Welcome to our webzine and thank you for taking the time to answer our questions!
Blacksheep is a relatively new name in the metal scene. What can you tell us about this project?
How and when did it start?
Blacksheep’s quest started back in the day, but it was on 2012 when I thought I should gather all the materials written since then and put them together under one name, giving them an identity. I always have been keen to this straightforward playing style, but it took me a while to leave other projects behind and put all the money on Blacksheep. It first started as a one-man-band but at some point, I wanted to play some songs live – one single show. Things didnít stop there.
-Why Blacksheep? How did you come up with that name?
That’s an easy one. At some point, I left behind the darkened and epic lyrical themes and went more into social topics. Dealing with that, I realised that it fits better to treat this kind of things ironically, therefore the name Blacksheep with it’s well-known meaning.
-How would you define your music?
Early songs were in the death’n’roll vein, an underrated style on music in my opinion, that I really dig. Later on, when other people got involved in this project, we made a slight change to hardcore, maybe groove metal, rap-metal, we started to make songs in Romanian… At some point, I released a death metal EP “War Ethics” followed by “Star Traveller” an avant-garde effort. So things are quite different from one release to another, but we do like to play live the straightforward and energic songs we have. I am not that good with this genre thing, Iíve just tried my best.
-Is there something special that the listener must know?
You are too kind. I wish I’d knew something so special to be worth knowing by someone else. We are working on some new material, all details will be made public at that time.
-What are your musical and lyrical influences?
There is a lot of music and a lot of information around these days so I find it hard to point at something. I think the really hard part is finding what you like the most and do it. I do like writing songs and trying things a lot and if it fits, it sits, I’ll go with it. Lyrical themes cover social aspects but also subjects as alcohol abuse, suicide, spirituality, all the themes that everyone is talking about in their own way.
-What are the pros and cons of being a one-man-band?
I didn’t analyze that, even though I tried it both ways. Being a one-man-band was simpler from a technical point of view and allowed me to experiment things I normally wouldn’t, but I find it more satisfying to play with a full band as long as we have the same goal. At this moment I wouldn’t trade our activity as a band for a solo project, it’s too much fun when we meet and jam. I really think that we have all that we need to make it right.
-Tell us about your first full-length, “The Future Started Yesterday”. How was this release received by the public?
I think it was very well received, I’ve put all my sincerity in that effort at that time. I wanted to play this album live one single time, one single show, called “The Future Starts Tonight“, but after that, we decided to continue. I was a great show, both from us and the audience. I never would have thought that it can go so well.
–Since 2014 you have only released three singles and two EP`s. Was there a break or an on-hold moment in the band’s existence?
Yep, there was. We’ve changed the line-up after “The Future Started Yesterday” and we recorded the single “Gunsmoke” with drummer Herman Hertzu Heidel from Breathelast. We played some shows, but he had to focus on his band, for their further plans. We recruited a new drummer, Cuza Penescu and we played some more gigs.
We released “Weather Report” EP which was also well received. At some point, due to lack of interest from the other members, I decided to put BLACKSHEEP on hold. Then I started a collaboration with a good friend of mine and also a great musician, Ionut Aliosa Cosmineanu, from the almighty H8. We released the first BLACKSHEEP songs in Romanian, “La Fel” and “Rauri de cuvinte“. Working with Aliosa was a turning point for me in terms of song and lyrics writing.
–What are you trying to achieve as an artist?
I don’t consider myself an artist, I think that there is more to create and pass to the public before one can consider himself an artist. Connection should be both ways before one can call himself that.
I am just a guy with some ideas and lucky enough to have all the means necessary to transpose them as songs. As for BLACKSHEEP we have a strong and determined team and each one of us is giving his best. I know this for a fact.
-Who are your favourite artists and how they influenced you?
I do have a lot of favourite artists like Jeff Walker, Bill Steer, Jan-Chris de Koeijer, Fred Estby, Jan Axel Blomberg, Simen Hestnaes, Kim Bendix Petersen, Patrick Walker, Michael Poulsen, Hansi Kursch, Thomas Such, Thomas Lindberg, Adrian Berinde (R.I.P.) and I think I can go on forever. I was lucky enough to have a pint with some of them and I learned two things: do whatever you like the most and believe in it.
-Have you planned any live shows in the future? Tell us about your future plans.
We have an upcoming show in Bucharest at Quantic at Hell Injectors, alongside Creeepy Willie, MBP and Bloated Pig, on the 27th of February. We are planning some gigs around the country in the near future. We also want to release a new studio material this year, all the preparations are in order, and besides that one, a single called “Nodul Gordian”. This one actually being the one that led to bringing back Blacksheep as a live band.
-Are you involved in other musical projects?
No, at this moment I give BLACKSHEEP my full attention. There’s no point to start anything else since everything happens around the band and the guys around me.
-On February 27th, Blacksheep will be performing on the Quantic stage alongside Bloated Pig, MBP and Creepy Willie. Why does someone absolutely have to see Blacksheep live?
I don’t find a certain reason someone has to feel the urge to see BLACKSHEEP live. If someone wants to have a good time, a beer and to take a break, he/she welcomes. I can only say that we’ll have new songs, known songs (I hope ), energy and fun. And the best line-up I ever played with.
I would like to take this moment to introduce the guys that Iíve been talking about.
We have George Lazar on vocal duties, jokes and entertainment, Razvan Nae – bass guitar, Mihnea Minca-Vangu – a young and very, very skilled drummer (and you should keep an eye on him), Andrei Costan my old mate, on guitar, and yours truly.
-What do you do besides music? Any other hobbies or special interests?
I do love Liverpool FC which is an amazing team at all levels, it’s not just football, this means more. I also like to travel, taking pictures and cooking. Yes, that’s right, I like to cook.
-We reached the end of the interview, please leave a message for our readers!
We’d like to thank you for finding a place for us in your webzine, and we hope your local readers will have the time to check us out in Quantic, while for your not-so-local readers: keep doing whatever makes you happy and make sure you check us out from time to time.