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Blind Idiot God ‘Before Ever After’ launch at the Paper Box

Cult Park Slope trio releases first album in two decades

for The Brooklyn Paper
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Don’t call it a comeback.

It has been 23 years since Park Slope experimental rock trio Blind Idiot God last released an album. But that was never the plan.

“We’ve been trying to get back into the public sphere for a long time,” said Andy Hawkins, the band’s guitarist and leader. “We have had so much trouble with various things, but the focus now is getting the band functional again.”

Blind Idiot God was originally active from 1982 to 1996, during which time it found many fans for its punk-infused metal sound and viciously loud live shows and collaborated with the likes of avant-garde icon John Zorn and Henry Rollins of Black Flag. The trio reformed with a new drummer in 2001 and began working on a new album, but experienced a number of setbacks — chief among them that its bassist had developed tendinitis and hearing problems.

Now with a new rhythm section, the band is finally releasing its new album “Before Ever After,” with a release show at the Paper Box in Williamsburg on March 7.

The 13-track disc re-emphasizes Hawkins’ love of both monstrous riff-heavy rock and excursions into reggae-inspired lightness, while also adding in spacious guitar drones and some touches of modern jazz — all of which Hawkins insists are compatible genres.

“My listening habits are all over the place,” he said. “We all find these styles to have more in common than might meet the eye. It feels really natural to me, anyway.”

The band’s sound may not have changed substantially during its extended hiatus, but the way Blind Idiot God is unleashing its musical madness onto the world has. The trio is releasing “Before Ever After” on its own label, Indivisible Records, and is handling almost every aspect of its release and promotion in-house. Some older musicians grumble about the music industry in the digital era, but Hawkins said he has embraced the freedom it offers.

“I think it’s great that people have so much more control over their own output,” he said. “It doesn’t change the fact that this record is probably very easy to get through file sharing, but I think this is a great thing.”

Hawkins said he is also excited for his creative and professional lives to finally be stabilizing. He has a solid lineup for Blind Idiot God that is ready to tour later this year, and he has also been happily running his Park Slope tavern the Sea Witch for the past three years.

“I’ve done everything you can imagine in the bar and restaurant business,” he said. “I’ve tested people for sleep disorders. I’ve operated a mechanical bull. It’s been a hell of a life.”

Blind Idiot God at the Paper Box [17 Meadow St. between Waterbury and Bogart streets in Williamsburg, (718) 383–3815, www.paperboxnyc.com]. March 7 at 8 pm. $12 ($10 advance).

Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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