Phil Cohen on Blackout Balter’s Unique Style of Rock & Roll with ‘SMI’

A dash of punk with a cup of B-movie Tarantino vibes mixed with attitude might describe Blackout Balter’s debut LP Animal, now available for pre-order. As for Phil Cohen though (the MIT grad, former military and pro hockey player, lead singer of the band) we learn that their fan’s interactions and reactions make up what Blackout Balter’s mantra may be. To enjoy life.

Videos by American Songwriter

In this episode of Surviving the Music Industry, we see the value of education and how that intertwines with Cohen’s writing for the band. Artistically and lyrically speaking, the band strives to push the boundaries and even perceptions of rock and roll by calling their personal style, “smart rock and roll.”

Common themes from Animal include more of an emotional rollercoaster rather than narrative-driven stories that can leave you thinking more and finding something new every time you listen back. You should also pay extra attention to the bridges of their songs. Cohen continues to share the genesis story of the band being discovered by The Killers, how his time in the military in Afghanistan was a life-changing experience, and how a schoolyard fight offers its own life lessons. 

Find out more about Blackout Balter here and watch their latest music video for their single “Surf” below. Also, check out another interview Blackout Balter did on the show Bringin’ it Backwards below. BiB is another insightful podcast on the American Songwriter Podcast Network.

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Bringin’ it Backwards: Interview with Kill the Lights