Tommy Mann Jr.
The Orange Leader
Things have changed quite a bit since Barely Blind last rocked Southeast Texas.
Pop punk outfit Barely Blind relocated to Los Angeles, Calif. in 2011 to begin the band’s next, and, hopefully, best, chapter of its decade long career. Now, with an album in tow, the band is headed back to Beaumont for its first local rock show since departing Southeast Texas more than one year ago.
Barely Blind will headline a concert at The Gig on Crockett Street this Friday night, Nov. 2, for ages 18 and older. Admission is $10 at the door and special guests include We Were Wolves, Driver Friendly, Dear You and We Are Wombat.
Following the release of two EP CDs, “The Way We Operate,” released in 2007, and “My Life With a Giant,” released in 2009, the band is touring in support of its new album, “Wilder Child of a Thousand Suns.”
The band, which features Will Smith, drums; Stephen Salisbury, guitar; Brad Cuccio, vocals and guitar; and Reid Guidry, bass, is beginning its 10-date fall tour in Beaumont and continues its trek across the U.S. with shows scheduled in Louisiana, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and New Jersey before returning for mid-November shows in Austin, Dallas and Houston.
The Orange Leader: Has the experience of relocating been as exciting as you hoped and as difficult as you expected?
Reid Guidry: It’s definitely been everything we wanted. We knew it would be difficult, so we really didn’t have too many expectations. We went into it with the mindset that we were starting the band over from the ground up. We put our album (”Wilder Child of a Thousand Suns”) for free just to get people familiar with us once we got there.
OL: Do you feel it has been as successful as you had envisioned?
RG: Well, that depends on how you look at it. We didn’t get our first show until this May. After that the shows just started piling up. We’ve played about 15 times since then, including a spot on the Warped Tour and shows at the Roxy.
OL: What do you feel has been the band’s biggest accomplishment since moving to L.A., and subsequently to Pasadena?
RG: Our biggest accomplishment is something we hope to be announcing real soon. I wish I could say more, but everything hasn’t been finalized for us. We are going to make another album, and it could have somebody really influential to us involved in the process. That’s all I can say about that. But we are more focused than we have ever been and we want to make the best album we can.
OL: Why was the time right to come back home for a show and to kick-off your fall tour?
Will Smith: We’ve been there a whole year now, and we really didn’t want to wait too long to get back home for a show. We had such a great experience with our going away show last year that we just thought what better way to kick off this fall tour than by coming back home. Hopefully, we will get a warm reception.
OL: Is Hurricane Sandy going to impact some of your scheduled dates on this tour in the Northeastern U.S.?
WS: Our show in New York is definitely not going to happen, we already know that. We’re playing Friday in Beaumont, and then Saturday in Ruston (Louisiana), and we will figure out more as we head to Chicago. We’ll have to play it by ear until we find out more about our shows in Pittsburgh and Connecticut. We have to see what’s up with the New Jersey show as well.
OL: Barely Blind’s video for “Inner Child” was featured on MTV.com’s “Fresh New Music: August 2012” segment. Has that done anything to help create more exposure for the band?
WS: Everything we do, especially all the little things, help in some way. Having MTV pick up our video was more of an accomplishment for us than anything. A lot of bands we know and bands we have played with understand the process to get things done like this. It’s all about if you know the right people and stuff like that. Any exposure we get out of it is great, but it’s definitely more of an accomplishment.
OL: What’s the next step for Barely Blind in 2013?
WS: Well, we’ll finish the tour and try to get all the plans laid out for the album and tour next year. It’s really a big deal, but we just can’t say anything about it right now.
Visit www.barelybind.com for more information about the band.