie”. (laughs). That was the moment when I knew what I was going to do with my life. Also the only happy memory collectively I have of my parents together is me sitting in the back of the car and singing the Chicago song “Saturday In The Park”. They both looked at each other and then looked at me and smiled. And that was that. The only happy memory I have of them together. It’s been in my blood from the gate. 

What was the first song you wrote and how old were you when it was written?

The first song I wrote was called “Birdies ” and I was about six or seven when I wrote it. I told my son about it, he is nine. One of the lyrics is “Birdies don’t shit in my eye – Birdies don’t even try”.

I love that!!  Do you have a formal process for songwriting or is it something that occurs spontaneously and can happen wherever/whenever?

I am very informal. I am very not PC and I do have a formula that works for me for songwriting that I stick to. 

PC is for the birds (pun intended) … What inspires your songs?

Life, death, sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll, sobriety, pain, healing, letting go of the past. Many, many things.

Are there musicians who have influenced you?  If so, who are they?  How exactly did they influence you and your music?

My biggest influence as a singer is a guy named Andrew Wood from the band “Mother Love Bone”.  I learned everything I know from Mother Love Bone records. And I ended up singing in his original band Malfunkshun side-by-side with his brother. Some other big influences on me are Ian Asbury from The Cult, Axl Rose from Guns and Roses, Jell-O Biafra of the Dead Kennedys, Johnny Rotten, Layne Staley, Scott Weiland, Kory Clark from Warrior Soul, The Ramones, AC/DC. & of course Aerosmith. 

What is your favorite venue to play?

Any venue with 300 people plus.

Is there a venue you haven’t played yet but is on your bucket list?

Webster Hall in New York City.

It seems to me that music festivals and concerts at smaller venues would each offer significant pros and cons for a band.  Is this accurate?  Will you name a few of them?

Any gig with people is a good gig as far as I am concerned. It is about giving to me. It is not about getting.

That’s a great way to look at things and should take you far.  What do you like to do when you’re not performing or rehearsing?

I love to hang out with my kids. I love to work on myself and become a better person, and I am on a search for love. 

What is your dream concert lineup?

Aerosmith, Guns and Roses, and Blacklist Union.

Excellent!  I’d be there.  Will you admit to something Nerdy?  We are after all Talk Nerdy With Us?

Something nerdy hmmmmm let’s see. I’m a gigantic nerd. I like to go to 12 step meetings and bring donuts.




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