NO BLITZ HAVE OPENED FOR FUEL AND THE PARLOR MOB—BUT, AS THEY DECLARE ON THEIR DYNAMIC BREAKTHROUGH DEBUT ALBUM, THEY’RE STILL ‘NEVER SATISFIED’
Ever since their lineup was completed in mid-2011, No Blitz has been gaining momentum, both onstageand in the studio. The Northern Virginia based band—Ryan Wogh (lead vocals, guitar), James Cichra(guitar), Dan Horner (bass) and Shane Steenberge (drums)--has opened gigs for Fuel and The Parlor Mob and have performed in the greater D.C. area at hot spots like Jaxx, Jammin Java, and DC9. Yet as they release their highly anticipated seven track debut album, the good news for fans is that they’re always striving for more—and Never Satisfied.
According to Wogh, the band’s lead songwriter, the album title strongly reflects No Blitz’s collective philosophy as they begin to “up” their game and take their music and visibility to the next phase of their career. With a wide array of influences ranging from Foo Fighters, Muse, Coheed and Cambria and even Metallica, their songs are very guitar oriented with a strong emphasis on driving drum beats. The collection includes everything from what Wogh likes to call “blast you in the face rock” to more mid tempo, less blistering tunes like “Aim To Please” and “I Alone.” The fact that three of the band members play drums and all four play guitar means they’re all well versed in each other’s instruments; this allows for a lot of dynamic, intertwined collaboration between them.
“We have our goals set very high and are always anxious to get the band to the next level,” he says. “It is also a commentary on the music itself. We are extremely happy with the songs we have and the way they turned out, but we are already writing a lot of great new material that we wish could’ve been part of the previous project. The music itself is a great representation of who we are as a band and musicians. The variety of intensity from fairly soft, to very heavy while still maintaining a melodic sound is exactly the kind of music we strive to create.
“Basically, we’re a no BS, ego free couple of guys who love playing organic and raw music that moves us,” adds Wogh. “The concept of Never Satisfied is more than clever wordplay. It’s the reality that whenwe’re writing music, there’s no reason to go back to a sound that we’ve already done. We’re always looking to do something new and open to new elements. The tunes we are working on now are different from the ones on Never Satisfied, but there’s a consistent thread that defines us as No Blitz. We’re also doing a lot more collaborating from scratch.”
The band’s ever evolving vibe has its roots in Give It Back, Wogh’s first album under the No Blitz name.It was a 15 track set which he recorded by himself in his home studio from October 2009-September2010. He then decided to form the band in order to perform the songs live. Guitarist James Cichra found Wogh on Bandmix.com and reached out to him via Facebook. Drummer Shane Steenberge responded to Wogh’s ad on Craigslist. When the three met up for the first time, they had an instant chemistry and started practicing originals and covers together. They found bassist Dan Horner after auditions in January 2011 and by March that year were playing basement gigs for friends. The same serendipity that brought the band together extended to their success in numerous live venues shortly thereafter. Never Satisfied was recorded with producer Billy Hickey at Ellington Studios in Georgetown.
Far from being an impulsive songwriter, Wogh will only flesh out a song to completion if the initial spark sticks in his mind for a few weeks. Key tracks meeting and even transcending this criteria include the fiery and intense “My Life,” inspired by a friend who wasn’t putting his best foot forward and living to the fullest; it’s about ‘carpe diem’ in a world where too many people waste their days accomplishing nothing. The similarly explosive rocker “Exception to the Rule” is about getting drunk and doing something daring and stupid that you’ll regret later. Another favorite of Wogh’s is “Zero Machines”,whose title he lifted from a book his cousin was writing. It’s the musical re-imagining of the original story of a girl cyborg floating alone in space, trapped with her thoughts forever in an infinite loneliness, with no one to share them with.
“There’s something powerful about playing these and some of our even newer songs live,” Wogh says, “because it’s everything the girl in ‘Zero Machines’ can’t do – express these songs and emotions that have been bottled up so long, and connecting with people who can appreciate them. I heard one artist say recently that playing live is your reward for being a musician that’s willing to take chances. The four of us get so much out of the experience and it’s fun to give so much of ourselves to people. We’ve learned patience as far as big picture success goes, but we’re excited to have all the opportunities that have come our way. Most importantly, of course, we’re Never Satisfied.”