Saturday, November 16, 2019, local 518 rockers, “Blackcat Elliot”, will be joining forces with “The Lawn Sausages”, “Mordwolf” and “The Erotics” at The Hangar on The Hudson in Troy, NY where they will be celebrating the CD release of their third album, “There is No Good in Us”. After their sophomore debut of “Never Come Clean” in 2006, “Blackcat Elliot” felt that it was time to get back into the studio to write and record some new music. Engineered by John Chiara of AAA Studios, “There is No Good in Us” aims to reach their fans and their musical audience with their rock-topping, “go-for-the-throat gems” that remain true to the band’s lively, energetic, rocking sound.
“There is No Good in Us” features ten songs written by Kostas “Gus” Hais (vocals/guitar), Marky Balboa (drums/back-ups), and Fast Eddie (bass/back-ups). The album features rockin’ sound tracks as “Come Take Me Away”, “Turn It”, “Sucker in the Front Seat”, “Take it Back”, “Dark Side”, “Let Yourself Go!”, “Tomorrow Doesn’t Come Today”, “Down With The Factory”, “Chase the Dragon’s Smile”, and “Get It On Tonight”.
The full release of the album and individual songs from the album will be available on all digital platforms this month. From the dark, gritty tones in the opening riff to “Come Take Me Away” that brings listeners back to hearing Green Day tunes to the fast rocking, positive, super charged tunes of both “Sucker in the Front Seat” and “Let Yourself Go!”, “There is No Good in Us” will have their fans and new listeners rocking out to their every move! This power trio sure knows how to bring rock back into the greater music scene, and they have been doing just that since 2001.
Kostas “Gus” Hais and company are looking forward to their upcoming CD release party and are happy to be releasing their new album in less than a few weeks. Hais provided great insight into what their fans and future listeners can expect from “There is No Good in Us” in this exclusive interview.
TheSpot518: Where did you come up with the inspiration to write these songs for the new album? Were these based on personal experiences or other significant moments that had occurred between yourself and your band members?
Gus: First, I’d like to thank The Spotlight/518 Spot for continuing the support of local music. Blackcat Elliot has been together for almost 20 years and with that much time, you start to establish a method for the right ingredients on writing and developing songs. With this album, the music was more of a team effort. Every time we got together, and a riff came about, we would try to structure it into a song. If it passed inspection, I would bring it home and write lyrics to it and most importantly, find the right phrasing. The songs on “There Is No Good in Us” are pretty much experiences from all over the place. Some are personal, some are stories, and some are inspired by movies. Fast Eddie and myself are movie buffs and we always have discussions on movies we’ve recently seen while we’re packing up after rehearsal. Sometimes, those discussions turn into ideas for lyrics and themes for songs.
TheSpot518: What is your favorite song or songs off the new album and why?
Gus: Just recently, Marky Balboa (our drummer and my best friend since 1987), were just talking about our favorites. Personally, my favorite constantly changes with my mood. As far as performing live, I do have to say that I really enjoy blasting through “Come Take Me Away”. There’s something about that song that I really “feel” when we play it live on stage. The lyrics I wrote for that song deal with anxiety. In the last few years, I feel like I have some issues with anxiety and when we play that song live, it’s always therapeutic. I’ve been in rock bands since I was 16 years old. I can’t imagine how I would handle stress, everyday struggles and anything negative life will throw at you without having rock-n-roll as a shield.
TheSpot518: What made you and the band decide to release a third album?
Gus: It was time. It’s been 13 years since we recorded and released “Never Come Clean”. As you can imagine, a lot has happened since that release. We’ve been fortunate enough to be able to continue doing this. And I really mean fortunate. I had a medical scare a few years ago with my vocal cord and I had to put Blackcat Elliot on hiatus for 16 months. It was a wakeup call for sure. Once I got the okay that I could sing again from my doctors, I told Marky and Fast Eddie that we aren’t stopping now. The plan was to test these new songs from the new album with a series of live shows and to hit the studio in February with John Chiara at the helm. “There Is No Good in Us” is what came about.
TheSpot518: How different or similar is this album in comparison to your previous two albums that you have released to the public?
Gus: Marky, Fast Eddie and myself are fans of music from the CBGB’s era. Classic punk like The Ramones, The Clash, 70’s rock like Cheap Trick, Vintage KISS and 90’s Seattle-based grunge rock. You’ll hear these influences on this album. This release has a bit of our previous two albums sound as well. Our friends and fans may realize that we have matured with our music, style of songwriting and I feel like I have developed more as a lyricist with this new one as well. Overall, we keep maturing. Slowly but surely.
TheSpot518: What has been your audience’s reaction to the new songs that you have written for this album, both online and at your music shows?
Gus: The songs on this album have been road tested and fan approved. We’ve had them on our set list for some time now but there’s also a few newer ones that have gotten people shaking on the floor while we perform. So, those are all positive signs. “There Is No Good in Us” will be showcased on popular streaming and digital sites for all the new and younger fans to grasp. Most importantly, nothing comes close to a live rock show. We’re always trying to encourage new people to come out and forget reality for a bit, have a couple drinks, let their hair down and enjoy a live Blackcat Elliot rock-n-roll show.
TheSpot518: What are you and the band most looking forward to your upcoming CD release party at The Hangar on The Hudson in a few weeks?
Gus: It’s a rock-n-roll marathon race and November 16th at The Hangar in Troy, NY is going to be the starting line. We’re going to have our better halves April, Danielle and Erin by our sides. Our families, friends and supporters there to help us get on with the show. We have The Lawn Sausages, The Erotics and Mordwolf sharing the stage. My brother Nick and his wife Colleen from Greek On the Run are going to cater with some delicious food. It’s going to be a celebration of a live rock-n-roll show with Blackcat Elliot. It’s a night to show everyone who has known us that we’re still out there keeping the original live rock show experience alive in the Capital District.
TheSpot518: After your CD release party, where will you be performing to further promote the new album during the remainder of 2019 and in 2020?
Gus: We have some local shows lined up in December and January. December at The Fuze Box in Albany and we’re also at Dinosaur BBQ in Troy in January. Plus, King’s Inn in February. We’re also planning some mini-weekend tours throughout the East Coast including NYC, Buffalo, New Jersey, Rochester etc. to support the new album. As far as recording again, we are hoping to hit the studio and release a 45 record by next Summer/Fall. If the saying is true about cats having nine lives, let me tell you… we have a few more lives left. So, there’s no stopping this Blackcat Elliot just yet.
“There is No Good in Us” CD Release Party with “Blackcat Elliot”, “The Erotics”, “The Lawn Sausages”, and “Mordwolf”
Location: The Hangar on The Hudson, 675 River Street, Troy, NY 12180
Time: 8:00 p.m. (doors open at 7:00 p.m.)
$8.00 advance tickets (tickets $10.00 at the door. Paid admission also includes a free copy of the album)
Advance tickets can be purchased at the Ale House, The River Street Beat Shop, and by contacting the band ([email protected])