PHOTO: © Bernhard Schinn


In the organizer's words:

"Our flame won't get any smaller" - the core concept of "RIOT" speaks volumes. Blackout Problems have always been a band with an unquenchable will and boundless ambition. With "DARK", they reached number 12 in the German album charts in 2021, following on from the success of "KAOS" in 2018 (number 25) and "HOLY" (number 52) in 2016. With over 30 million streams on Spotify, there's no getting around the band in the German rock world. Festival shows at Rock Am Ring, Southside, Deichbrand, Greenfield (CH), Rock For People (CZ), Download (UK) and international tours as support for Enter Shikari, Fever333 and Royal Republic are followed by their own headline tours, most recently the "DARK" tour in 2022. At the zenith of their success to date, Blackout Problems are looking forward to the release of their new album "RIOT" (an anagram of "Trio"), which will be released on 23.02.2024 and marks the band's first album as a trio.

"Take a breath every now and then, reflect on yourself, define your goal, always have it in mind and ask yourself: are we doing the right thing to achieve this goal? Let's focus on what we really want to do." This is the advice that singer and guitarist Mario Radetzky would like to give his own band in 2012, the year it was founded. Right from the start, Blackout Problems have shown themselves to be a problem-solving band that defies every crisis. Even doubts after the pandemic were overcome and turned into a tireless drive to move the band forward, according to bassist Marcus Schwarzbach: "I'm happy about the band every day because I've been able to develop personally with it. It's fascinating how the band changes itself and us." At the time of the creation of "RIOT", Mario spent a lot of time alone in the rehearsal room: alone with the feeling of being lost in the post-pandemic rut. "While everyone around me was starting their solo project, I wanted to be as creative," recalls Mario. "But everything I wrote sounded like Blackout Problems" and thoughts of a solo project of my own were quickly buried. Instead, the decision to write a new Blackout Problems album was solidified with various songwriting sessions, which led Mario to produce the new album himself for the first time. Knowing that he had a good team around him with Moritz Enders (mixing) and Karan Walia (engineer & co-producer), Mario describes the album's creation process as follows. "On 'RIOT', I tried to open up and find myself and myself. When you listen to the album, you learn things about me that I would never tell you. But maybe you'll also learn something about yourself when you listen to it, because you're not hearing my story and my mistakes, you're projecting them onto your own life."

"RIOT" became a point of contact for Mario in the form of a diary and marks the most honest and courageous album Blackout Problems have ever written. "It was written, recorded and produced wherever it was convenient," says Mario. "From a cabin in Austria, to Berlin and the Darkroom Studios in Munich, to any backstage room or tour bus that offered the opportunity." From the original feeling of being lost, Mario found a way to express himself through music and his lyrics in "RIOT". "I was the biggest wall myself." Only when he felt something himself was he able to capture that moment on the album. It doesn't matter what others think - as long as you feel understood yourself. According to Mario, it is this great sense of identification within the personal lyrics, which reflect like a diary what has happened in his own life, but also in the lives of others, and not least also refer to current events such as climate change, legal pressure, but also the loss of a close friend. "I wanted 'RIOT' to reveal my own personal development with this album, to get under my skin and to be understood and felt by others."

With wild, unusual song structures and free of expectations, Blackout Problems sound dark but danceable as usual on "RIOT" - sad and euphoric at the same time. A dichotomy that, according to Mario, is mutually beneficial. "The lyrics of our music paint dark pictures and scenarios, because this is the only way to set a healing process in motion." Blackout Problems contrast their lyrics with a musical vibe full of tension, energy and ambition. According to Moritz, the climate crisis, the refugee crisis and the events in the Ahr Valley in 2021 are factors that shape the band's lyrics just as much as personal crises: "'Riot' is a peaceful uprising, no violence, but songs - always socially critical, but without a clear answer, both political and apolitical - we don't write anything on our foreheads, but Mario strikes the perfect balance between social criticism and his own emotional world and paints his own pictures from it." This balance comes from freedom, as Mario explains: "I feel like I can do anything I want with Blackout Problems. That gives me a lot of confidence. With 'RIOT', we've managed to commit to ourselves even more stubbornly by releasing an album like this." This requires two things: courage, which the band draws from intrinsic motivation and artistic freedom to create something - and confidence, which comes from a dedicated fanbase with mutual appreciation.

"RIOT" therefore sees itself as the logical consequence of mastering these tasks, sticking with it and continuing to build on a shared dream. Change is inevitable, but the band never gave up on the path forward. "Are we still the same as when we started? No, everything around us has changed and continues to develop, but this band is a great constant around which we are constantly growing," summarizes Moritz. It is also clear to Mario that Blackout Problems has become bigger than the individuals in the band. "That's what remains - what touches people," says the band's singer, who is always aware of the impact of their music. This motivation stems from their own feelings, from the fun of making music, learning and growing with their own music - but also from the music of others. Out of the desire to be a band that survives the most difficult times, Blackout Problems 2023 have long since become a role model for the German alternative rock scene. The departure of their old drummer has also been overcome. From now on, the band will be supported live by Marius Bornmann (Heisskalt) and Jo Pressl as live drummer. The key: a constant spirit of optimism that defies every crisis. According to Moritz, "RIOT" is "your soundtrack for positive change."

Staying grounded, Blackout Problems have built a dream together over 10 years. A dream that they can live and share with thousands of fans who have already become part of their community. Marcus emphasizes: "It is important to me that this band and its community is a safe space where everyone is welcome." A place without hate, condemnation and barriers, which is characterized by approachability, honesty and authenticity on the part of the band and its fans. The cohesion within this community and the band is stronger than ever before. With their fourth album, it is once again important for the musicians to think long-term, not to give up despite all doubts and to continue living this shared dream. "Our flame won't get any smaller (...) let's start a beautiful riot."

This content has been machine translated.


Batschkapp Frankfurt Gwinnerstraße 5 60388 Frankfurt am Main

Organizer | Miscellaneous

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