In regards to performances, Matt Danger Lippman (the singer and guitarist of Brimstone Blondes) reveals, "The biggest compliment we can get from a fan is when they come up to us and say 'I don't really know what I just watched' and "Are you Serious" or 'Are you joking'." And before I get the chance to ask him if he's being serious or sarcastic, he answers my question: "I guess we try to blur the line between seriousness and completely joking with everyone." Despite being difficult to register, the group's high energy performance landed them the Judge's prize at Buffalo's own Music Is Art festival. His charismatic stage presence, a mixture of thrashing, pointing (like an impassioned preacher), and foot shuffling make it hard to believe that Lippman is graduating from high-school just this year. At the end of our meeting he says, regarding transcribing the recording of the interview, "Good luck combing through this to find a coherent sentences."
buffaBLOG: So how did the band come together?
I guess it's not all that interesting. Ever since middle school I was friends with the bassist Alex and the drummer Joe and we all kind of got together. We would all go to the drummers house and play for hours on end. We had this one song that was really ambitious; it was this weird jazz, rock, rap song that we never did anything with. We were obsessed with the idea of "premiering" ourselves, and our first song and single to the world would be this bizarre creation. We never did anything with it, but I guess it was a nice headspace to start with.
I saw Titus Andronicus; they're this punk band. I always played with Alex and Joe, but we weren't all that serious about it, but I saw them live and decided that I needed to start playing live shows, and become a real band. After that I talked with Alex and Joe, we decided we'd get down a bunch of songs we've written. Originally, it was sort of your high-school band thing. We played at the school talent show. Funny thing is we came in second and the person who came in first place ended up becoming the violinist for our band. We did a cover of "Runaway" by Kanye West, after that it was sort of goofy block party shows. Then we got a call from After Dark and we played at Xtreme Wheels and stuff like that.
buffaBLOG: How did you guys come up with the name?
I like the artists with B's: Bowie, Beck, Bob Dylan, Beastie Boys. I always thought we could be a mix of the Beach Boys and the Beastie Boys. I always liked the idea of referring ourselves as blondes, because no one in the band is blonde. I also like the dichotomy between the sound of blondes and the sounds of brimstones, because neither of those actually describe us since we're not a metal band or really nice pop. So I like the idea of two completely different words that don't signify our sound to come together. I like two to three syllable names.
buffaBLOG: Who would you say are some of your influences, besides the B's.
When I was growing up, Gorillaz was a huge influence for me and my dad's collection where I got David Bowie and the Talking Heads. Actually, the Talking Heads and Elvis Costello are probably the two biggest ones. We're a very 21st century band in that we came in an age, for instance, where you can have Kanye West and Outkast and Talking Heads be equal influences. Our biggest influence is having so much access to music where I can love so many things equally that it all comes together in this bastardized twisted way. Like I love hip-hop lyrics, a lot of the directness I take in writing lyrics comes from the hip-hop I listen to, Outcast and MF Doom, the Beastie Boys. I love how in hip-hop, they can't really hide behind bad lyrics, like Led Zeppelin, they kind of immerse themselves in this abstract mythological stuff, but I love directness. Our sound, our music comes from Talking Heads and the Velvet Underground. In terms of attitude, I love punk bands like Bad brains, Big black. I love never making it easy for people, making them try to figure out what they're watching.
buffaBLOG: So, how do you go about writing material?
I'll always have a certain thought or image I want to convey. I always think about how the universal feeling, for instance, of feeling like you weren't made for these times. And I've always felt that way because I listened to a lot of weird classic rock. I get this annoying feeling ,"how can you really make anything original anymore when everything has been made?", but I fully realize that's a cliche thought, so with one song I tried to half write a song about "I'm tired of these times, I was born for another time" while trying to mock feeling that, exaggerating everything. So I guess I have these thought processes in mind, and I try to simultaneously speak through them and outwardly add some dry disconnected cynicism to them. Cynicism, or at least irony, is a big thing in my song writing. For instance, our song "Reunion Tour" is just about, as a teen band, planning on selling out and coming back for a reunion tour, how we can't way to cash in on everyone's old memories of us. And there's also "My Neighbor Looks Like Christian Bale" which kind of speaks for itself. I like the idea of using humor in music without being a humorous band. I try to act like everything is serious and then everyone can read what they want. It starts off with a thought and then I try to figure out the music, or chords that comes from that, a certain sound that I want, if I want to make it more like a hip-hop song, if there are chords that I just repeat, or a fluid rock song ,verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge.
Check out their music here.