Not your average text: An interview with SLO's Will Blackburn

Below is a text message interview with Stop Light Observation's lead singer, Will Blackburn discussing their latest release of "Vol. I" and "Vol. II."

 

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Will Blackburn:

 "1:11" highlights the youths struggle in today’s world to cope with loss and to accept the reality of a less than perfect world we have found ourselves a part of. It is the realization and the anecdote for the modern youth. "2:11" is the fight with fearless optimism in the face of such evil and fear based biased both politically and socially. "1:11" is addressing the problem and "2:11" is the first step in fighting the wrong.

Optimism and Will. 

That’s the long of the short.

TC: 

I relate with that so intensely. I think right now, a lot of us do. What was the recording process of "1:11" like?

Will Blackburn:

 I think we all do too. 

John Keith and I looped a track for almost an hour and went back and forth playing characters and personalities.

It was cosmic to say the least. 

We stood in complete darkness next to the same mic and just vibed off of each others every word like improv.

TC: 

Was there a specific event, or series of events that pushed you to finally sit and write/record the song?

Will Blackburn: 

There was a suicide in High School that inspired Coyote and the idea for 1:11 was more experimental and an afterthought of the song.

A way to make it and The Ghost of Larry Ford Jr.  make more sense.

1:11 is an idea JK and I thought of to better explain the youths struggle.

TC: 

Do you think you feel more like "1:11" or "2:11" these days?

Will Blackburn: 

Today I feel "2:11"

TC: 

What helps you to feel hope? I feel euphoric and want to dance to the tune, so whatever you’re doing is working haha. Technically speaking, did you record this in the same way you did "1:11"? Is the water rain?

Will Blackburn:

Human interaction...when you put people in a room together and begin to laugh and speak with conviction something happens on a spiritual level that in my opinion allows people to see more clearly that we are more alike than we are different and our differences are what make us so inherently beautiful.

Technically yes 

We made a track or recording to back vocals and then I recorded the vocals on top. 

TC:

That we aren’t alone in our feelings and thoughts...

Will Blackburn:

Not at all. 

TC:

Tell me more about Vader Light.

Will Blackburn:

Vander light deals the inconsistencies found in modern religion...the idea of Hell and purgatory...it begs the question as to why and what about the millions of people who do not share the same beliefs, will they be accepted into the “kingdom of heaven” when they have passed on. Religion was created by man and it’s morals and ethics are embedded deep in what it means to be human but in the most overtly assertive way it has been at the forefront of human conflict since the beginning of time. 

TC:

Did you grow up religious? Are you currently?

Will Blackburn:

We are asking ourselves why and expressing the reaction to that question through the song. 

I did but I am not currently. I do believe in God. I believe that time is never ending and that this reality exist in an infinite number. 

TC:

What religion was that if you don’t mind me asking?

Will Blackburn:

I was raised Methodist Christian. And attended Catholic School for some time.

God not in the sense of Old man in the sky that decide mine and every others fate but more of God as in the God within the flower blooming through the crack in the sidewalk on a sunny spring day in the morning when it’s damp smells of jasmine and pine...that God. 

TC:

What made you change your mind? Did you feel religion was pushed on you?

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Will Blackburn:

I began to see the hypocrisy and the inconsistencies with what is organized religion. I do believe that it exists for good and is overall a “good” thing, but it has as much power now as it did in the Protestant Revolution and many times before and after.   

Mold humanity. 

TC:

Don’t you feel some what of a progression through legalizing gay marriages, pro-change protests, and over all activism vs. 20 years ago?

Will Blackburn:

Certainly I do, it is that work that has progressed us to where we are today

But because it wasn’t partisan politically we are in the most grim political moments in our lifetime. 

TC:

I personally am overwhelmed.

As we all are...

Will Blackburn:

It seems that way.

TC:

I really like that you can construct music out of it all. 

Will Blackburn:

If you are curious into the current political state listen the “Pod Save America” podcast. 

I have written the 10/90 percent of what is relevant lyrically. 

But that is becoming more diverse with new songs. 

I do however play the part and embody the character as it appears to me.

 

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You can listen to the tracks on Spotify or on SLO's website (http://www.stoplightobservations.com/music-1)

 

Taylor Czerwinski