By Noah Hubbell
By Kiernan Maletsky
By Tom Murphy
By Noah Hubbell
By Alex Distefano
By Darryl Smyers
By Jon Solomon
By Britt Chester
In the meantime, there's plenty of new BLKHRTS music to feast on. First up is the group's mixtape, Death, Romance and the Color BLK, a self-released effort that marks the group's departure from sampling, which, although it has been key in providing texture for the act's tracks in the past, is not economically sustainable. "This is the beginning of the exodus from Sampleville," notes Abraham, "because this is the sum of the zenith of shit you can do with a fucking sample.... After this, you can't really sample anymore."
The mixtape is slated to be followed by a new EP due out sometime this fall. The EP could be looked at as a bridge from the old, sample-driven BLKHRTS to an updated version of the band. Abraham describes the EP as kind of like a sample plate for the BLKHRTS sound, insisting that the abrasive punk sound that the group is best known for is only one side of its music. "There were watershed moments when we were like, 'Whoa, we have never made something like this before,'" he shares. "I think that by the time we're done putting out the mixtape and then the EP, we'll be ready to put the album out."
That album, JZBL JNKNS, is inspired by a real woman and is said to capture an aesthetic Abraham describes as "ghetto-goth," a vibe fully embodied by the lady in question. "She became really important to me," says Abraham of his muse. "Others would say, 'She's not your girlfriend,' and there's all this stupid generic discussion.... That discordance is happening on the outside, and it's like, as long as me and her get it, we're good. But as soon as that breaks, then you're in real crisis mode. And there were times we'd fight, and it just makes you care more."
This period leading up to JZBL JNKNS "is our unequivocal leap forward, very deliberately so," Abraham stresses, "so I feel blessed that the best is in front of me. You take stock around this time, you really do. I feel very blessed, and I feel very lucky, and I feel very happy — but not satisfied.
"I won't be satisfied," he concludes. "I'll be dead."