An Interview With BLONDFIRE On Their Biggest Inspirations, Upcoming Projects and More
Posted On 23 Feb 2016
Tag: #Noel Gallagher, AIR, All Access, All Access Music Group, Anthony Polcino, Artist Interview, Astaire, Bernard Sumner, Bigmouth Strikes Again, Blondfire, Bruce Driscoll, Caetano Veloso, Damon Albarn, Dave Gahan, Depeche Mode, Eliot Lee Hazel, Erica Driscoll, Fleet Foxes, Frankly Mister Shankly, Johnny Marr, Josh Miramontes, Madchester, Manchester, Martin Gore, Massive Attack, Morrissey, New Order, Pet Shop Boys, Pleasure, Reade Pryor, Steve Stout, Stone Roses, Tame Impala, The Charlatans, The Queen Is Dead, The Smiths, Tom Petty, Waves and Young Heart, WAX LTD., Where The Kids Are
Meet the band, Blondfire! They are an indie pop LA musical act made up of Erica Driscoll. Along with Anthony Polcino, Steve Stout, Josh Miramontes and Reade Pryor, they recently put out a single called “Pleasure” which was “inspired by the crazy Manchester drug scene aftermath and how seeking that ultimate euphoria and pleasure can come with a dark side. It was fun while it lasted.”
Learn more Blondfire in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time today! So, what were some of the band highlights in 2015? What are you most looking forward to this year?
2015 for me was all about creating. I was back in full on songwriting mode in the studio, which felt really good. The past couple of years before, I had been out on the road pretty much non-stop, so it was great to get back to just focusing on making new music and of course sleep in my own bed for a while. What I’m most looking forward to this year is sharing everything that I’ve been working on and getting back into playing shows again.
Can you talk about how Blondfire first formed? How did you all meet each other? Why do you think you all work so well together?
Blondfire started between my brother, Bruce, and me when we were really young. (Although it was called Astaire then). It all began with us wanting to do something great, like the bands that inspired us. We learned our instruments and songwriting as we went along together. Cold winters in Michigan and being underage made the perfect circumstances for learning to play and record music, and we just never stopped. I think having that sibling connection of growing up with similar influences, experiences, and musical tastes made us a great team. To make a long story short, we eventually moved to NYC and then to LA.
How do you think your sound has changed over the years? What about the band has stayed the same?
I think one of the main things that has changed, is that in the past couple of years Blondfire has become more of my own personal project. Bruce is still involved in some of the songwriting with me, but he’s also working on other things. It’s more about my vision now. I think the heart of the Blondfire sound is still there. There’s definitely a bitter sweet quality to what I create, I think maybe the new music is maybe a bit more mature. Lyrically, there songs seem to be more about danger, taking chances, sexuality/relationships.
What have been some of your favorite songs on the albums that you’ve put out?
“Where the Kids Are” is definitely one of them. That song was a catalyst for a lot of great things happening for the band. I also love “Waves and Young Heart”. To be honest, all the songs I’ve released are all kind of a snapshot of what was going on with me at that moment in time. It’s interesting to go back and listen to what you’ve created and see where you’ve come from and how the sound keeps evolving.
What was the inspiration behind your newest single, “Pleasure”?
The inspiration for “Pleasure” comes from the crazy Manchester or I should say “Madchester” scene in the late 80’s early 90’s with bands like the Stone Roses, Happy Mondays, and The Charlatans. It was indie music merging with dance music. I’ve always loved the bands from that time and thought it would be fun to do a song with that kind of groove. We programmed a beat and just started riffing over it. That scene was definitely fueled heavily by drugs and we came up with this lyrical idea of searching for the ultimate pleasure. “Get up get up get out of your head, get up get up get out, feel alive” It’s happy and fun, but there’s also a dark side to it.
When do you plan on releasing your next album? How’s the process been going for you all?
I have enough songs for a full album right now, but what I want to do is focus on singles for the time being and release videos to go with each song. I’ve been really getting into shooting my own music videos, too. It’s great to be able to give another layer to the songs with visuals.
It sounds like Blondfire will be heavily touring this year. Where are you most excited to play at this year?
I don’t think there is necessarily a specific place that I’m excited to play, as much as I’m excited to reconnect with the people I’m lucky enough to have as fans, whatever cities they’re in. I’m excited to share with them the new music I’ve been making.
What bands have consistently inspired Blondfire’s sound? Who would you love to work with in the future?
I have a broad taste in music, but there are certain bands that have definitely inspired me to want to write and to be in a band. I’m definitely influenced by a lot of 80’s British bands. One of them is definitely The Smiths. A friend of mine made a mix cd for me when I was 15 and it had “Bigmouth Strikes Again” and “Frankly Mister Shankly” on it. I had heard “Bigmouth” before, but didn’t know who it was, and was happy to finally know. Something about Morrissey’s dark lyrics against Johnny Marr’s jangly guitar lines was really exciting and different to me. I think I pretty much listened to the album “The Queen Is Dead” everyday for a year straight. I’m also a huge Pet Shop Boys fan. My mothers from Brazil, so growing up, we would spend summers there. I remember being 12 years old and being able to get into dance clubs with my older cousins and they always played The Pet Shop Boys. Smart lyrics and super catchy/cool keyboards. It always reminds me of those times and just having fun and being free.
As far as who I would want to collaborate with, there are so many people. Besides The Pet Shop Boys, and Morrissey or Johnny Marr, off the top of my head…Damon Albarn would be amazing, Bernard Sumner of New Order, Dave Gahan and/or Martin Gore of Depeche Mode, Air, Massive Attack, Tom Petty, Tame Impala, Fleet Foxes, Caetano Veloso, Noel Gallagher, and so many more that I’ll remember as soon as I finish this interview.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope listeners take away from your songs?
Music is about sharing an experience. Whether that’s a nostalgia for a something in the past or to set off your imagination. I hope to create something that people emotionally connect with, that can either shine a light in the darkness or just give them a good time. I guess I hope to create a place they can escape to when they need it, like my favorite bands did for me.
All photos courtesy of Eliot Lee Hazel.