discount serif;”>Ryan Cullen speaks with Sam Llyod of The Blanks about Scrubs, cruise ships and the crowds in Ireland.
The Blanks are riding the wave of success as they are currently touring the world with their hip a cappella sound. In terms of recognition, they appeared in the TV series Scrubs in a recurring guest role, under different aliases such as Ted’s Band and The Worthless Peons. They have released an album, Riding the Wave and are set to perform a number of gigs this year. The group maintains that all of their tracks feature only their four voices, and they do not use any traditional musical instruments, although sometimes accompanied by a small ukelele. “George had a musical he had been doing called forever plaid which was a musical with four part harmonies, and he was trying to get us to perform on a cruise ship, and that was our big dream, to be on a cruise ship singing and being just below deck”
A cappella quartet is always something that they have toyed with, telling the College Tribune about how they are not strictly Barbershop. “At one stage we were debating the distinction, we were calling ourselves a barber NOT quartet, because we aren’t strictly barbershop type songs”. The Blanks who gained popularity from their musical cameos on Scrubs, tell us life after the hit television show “We aren’t afraid to say we were on Scrubs, but once people come see our show, we aren‘t just Teds band from Scrubs, we are The Blanks. We present everything in our own unique Blankthian way, if Blankthian can be considered as a word”
The Blanks have done a lot of work in perfecting their show, conveying to the College Tribune that it’s more than just standing up and singing. “In some countries, a cappella is considered torture, so an hour and a half of a cappella would kill a lot of people. It has a lot of comedy and even has a through line to it. People from five to eighty five years old can enjoy our show” Although much of their material is clean, Sam goes on to explain that even though it’s very silly, there is a part for adults if you can read between the lines. They have covered “Hey Ya”, originally by Outkast and they do an inspired version of “Superman/ Scrubs theme song”. This song swill be released in Ireland from November 11th on Irish Indie label Swerve music ltd. Ever willing to expand on their art form, the quartet have also manufactured a number of original songs including “Guy Love”, which was subsequently nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics. The Blank’s live show encompasses skits, antics, choreography, talking toys as lead singers and costume changes.
Their musical upbringing has impacted the artistic methods of his compositions saying that he was a theatre major with fellow Blanks member George, whilst playing in a Beatles cover band. “Paul is a very good magician. Sorry musician. He’s a good magician too, very good at making things disappear.” The Blanks have reinvented many songs to the delight of fans worldwide changing contemporary music into their own quirky style. “We are constantly brainstorming trying to think of something, unfortunately we are lazy perfectionists. We have to wait until there is something we all agree on”.
Drawing their influences from The Beatles, the Beach Boys and the Marx brothers, The Blanks plan to blend their style into many more medleys to come, which have grown popular due to their live performances on Scott Mills radio show and on YouTube. When asked has he ever met anyone he has covered, he says “One of the songs we perform is the Scrubs theme song by Lazlo Bane, and we met the composer and singer of that song at a Scrubs Christmas party and he helped engineer our song for us”
The Blanks are set to take Ireland by storm, by performing in a number of gigs throughout the country. Based in Los Angeles, this will be the group’s second performance in Ireland after a previous sold out show at The Helix in February of this year. Sam Lloyd talks to the College Tribune about why he loves Ireland and his excitement about the upcoming shows. “Very excited, we have played in Dublin, the Irish crowds are so fantastic, very smart and very appreciative so we can’t wait. We have been pushing to get out around Ireland since we first came here, and now we can’t wait to really see the place.” The Blanks are set to release a touring cd to accompany their journey around Ireland with an Album set be released in the not too distant future.