Tony West is a singer/songwriter and the frontman of Blacklist Union, a rock ’n roll band that is based in Los Angeles and has made their mark all over the world.
Your Brain on Rock n’ Roll Music
According to the latest research being conducted, it’s time that everybody starts rocking out. That’s right! Rock n’ roll has an impact on the brain, but in the most delightful way
It’s no secret that listening to any kind of music, in general, offers multiple benefits to people of all ages. Rock n’ roll is no exception.
Late British neurologist, Oliver Sacks, once said this: “The power of music to integrate and cure…is quite fundamental. It is the profoundest nonchemical medication.”
The Balance between Singing and Songwriting
I classify myself as a singer/songwriter, meaning that I am a singer and songwriter equally. While that may not be the right path for every artist, it was certainly the right one for me.
The Singing/Songwriting Connection
Singing will always be a passion for me. I love the feeling of performing for a live audience and feeding off their energy. Recording is a fun process, too.
However, my love of music was accompanied by a love for songwriting. When I was six years old, I wrote my first song. ...
Tips for Bringing Your Music to Foreign Markets
For musicians, enlisting the help of qualified professionals (such as managers, booking agents and publicists) can ease the burden of cultivating an audience independently. Any artist or band who has started from the ground up knows that building a fanbase and industry support can take a lot of effort.
If you’ve already cultivated a relatively strong audience in your local area and you’re looking to expand overseas, here are a few tips to help get you off the ground.
As a rock n’ rol...
“Why I’d Rather be Infamous than Famous”
During an interview with Gerry Gittelson in 2016, he asked, “Are you tired of being almost famous?” In all honesty, I’m not. It’s not a thought that ever crosses my mind.
I’ve been on the “cusp of fame” for years, I suppose. For some musicians, I understand that that could be a source of frustration. These are usually the same people who are more concerned with a paycheck than anything else.
For me personally, I have no interest in fame. I don’t care how big the mark is that I leave on the wo...
Authentic Frontmen Who Influenced My Style
My style has stemmed from a variety of influences over the years. My music and lyrics are often influenced by my personal life, but I‘ve found that my actual style as a frontman draws from a handful of familiar names.
Aerosmith wouldn’t have been the same without Steven Tyler. His vocal range and musical ability were insane, but it’s really his high energy in performances that sealed the deal. He first claimed his fame in the ’70s, but Steven Tyler is definitely a rock icon whose...
A History of Rolling Stone Magazine
In January of 2017, Rolling Stone Magazine celebrated their 50th anniversary. The magazine began in 1967 when a handful of hopefuls wanted to start a rock n’ roll magazine. Jann Wenner constructed the initial idea, then worked with established newspaper journalist Ralph Gleason and founding editor Michael Lydon to get the ball rolling.
In the late ‘60s, a lot of people saw rock n’ roll as a passing phase. Wenner’s foresight to see that it would be a long-standing counterculture is what propel...
Blacklist Union/Tony West One-Sheet Los Angeles
Blacklist Union is an authentic rock n' roll band from Los Angeles, California. Their albums include After the Mourning, Breaking Bread with the Devil, Til Death Do Us Part and Back to Momo. Here is more band info, including their work with the late Todd Youth.
Los Angeles Music Scene through the Eyes of Tony West
The music scene in L.A. right now is sad.
In 1989, I ran away to Los Angeles at the young age of thirteen, and it was exactly what I was looking for. Part of the reason I survived was the community and camaraderie. People took care of each other. They took care of me.
That is gone from L.A. now. The promoters have turned Sunset Strip into a joke.
Throughout the years. everyone has talked badly about each other and basically shot themselves in the foot. And nowadays, it’s so easy for anyone — ...
Learning New Instruments as an Adult: Go For It!
Music has been my life since I was very young, but that doesn’t mean I’ve reached a plateau. Part of being a musician is realizing that there’s always more to learn.
Right now, I’m learning how to play the piano.
Because I already read music and have some basic knowledge, the learning process may be easier for myself than other adults. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try it too.
Yes, You Can Still Learn
I don’t know for sure that an old dog can learn new tricks, but I do know that an adul...
Tony West: A Tribute to Todd Youth
Tony West: A Tribute to Todd Youth
Todd Youth passed away on Saturday, October 27th, 2018. It breaks my heart to write something like this, but I have to. Todd and I had a deep connection, and I’ve always had such a high level of respect for him because I grew up watching him play.
When I was a young teen in New York, Todd Youth was on my radar. Then in 2000–2001, we got to know each other personally.
Over the years, I found that Todd and I were a lot in common. We were both notorious for bei...
Tony West: How Music Saved My Life
Everyone’s got some kind of baggage, and some way of coping with the negative aspects of their lives. Music—groups like the Dead Kennedys, Black Flag, David Bowie—helped me survive through traumatic experiences. As a kid, I was hurt a lot, held underwater by my mother, and my father showed me explicit material when I was just six years old. Navigating life with that kind of a background wasn’t easy. I took some dangerous turns, got involved with drugs and alcohol, and most of my relationships...
Is Rock Music Really Dying?
You might have heard some rumors that rock is dead. Whoever makes those claims is surely misinformed. Make sure you check their sources. Rock music has had a tidal pattern of popularity, but it has yet to disappear completely. And so far, it’s come back every time a journalist has considered it dead.
To put it simply: Rock music will never truly die.
There have been periods of time in the past where journalists claimed that rock had died, that the era of rock was over. Each time, rock...
The Beginning of Blacklist Union
In 2004, I founded my band, Blacklist Union, and became lead singer. In the past 14 years, there have been a lot of changes, but one thing that’s stayed true is my dedication and passion for our unique style of music.
The Basics of Music Licensing
As you might have noticed, I’m not your everyday conventional kind of front man. When trying to secure the lead vocalist position for Stone Temple Pilots last year, I made six demos available to the public. This was partially to gain support, but also because I wanted my fans’ opinions on my versions of the songs.
Despite my unique path on that particular venture, I think it’s important for musicians to know about music licensing and why it’s important.
Blacklist Union - Evil Eye
Los Angeles hard rockers Blacklist Union are back with their 4th CD entitled ‘Back To Momo!’ Hailed worldwide as the next big rock band, Blacklist Union have 13 blistering tracks written by Tony West and Todd Youth, two of rock n’ roll’s most controversial outlaws in 2015. You are guaranteed inspiration with this brand of street rock with songs like “Alive N Well Smack in the Middle of Hell,” “Superjaded,” and “Evil Eye.” I sat down with lead singer and founder Tony West to talk about all the...