heavy metal

Exclusive Interview with Tony West of Blacklist Union.

Band Pic The Gauntlet was fortunate to get some time to talk to Tony West, The frontman for Blacklist Union, and a world-class
human being, honesty, authenticity and unforgettable music real creativity and innovation. To honor the death of a great man, musician, and friend – The late Todd Youth, West has announced that, the last recording BACK TO MOMO is free to download for anyone. If you don’t have this record you are going to want it.

Gauntlet--->Tony, thanks for your time, How are you doing today?

Tony West->oh I’m doing just peachy keen now thank you

Gauntlet--->Are you in LA today?

Tony West-> I have LA in my DNA & I am in the city at the moment

Gauntlet---> Tony, we all loved Todd. It is a great loss to rock-n-roll. I would like to extend to you my empathy, and sentiments. You seemed to have a special connection with him. Do you feel like sharing that connection? How it came about and how it felt to have such a real friend?

Tony West->thank you for the condolences. We did have a special connection. I first became aware of Todd when I was 15 in New York City growing up and going to CBGB’s and punk rock and Hardcore shows. In 2002 we met and became friends. We wrote our first song together on the third blacklist union called “till death do us part“. It was such a great experience and Todd knew all the drama and bullshit I had been through with Blacklist Union from the musicians themselves to managers to labels and all the nonsense in between. We decided to write a Record together that was filled with life and love and hope. As the first three blackList union records specifically deal with lots and lots of pain and tremendous losses.

Gauntlet--->John, sometimes in death we are affected for the rest of our lives. Now that it has been a month, how are you doing emotionally?

Tony West->this is a tremendous and deep loss for me. Todd was one of my closest friends. A month is nothing. I’ve lost so many people at this point in my life all it does is broaden my spiritual life. We’re all going to die and we better be ready because that shits going to happen.

Gauntlet---> For the record I think it is very generous to give away the entire record: Back to Momo. I Love this record, I have it on cd along with the last two. I am missing the first release. Occasionally, an LP like this comes along. It's far too infrequent in our day and age. My personal favorites on the LP are every track. It has amazing staying power and doesn’t get old. My question is how did this come together, where there changes in writing? Where you all in the zone?

Tony West->me and Todd just wanted to write a kick-ass rock ‘n’ roll Record man. Thank you so much for the compliments. And I have a copy of the first CD for you. Just give me an address. It literally took me and Todd two weeks to write that record. We know how to write, and we know how to not write. It was such an easy and fun effortless record to write. I enjoyed it very much

Gauntlet---> Honestly no bad tracks on it. Can we talk about your role in the band? Are you aware that you have a giant stage presence and pulsate with charisma? You remind me of some other front men that had a similar effect on the audience, Like Jim Morrison, Axel Rose, Ian Ashbury, Michael Hutchence. Are you aware of this? Do you realize that cool stage moves Increase the likeability factor 5-fold? How did you come by the rhythm you demonstrate as if the music is moving through you? Did you practice, or did it just happen?

Tony West-> thank you so much once again for the compliments. That is very kind of you. And yes there’s no practice involved with performing - the music just moves through me. I consider myself a channel of the energies on the other side. To use me as their instruments

Gauntlet----> Tony, your vocal command is remarkable from the phrasing to the diversity. There is a unique quality to your voice not like any I have heard in the last decade. Whether you are soaring chromatic or delivering that chant that is so fucking cool. Do you write the lyrics? Vocal Melodies?

Tony West-> I do. I write all the lyrics and melodies. Of course, I’m open to collaboration. I do enjoy that aspect of it very much. It’s like giving life to songs.

Gauntlet----> Shifting gears a bit here. Do you recall a time in your youth where you suddenly knew this was what you were going to do for the rest of your life? What is the meaning of life? Your world views? Is there an objective we are supposed to achieve or is it all existential? Would you opt for immortality if you could have it?

Tony West-> yes when I was five years old I asked my uncle who is that girl on that poster there? He said that’s no girl that’s David Bowie. And then I saw AC/DC live at Madison Square Garden. And then I discovered the Ramones who made it apparent that being awkward and dorky was cool. The meaning of life is love

Objective? F if I know

No way dude. I want to evolve to the next dimension. Earth is the ghetto planet.

Gauntlet----> What is your favorite pastime/hobby besides music?

Tony West-> I have a beautiful fiancée that I like to spend time with and a beautiful son and a beautiful daughter. That’s what I like to do - spend time with them - I also like to do yoga and constantly evolve and work on myself

Gauntlet----> Will you name a genre of music you enjoy that might be shocking or at least incongruent with your music

Tony West-> old disco

Gauntlet----> Last question. Do you want the red pill or the blue pill? (red shows the real world and what is happening. Blue allows you to remain in fantasy land)

Tony West: I don’t want any pills.

Tony, I want to personally thank you for making a very singular album. It is powerful and very evocative while stepping up your game. I am sincerely grateful for your music.
Hope to see you perhaps on the road. Or maybe the next dimension.

Thank you

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    December 12, 2018

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