The Blasters are back! On vinyl, anyway.
It’s been 40 years since the California roots-rockers fronted by singer-guitarist brothers Phil and Dave Alvin exploded onto the scene with instant classics like American Music, Marie Marie and Border Radio. And it’s been almost that long since their catalog went out of print. But that’s about to change. Liberation Hall Records recently announced plans to reissue the band’s classic LPs on vinyl over the coming months. The campaign just kicked off with the fittingly titled new compilation Mandatory, along with the long-overdue return of Phil Alvin’s equally essential 1986 solo album Un “Sung Stories.” Shortly before they arrived, founding Blasters bassist John Bazz and drummer Bill Bateman got on the Zoom to chat about the band’s glory days, how Queen got them into the musicians’ union, Phil’s current health and Police record, and tons more. Enjoy.