Behind her red round shades, Blake Red is an artist who pours her heart out with a maverick flair. Her debut EP S.O.S. (Songs On Suicide) was released back in October of last year and quickly started making waves across the press. It is no surprise as her aura is one infused with dark glamour that immediately captures your attention – both auditorily and visually. With her sharp high-pitch and rock’n’roll swagger, Blake crafts a punchy soundscape that addresses some of the knottiest emotions. An advocate of mental health, Blake has been open about her own journey dealing with depression and anxiety through her music and social media. In beginning of this year, she surprised her fans with the announcement that she was receiving treatment for her own mental health. Blake’s voice has not only become an irreplaceable one in the realm of rock, but also in mental health.
We had the opportunity to chat with the artist regarding her music, influences, struggles, and recovery. She’s an open book and a rockstar who showcases both boldness and vulnerability in seamless fashion.
Tell us a little bit about yourself – what’s your earliest memory of music? When did you decide to pursue a career in the field?
My earliest memory of music is seeing an electric guitar in a store window and my heart just doing backflips inside my chest. Although I did not get the electric guitar, I did get a family acoustic guitar handed down to me. Once I was 10 I started taking lessons on the electric guitar and composed my first songs and started my first band at that age. I decided to pursue music as a career when I was about 13 and rock music spoke to me more than anything else.
Who were some of your biggest musical influences growing up?
The Beatles, Slash from Guns N’ Roses, Kurt Cobain, Alice in Chains and Megadeth.
If you were to describe your sound in one word, what would it be and why?
Cathartic would be the word because making and performing music serves as a release that I haven’t found anywhere else.
For someone who is new to Blake Red, what three tracks should we present to get that person hooked?
I would suggest beginning with “Follow Me”, then “Razorblade” and “Let It Hurt” off of the SOS EP.
You’ve been open about your own struggles with mental health and recovery. Was there a particular point when you decided to share the experience with your audience? Or was this a gradual process?
This was a gradual process. At first I felt hesitant to disclose such personal information to anyone outside of my immediate circle. Through treatment I became more open with my struggles and trajectory to recovery. Before treatment I did share little bits and pieces of struggles with my audience but not to the extent that I felt comfortable sharing later on.
What advice would you give to people who are struggling with their own mental health but don’t know where to begin?
Seeking help can be so scary but the benefits often outweigh the shadow of fear. Seeking help can teach you skills to build a stronger tolerance to distress including depression and anxiety. I was afraid and even ashamed to seek treatment and now I would recommend it to anyone going through something similar.
What are your plans for 2021?
Spending lots of time in the studio working on new music! I have a new single to be released in June and a new EP in the works as well.
The world ends tomorrow and you decide to throw an apocalyptic party tonight. What song will you choose as the opener? And which one as the closing one before we all die in flames?
I would open with an earthshaking cover of “Them Bones” by Alice in Chains and close with an epic hard rock rendition of “Sweet Dreams” by the Eurythmics.
We’ll totally rock’n’roar with Blake until the last minute.