Blacklist Royals are set to perform at Soundcontrol on Saturday 23rd August in a gig sandwiched between appearances at Reading and Leeds Festival.
The group – Nat Rufus (vocals and guitar), Rob Rufus (drums and vocals), Dirk Mathews (bass and vocals) and Brad Blanco (lead guitar) have released the title track from their recently released album Die Young With Me for free download to celebrate the upcoming tour dates and it’s certainly a song which comes from a personal place.
Singer Nat Rufus commented “This was the one that started the entire writing process for this record, and it was the first song Rob ever wrote about being sick. It’s a play on the “live fast, die young” sentiment, and how quickly everyone fades away when you’re faced with that as a reality, the loneliness of knowing you’re an unwelcome reminder to other people about their own mortality.”
It is a song, which speaks of his twin brother (and drummer) Rob’s diagnosis with cancer aged 17 and the subsequent three years which he spent undergoing surgeries and treatments, suffering side effects which continued to linger.
It was in the aftermath of this that Blacklist Royals was formed as the brothers upped sticks from their home town of Huntington, West Virginia and moved to Nashville, releasing their debut album Semper Liberi in 2010 and following it up with extensive touring. “We toured so much on that first record and when you live on the road it pushes you to grow up,” Rob says. “That subject matter was floating around in our subconscious. After three years of touring together it was on both our minds. And we’re twins so we just work on the same level.”
The extensive touring saw them performing at SXSW and Warped Tour and performing on alongside the likes of Less Than Jake and NOFX.
In fact the new album is largely focused on Rob’s illness. “When we got done touring for our first album and we started pooling our songs together they were all revolving around one topic, Rob having cancer and our lives at that point and everything surrounding that,” Nat says. “Instead of shying away from that subject, which is something we’ve done in the past, we decided to make the entire record themed around it. Everyone else was road-weary and wanted to bow out. It was really important for us to make the record regardless.”
But despite the subject matter and the gravity of the issue, Die Young With Me is not a bleak affair. There’s a blues undertone and dramatic highs and lows; there’s defiance, fight and hope. It’s 11 tracks of honesty and heartfelt lyrics as nostalgia meets rock n roll.
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