The GnR Syndicate talks to Tony West of Blacklist Union
Posted: 2010-08-26 12:18:04
The GnR Syndicate: What’s the back story to your band? How did you guys form?
Tony West: I formed the band in 2004. The name was born from being politically incorrect in this kiss ass
“scene” we have here in Hollywood. I take no bullshit, have been in Hollywood since I ran away here in
1989 and have developed quite the reputation (you could say) over the years.
The GnR Syndicate: Where is your (band’s) home town? Where did you get your start?
Tony West: I am originally from The Bronx: 204th street and the Grand Concourse. I was 13 when I ran away
here to (LA) and used to hang at Tommy’s burgers on Wilcox and Hollywood.
The GnR Syndicate: Why did you run away? Just pissed? Or did you go to L.A. to make music? Were you already
playing at that age or learned once you got out there?
Tony West: I grew up in an extremely hostile environment and was abused like many other children around the
world. I ran for my life at age 13 and joined my first band as a drummer. We were called Uncommon Grudge.
I’ve always known I wanted to play music; I was that little kid you would see at all the punk shows. I saw
AC/DC at age 5, GNR at 11 and the Ramones at 8 years old.
The GnR Syndicate: What is the motivation for your lyrics? Who does the writing?
Tony West: I love writing tongue twisters that I wouldn’t be able to speak but have no problem singing.
Also a huge motivation is all our songs are based on events, feelings and my life; both tragic and joyous.
It’s actually my salvation, keeps me sane and is therapeutic in all kinds of ways.
The GnR Syndicate: This is simply some of the most driven, in your face rock n’ roll I’ve heard in
years, I can’t say that enough. What’s your creative process like as a group?
Tony West: Our creative process comes from all different directions. Sometimes I will write on bass or we
can come up with a song together in rehearsal, it all depends on the moment.
The GnR Syndicate: Your sound is absolutely unique yet there is no mistaking the vast array of musical
influences that a listener can pick up on when you play. Who were some of the bands that had a direct impact on you
Tony West: Bands that had a direct impact on me personally would be mother Love bone,Jane’s Addiction,
The Cult, INXS, GBH, The Cro-Mags,all kinds of stuff.
The GnR Syndicate: 65 steps away, how did you end up closing that song out with a children’s choir? It
sounds awesome, who had that idea?
Tony West: That song I hold very close to my heart. It’s about how many steps away my ex wife’s
grave is from my ex girlfriend’s. I love the video for the song: It’s about walking through the fire when
you see no light at the end of the tunnel. You just instinctively know to go forward and it will all be ok.
I was very influenced by Andrew Wood as a kid and the children’s choir comes from the idea of how all the
adults in the world are attempting to get back to their childlike innocence when it’s never left in the first
The GnR Syndicate: Since I’ve got you here, any good rock n’ roll stories you’d like to
share with the readers?
Tony West: We were doing South by Southwest (music festival) in Texas with Rockets To Ruin (from Atlanta)
and Broken Teeth (From Austin) and we found out our new bass player was hiding the fact that he had TITS. Yes tits!
I laughed for three days and of course he was immediately fired.
The GnR Syndicate: What (music) might we find in your car stereo? Right now in my stereo I’ve got
Madball, new Alice in Chains, West Arkeen’s band The Outpatience, new Ozzy and NWA.
The GnR Syndicate: When should we expect to see your new album “Til Death Do Us Part” released
and how would you describe it?
Tony West: ’Til Death will be released the beginning of 2011. It is definitely an evolution of the
band and personally as an artist. We really pushed the envelope on this one. New fans as well as old fans will be
very pleased, and as always we will deliver a kick ass, in your face rock n’ roll cd that will make you wanna
fight, fuck, and drink.
The GnR Syndicate: Will you have an accompanying tour with this release?
Tony West: We look forward to hitting the road hard in 2011 and 2012 and hitting places we haven’t been
yet like Europe, Japan, and South America.
The GnR Syndicate: Where can readers find out more about Blacklist Union?