Led by the powerful vocals and commanding stage presence of Jenny Mann, New York based rock band Blameshift, featuring guitarist Tim Barbour, bassist Vince Monticciolo and drummer Nathan Saake, have been blazing a path across the nation for the past five years, logging over 150,000 miles of terrain in an eco-friendly tour bus powered by vegetable oil.
Matching an insatiable work ethic with dramatic live performances and a growing repertoire of show-stopping anthems and catchy ear candy (garnering placements on MTV and video game "Call of Duty"), the Long Island quartet continues to prove why retailer Hot Topic anointed Blameshift one of the "Best Unsigned Bands" in the land.
Jenny and the boys are gearing up for another run of shows and have an incredible new Ep on the horizon (they've been playing two new songs, "Revolution" and "Better Without You (C'est La Vie)" from it during their live shows).
Ms Mann graciously took a few minutes to indulge in a low-cal bowl of Mack and cheese...
1. We’ll start off with a tough question...
Does your middle name have two “n’s” as well?
JM: Great question...but, unfortunately no!!!! My middle name is Leigh!
2. Blameshift recently recorded six songs in LA with producer Erik Ron. There’s a lush, achingly beautiful ballad that closes the Ep called “Wherever It Goes”. Erik proclaimed it to be one of the favorite songs he’s ever done. Considering he’s worked with Panic! At The Disco, VersaEmerge, Foxy Shazam, Four Year Strong, Hit The Lights, The Academy Is and Good Charlotte, among others, that’s extremely high praise (and well-deserved). What was the inspiration behind the song?
JM: That song is actually extremely meaningful to me. I wrote it with Erik at a time where everything in my life was changing. I was moving out of the house I grew up in, it was being sold and knocked down, I wasn't sure where I was gonna live, amongst other things. I was at a crossroads where I just wasn't sure where my life was headed.
Erik and I locked ourselves in the studio all day and wrote, "Wherever It Goes". It was so raw and emotional we didn't even add harmonies or backing vocals. It's just an honest song about growing up and searching to find your place.
3. You’re in the process of shopping the new songs. In the meantime, do you have any plans to release a second single/video from The Black Rose?
JM: We actually plan on doing a video for a song from the upcoming EP that we just recorded in the next few months. Stay tuned for that!!
4. Blameshift is hitting the road in June with Straight Line Stitch. What a fantastic pairing...Alexis is an incredible singer too! I hope I get to see one of the shows (tour dates below).
Rather than chunes, what are your fave five apparel brands to accessorize yourself with that you can’t leave Long Island without?
JM: Hmmmm... I don't think I really have any favorite brands. I am more into buying random items from random stores. The five items I couldnt leave Long Island without are my studded combat boots, my leather jacket, leggings, leg warmers and headbands.
5. Being on the road with a bunch of guys, what reality show is it closest to on a regular basis:
a) Ice Road Truckers or American Chopper? Ice road truckers
b) Whisker Wars or Storage Wars? Storage wars
c) Diners, Drive-ins and Dives or Iron Chef? D, D and D!
d) Jackass or Ridiculousness? Jackass
e) Jersey Shore or The Real Housewives of New Jersey? Jersey Shore (Tim is the Situation ;) )
6. Blameshift tours incessantly each year in your eco-friendly vehicle that runs on vegetable oil. I’m guessing there’s enough used oil in each and every town to power your RV. What the best place to re-fuel, McDonalds? How far can you travel on one fill-up?
JM: Actually, McDonald's has some of the worst oil. Places like Japanese and Chinese restaurants are the best because they don't re-use the same oil over and over like some of the fast food places do. Any restaurant that will clog your arteries will probably clog our bus too! We have a 70 gallon tank in our bus, so we can travel 700 miles on that!
7. Being a vegan in large swaths of our great land must be a challenge from time to time. What’s your go-to food in anytown USA? And for the other road warriors out there, what are your Top 3 vegan dining spots at home and/or on the road?
JM: It's extremely difficult for a vegan to eat in much of this country. I eat at Golden Corral a lot because they have a big salad bar and I can take it to go. I also eat Taco Bell because their beans are vegan. If all else fails, Wal-mart always has hummus and vegetables. That's a staple.
My Top 3 vegan dining spots around the country would have to be Pita Pit, Panera Bread (awesome black bean soup and cilantro hummus) and Chipotle!
8. I really enjoyed your rendition of Rihanna “We Found Love” at Texas Rockfest at SXSW this year (their showcase made my Top 10).
You’ve also done covers of other big-chorus pop songs like Yellowcard “Only One”, Oasis “Wonderwall”, Justin Timberlake "Cry Me a River" and Bruno Mars “Grenade” (check You Tube to see 'em). So, if you were auditioning for The Voice, what song would you sing and which of the coaches would you want as yours and why?
JM: I would probably do an Aerosmith or Queen song. I would definitely do a song by a male artist. Its always fun to hear a song written for a male done by a female.
And, I would definitely choose Cee-Lo! He is definitely the best coach and it seems like he genuinely cares about his artists.
9. Armed with a discretionary $1888 in cold hard cash to splurge wantonly, how would you spend the dolla billz?
JM: Shoes, sunglasses, costume jewelry, Sally Hansen nail strips and makeup. Any leftover money I would spend at Whole Foods...I'm obsessed with that place.
10. Going one step further. Removing all logistics, you have 28 days to travel anywhere in the world at your leisure. You can travel extravagantly or thriftily. Where would you go? Anything in particular you would want to see or experience?
JM: I have always dreamed of going on an African Safari. I would definitely want to do that. I would probably spend some time in Israel too. I have really good friends there and have not had a chance to go yet. My sister went last year and it changed her life.
11. Are there any charities or organizations that you support that you'd like to give a shout-out to?
JM: I recently teamed up with an amazing company called Rockin' Wellness. They make total body nutrition shakes that are raw, vegan and made from the world's top superfoods. I have never found a company that I am so excited about. They support music and health...what more could I ask for?
12. If you could spend a day with anyone (living or dead), whom would it be and why?
JM: That's an easy question. I would choose to spend the day with my best friend, mentor and role model...my grandpa.
He inspires me every day!
BLAMESHIFT TOUR DATES
May 24 - Wantagh, NY @ Mulcahy's
May 25 - Joliett, PA @ The Watering Hole
May 27 - Upper Marlboro, MD @ Six Flags America
May 29 - Fayetteville, NC @ The Rockshop Music Hall (Free Show)
May 31 - Sandy Springs, GA @ North River Tavern
Jun 05 - Austin, TX @ Dirty Dog Bar (w/ Straight Line Stitch)
Jun 06 - Harker Heights, TX @ Ami's Hard Rock (w/ Straight Line Stitch)
Jun 07 - Fort Worth, TX @ Tomcats West (w/ Straight Line Stitch)
Jun 08 - Corpus Christi, TX @ Clicks Paradise (w/ Straight Line Stitch)
Jun 09 - Houston, TX @ Mango's Cafe Houston (w/ Straight Line Stitch)
Jun 10 - Odessa, TX @ Dos Amigos (w/ Straight Line Stitch)
Jun 11 - Lubbock, TX @ Jake's Sports Cafe (w/ Straight Line Stitch)
Jun 13 - El Paso, TX @ House of Rock (w/ Straight Line Stitch)
Jun 14 - Gallup, NM @ The Juggernaut Hookah (w/ Straight Line Stitch)
Jun 15 - Scottsdale, AZ @ Martini Ranch (w/ Straight Line Stitch)
Jun 16 - Las Vegas, NV @ The Sanctuary (w/ Straight Line Stitch)
Jun 17 - San Diego, CA @ The Griffin) (w/ Straight Line Stitch)
Jun 20 - W. Hollywood, CA @ Whiskey A Go-go (w/ Straight Line Stitch)
Jul 13 - Pecatonica, IL @ Rock'n The Valley (Winnebago Fairgrounds)
Jul 14 - Pecatonica, IL @ Rock'n The Valley (Winnebago Fairgrounds)