Earlier this year, Sad Blood released their ‘Legion of Gloom’ EP. It’s very good. The opening track to the record is called ‘Heavy Petting Zoo’ and the band have made a video for it. It features balloons. Check it out below, exclusively on Upset. Stick around for a chat with the band as well.
There’s an episode of South Park where Butters breaks up with someone he thinks is his girlfriend. Obviously, this upsets him and he’s approached by the goth kids to join their gang as another tortured soul. Butters rejects the offer, explaining that he is happy he can feel sadness, it makes his feel alive. It helps him appreciate the beauty in the world. This episode struck a chord with George Phillips, vocalist and guitarist of Sad Blood.
It’s almost been a year since the band released their debut ‘Ultimate Worrior’ and the resulting twelve months have “been interesting. It’s been up and down but we’ve played some really great shows, met loads of cool people and had a good time.” That’s what Sad Blood are all about.
“I wanted to be in a band for a long time,” explains George. His dad was a guitarist, his mum was a singer and he learnt guitar by watching Noel Gallagher play on a beach for Oasis’ ‘Be Here Now’ video. “It’s always been a part of me, it’s something I always wanted to do. I picked up a guitar and could play it, without wanting to sound like a twat. I’ve had to work really hard at learning how to play it well though.
George has played in a lot of bands (and also tried his hand at wrestling and stand up comedy) but it’s only with Sad Blood does it feel like he’s found his place. “I’ve been in bands for years but I’ve never found anything that I’ve really loved doing. I loved playing in those bands but I never felt like anything I contributed to those bands was as good as I can do. I always felt there was something missing. Without wanting to sound egomaniacal, or emomaniacal which is probably a better way to put it, I just never found my groove.” Inspired by Into It. Over It., George set about doing his own thing with his own songs. After a couple of dead ends, he teamed up with Dan Goldberg and Krys Bascombe and Sad Blood was born. Well, after 16 other potential names were cast aside.
“Everything just slotted into place. It felt right. I didn’t have to work really, really hard to want to sit down and write songs. I could just sit down and write.”
Balancing a heavy emotional weight with a love of silly puns and a desire to have fun, Sad Blood isn’t as serious as you’d be led to believe. “The reason for the songs is to get all of this bad shit that I think about off my chest but what I really wanted to do was not be ultra serious. There are a lot of bands that are really good and are really serious and I wanted to make it lighter. I wanted to bring about a change in myself by trying not to think about all the things that make me sad, or thinking about the things that make me sad but turning them into something positive, something I can have a laugh about.” It might seem like the end of the world at the time, but in the grand scheme of things, it rarely is.
The band’s ‘Legion of Gloom’ EP is about not being negative about all the bad things that have happened. Opening track ‘Heavy Petting Zoo’ is, “about a break up with a girl I used to date, Misery. We used to have a great time wallowing around together being sad and hating the world, but after a while, she seemed to drift away from me. I began to realise the relationship, whilst at times comfortable and easy, was pretty destructive and harmful so I did the decent thing and just stopped calling her or returning her texts. I spent more time writing and spending time with my friends instead of moping around the house secretly swiping Tinder when I thought she wasn’t looking. I’m much happier now, but I still think about her from time to time.” Turning personal pain into something useful, Sad Blood lend a helping hand with moving on.
“If my experience of feeling particularly shitty at a certain point and then being able to create something positive out of something that was so difficult, maybe it’ll help someone feel not so helpless when they’re feeling sad. There’s a light at the end of it. There are times when things get shitty but there are people around you to talk to and you try and help in whatever way you can. I think it’s important to try and help people if they’re feeling shitty.”
With 76 songs in the bank (“some are completely unusable though”) Sad Blood are also thinking about moving on. “I’ve been trying to write from other perspectives, looking at how things affect other people to become a slightly less selfish songwriter.” Beyond that, “We’re going to keep doing what we’re doing. I’m excited to see what happens next. The thing that I really want to do is go and play music to people. I just love playing music. I just want to have a good time and play.”
Sad Blood play:
27 London, Tooting Tram & Social (w/ New Tusk)
28 Bournemouth, The Winchester (w/ Moose Blood)
29 Swansea, The Scene (w/ My Only)
30 Basingstoke, The Sanctuary (w/ My Only)
31 Whitchurch, Percys (w/ My Only)
05 High Wycombe, venue TBC (Acoustic, w/ Redwood)
6 Southampton, Pre-Bar (w/ Redwood)
08 Watford, venue TBC (w/ Redwood)
17 London, Fiddlers Elbow (w/ Eat Me)