Formed in Canada, based in London, and with roots in Iran, Blurred Vision are a band with a multi-cultural approach. Eschewing hedonism for a more galvanising agenda, the power trio have been turning heads since the release of their debut album 'Organized Insanity' in 2015. With supporters including Roger Waters, who personally approved their politically –charged reworking of Pink Floyd’s ‘Another Brick In The Wall’, the band have steadily been making waves. We caught up with brothers Sepp and Sohl Osley (vocals / guitar, and bass, respectively) and drummer Ben Riley, along with super producer Terry Brown at Ramblin’ Man Fair, to discuss their musical revolution. In the arms of our world: Eamon O’Neill.
Hey gentlemen, you look distracted there.
Sepp Osley: There it is! That’s out video playing on the main stage!
Was that Roger Waters endorsing you?
Sepp: He was just there! It’s the biggest, greatest feeling to have the most monumental artist, probably in the world backing us.
Sohl Osley: In our lives, he’s been so instrumental.
Sepp: Even before we released our version of ‘Another Bick In The Wall’, Roger was the first to hear the recording, to give us the green light and say; “get on with it lads”.
That must have been a tense moment for you, when you submitted if for his approval?
Sohl: Well, the worrying moment was actually just before, when we recorded the song and sent it over, and weren’t sure, you know; oh my god, is he going to say yes? And he came back and not only said; “yes”, but he said that; “this, the way that you guys have done it, is now yours. So if anybody now wants to do the song the way that you guys have done it, they don’t come to me anymore, they come to you”. That’s the generosity of the man.
Obviously, that’s because you put your own twist on the song.
Sepp: Well, it’s a song that the first time that it was written by Roger and the Floyd when they released it, it was a protest anthem, and of course it became a protest anthem during the Apartheid in South Africa. And we reawakened it for what was going on in Iran in 2009, and those uprisings that the youth were fighting for their freedom – and they still are. And we thought we have to use rock and roll; we’ve got to do something to stretch this out, and support these young kids that are trying to do everything they can to have freedom.
Obviously, the situation in Iran is something that’s close to your heart.
Sepp: Very close. We were born there, so we experienced war and all of that when we were really young, and we left and escaped.
Sohl: The thing that really his us hard, was the fact that we knew what they were trying to achieve; what their intentions were, and all they wanted was to have freedom, and we could not stand by and not do anything.
It must be difficult being on the outside looking at things from that perspective?
Sepp: Yeah, I mean that’s the thing; that is where we are so fortunate and why we are, as a new rock and roll band, reawakening that spirit that rock and roll can change the world. We have to sing about things that matter; not just trivial nonsense - there’s got to be a point to it, as all our heroes in the past did; Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Bob Marley, the Floyd.
It’s music with a purpose.
Sepp: Absolutely, and, it’s also anthemic, and it’s songs that people can sing to, and feel inspired, and invoke passion, and understand in unity and think; “you know what. We can actually change the world through music”. As a three-piece band, we were born out of that; that we can do something monumental with music on a global scale.
How did your set go down today here at Ramblin’ Man Fair?
Sepp: Our Twitter feed right now is just exploding! We were just talking about it backstage, and it’s going crazy. You know, it’s such an amazing feeling to have new fans and people out there that are hearing us for the first time, saying that that was the most astonishing band we’ve seen in a very long time. We’d love to do it again!
Sohl: It really felt good on stage – that was the tip of the iceberg, really.
Sepp: Next year, main stage; that is what the goal is.
The band has some commonality with that ‘other’ Canadian three-piece, Rush.
Sepp: Well, the fact that we share the same producer in Terry Brown; we are his baby, so we are amongst legends, and it’s humbling. We have to pinch ourselves every day; to have somebody like that behind us, we feel so protected, and so driven. You know, he’s worked with Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Rush, and the list goes on and on and on.
So when Terry Brown says; “this is the way it should be done”, you respect his opinion?
Sepp: He never actually says that.
Sohl: That’s what I was just thinking.
Ben: He plants this incredible seed in your head like you came up with it, even if he was the one that actually came up with it.
Terry, what’s it like working with these guys?
Terry: Oh, it’s hell!
Sohl: I don’t care what Sepp says, I think that Terry’s a great producer!
We were just drawing a parallel with one Canadian three-piece to another.
Terry: I’ve got a long list of three-pieces.
It must be nice to work with a new, up and coming band.
Terry: Absolutely. Yeah, for sure; it’s just that the other ones are off the road. *laughing*
Sepp: Terry’s rock and roll for life, so it’s a lot to keep up with him.
Sepp: Our debut album came out last year on Cherry Red Records. ‘Organised Insanity’ is the name of the album, and now we are in preparation for album two.
Terry: The album cover is by Hugh Syme, who did a tonne of Rush albums.
So you’ve got Hugh Syme providing the cover art, and Terry Brown producing; you’re not going to be plagiarising the music now, are you?
Terry: Well, we were thinking about it. We haven’t quite worked it out yet. *laughing*
Sohl: We haven’t done it yet, but once we run out of ideas, we might do that. *laughing*
So will album number two surface this year?
Sepp: No, we will be getting into the studio to prepare it, and it will be a 2017 release.
Terry: It’s called ‘Limelight’. *laughing* Just kidding! Scratch that.
So what’s next for you after this?
Sepp: We head back to Canada, briefly after the festival season, and we’re going to start doing some pre-production, getting ready for album two, and of course many, many more shows to come.
So it’s exciting times ahead for Blurred Vision.
Sepp: It is unbelievably exciting, and also, of course we’ve got out soundtrack album coming out on September 30th. We just scored seven songs on the latest feature film ‘Manhattan Undying’ from Paramount pictures, which again, is insane. With most bands it’s like; “oh, we got one song it” – we’ve got seven! So that’s coming out, and we’ve got a pledge campaign happening where we’re inviting our fans to get involved, and there’s so many amazing items to choose from.
Fans love that, don’t they?
Sepp: Absolutely. We want to be completely immersed with our fans; not this sort of, we’re here – they’re there; we want to include them in everything that we do, because without that, we have nothing, as a band, and as artists.
Bands are much more reachable these days.
Sepp: Indeed, I mean, social media, it puts us right in touch with everybody out there, the way it should be, and also, you feel that once you step up on stage, because people feel a part of this movement, and we are a movement; we’re not just playing music for fun. That is of course, a massive element, but this is indeed a movement, that we are beginning, for rock and roll to take centre stage again.
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Blurred Vision's 'Manhattan - The Music of Blurred Vision From Feature Film Manhattan Undying' is released on 30th September.