Ladies and gentlemen, I am announcing it here and now. My choice for album of the year is none other than the magnificent debut LP, No One Loves You from the Atlantian band Blis. This powerful and confident record released on Sargent House Records comes out swinging in full force following their buzz-inducing EP Starting Fires In My Parents House. With a familiar emo/post-hardcore sound and loud/soft dynamic, Blis. manages to take your familiarity with these attributes and make you feel like you are hearing them for the first time, while appreciating the nostalgia.
No One Loves You is an emotional listen from beginning to end.
With frontman Aaron Gosset’s lyrics, touching on his past, the birth of his son, his issues with parents and partners, or his stance on religion. Sometimes all of the above, and all at once. Or even sonically. With dynamics ranging from subtle, melodic and subdued, to intense, crashing and angst ridden. This record is a heavy hitter and will weigh on you throughout the day.
Blis., consists of Gossett, drummer Jimi Ingman, and bassist Luke Jones. The band was formed and fleshed out over the course of the last five years to the current line-up we see on No One Loves You. On this record we see songs that were written and refined over the course of the last few years. Needless to say I was floored when I heard the final effort.
I was incredibly excited and fortunate to get the opportunity to ask Gossett a few questions regarding No One Loves You, and his personal experiences in creating this album, as well as a few other things.
I’d like to personally start the interview by telling you that No One Loves You is easily my favorite record of the year so far. I have been waiting to hear what you had up your sleeves since Sargent House announced your signing. It is truly something else and just what I needed to hear at the moment, so thank you!
The lyrics on No One Loves You are pretty open and emotional. Between touching on things like your past with your father, your family and son, or religion and God. Is there any of those things that are a little more sacred to you personally, and a little harder to share?
There are definitely some topics on the record that I am uncomfortable to talk about but I try to practice transparency when doing interviews. I want the listeners to know what these songs are about and I believe it will bring them closer to the songs.
I was reading that you really feel that through the creation of this record you were really “tested by life.” Obviously, the writing and recording process can be an arduous one. Would you mind giving a little insight to what else may have added to this feeling?
I felt like my relationship with my son was in jeopardy the entire time that I was working on this record because the mother of my child was so obsessed with her faith that she allowed it to come between our relationship. We have a much better relationship now. I’d like to say I put the past behind me, but that would be a lie. It is a constant struggle day to day, but we try hard to make it work.
No One Loves You is such a captivating listen. The dynamics and range are so deep. Your previous EP, Starting Fires In My Parents House also shows the same, but it is definitely taken up many notches in the entirety of the new album. Did your sound always feature the soft/loud dynamic, or was it developed over time?
I think with this record we wanted to do something with more depth and more dynamics. There were moments where the lyrics permitted the music to be more vulnerable and quiet and there were other moments where the music needed to be chaotic to match what was being said. I think the soft/loud dynamic is something that we find endearing. It’s an aesthetic that is present in a lot of our main influences, so naturally our music was bound to take a turn in that direction.
You’ve been quoted as having influences such add American Football, Pedro the Lion, as well as comparisons to Modest Mouse and Silversun Pickups. Are there any influences that we might be surprised to learn that the band draws from? Perhaps not a direct sound comparison, but even in any other light?
I would first off like to state that I’ve never been a fan of Silversun Pickups and it’s not because I don’t like them – it’s just because I’ve honestly never really listened to them. I don’t understand why we get that comparison so often- although I’m not offended by it. However, I find it funny that we get compared a band that I don’t think I’ve ever listened to in almost every form of press.
Honestly, one of my biggest influences is Nine Inch Nails. I don’t know if that’s made obvious through our music, but I definitely take a trip through their discography several times a year and go in and out of obsession with that band. It has shaped the way that I work on and write songs. I really appreciate Trent Reznor’s method of pre-production and I love the idea of adding several layers to something to make a huge and complex sound. When I listen to their records I always hear something new.
Tell us a little bit about how you came came to connect with Sargent House.
I was obsessed with Sargent House when I was in high school and listened to every band on the label. One day (out of the blue) Cathy sent us a message through our inbox on Facebook inquiring about our plans with our next release. I think I had a small heart attack. I have no idea how she found us, but I’m thankful she did.
If you could pick any two of your label-mates for a “dream tour” who would it be?
What has been has been your most memorable tour and why?
We did our first full U.S. tour with our label mates Mylets and And So I Watch You From Afar a couple of years back. It was very educational in regards to what is expected of us if we want to be a professional band. We made a lot of silly mistakes on that run as well as a ton of great ones. I think we all took a lot of wisdom from the experience and feel much more prepared for the future because of it.
We’ve interviewed a few other bands from Atlanta, most saying great things about the music scene. We know it took a little bit of time to solidify a line-up and kind of find your place. What was your experience coming up in the scene? Were there any bands from out there that you look up to?
Honestly my experience with the Atlanta music scene was pretty harsh. I tried for a long time when I was just a solo act to get on local shows, but I always felt pretty ostracized from the music scene (if you ask me it’s because I don’t look the part). It wasn’t until a guy name Kyle Swick came along and gave me a chance that I was able to consider myself a part of this music scene. He was a promoter for a now deceased venue called The Wonder Root in East Atlanta. They hosted thousands of shows over the years, a few of which I was lucky to be a part of. Kyle was always great about getting people to come out to these shows and always picked the coolest bands. I appreciate him giving me a chance to play despite what I look like.
Okay, last question. If you were to only be able to listen to 3 albums for the rest of your life, what would they be? And why?
With Teeth by Nine Inch Nails / The Fragile by Nine Inch Nails / Me and all My Friends by Kelsi Grammar
All of these records have had a heavy influence on the way that I write and I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of listening to them.
Also I think a few honorable mentions would be Control by Pedro the Lion, The Cradle by Colour Revolt and Third Eye Blind’s Self-Titled.
I had nothing to offer anyone but my own confusion.