Blunt Force is a local Austin duo that can best be described as "electronic music unleashed." Bandmates Brian and Deniz know damn well what it feels like to get bored, and are committed to staying freshly inspired through their constant discovery of new voice. This comes across in their music, which crosses wide swaths of soundscapes with relative ease. It's clear that they're not in it for any other reason than pure unadulterated passion.
Much like their sound, their stage show is hard to pin down. With Brian as maestro on decks, Deniz goes balls out on the drum set to provide as much primal energy as possible. This works well, as Deniz's incredible skills on drums gives their special breed of slip-shod sets a driving force that keeps your attention laser focused throughout. It's less of a rollercoaster and more of a firehose of fun that, once unleashed, will not let you take a spare breath.
But it's not fun and games all the time. If they want to retain the hyper-organic presence on stage, they need their show to reflect who they are right now. This is an exciting opportunity, as having an audience to watch you grow is the most satisfying part of being an artist. These boys don't really do serious in the traditional sense of the word, but they know they have to be serious about staying inspired.
Magnetic Magazine: How'd you guys meet?
Deniz: We met about when we started college about 6 years ago.
Brian: I didn't know him until a year later. Deniz was too cool for me. But then I started doing shows and shit and I was doing really well. He saw me DJing and playing guitar and was like "yo, you need a drummer??"
MM: How did the project take form?
Brian: Well at first, Blunt Force was just me producing, and then when Deniz jumped on board he was pretty much limited to doing the live accompaniment. But then once he came on full-time our sets definitely got a lot heavier. Now we're just trying to rethink everything.
MM: What was your first show?
Brian: Our first show was during SXSW.
Deniz: Legitimately in an apartment complex. I was driving back from Florida just trying to learn the songs on the way . He'd text me like "hey man, where you at?" and I'd be like "ummm Louisiana but I'll be there soon."
Brian: Typical Blunt Force 1.0. Deniz always late to shit.
MM: How was opening up your solo project to new input?
Brian: Dude it was so tough for me right from going all by myself. Obviously it was good to have a second pair of ears but then it was like "aww wait don't change that."
Deniz: The first song he sent me to fuck with sounded like a completely different song when I sent it back.
Brian: I just wanted him to sequence some electronic drums or some shit and when he sent it back I was like "that's not what I wanted at all. Are you sure you sent me the right song?" That definitely highlighted those types of problems really quick.
MM: Had you guys been in bands before?
Deniz: In high school I was in a punk band for 4 years that I actually thought I took seriously. But we didn't seem like it because we just got drunk and played shows. But then my guitarist quit and that was the end of that!
MM: What did you learn from those 4 years?
Deniz: I learned that if you really want it, you can't mess around. You can have fun and shit but if you want to get to where you want to be you gotta stop the bullshit and get in the studio every day. Work on the days that you don’t wanna work, get the business done that you don’t feel like doing. That’s how you do it.
MM: What do you guys do to make your stuff darker and more gritty?
Brian: You just gotta pitch it down.
Deniz: Transpose it until it sounds weird. All the Brighter Tomorrow songs the first thing I did was pitch it down and it was like "oh, tight. This already sounds dope."
MM: Do you ever find that there are plug-ins that are too easy?
Deniz: Yeah dude, we bought a new interface and it came with ONE parameter, and I do not like it. I'm very technical with my shit, I mess with my knobs relentlessly. Brian thinks I'm just making up a difference in my head.
MM: Do you ever grow tired of your sound?
Brian: Definitely. Whenever we try something for a while we're always like "ok this is kind of boring." But it's good because if you're not out there being bored then you're not pushing yourself to improve. We've been changing it up really often, which takes a ton of work, but we feel it'll be worth it in the end.
Deniz: In general, we don't want to have rules anymore around how we produce our music and what we're really going for. In our minds we have a certain way we make our music but we try and ignore that because we'll end up at the Blunt Force sound anyway.
MM: Have you guys ever talked about moving in together?
Brian: We already lived together. It was great music wise! The spot came with a soundproof studio in the garage and so all last year if we wanted to work on something we were there together. But Deniz is kinda hard to live with.
Deniz: My sleep schedule is kinda weird. The other day I tried to sleep 8 hours like a normal person and it was horrible. We moved out in July.
Brian: We work together, we tour together, we're in the studio together, we are on stage together, so moving out was for the better. Blunt Force would've murdered each other otherwise. We still go to marriage counseling from time to time and things are better than ever.
MM: How do the live drums factor into your production?
Deniz: For the last two songs that we've made we've tracked live drums. Send It is the perfect way to show an example of why it sounds so much better. It's grittier.
Brian: All the hats, all the cymbal crashes, and everything are coming from the live recorded acoustic kit. But then you definitely need that electronic kick and snare to pair with it to bring the cleanliness.
MM: What stories do you tell in your music?
Brian: Well we're some goofy motherfuckers. When people see us play, and they see how we put together our shows, they get it. The main thing people take away from it is that they're just two idiots up there being goofballs.
Deniz: We had a conversation a month ago, "do you think we want to get more serious?"
Brian: We've been on a party vibe lately, with the non-stop fun. But what this next show is getting into ways to do things differently. We're sending this one in a way we never have before, and I really don't think anyone is expecting what we're going to put on. Instead of constant energy, party song after party song, we want to craft a journey through peaks and valleys. Shit that'll flow.