By Victoria Wasylak
There’s nothing quite like debuting your new single to a crowd of people gathered to see a national headlining act.
In May, Lowell band blindspot played their latest release, “I Won’t Let Your Heart Break” to a leather-clad audience awaiting Buckcherry in the smoky chambers of the Claddagh Pub in Lawrence.
“It’s definitely exciting to open for someone with a big name like that,” lead singer Alexa Economou said.
If opening for a national headliner is a band milestone, then blindspot has just begun a rigorous marathon.
Over the past year, the three college students have opened for Gin Blossoms, Puddle of Mudd, Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots, and most recently, Buckcherry at the Rock the Block Festival.
“I think that we have grown a lot from our first shows at small local clubs and dive bars – which we still play – but to be able to have the chance to open for big names like this, it’s really a big step for us,” Economou said.
The Lowell band, made up of lead singer Alexa Economou, drummer Adam Miller, and guitarist/keyboardist Chris Cormier, channels the intense likeability of influential rock bands like treasured oldies U2 and Aerosmith to modern chart-toppers Neon Trees and Muse.
On the local scene, the band has been charging ahead like Andretti behind the wheel of a ’67 Mustang, speeding across the desert. From winning a battle of the bands in Manchester that earned them a spot on the bill with Puddle of Mudd to working with promoter New England Concerts and taking voice lessons, the band has made intense efforts to, as Economou says, “grow as big as we can.”
Part of that growth means the band constantly updates their self-titled EP with new singles as a way to save money and promote their music more efficiently, rather than working on creating entire albums.
“We choose singles because it’s so much easier to promote one song at a time, rather than 10 songs,” Economou said.
And you could say, in this band’s case, size doesn’t matter. With a pay-what-you-can policy for their music, Blindspot tries to appeal to local audiophiles, regardless of how much they have in their wallets.
“We try to do a single a season,” Cormier said.
Besides playing the guitar and keyboard, Cormier is also the shy brain behind the backing tracks and mastering of the band’s songs. As a sound recording student at UML, he has all the necessary equipment and know-how to record the band’s music exclusively at his house.
The backing tracks that Cormier produces became a key part of the band’s live sound when blindspot lost their bass player the day before they competed at – and won – the Battle of the Bands at Jewel Nightclub in Manchester, N.H..
“I really pushed this kid,” Economou said, nudging Cormier. “ ‘Can we get the bass on the computer? What can we do?’ So he stayed up all night and did all of our backing tracks with the bass to our set. Now that’s what we do. ”
“A lot of people don’t even notice,” Cormier added.
While the band has gotten some mixed feedback about their lack of a bass player, blindspot isn’t rushing into hiring a new one.
“A lot of professional bands use backing tracks, so it’s nothing we’re ashamed of,” Economou said.
Local DJ Chris DeSimone of Frank FM can’t help but agree. The band caught the eye and ear of DeSimone in 2013 when Economou submitted the song “Nacho” to him for airplay consideration, and blindspot has been on his local radio show since then.
“It was hard not to hear the raw talent and powerful voice Alexa had even back then,” he said of his first impression of the band. With DeSimone’s help, the band molded and improved their sound, and went as far as remixing their song “Mr. Right” to make it more radio-friendly for DeSimone’s show.
“I’m always very truthful and open with my feedback. Alexa always listened and used my critiques in a positive way,” DeSimone said. “I think that goes a long way to showing how hungry they are for success.”
See Blindspot live Sun. July 5, opening for Hoobastank at the Jewel Nightclub, 61 Canal St. in Manchester, N.H., and again on Sun. July 12 at the Hard Rock Café, 22-24 Clinton St., Boston.
Hear blindspot and download music at soundcloud.com/blindspot_official