photo by Rebecca Joelson

It’s really starting to look like Blackout Party is built to last. With 2011 and 2012 San Diego music awards on their mantle, a nominee for “Best Rock” and a performance slot at this year’s awards show, plus two albums under their belt with another being recorded by year’s end, it makes sense that people are starting to notice. So much so that acclaimed music mag Filter and clothing line Dickies built a three-part series entitled “Building the Band” around what makes the band tick.

Lead singer Brian Holwerda took a few minutes for us and broke down the ins and outs of the video series and why this San Diego band continues to thrive.


How did this all come together?

We played a show at SXSW that was hosted by Dickies and Filter Mag at the Lustre Pearl and after we played, we ended up just hanging out there with Elaine from Dickies and having a real good time. We ended up going back to Dickies events at that bar all week, and she came out to see us at our showcase we did with Sector 9 Skateboards. After that, we all just kept in touch and talked about doing some cool stuff together. They were in town staying at the Hotel Del Coronado, so we went down and played for the whole corporate staff and had a good time getting to know everybody. This video project was just the next step.


Where was the video shot?

The camera crew came to town for 3 days and just sorta followed us around. We had a loose treatment they wrote up as far as locations and a schedule. They met us in South Park, we hung out, went to Station Tavern, did some interviews and shot Tim’s bb gun. We had a Belly Up show with Dead Feather Moon that weekend, so they shot rehearsals leading up to that, and us hanging out around town.

Dickies is known for, among other things, durability. What do you want Blackout Party to be known for?

Dickies is definitely known for durability, and they definitely wanted to focus on the work that goes into being in a band, especially the behind the scenes stuff. I think the Dickies folks and us got along so well right away because we stand for similar things. Our band is a no-frills, blue collar, DIY group of guys. We’re not flashy or high fashion, and we’re a little rough around the edges, but we get the job done. We’re proud that we’ve kept as much as possible in-house, from graphic design, production, to building our own custom mic stands, so the videos highlighted some of that, which is cool.


The title of the video series is called “Building the Band.” Now that Blackout Party is built, what keeps it together?

What keeps us together is the fact that we’ve found the right group of guys, and we’ve all put in the work together, and we can look back and see tangible progress. Everyone supports each other, but we also give each other a hard time and keep everyone in check before a potential problem arises. I think bands break up when there isn’t that brother aspect, where you’re all in the trenches together working towards a common goal.

What’s the latest on any new Blackout Party music?

The latest news is that we’re performing at the SD Music Awards this year for the 1st time, and we are nominated for “Best Rock”, which we are pretty excited about. Music isn’t a contest, but it’s nice to be recognized. Anyone reading this please go vote Blackout Party for “Best Rock” here: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/sdma2013

Last but not least, we’re headed to Nashville in October to make a new record at Southern Ground Studios. This place has 48 tracks to 2-inch tape on a vintage Neve board, cold beer on tap, and an in-house chef cooking us 2 meals a day so we can work non-stop! It’s going to be a crazy couple months, but we’re looking forward to finally releasing vinyl, and letting everyone hear these new tunes!!


Blackout Party

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