Interview With Black It Out

What was the beginning point for your music career? How did it all start?

Lots of things got us into music. Bryan’s dad was into music and played the drums and guitar. My (Shaun) dad played guitar and sang, and my mom played bass. So, both Bryan and I were exposed to rock bands at a young age. It was natural for Bryan and me to start playing the guitar and want to be in bands. Bryan got into Metallica at a young age, and I got into The Misfits, Green Day, and The Offspring early on. In grade school, I also had music classes that taught me how to read music, so it was fated for me. I went to college for music.
I (Shaun) met Bryan through a mutual friend while in the Sacramento scene. Both my friend and Bryan were in that band together. I would go to their shows and hang out with them. I got to know the band pretty well. So well that when their bassist’s amp didn’t work, I let them use mine. Later, that bassist moved, and I joined the band as their bassist. Their drummer wanted their old bassist even though he moved away, so he made things difficult, ultimately destroying that band. Bryan and I continued to jam until the other members joined. We were called Scarlet’s Sonata at the time, and we started as a Hardcore band. In 2009, we changed our name to Black It Out. We went on an 8-year hiatus, played in other bands, and now, we’re back as an internet band. We’re an E-band that focuses on studio recordings. Our sound has changed a lot over the years.

Were there any bumps on the road? What kind of challenges did you have to deal with?

There were many bumps in the road. From finding members to members quitting right before a show, to members not showing up to practice, to cops being called to where we practiced, we’ve seen it all. We’ve had members hooked on drugs and went to jail before a show. There was a guy who tried out for us and started calling us late at night with suicidal ideations. We just met the guy!
Of course, we’ve dealt with the everyday problems any band must face, from disagreements and all that, but those were nothing compared to what I previously mentioned.

What was the most fulfilling and satisfying moment so far?

There have been many satisfying moments. We recently released our track “Live, Laugh, Love” featuring Anndy Negative, and people have been putting it on their playlists! It’s been getting great feedback! Before that, our music had been reviewed, played on radio shows, and spontaneously placed on playlists. Our growth and people’s responses to our music have been incredible lately! 

How would you describe the music that you typically create?

I would say we’re a blend of several musical genres. We’re a mix of Pop-Punk, Easycore, Post-Hardcore, and Emo. Our song “Live, Laugh, Love,” featuring Anndy Negative, would sum up our sound perfectly. It has breakdowns, Pop-Punk and Emo vocals, and Easycore riffs.

What is your creative process like?

Bryan and I email each other our ideas, and we hash them out. We call and email each other; then rerecord the part with our discussed changes until we have a track we’re happy with. Bryan and I (Shaun) both write the songs. Lately, Bryan has been writing the music and having me write the melody. That’s going to change in the future.

If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?

I would change how it takes money to be seen. To get past the gatekeepers, you need to pay them. You need to either hire a publicist, an agent, or run many ads to be seen anywhere. This is all very expensive. It would be nice if Spotify and other companies paid their artists more per stream. I also believe our culture needs to value music and art more.

If you were asked to give a piece of advice to upcoming bands, what would that be?

Honestly, I’d tell them to manage their expectations because it’s difficult in rock music these days. You might not get huge, and that’s okay. It’s all about having fun, so keep trying. You never know. Appreciate the fans you make because they’re the ones who will actually be listening to you. Don’t go thinking you’re a rockstar because you recorded a track or played a show. That’s not how that works at all. Remember to make music that you want to hear. People respond well to authenticity and not when you make music to make money. Of course, making music to make money can work, but if it doesn’t, it’s not pretty.
Finally, remember to network and make genuine friends with other bands. You never know how you both could help each other in the future!

What has been the best performance of your career so far?

As Black It Out, our show Mozart Season was out of this world! We were on point, and there were many, many people there! During Black It Out’s first show, many people showed up for us, and then they left right after. I felt terrible for the other bands, but that show was fantastic for us! The other bands thought we were signed! During Black It Out’s 8-year hiatus, Bryan and I were in different bands together. During this one show, there was no one there. After we played a few Black It Out songs, we looked up, and the bar was packed, and people were screaming for us. It was surreal! After we got done playing, most people left the bar. I hate when people do that, but it felt amazing when all those people showed up!

What would you be doing now if you didn’t become a musician?

I would be writing more and making more YouTube videos. I write for and I also wrote a book called We Are All Z. I think that’s what I would be doing. Bryan would be mixing and mastering more music and doing his graphic design in more. He has a website called He’s excellent at both of those things.

What is new with the band at the moment? What are you currently working on and would like to share with the world?

We plan on promoting our new track “Live, Laugh, Love,” featuring Anndy Negative. Be sure to listen to it on Spotify! It’s available wherever music is streamed or sold. We also plan to record more music and rerelease some of our tracks from our comeback album, Resurgence, with an updated sound. We already did that with “Reflections,” featuring Promise Game. We also plan on changing the way we write music. So, in the future, we hope to have even better songs!