Black lite district cd cover art.

Black lite district cd cover art.

Interview – Christian Mardini of Blacklite District

blacklite promo 2

The hard rock scene has been booming for the past decade with an endless amount of bands popping up all over North America. There are two sides to the hard rock scene coin with many sound alike bands and some which separate themselves from the pack. Originally formed in Spearfish, SD in the early 2000’s Blacklite District looked to make their mark on the scene with a style combining metal, rock, electronic, and industrial. There drive and dedication found them a hit single in “Take Me To The Grave” on SirusXM Octane. A few months later the band out did their early success on Octane with the single “With Me Now”. The song had spent 5 weeks at the #1 position on Octane, and even hit #15 on the US Rock Singles Sales chart by On the fast trek to success the band has been touring North America bringing more attention to this brand of rock. Recently we caught up with Blacklite District drummer Christan Mardini for a look into the success ride the band has been on, the band’s future, and much more. – How did it come about that you became a part of Blacklite District?

Christian Mardini – Everything came together because the guys had to relocate from LA to Orlando because they changed management. They signed up with Jeff Hanson (former Creed, Paramore, Sevendust manager). I had another band which didn’t end up working out for us. Before you know it I was contacted by Brett Hestla (producer). He recorded Blacklite District’s upcoming 2014 album Worldwide Controversy. They introduced us and before you know it we are on tour with Saving Abel. It’s working out well.

960098_10151751548390738_2010356975_n – That is great and the chemistry is working out well?

Christian Mardini – Oh yea. It’s been great. It’s crazy because we had about a week’s notice for the Saving Abel tour. Kyle Pfeiffer (guitarist) said we have almost 2 weeks before we head out on tour with Saving Abel, do you think you can put this thing together? I said yea man rock on! Oniel “kane” Laffitte and I started practicing and put all the songs together. With a little bit of practice with the whole band we went out and tour and rocked out all the cities.

black lite tour poster – Now that you are part of Blacklite District. What is next for the band?

Christian Mardini – The new album was complete prior to Oniel and I joining the band. The single “With Me Now” has been a great success for us, a lot of radio stations are picking up the single. For the 4th week in a row we are number one on Sirius XM channel Octane. We are receiving a pretty good response from the single. We are just going to pretty much go with the flow with this single and after that we are going to decide which will be the 3rd single. We are just going to do a lot of touring. We did some headlining shows, we did some dates with Saliva, now we are going to join Saving Abel and going to do a New Year’s show with them. The schedule is pretty much promoting the single and the upcoming CD and just tour non-stop. We are planning on doing 10-11 months next year of touring. – Wow that is a lot of time on the road, but that is a great way to spread the word. The single “With Me Now” and “Take Me To The Grave” are both doing really well on Sirius XM Octane. With that said what can fans expect to hear from the full length record?

Christian Mardini – The full length record is going to have a little bit of everything. Fans will be able to experiences all the sides from Blacklite District. We have slow songs, great rock songs, and songs with a mix of electronics on it. We believe it’s going to definitely have a song for everyone.

with me now – It sounds like it’s going to be a good record. Judging by the first singles it sounds like the band has a lot of diversity. The band has a good combination of rock, industry, and electronic sounds. How important do you think it is for the band to have this diversity to separate themselves from all the bands in the hard rock genre because it’s a very over-saturated genre.

Christian Mardini – Absolutely, you are right about that. Before I joined the band I was in the scene for many years and I experienced a lot of bands. A lot of bands are just going for one genre of rock these days. What I liked about Blacklite District is when I heard the full length album I liked that they mixed different elements. They were not afraid to go ahead and experiment with modern electronic rock without taking out their classic influence like Ozzy Osbourne, Black Sabbath, and Guns N Roses. Those elements influence a lot of us in the band. They were not afraid going ahead and experimenting with different sounds like that. We are definitely happy that we can please a lot of fans and receive a great response. That is one of the main reasons I am happy to be part of Blacklite District, I love their music. – You have to do what you love and everything else will fall into place. Brett Hestla has been an established guy in the rock scene. He played in Virgos Merlots, he toured playing bass with Creed and Dark New Day. What is it like working with him?

Christian Mardini – I can tell you Brett Hestla is a guy who likes to experiment with different things. Brett has a lot of influences. He has been the vocalist for Dark New Day and been on tour with Creed. He has been there, so he kind of gives you an experience of all the sides of the music; as a tour member, as a writer, and as a vocalist. He does a great job, he is very laid back, very friendly, and very down to earth. He tries to help you with whatever you are looking for in the music. He tries to convert it into reality. He has done a great job with many bands. A lot of people may have not heard of Brett but he is definitely coming through as one of the biggest rock producers of the last few years.

Brett Hestla – Of course I am very familiar with Brett’s work and he has done some great stuff. What are some of your musical influences personally and what do you bring to the table in Blacklite District?

Christian Mardini – My influences are crazy. I listen all the way from American heavy metal to mainstream rock to European metal. Symphonic metal, speed metal, everything that is related to rock I listen to. One day I feel like listening to Black Sabbath next day I will listen to In Flames and Dark Tranquillity. Then one day I feel like going for a run and listen to Reggae. As far as drummers, obviously classics like Terry , Mike Portnoy, and Neil Peart. I really don’t have 1 or 2 drummers I am influenced by. I pay attention to a lot of talented musicians. I listen to drummers that play Salsa, Latin music, and hip hop too. I really don’t just have one style of music or drummer I follow. I pretty much catch a little bit of information from each one of them. I never took drumming lessons in my life, it’s always been by ear. I have developed my drumming over the years because I have been listening to a lot of different music. – It sounds like you have an extremely diverse mix of musical tastes. My last question for you is regarding films. is a rock/metal and horror news site so we like to focus on all genres. Are you a fan of horror films and if so what are some of your favorite horror films?

Christian Mardini – I am definitely a diehard fan of horror films. There are so many ….. one would be the original Halloween of course, Hellraiser, The Exorcist. I can go on, let me put it to you this way… if all the different genres of movies were gone and all that was left was horror I would be happy (laughs). I could watch all horror films all day long. – It’s great to hear you have such a great appreciation for horror movies. What do you think of all the modern films, remakes, and CGI used?

Christian Mardini – I have been disappointed a couple of times with remakes. We are at a point right now that anything that makes money for the movie industry is pretty much what they are doing. The whole thing with Paranormal Activity where everyone said you had to see the movie. The first one was ok but before you know it they are releasing 10 sequels of the film. It is really overrated. It’s pretty much all about the money. The first couple of movies Rob Zombie did were done very well. There are still people out there which keep horror real. There are a lot of underrated producers and underrated movies that a lot of people don’t get to see as well. What can you do about it? Maybe Hollywood thinks they are doing something for the fans by doing a remake, but if you are going to do a remake do it well! For example, the remake of Evil Dead wasn’t that bad, I dug it.

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1 Comment

  • My husband and I listen to you on octane. My nine year old daughter is a Taylor Swift fan and we always need to change the channel. However, she has done a 180 and all she wants to hear is your music and wanted your CD for Christmas. Too bad it is not out yet. When will your CD be out?

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