Wade McNeil on debut album, Send Flowers, and finally putting to bed the Alexisonfire split rumours.
"I would like to keep putting out music, for the near future I'm just gonna be releasing 7" inches for each tour. There will definitely be more records. But, as far as a full time commitment Alexis will always be number one". So says Black Lungs mastermind Wade McNeil, finally putting to bed the split rumours that have blighted his other band Alexisonfire in recent months.
Set to be the second successful solo project to surface from the camp, Black Lungs have attracted a whole host of attention from both fans and critics alike in recent months. Part folk, punk and even country, debut album Send Flowers (Reviewed HERE) certainly has enough about it to warrant the keen interest. However, as an interesting sub plot the rise of Black Lungs had set fingers rapidly tapping on keyboards across the world about the future of Alexisonfire following the announcement of cancelled tours and Dallas Green's move from their native Canada to Los Angeles.
"Life is good. Today we played to about 40,000 people. Total mind blow" continues McNeil backstage at Leeds Festival. "We have been writing a lot together. Dallas and I still have a lot of songs left that we haven't worked on yet. So, hopefully before year end we will have a collection of 20 to 25 songs before we go into the studio". So with rumours of Alexisonfire's demise firmly extinguished, Rockmidgets turns its attention back towards Send Flowers, "Its been done for ages so I'm glad it finally out there. It's been cool playing with some other people, it's refreshing".
"It has been received rather well which is nice feeling as it's a very personal album" continues the 24-year-old Canadian. "It's about my life, my friends and my mistakes so to have people listen and relate feels good. I think it would be weird for me to give some of the lyrics to Dallas or George and have them sing about my family and the things I've went through the past couple of years"
Swiftly becoming a firm favourite not only with Rockmidgets but also Mike Davies on his Radio 1 Punk Show, lead single 'Hold Fast (Sink or Swim)' has done a great job of introducing Black Lungs to newcomers to the band thanks to its zombie-tastic video. "I am a rather big horror movie nerd. So it seemed like a rather logical idea for me to have a bunch of friends out, dress them up like zombies and throw a party with them" explains McNeil.
Featuring guest appearances which apparently came about through, "Necessity, I'm a shitty piano player and I can't drum to save my life", from close friend Sammi Bogdanski and Attack in Black's Ian Romano, McNeil suggests the appearances are a testament to the tight community in Ontario, "I think it's a lot of like minded people who are happy to see one another doing what they love. I love Canada and the more we travel it makes me appreciate what great music we have at home."
Though accepting that Send Flowers is a significant departure to the rasping post-hardcore of his day job, the guitarist doesn't believe fans will be surprised by the album, suggesting "I don't know if it's shocking. It is a far cry from Alexis but I like to give our fans some credit, they are a relatively open minded bunch".
Given his hectic schedule, McNeil reveals that Send Flowers was recorded "a few days here, a few days there, in and around tours". This is despite the fact much of the album had been written a couple of years ago, he elaborates, "They have changed a lot over the course of playing them so much. It pretty much comes down to how many lyrics I have for something. With Alexis it's a focus on riffs and Lungs it's more about the song and the meaning behind it".
Time will tell if Black Lungs ever come a full time commitment for Wade McNeil, but given the excellence of Send Flowers, lets just be grateful for quality over quantity for now.