Blind Idol is a new project featuring musicians Tyson Luneau (Maniac, Sinking) and Kyle Taylor (Crafter) writing and performing a strain of hardcore that brings to mind the early '00s.
The duo's recently released Town & City EP keeps things fast, melodic yet dissonant, and refreshingly short and direct in its delivery.
No Echo caught up with Tyson and Kyle to get the 411 on the band and EP.
Give me the backstory on the formation of the band.
Tyson Luneau (guitar, drums, bass): Kyle approached me about doing a project shortly after his previous band, Crafter, called it a day. Although he had been touring extensively with that band, following its demise, he was looking to do something a little looser and more straightforward.
One of my other bands, Sinking, had played a lot of shows with Crafter since both were based in the same area, so Kyle and I became friends over the last couple of years.
Our music tastes diverge somewhat, but we both have a fondness for early '00s hardcore. Kyle’s background as an author and my background as a historian makes for an interesting dynamic in how we approach some of the topics and themes in the material.
When live music someday returns, we definitely plan to play shows and will probably do some short weekend runs and tours when our schedules allow. We have most of a live lineup pieced together already, but it looks like we’ll have plenty of time to round it out.
In the meantime, I have already started writing the next record.
From a stylistic standpoint, how would you describe what Blind Idol is doing?
Tyson Luneau (guitar, drums, bass): I started writing with the intention of taking cues from early '00s hardcore, specifically songs that are fast and straight the point, but also aren’t afraid to explore different lyrical themes or musical influences. Neither of us has done a band quite like this before, sonically or logistically.
I also wanted to do something that took a less “positive” approach than some of the current bands that are emulating this sound. In writing this record, I was certainly channeling a lot of early American Nightmare, Panic, Right Brigade, and Horror Show. But during that time, I was also binging on stuff like Ink & Dagger, 108, Threadbare, Quicksand, Jawbox, and Tragedy.
Kyle Taylor (vocals): I'm very much a meat and potatoes rock band kind-of-guy. I like music, and more specifically, the music that I create, to have an emphasis on being to the point. It's why I love Bob Dylan, or the Stones, or fast hardcore punk -- all for that same unifying reason. It does what it has to without pretentiousness, or without overstaying the songs themselves.
Tell me a bit about the track "Town to City," specifically the inspiration behind its lyrics.
Kyle Taylor (vocals): "Town to City" is a twofold reference to the mostly unknown novel by Jack Kerouac called The Town and the City. This book was considered to be largely a failure for him. I believe he ended up owing money to the publisher because of it. That always inspired me to keep going, in some strange or humorous way.
But he wrote it largely in the shadow of my favorite writer, Thomas Wolfe, the title itself being a nod to Of Time and the River. It's that type of writing that just really dives into the "everyday, rainy roads, walk to the grocery store" kind of existence that most of us try to just get past or through, but in reality, ends up making up for a lot of our time spent.
I always try and write, whether it be in my novels, poems, or songs, from an "on the ground" perspective. Life is, more or less, made up of routines and everyday drills. It's not always romantic, pretty, or full of big ideas. It can often be reduced to a walk down a city street or a dirt road, and what that looks like, and how we process what we see and learn from that action.
For this song, and really for this demo, I wanted to take the everyday scenes from both the city I live in and the small towns I've known and loved, and walk them, revisit them, and redistribute them in a way that is either ugly, pretty, or both- to take the common and mundane, and make it "something," so to speak.
There's a wrestling match going on in this song concerning faith, and how it can be hard to find when everything in the "city" is so damn ugly and broken. The church is positioned next to the alleys, and for me, that's always been tough to reconcile.
I think, even since writing this song, I have managed to come a long way, personally, which is also nice to be able to say, because this is probably the “darkest” I have explored on any piece of music I've put out.
Is there anything else you guys would like to add about what you're doing with Blind Idol?
Tyson Luneau (guitar, drums, bass): Nothing about this band has any sort of pretention behind it. I won’t speak for Kyle, but a lot of “warrior poet” hardcore is like nails on a chalkboard to me. In doing this record, I sought to write fast, no frills songs that were pessimistic without being too doom and gloom.
The thematic cohesion wasn’t so much intentional at first, but I think both of our personalities tend to gravitate toward that type of thing.
Also, Kyle also runs a publishing imprint called Sentimental Press. He just put out a poetry book called We Don’t Dance Anymore, which has a lot of thematic crossover with the Blind Idol EP.
Town & City is available now via New Morality Zine.
Donate a few bucks to help with No Echo's operating costs:
Tagged: blind idol