Hazel Blackburn is a Vancouver, BC based rock trio whose huge, melodic sound stalks the darkest thickets to sink hooks into the unsuspecting.

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Previous events

Album Release Show!

The Media Club, 695 Cambie St, Vancouver

Hazel Blackburn is finally releasing our debut album! We are thrilled to present our blood, sweat and tears to you all, supported by some amazing local acts.


The Live Agency and Live Acts presents The Hazel Blackburn Album release party with special guests Dead Rivals, Mitigo, The Poolsharks and MUFFDUSTERS, August 6th at The Media Club.

8:30pm doors, $10 in advance or $13 at the doors.

Free download of the new Hazel Blackburn album with Admission.

https://www.facebook.com/hazelblackburnband https://www.facebook.com/deadrivalsofficial https://www.facebook.com/MITIGO https://www.facebook.com/The-Poolsharks-127018987310466 https://www.facebook.com/muffdusters

Hazel Blackburn's 1st Headliner!

The Studio, 919 Granville Street, Vancouver

The Live Agency and Rednyne Productions are proud to present Hazel Blackburn with special guests Sound Reinforcment, Alpha Brodega and Opposite Shore, December 4th at Studio records.

Tickets are only $10 from bands or online. $12 at the door. 7:30PM doors, 19+ to enter.

Check out this amazing lineup now: HB: https://www.facebook.com/hazelblackburnband SR: https://www.facebook.com/soundreinforcementband AB:https://www.facebook.com/AlphaBrodega OS: https://www.facebook.com/OppositeShore

Civic Engagement: How to be totally ignored by your locally elected government 

The news of The Media Club's closing hit us pretty hard. We've released albums there, made fans there, connected with other awesome bands there and feel as comfortable on that stage as we do in our own jam room.

The email we sent to the mayor, city council and the development office at the City of Vancouver was quoted in the Vancouver Courier, but completely ignored by our elected officials. Below is the message in full. Never give up being passionate about what you love: not because you'll always make a difference, but because there is really no other way to be.



We are contacting you to register our extreme opposition to the redevelopment of 688 Hamilton St/675 Cambie street into another Browns Socialhouse location. 
The building, which we understand is owned by the city, is located in the Queen Elizabeth theater complex and is the current home of The Media Club, possibly the very last dedicated live music venue in Vancouver accessible to local artists. While there are a handful of bars that do host live music and several large capacity, dedicated live music venues in the city, The Media Club is the only existing dedicated music venue that operates on a scale that offers local talent a foothold for developing a following and media attention. 
As a part of the performing arts complex, this building should under NO CIRCUMSTANCES become yet another chain restaurant. There are currently many, many eating/drinking establishments in the area including the following which are within 2 blocks of the site: 
Shark Club 
Library Square Public House 
Ricky's All Day Grill 
Moxies Grill 
Triple O's 
And that is only in the immediate 2 block radius! 
This location needs to be preserved as a performing arts space! The continued hollowing out of the city and its arts community is a shameful, short-sighted strategy which will hurt Vancouver's reputation as a world class city, degrade civic life and engagement, accelerate the flight of the creative class, further homogenize the bland and nearly completely corporate-dominated public space and anger citizens who value the enriching environment that a vibrant music community provides.  
Certainly commerce is a driving force in 2017. We are full-time employed professionals for whom music is a hobby (because professional artists have fled this expensive city years ago). We understand that the pressures of economics rarely favor roses over bread. For this reason, we find it reprehensible and completely unacceptable that the city of Vancouver would resist preserving this one single shred, this poor fig leaf, of cultural real estate in favor of the mercenary and reprehensible forces that favor only expansion for the sake of market share. The metastasizing of these interests are robbing Vancouver of its character, diversity and identity. 
We urge you in the strongest possible terms to reject this redevelopment application. 

Hazel Blackburn

Immortal Spacetime - Lyrical Inception 

Our album Warm In The Dark has a narrative theme that explores the idea of the brier patch as it is represented in various literary works. Primarily the lyrics in Warm In The Dark tap the more subversive roots that wind through the idea of the brier patch; defeating Goliaths, hidden worlds and savvy witchery (more on that in another post). But Immortal Spacetime looks into a theme within the theme; a kind of lyrical inception that opens as an entirely different world within the brier patch. 

Written during our transition from a previous band that was working on a space-themed album, Immortal Spacetime tells a sci-fi story: a crippled space craft limps into an unexplored sector of space and discovers a utopian society who's unique cosmic ecosystem bestows immortality on its inhabitants. Bonus points to you if you can recognize which futuristic world this story line arises from ;)

A Year in Snake Charmer 

When we first started recording our shows, it was as lessons to ourselves. Like every high school sports team made to rewatch the mistakes and glories of a given Saturday night, these videos were reminders of every flub, twitch and ecstatic reverie. And it made us better. Every performer knows the disconnect between lived and watched experiences. And an objective reality projected into our safest of spaces - the kindest womb of our milieu - was a crystallization of something ephemeral and fleeting and precious. We mock and celebrate and revile and treasure one another through these viewings and it started to become something all together different. 

Good bands change over time. But great bands grow together, learn together, strive together. 

Today we posted a super cut of every live performance of our song Snake Charmer in 2016. It was born of the reflective moments we shared together: these times we spent critiquing and praising and encouraging one another. It was supposed to be a tool to perfect our live shows, but at some point it became art in and of itself. The art of self-perfection. Of buoying up those we love to create with and by extension the most vulnerable parts of ourselves. 

To watch this video is to watch an entire year of our growth together as performers. But it is also to occupy with us the smallest moments of our creative process, our greatest joys as individuals and the larger meanings of making something amazing with the people you live to create with


Fuzz Vs. Distortion - sBass Camp with Shawn  

Distortion is distortion right?  
There are many different ways to clip your signal. In Hazel Blackburn, I use a couple of FX to get a variety of distortion sounds. First off, I’m almost always clipping the pre-amp on both my Traynor TS-120B and Music Man HD-130 and the Master Volume is also distorting when I’m playing hard. So I’m pretty dirty all the time but I like to step it up and throw a Fuzz in the mix for bass lines that need sustain and don’t have much chording going. To get the fuzz I like I have an old DOD FX25 envelope filter that I have set to max filtering and no envelope, basically making it filter out all the treble before it hits my Buzz Bomb (fuzz). I do this so that all the harmonics I get from the Buzz Bomb are directly related to the fundamental frequency of the bass note I’m playing and I still get a nice top end that’s in tune with the note. It helps me make the bass scream like Godzilla on occasion. Another way I like to get distortion is with overdrive. To get the overdrive I want, I use a Pro-Co Rat pedal. These things are pretty insane with the amount of drive you can get (especially with the amount of distortion from the amp) so I just turn the gain up till there’s just a bit of crunch. This sound is very useful when I need to palm mute. Bass doesn’t normally sound too good when trying to get a good “Jugga,” but if there’s just enough drive you can get an attack and sponge that can gallop like Iron Maiden. Bassically you can do whatever you want with a bass :) 


Victor on Giggles and Paradiddles  

Music and comedy are two of my favourite things in the world, so it’s not a surprise that they both go hand in hand. When you think about it, music and comedy aren’t all that different. Yes there are many styles and genres, but the root is the same. We’re basically all trying to say “What the hell is going on here, what is this life?” except that it comes out different each time because we all have a different set of eyes. 

Both of the aforementioned forms of artistic expression also make it easier to talk about taboos. When done well, they can be effective tools for getting your point across. For example, The Offspring have this song called “Cool to Hate” that makes a point about the macho culture played out by some members of our society. At first glance, one might think the song is literally saying that it’s cool to hate. But when you think about it, the artists are sarcastically mocking an attitude that is usually a manifestation of indecision and insecurity that causes affected people to hate on everything. Normally it’s tough to have conversations about these kinds of topics because there is a lot of pain/hurt associated with them. People would get riled up quick. However, most people tend to avoid confrontation, and that’s where music and comedy step in. Luckily, we have these beautiful modes of non-confrontational communication. 

Another great example, taken from comedy this time, is an excerpt from Joe Rogan’s recent comedy special “Triggered”. In his act, he uses comedic appeal in order to set the stage for statements that “punch up” to larger issues such as religion. There’s a good reason people avoid topics like religion at the dinner table. People die over these things, it’s no joke. However, when the setting is right, you can say what needs to be said. Rogan references an observation about cults and religions which states that the only difference between them is that in religions, the guy who made it up is now dead. He sets the stage by first pointing out the ridiculousness of the Church of Scientologists before making his point about religion in general. It just gives another perspective about “what is life” and how there are many ways to try to explain it. Sometimes, our opinions and beliefs can be pretty damn funny. And somehow if you’re making people laugh (or dance to the beat), it’s easier to get through to them.


Welcome to The Brier Patch 

A black night falls upon a secret garden. Witchery glides amongst the beds of thorns. The breath of a jabberwocky beats against the back of your neck.

Though the huge blocks that make up the granite walls crumble - choked with vines and bramble - they loom above you, effectively cutting you off from the world. The gate you passed through hours ago to enter this dark garden that has fallen out of knowing is nowhere to be found. The narrow paths that wind through the thickets of brier must be cleared somehow, but the only presence you feel among the vindictive thorns and indifferent weeds reeks of malevolent voyeurism; a cold-blooded heart and scaly eye that watches your growing unease with dark satisfaction.

An outdoor temple appears out of a break in the thickets, its rotting stone miraculously clear of vines, though pitted and slimy in places. A single statue stands against time in the central court. The female figure is veiled like some kind of priestess, her pure profile just visible through a delicate drape of unyielding stone. Some trick of the moonlight makes the smooth folds of her robing appear to shift slightly as you approach and the rustling in the dark around you adds to the feeling that you are watched. 

Every step you take towards the statue seems to change her aspect: the profane bleeding into the sacred before your eyes until a murky alchemy has turned all the worship in your heart to dread. Standing at her feet, transfixed by her veiled gaze, you hear the click of claws and the kiss of reptilian skin against stone. Unable to turn away, you recognize your position; caught in a mating dance between the unfathomable dark and the unspeakable witchcraft that depends upon its stygian embrace.

This bower, never meant for you, will nonetheless be the thorny bed for your tender, human skin.

You taught your son that ANYTHING he wanted was his for the taking 

An Open Letter To Dan Turner 
Dear Mr. Turner, 
I am going to go ahead and make an assumption here: you and your wife are good parents. You both probably made sacrifices to give your son a bright future. You made sure he went to good schools, that he had access to and excelled in extracurricular activities. Maybe I am being overly generous, but I suspect you went to endless competitions, paid large sums to give him every advantage and probably taught him a lot about how to navigate upper and middle class American society. 
I am sure you were both shocked when your son was arrested. I am certain your worlds were torn asunder and that your family suffered through this court case. You struggled to make sense of all of this and closed ranks to weather the storm. And you wrote that letter. Even after hearing in court that your son, Brock was caught in the act – and convicted by a jury of his peers – you wrote about rib eye steaks, pretzels and chips. And it was perfect. 
Much has been made of the letter you sent, begging for leniency in your son’s sentencing. People have been outraged at how you attempted to paint your unrepentant son as a victim without acknowledging his guilt or his victim in any way. Many see your focus on the small discomforts your son has faced in this ugly scenario as highly inappropriate, tone deaf and unbelievably callous. Who cares about Brock’s appetite when what is important here is that he forced himself sexually on an unconscious person next to a dumpster, they say. 
But I think Brock’s snacking habits are incredibly important and that is what I want to talk to you about. You see, without meaning to, you have pinpointed EXACTLY why your son did what he did. 
Fun fact: in every hierarchy of social animals, control of food sources and mating rights are the markers of social status and power. Your charming anecdote of having to hide YOUR pretzels and chips from Brock could not be clearer to me: you, the father, the alpha, the teacher and mentor, had to hide your own snacks from your son because he would eat them when your back was turned. This is perfect. This is everything. 
Mr. Turner, you meant to humanize your son to the judge and instead you prove without a doubt that you raised the kind of man that would see opportunities for himself in the weakness of others. You raised a “winner,” didn’t you? You raised a competitor, a striver, an achiever, a potential Olympian. 
You taught your son that ANYTHING he wanted was his for the taking. 
There is nothing wrong with wanting your children to succeed and raising them to do so. But to teach strength without teaching them that the strong should protect the weak, to lionize competition without emphasizing compassion, to shower a child with privilege without truly impressing upon them just how fortunate they are….? This gives us the Brock Turners of the world. Men who believe that if they can grasp it, they can take it. Entitled men. Unthinking, self-serving, acquisitive men. You know… “winners.” 
I want to believe that when you gave your son the world on a platter that there were side orders of compassion and accountability there. I WANT to believe that the paragraph above this one is not one that needs to be tattooed on foreheads everywhere. But, your letter, your clear inability to come to terms with Brock’s crime and the almost comical cognitive dissonance between actual facts and your opinions about your son… Well. I am having a hard time with that. 
Perhaps you have heard the terms “rape culture” and “white privilege”? Your son is the clearest example of the two that I have ever come across. Where a white man can be literally caught with his pants down by two witnesses - heaving his body over an utterly unconscious and non-consenting woman - can run away, be convicted, be guilty beyond all doubt, and STILL not just avoid prison entirely, but have an entire cast of apologists defending his right to face no punishment. The dissonant focus on his swimming career. His portrait, not his mug shot – blond, smiling, be-suited – gracing articles that included references to his achievements, but not hers. What about her potential? Her abilities? For the record, I have been moved and inspired by her strength, intelligence and worth. 
I would ask you, father of this all-American athlete who can literally do no wrong in your eyes, if you also notice how it seems like elite sportsmen are so often the beneficiaries of this special kind of protection from consequences? These specimens, often strong enough to force other strongmen into physical submission; why do we find it so hard to believe they would take sex from a smaller woman without her consent? What is it about the men that engage in what is essentially a ritualized form of warfare that inspires this deference? Prized for their ability to literally take what they want, celebrated for their sacraments of violence on the field, worshipped as kings of force: these are the pinnacles of masculinity in our culture. Isn’t it time for us to look at how incredibly toxic that vision of manhood is? How it has hurt your son as well as his victim and so many, many others? 
You know what? I believe you that Brock isn’t a mustachio-twirling villain who camps out near dumpsters to drag young women into the dark. But it’s possible for good people to do bad things. Your son has done something despicable and vile and he needs a punishment befitting his crime. You attempting to protect him from the consequences serves only your own clear desperation to make this all go away. And serves it poorly. You looking away from someone else’s child sprawled on the dirty ground, violated and used by your son, is no kindness to him. 
I know your letter wasn’t meant to be consumed by the public the way it has. Even though your words clearly found the target you intended, (to overwhelming public outrage) both you and judge Aaron Persky missed the most valuable thing you conveyed about your particular kind of fatherhood. I hope you can see it now. 
It’s hard for most of us to care about Brock’s appetite when ours has been utterly destroyed, but his snacks – those snacks that he habitually steals from his loving, enabling, BLIND father – his snacks say it all. 


Once. Once we hotly anticipated a new album, lined up to purchase it and spent the next weekend pouring over the art, reading all the lyrics and dissecting the liner notes. An album used to be a journey with a beginning, middle and end. There were narratives, emotional highs and lows and the chance to peek into the hearts of your favorite artists to see what pain, joy or rage might mirror your own. An album was a standalone piece of art. Even if you didn’t love every part of it, even if you skipped some of the songs, it was still a body of work: a meal of sound and a color to be savored. 
But now we live in the age of the Single. 
That bite sized, processed and curated kernel that defines the artists’ marketability. The single, shiny and polished, should be “radio friendly”. Should be between two and a half and three and a half minutes long. Should be this. Should be that. 
We. Reject. This. 
We make albums because what we have to say can’t be made clear in a single breath. We don’t make “singles” because we don’t care about shilling $0.99 downloads. We don’t care if we are never heard across morning commutes, squeezed between commercials for cars and prank calls and cheap, mindless chatter. 
So instead of releasing a single, we are offering an advanced release from our upcoming album: a song that you will hear before all the others. This isn’t our catchiest song. It isn’t the most accessible song. It’s the song we feel captures what this album is about. What we are about. So pour over this morsel we serve up to whet your appetite for our first offering. 
Get hungry, because we want to kill the single.

sBass Camp: Ground Control - The Pedal Board 

While three piece bands are not uncommon, it’s rarer for bass to be the lead instrument in one. But what is VERY common is for Shawn to be asked after a show, “Dude… HOW are you getting those sounds?!” So Shawn is taking us to sBass camp today! 
“In Hazel Blackburn we don’t have a guitar player and the bass plays rhythm and melody simultaneously. To make that work there are two separate channels of bass playing at the same time during most of the music. And because there is no frequency competition, I get to be LOOOOOUUUD!!!
One channel is a straight-forward bass channel with several different distortions and a delay. The second is a pitch FX sound made up of several octaves combined on a POG 2 through a reverb and delay. The amps are also turned up to get master volume distortion (sorry, sound guys around the world!) for feedback and punch. Most music revolves around the bass of a chord so it’s really not a bad place to start. Once you start stacking octaves and adding harmonic distortion, a bass line can end up sounding full and rich: that people don’t expect it makes that all the more satisfying. 
All that stuff means nothing though if the instrument you’re playing doesn’t inspire you. That happens two different ways for me: tone and feel. I play a Gibson Grabber GB-3 and a short-scale Lero Telecaster bass copy. They each have very different feels but I love them both. When one is not inspiring, the other is so different that it shocks me out of whatever funk the last bass had me in. The Grabber is fast, aggressive and tuned down to C. The Lero is deep, gritty and bouncy tuned to D. Having a rig that inspires and challenges you makes music greater than the sum of player and gear.” 

Aural Expectations 

Every time I am asked, I struggle with the choice of how to describe my role in Hazel Blackburn. I usually go with “I sing” and leave out “and play the ukulele.”
Partly I leave the uke out because it is a new instrument to me. While “singer” sails out of my mouth easily because I have been singing my entire life, I’m half embarrassed to claim a skill that, though growing every day, is far from where I want it to be… But mostly I leave it out because the instrument’s name conjures up images of lazy beach days, picturesque sunsets and palms swaying around campfires. I think it immediately directs the listener away from the blood and guts core of what Hazel Blackburn really is. It will probably surprise no one to hear that the first thing people want to do with a band is classify it. They look at our clothes, our name and our band art and their fingers itch to slap on a label: “heavy,” “rock,” “prog,” whatever it is, they want to box us up tidily. This is especially true of journalists, labels and other industry folk; you know, the gatekeepers that we want to talk about our music the most. Drop down menus. Box checks. Genres. Where do you fit? What other bands are you like?
And here sits my ukulele.
We aren’t like anyone really… I play ukulele, but not like you might be used to. We play rock music, but probably not how you’d imagine it. We are a three piece, but most of the lead melodies scream and growl simultaneously out of a bass amp and a guitar amp.
So I challenge you to find that neat little title to wrap up Hazel Blackburn: find the words to encompass the versatile bass, the spare and shrieking ukulele, the far-flung lyrics, the rolling and shifting percussion…
Because then I am going to steal it from you.