"Stadium/arena sound with intellectual clout" - Record Collector Magazine. Launched in 2010 with support of Roger Waters. Based in London, UK. Album two coming soon..."
With the announcement of a new live lineup, and founder/frontman and songwriter Sepp Osley at the helm, Blurred Vision are on the verge of releasingtheir second album, produced by Terry Brown, and are preparing to take fans on a new musical journey. Album two will make your hips move, your mind think, and your heart feel - It is a contemporary ride through the genre breaking, multi layered world of Blurred Vision's new sound!
The new lineup sees the addition of some of London's hottest young musicians. Joining Sepp Osley will be Bentley Levy on bass, Jake Bradford Sharp on drums, and most recently, Jake Libretto on guitars.
Blurred Vision Biography
In 2009 an uprising took place in Iran. It saw the majority of the country’s population,
mainly young students, take to the streets in their millions to protest the corrupt and
rigged elections that won president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad his presidency.
Thousands of miles away in Canada Iranian born brothers Sepp and Sohl Osley, along
with the rest of the world, watched the horrific scenes unfold on the streets of Tehran on
Twitter, Facebook and Youtube. The government cracked down on peaceful protests
and with extreme brutality killed many of those fighting for their voice to be heard.
They imprisoned thousands more.
It was the first time a generation was watching an uprising in real time and powered by a
new weapon, the smart phone and social media.
The two Osley brothers fled war torn Iran with their family at a very young age in the mid 80s. The scenes that came out of Iran in 2009 hit close to home and the pair knew they had to react to the situation so they did it in the only way they knew how - their music. In a span of two months, along with producer Terry Brown who had just met them, they set out to record an updated version of Pink Floyd’s iconic song “Another Brick In The Wall Part 2”. But it had a twist. In a concert the brothers were performing, singer/guitarist Sepp decided to sing the refrain “Hey Ayatollah Leave Those Kids Alone” replacing the “teacher” line with protest against a new villain.
Judging by the instant reaction they knew they had what they wanted to make a stand against the atrocities taking place in their homeland.
After recording their version of the song with Terry, the band called the University of Toronto’s film faculty. They wanted to make a statement that showed the brave Iranian
youth risking their lives daily so that their peers thousands of miles away could hear their
calls for freedom and democracy.
The head of the film faculty forwarded the recording to Babak Payami, a Silver Lion
award-winning and celebrated filmmaker who was running the creative arm of the
Benetton Group in Italy at the time. On hearing the track Babak Payami flew directly to Toronto to meet with the band. He confirmed that he would direct the video to the band’s first ever single release.
The video was shot in two days in the month of December 2009 with no budget and with a crew of budding film students, enthusiastic to get involved with the project. On February 1 2010, with the uprisings still in full force in Iran, Blurred Vision uploaded their first music video to Youtube in the early hours of the morning.
On waking up they saw the video had gained over 10k views in a few hours. By the
second day that number had doubled to 20k and the video was well on its way to going viral… but no one really knew the impact it was about to have.
Before going live with the video Blurred Vision had asked their hero, Pink Floyd founder
Roger Waters, for permission to use the song. The green light was given but even
Waters was not fully aware of what was about to unfold next.
As the view count kept growing Blurred Vision submitted the video as an artistic piece to
the Soho Shorts Festival in London UK. It was accepted and in the running for best
music video. The band were up against the likes of The Gorillaz, Plan B, Franz
Ferdinand and many others - the difference was that BV’s video was shot in a very short
time span with no budget at all.
Upon arrival in England the band and their video reached the ears of the media. Sky
News was the first to cover the story and with 100k views on Youtube and a nomination
in the festival the word spread fast.
It didn’t take long for the video’s impact to achieve US coverage; on July 28 the
Associated Press released an article that was picked up by major media publications
around the world.
If that wasn’t enough, at this point Roger Waters posted a statement on his newly
created Facebook page about his support for what the band had done with his song and
the stand they had made against what he called a “repressive regime”. Blurred Vision
was in the world’s spotlight.
Features appeared in The Independent, The Guardian and The Telegraph and soon the
band were appearing on major BBC shows; their first major TV appearance on BBC
GMT was watched by 75 million people around the world. This included the White House
who had taken an interest in what the brothers had done.
The video would also become one of the first cover songs on Youtube to go viral. (While
this happens regularly now it is almost never with such global artistic/social impact.)
After weeks of press in the UK Sepp and Sohl Osley returned to Toronto to find
themselves in a unique and difficult position. They had a massive media craze but didn’t
have any music to follow it up with, not even a band to call their own!
It was then that producer Terry Brown insisted on the brothers meeting drummer Ben
Riley, son of famous composer and organist Doug Riley, and to listen to his playing. It
was band at first sight!
Meanwhile the video was still continuing to create waves around the world.
It won best music video at the first ever Beverly Hills Film and New Media Festival in
October 2010. It was an official selection in the Atlantic City Film Festival and, most
notably, it was chosen by Televisor Germany in association with MTV Europe as one of
the top 100 most influential Pop Music Videos of All time.
The video was displayed in the Museum of Modern art in Cologne Germany and at Fact Liverpool in the UK, alongside the likes of The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel, Radiohead, Lady Gaga and more.
The newly formed band along with Terry Brown began rehearsing and recording material that would become their debut album a few years down the road. But the band did not release music yet. They had a focus, They wanted to be ready the next time they found themselves in the spotlight.
So Blurred Vision spent the next four years performing concerts in the US and Canada.
In 2012 they became official ambassadors of NYC based hunger and poverty charity
Whyhunger, joining the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Carlos Santana and Jackson
They became the only band invited from Canada to perform at The Beatles 50th
Anniversary Concert in New York City, taking the stage to a sold out crowd at the historic
Hudson Theater in Manhattan. It was the original stage where Elvis Presley had
performed on the Steve Allen Show in 1956.
(The band’s performance was hailed as “a star power performance” that stole the show.
Organisers declared “In the very near future, when Blurred Vision are a worldwide name
and adored by millions, the producers will be able to say they were visionaries and knew
exactly what they were doing by inviting this band to New York City”.)
Following their performance at The Beatles Anniversary Blurred Vision then played the
Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square at the annual WhyHunger Awards. A star (and rock)
In the Summer of 2014 Blurred Vision performed at what would become one of the
world’s biggest festivals in numbers - World Pride in Toronto - which brought in an
accumulated 2 million attendees to the pride parade.
In 2015 Blurred Vision released their debut album “Organised Insanity” to significant acclaim. They made their new base in London and began work on the video for “Dear John” a birthday message to John Lennon. Fans and musicians from all over the world took part with the end result being a poignant tribute to the man and his legacy.
Moving forward in 2019 the band is about to release their second album titled ‘Redemption’. 2018 saw a line-up change. With front man Sepp now settled in the UK and Sohl and Ben remaining in Canada, step forward three young British musicians. Joining Sepp are Bentley Levy on bass, Jake Bradford Sharp on drums and Jake Libretto on guitars.
‘Magdalena’, along with the lyric video, was released on May 10th , with the official video out on June 3rd and a free launch show on June 6th. The song is the first offering from the band's forthcoming second album 'Redemption'.
This is not the first time that Blurred Vision have been involved with creative video
concepts. In addition to their Roger Waters’ track and the ‘Dear John’ video the band
have produced several memorable videos including the bleak ‘Democracy (Beckett cut)’
which employed a strong monochromatic, confrontational approach.
Blurred Vision blend a nostalgic rock sensibility with a modernised sophisti-pop touch.
Combined with the provocative lyricism that has become the band’s trademark style, it
creates a compelling and adrenalin-fuelled sound.
Are they going places – you bet they are.