Rock will never die and bands like BETH BLADE AND THE BEAUTIFUL DISASTERS continue to prove that is the case. They produce balls to wall, no nonsense rock and roll with meaningful messages behind their words. Rock Out Stand Out spoke to the talented Beth Blade herself about her band’s latest album Show Me Your Teeth, music playing an important part in our lives and their touring plans for the year.
Hello Beth, thank you for joining us. So, you released your album Show Me Your Teeth. It’s been receiving praise from critics and fans. Do you have a favourite song off the album?
As far as songs are concerned, that’s a hard one. I really love every single song as there is a different style on almost every track. I have my favourite moments more than favourite songs. So, I would say my favourite moment on the album is in You And I. There’s a moment when it comes in after the bridge, then there is a break and there’s a crescendo of strings. It goes up a scale, it gives me chills. I also really love the guitar section of On And On. It’s my only solo on the album and I am really proud of it because I am not usually a lead guitarist. I do love that one.
You And I was one of the songs that stuck out for me. Particularly the lyrical content. Am I correct in thinking that it’s about leaving a toxic relationship or parting ways with something you know is bad for you?
Yes. It’s about leaving a toxic and abusive relationship. In terms of lyrics, they are very honest for me and it’s based on real life experiences. It comes from direct experience. The lyrics are very honest and to the bone in terms of feeling completely trapped in a situation that you can’t get yourself out of. It also talks about clinging onto the comfort of it even though it’s not good for you.
Having been through something similar myself, I related to the lyrics. Particularly the line “like a broken record, you’re stuck on repeat.”
I think with songs like that, when you find something in the song that really grabs you emotionally that’s a very important thing. With our last album Bad Habit, we only had a certain amount of songs. I didn’t want to put the ballads on that album, we had the songs Angel With The Dirty Face and Poster Girl For Pain which are kind of the same theme. I didn’t want to put those on that album as people weren’t expecting that kind of thing from me. They want balls to the wall rock and roll, they want the in your face songs. After that album came out, everyone was really drawn to those songs because they were real and very under the skin. So, when it came to this album, I was going to put absolutely everything on there no matter how deep it was or how dark it was because people want real.
When people listen to those sorts of songs and if they’re in those situations themselves, the songs might give them that boost they need to do something about it.
Yes exactly. That’s the thing for me, music is always my saviour. In any tough times, in any situation music has given me strength. I think putting your own personal experiences out there in songs is really important.
From what you have told me, the album title Show Me Your Teeth has another layer to it. In terms of showing rawness.
The thing with the title Show Me Your Teeth, it’s a multi-faceted title. Show Me Your Teeth can mean fighting talk; that attitude of take me or leave me, I don’t care. It’s also about the vulnerability and showing what’s underneath the surface and showing your guts pretty much. They see everything that you are. Show Me Your Teeth can also be sexual. I’m a killer for the double genre and this one is a triple.
I decided on the album title over a year ago before we started recording it. I thought it was a really good title and I think the title represents the album as a whole. It’s got that vulnerability and that in your face attitude.
It’s great this album is there for those who are feeling vulnerable, it’s a saviour. There are also uplifting songs on there, my favourite being 1974.
This is the thing; a lot of bands these days can take themselves very seriously. I acknowledge there is a time and a place for that. What I enjoy most about music is that it allows me to feel those emotions I need to feel to get through something or it’s complete escapism and it’s fun. My favourites bands are KISS and seventies stuff like that, music you can have a really good time too. Songs that allow you to reminisce, where it can provide a soundtrack to your life. I think you should have fun with it so I try and get that in there as much as possible.
Speaking of reminiscing, Jack & Coke provides a great example of this. Reminding us of MOTORHEAD, particularly Lemmy as that was his drink choice.
Funnily enough that song was written ten minutes before we were due to be in the studio. We told the producer we were doing a twelve-track album and we had only done demos for eleven songs. My drummer Sam was about to come and pick me up to go to the studio to record the album. So, I picked up my acoustic guitar and sat on the end of my bed and thought “what could I do? I know what we don’t have, we don’t have a drinking song.” So, I started to write a drinking song. In a couple of minutes, I had a riff, next the verse followed and it came together really quickly. I wrote the lyrics in the studio. We didn’t play it live until our album launch.
It’s one of those songs for when you are on a night out with your friends and having a really good time. Jack and Coke is one of those iconic drinks, it’s very affiliated with the genre. Like Lemmy, I wanted that tenacity and in your faceness that he had in the song. It’s important those traits stay alive and that they are not lost.
Which songs would you pick to be the soundtrack to your life?
That’s a tricky one as there are so many. I will narrow it down to five. I am a huge KISS fan, I love those guys. It’s hard to pick one KISS song so I will say all of them, Night Train by Guns N Roses, Innocence by Halestorm.
I saw Halestorm live for the first time in 2010 and I wasn’t in a band at that time, I was toying with the idea of starting one up. I saw them live and they absolutely blew me away. I bought the album the next day. There is a note she hits in the song Innocence that made me realise that this is what I want to do with my life. That song was a gamechanger for me.
This is difficult. The next song I will say is On Me by The Darkness. I got Permission To Land when I was fourteen years old and that was when rock went back into the charts. I was great not to be the outcast for a while. Lastly, let’s go for Jailbreak by Thin Lizzy. I could give you a million songs, we’d be here all day.
Talking of KISS, you appeared on the KISS Kruise in 2018.
I don’t even know how that happened. They had a competition and I’ve been on the KISS Kruise before as a fan. It’s the best, it’s literally a music festival on a boat. It’s fantastic, it’s the best time you can have. They opened up a competition to have a chance of playing on the KISS Kruise. So, we submitted our application, thinking there’s going to be hundreds of bands applying and there was no way we would get through. We got through to the top ten, then it was narrowed down to the top five that we were part of. The people going on the Kruise got to vote for a top three and we were in that top three alongside Thundermother, a great band from Sweden and an American band called Wayland. It was honestly the best time of my life. We got to play.
The thing about KISS fans is that once they like you, they are part of your family. They are great people. I know people all over the world from Australia to Japan who would happily let me crash on their couch because we know each other through KISS. All these people bought merchandise from the show. We are lucky that The Dead Daisies were aboard. We know Marco [Mendoza] very well, we’ve done a couple of tours with him when he did his solo stuff. He introduced us on stage and the guys came to see us play but the last show we played was my favourite as hundreds of people there. It was quarter to one in the morning when we started playing and we had an absolute blast. It was really cool being close to Miami at the harbour. It was one of my dreams I had since I was a two-year-old kid.
How did your album launch go?
At first, I was really worried about it because Skid Row were playing in Bristol the same night and that’s half of our crowd gone. It was actually phenomenal, the turn out was amazing and the support for everyone was great. We had two fantastic opening bands, King Kraken and Haxan. It’s always good when the support bands are good bands and when they’re really nice people too. There were people who came from hundreds of miles to see us. It was just a really uplifting, loving new thing of rock and roll. I am so grateful we have the fans that we do.
So what touring plans and promotion have you got planned for 2019?
There is a lyric video coming soon so keep an eye out for that. We have a lot of gigs planned this year. We find the most effective way to get our music out there is to tour as much as we can. We could focus on social media and getting our profile out there online, but that’s not what we’re about. We like going out there and making a connection with people, that’s what we love. We have a few shows coming up. We’re hoping to get on a proper tour, just working on that at the moment.
We’re opening the main stage for Hard Rock Hell in November so that’s a biggie. We opened the second stage in 2017; the bookers saw us and thought we were great so put us on the main stage this year so that’s fantastic. We’re playing SOS Festival in Manchester in July and considering I’m a Northern girl we’ve never played Manchester before. It’s going to be our first Manchester gig which will be a good one because it’s the night after KISS play Manchester. We’re playing all over the place. We’re looking to play in Scotland and we really want to get over to Europe as well this year.
I also noticed you were playing a couple of dates in Southampton, I bring it up as that’s my nearest city for gigs.
Yes, we’re playing at Heartbreakers on 29th March. We’ve never been to Southampton before but our promoter friend Jodie Bowie is putting us on. There’s also NozFest which I believe is in August and that line up is absolutely stellar. Massive Wagons are headlining. There is also Bigfoot, Stop Stop, Marco Mendoza, us and a couple of other bands. I think it’s going to be a whale of a time.
One last thing, your voice and guitar skills are fantastic, who are you influenced by musically?
As far as influences go, we’re not trying to reinvent the wheel and we’re not trying to be spectacularly original or anything like that. We wear our hearts on our sleeves with our influences so you can hear it in the music. For me personally, KISS are huge influences and Guns N’ Roses are as well. Also, modern bands like Black Stone Cherry, Halestorm are a big one. With the latest album, particularly the string section, we got into Ghost recently. Their latest album Prequelle influenced us there.
As a writer, I wrote all the songs for the record and you absorb the things around you. It then churns around in your art blender and sometimes it will come out very similar to something else and sometimes it will come out very differently but the influence is still there.
The boys, especially our drummer Sam, he absolutely loves Foo Fighters and that comes across in his drumming. He has a little more swing that most rock drummers and a bit more groove. Our guitarist loves Motely Crue and a guy called Tod Kurgen who plays in Slash’s band. He’s very eighties in his approach to the guitar. I’m often like “Luke, you don’t need to shred so much. Every single solo, I want you to be able to sing it to me.”
I played bass on that album as well. It’s a very small operation and the boys are very kind, they kind of let me run with the ideas. They’re often like “OK Beth, we know your masterplan what do you want us to do?” We have a really tight unit and it shows in the music. Our influences are in there, we think that if we want to write a song that sounds like Thin Lizzy then I’m not going to shy away from it. At the end of the day, without all these artists we wouldn’t be playing this music in the first place.
Thank you, Beth, for taking the time out to speak to Rock Out Stand Out and best of luck with everything.