Cory:Hey this is Cory from Christ Core Music. Would you like to tell everyone your name and what you do in Inked In Blood?
Blake: my name is Blake and I play guitar. I also do slam poetry
Cory:It seems that yall recorded the Awakening Vesuvius EP then Strikefirst picked yall up after that. What’s the whole story there?
Blake: long story short…a mutual friend of Jason Facedown and ours saw one of our sets and sent Jason a CD right about the same time we were going to send out some press kits. Jason contacted us and it all just went from there.
Cory:That’s nice how it worked out like that.
Blake: yeah. We couldn’t be happier with how cool Jason has been through the whole process.
Cory:How has the experience with StrikeFirst been so far?
Blake: Amazing…in all aspects. The company and the people that run it (esp. Jason) are the most sincere honest people. Very down to earth. All the other bands we’ve met have been incredibly open and friendly and welcoming. And the kids that support SF and Facedown are beyond inspiring. We honestly feel unworthy of all the support we get. We feel like we’re getting a greater understanding of what it means to be a part of the Facedown Family.
Cory: Is everyone in IIB Christian?
Blake: To one degree or another. But keep in mind that the very word “Christian” triggers a lot of stereotypes and creates a lot of limitations on how people perceive each other. We all have various approaches to what living a life of faith means for us.
Cory:So everyone is of Christian faith? Maybe that would be a better question.
Cory:What is the reference behind Inked In Blood’s name and CD title Awakening Vesuvius?
Blake: First the name. The name comes from the movie Army of Darkness which is a cult classic. There’s a coveted book in the movie called the Necronomecan which is “bound in human flesh and inked in blood.” Basically it was a stupid goof-off name and now we’re stuck with it. Hahahaha It has no morbid serious meaning.
Cory:It actually sounds really cool.
Blake: We’re not trying to be dark and scary and apocalyptic. Oh…thanks.
Cory:Yea I see no problem with that.
Blake: I suppose people can read into it if they want. I have. Now…the CD title Mt. Vesuvius destroyed the ancient city of Pompei. One of our concerns lyrically in the EP has to do with addressing the logic of modernity as we see it infiltrating the hardcore scene and alot of the ideologies it expresses. We were using Pompei as a metaphor for the foundations of western thinking that have led us to the current social and philosophical milieu we find ourselves in.
Cory:That’s awesome. And defintely a new way to look at things. I enjoyed reading the lyrics in the EP.
Blake: “Awakening Vesuvius” was a hope for a resurrection of something drastic and powerful to shake us–force us–to start to think differently. Thank you.
Cory:With being a Christian band do you think most fans will still listen to your music and have an open mind about it or will they just shove it off to the side?
Blake: Well there will always be people who will come up with reasons why they shouldn’t listen to us be they valid reasons or not. So sure there will be people who will try to categorize and dismiss us easily. But lots of Christians will do the same thing to atheist bands. …or “secular” bands. it’s all a matter of vulnerability and whether or not people are willing to actually listen to what each other have to say. Listen…not just hear.
Cory:This next question kind of relates to that one. Do you think a Christian band should go on stage and preach fire and brimstone to the crowd or let your actions speak to the crowd and pray that that will move someones heart?
Blake: I don’t feel comfortable making general statements about what Christians should or shouldn’t do in their musical endeavors. For us we don’t feel like it’s very productive and we don’t feel like it’s what we are “called” to do collectively speaking.
Cory:different people are called to different forms of ministry. I think preaching to the crowd will just turn people away. But there is a time and place for everything
Blake: I agree.
Cory:What is IIB’s goal as a band?
Blake: Wow. To melt faces. Just kidding. Um…I’d say that our goals are ever-evolving and are rather…fluid. What’s more we have five different unique nuanced individuals in the band who all started playing music for their own reasons. The trick is to not resort to a lowest common denominator purpose but to find something that takes into account the unique perspective that each person provides.
Cory:That is a good way to look at it.
Blake: One of the things I would say that we are all trying to accomplish is to instill a bit of passion and conviction into a culture of kids who feel marginalized apathetic indifferent wronged etc. There is too much potential in this scene to let it burn away under the all-too-easy pose of “teen angst.” We want to fire people up and let them know that despite what the culture at large may tell them it is okay to take a stand on something.
Blake: Don’t be passive. Don’t let life merely “happen” to you.
Cory:Kind of like that Switchfoot song. Meant to Live.
Blake: Thank you. I mean that’s just one thing that touches on a lot of the more intricate things we are about. I don’t know that song but you sound like you know what I’m getting at.
Cory:Yea you should definitely hear the song. I do understand though. Has IIB done any major touring?
Blake: Sort of. We’ve done a few Self-booked tours. You know….a week ten days at a time. They’ve all been amazing experiences and we’ve met some incredible people. We’re hoping to increase the amount of touring in the next few months.
Cory:I know yall have some good fall touring coming up soon. Being with SF.
Blake: We’d like to get to the point where we are on the road more often than not. Right now we’re planning on about four weeks full US. in late Oct/early Nov. it’s not completely booked yet though.
Cory:Well if you come close to me Ill be sure to check yall out. Louisiana isn’t the touring hotspot though.
Blake: Hey man…we’ll play anywhere that kids will show up. And sometimes places where they don’t. hahaha
Cory:Unfortunately they are missing out most definitely.
Blake: On Louisiana?
Cory:The kids are missing out on IIB.
Blake: Oh….thanks man! We definitely feel like our live show is what it’s all about. The CD is merely a means for making the live experience more of a…collective act of creation.
Cory:The live show is everything. Being able to play good on a cd that has been mastered and such is easy the live show is where the heart of the band is at.
Blake: totally.Cory:Well thanks for your time Blake it has been a pleasure. I look forward to whatever else Inked In Blood has in store for us.
Blake: No problem man. Thanks for YOUR time. Hopefully we’ll meet in person some time soon.
Cory:Yes that would be sweet.