Soul Blind: Hudson Valley Band Honor 90's Rock Influences With New EP, "Third Chain"

(Photo credit: Kelli McGuire)

Soul Blind have spent the greater part of the last couple years making quite a name for themselves - but in the unlikely case you haven’t heard of them, I’ll catch you up.

Soul Blind is a four-piece group from the Hudson Valley, creating a fuzzy blend of shoegaze and alternative that takes inspiration from bands like The Smashing Pumpkins, Alice in Chains, Third Eye Blind, and Deftones. Their debut EP, Untitled, was released in 2018, with a 2-song promo to follow in 2019.

Last month, they released Third Chain, a 3-song EP that follows the full range of those influences. The EP follows their vision perfectly. The title track, “Third Chain,” is a guitar-driven opener that sounds like a love letter to the anthemic hits that mark the sound of 90’s-00’s alt-rock. The second track, “Misplaced” is my favorite - a somber, slower track, with heavily-layered vocals that perfectly complement the colossal riffs underneath. Last but not least, “Phantom Pool” is a track led by loud, distorted guitars and swirling vocal melodies. The sounds perfectly pair with vocalist and bassist Cen’s emotionally-reflective lyrics.

Cen and I talked Third Chain, as well as his beginnings in Hudson Valley’s hardcore scene, album art, his alternative rock favorites, and some of his favorite spots to visit at home. Read the full interview to find out more!

(Photo credit: Gabe Becerra)

AA: Introduce yourself with your name, what you do in Soul Blind, and a random fact about yourself.

C: What’s up, I’m Cen, and I sing and play bass in Soul Blind. Random fact is I’m actually a centaur.

AA: What was the first show you went to? What impact did that have on keeping you involved in making music?

C: First real hardcore show I went to was with Hatebreed, Trapped Under Ice and Four Year Strong at The Chance in Poughkeepsie. I was exposed to the wild aggression of the first two after really only being there for Four Year Strong, and that set me on a path to get closer to that style of music. I loved the energy and chaotic nature of it. It led me to tap into more local bands doing a similar sound in my area, and got me involved with smaller, more DIY shows in my area. Through that, I met a lot of friends, and the other members of Soul Blind. 

AA: What made you want to start a band like Soul Blind?

C: We all love 90’s rock and grew up on it, so it’s very natural for us. Our area had a lot of sick hardcore bands going on, so we thought we’d switch it up a bit. 

AA: What are some of your inspirations for this EP, musically and lyrically?

C: Lyrically, I was inspired by different personal relationships within my life. Most of my lyrics are very personal and deal with emotions I’m facing. The song “Third Chain” deals with wanting a change of environment that wasn’t doing anything positive for me at the time. Musically, we were inspired by a lot of loud guitar rock. Alice In Chains, Third Eye Blind and Deftones are a good trio of influences that span the range between the three songs on the EP.

AA: Let’s say someone who doesn’t usually listen to the kind of music Soul Blind makes stumbles across this EP, and is looking for more. What are 5 personal essential alt-rock/shoegaze records that you’d recommend?

C: In no particular order -

Failure - Magnified

Hum - Iron Clad Lou

Alice In Chains - Facelift

Swervedriver - Mezcal Head

Third Eye Blind - S/T

AA: What’s your favorite track on the EP and why?

C: I really love “Phantom Pool.” It’s my favorite chorus to sing, and I loved getting to record, like, 8 different layers of harmonies for it. The riffs are simple but heavy, and really smack. 

Album art

AA: The same person (MANCEN) has done all your album art - how’s the process of getting that together? Is it collaborative, or do you leave creative control up to him?

C: Yeah, we just have him take control. He’s our good homie and gets our sound, so we trust his process. Sometimes he takes his sweet ass time, but we love him for it. This most recent one incorporated a still from our video for “Third Chain” that our other homie Justin Pietropaoli did, and he freaked it to give a lil’ Gish and Stone Temple Pilots feel to it. 

AA: Though Soul Blind doesn’t play hardcore, you play a lot of shows with hardcore bands - how do you feel about playing those mixed shows?

C: I love a mixed bill. We have heavy songs and lighter songs that still work within a hardcore show, I feel like. I love the energy from hardcore bands. Nobody wanna hear the same sounds all night, a good mix is always sick. It also exposes different kinds of people to other types of music, which helps drive the scene. Like I mentioned before, the first hardcore show I went to was a mixed bill, and it put me on to Trapped Under Ice.

AA: You guys are from the Hudson Valley, which can be slightly overlooked  compared to other parts of NY - what’s the scene like there?

C: The scene is great for what it is. Not as big as other places near us, like NYC and Long Island, but our scene is very tight-knit. We don’t have a lot of venues, but when shows work out here, they pop off. Shoutout to Mindforce, Age of Apocalypse, Big Shot and Final Rite.

AA: If someone came to your area that had never been there before, what are some spots you’d recommend?

C: You could get some fye Mexican food at Azteca in Poughkeepsie. Hit some pizza at my personal fav, Greenhaven Pizza, or Stormville Pizza. Robo’s is my fav deli in the area. There’s a lot of good nature shit and a bunch of spots that pull up to the Hudson River. 

AA: What are some new places you’d like to play in the upcoming year?

C: Would love to play the whole US. Getting to Europe or Japan would be sick, too. We plan on touring as much as possible, so we’re gonna try and be everywhere. 

AA: Any upcoming plans you’d like to mention?

C: We just put out the Third Chain EP, and we just finished an East Coast tour with Koyo. Come to a show. We’ll be playing more in the winter and spring too. 

AA: Any last words or shoutouts?

C: Shoutout to the Hudson Valley, and shoutout to Resonating. 

I’d like to thank Cen again for this interview! Seriously, if you haven’t checked out Third Chain, you’re majorly screwing up.

See what the band’s up to via their links:

Official website | Instagram | Twitter | Bandcamp

Additionally, listen to Third Chain via Spotify below.


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