An Interview With The Front-Woman of the Cult Alt-Rck Band ICON FOR HIRE And Now New Author, ARIEL BLOOMER!
Posted On 19 Jan 2018
This Nashville native first became known as vocalist in cult alt-rock band Icon for Hire. But more recently, Ariel Bloomer has grown a loyal following by dispensing life advice and motivational tips on her YouTube channel, The REL Show. So it’s fitting that her first book is a mix of memoir and self-help guide designed to help readers “access the artist inside all of us.”
If you find most self-help manuals a bit dry and pious, Turn Your Pain Into Art offers a vibrant alternative.” – BBC America
Ariel Bloomer is the vocalist and songwriter for Billboard-charting duo Icon For Hire. Her YouTube channel, The REL Show, inspires thousands of viewers each week with it’s refreshing approach to self-help. Her debut book, ‘Turn Your Pain Into Art’ was released on Friday January 12th. Ariel’s band will kick off their 36 city US Tour, the, “Turn Your Pain Into Art” tour on February 15th in Houston, Texas, to promote the book; the tour will also be heading to Europe. In her hilarious, candid, and warm debut, Ariel bares her soul and shares her struggles, coupling accessible autobiography with practical advice and inspiration for navigating the messiest parts of life. From growing up a passionate but troubled spiritual seeker to chasing her rock n’ roll dreams, Bloomer’s journey illustrates the importance of cultivating self-love and the transformational nature of creativity, and how to access the artist inside all of us. Turning one’s pain into art is an intense but rewarding endeavor, and is one we can all benefit from if we’re brave enough to say yes to the challenge.
Turn Your Pain Into Art is about connecting with your creative heart. It’s about taking all the hurt and suffering we all have built up inside and transforming it into something useful, and maybe even one day something beautiful. Ariel’s music is one of the primary ways she takes her personal pain and uses it for something better; she challenges her readers to find their creative outlet and take what has burned them to fuel their own fire. Her mission is to connect with as many people as possible that are experiencing pain and self-hatred and spread her message of self-love and empowerment to them through this book. When not on tour, you can find Ariel designing clothes, baking Swedish cookies, and exploring her beloved city of Nashville, TN.
For more on Icon For Hire: http://www.iconforhire.net
Learn more about Ariel Bloomer in the following All Access interview:
Happy New Year! Thanks for your time today! Where does this interview find you?
Thanks for having me! I am currently in my of Nashville, Tennessee promoting my new book and getting ready for our upcoming tour.
Overall, how do you think 2017 was for you and your career? What are you most excited about for this year? Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions? Care to share them with us?
Last year was really cool as we toured the country promoting our new album, You Can’t Kill Us, and I got ready to independently publish my book. There was a lot of hard work in 2017 that set us up for a great 2018.
And yes I LOVE resolutions, any time of year! My main one I’m keeping in mind now is I want to “feel more lit up about my life.” This means creating a life I love, as well as loving the life I already have more.
Growing up, did you always want to be a musician? Can you recall your earliest musical memory?
Yes, no question, I’ve had musical dreams my whole life. One of my earliest memories is being a little kid in Sweden (where I’m from), singing into my tape recorder. I thought English songs were way cooler but I didn’t know any English, so I just made up gibberish songs and sang them, hoping it was in English!
I always like to ask artists about where they came from and how that city or town has influenced them as an artist now. So how do you think your home has affected you and your music today?
We moved around a lot, so I think my lack of a home base has had an impact on me. Switching countries and states often made me more introverted, focused, and self-driven. I often wasn’t out hanging with friends, I’d be new in a city and in my room writing songs.
Let’s get right into it and talk about your book that was just released called “Turn Your Pain Into Art.” How long have you been wanting to write this book? What was it like writing it? Did it take longer than expected or about what you thought? Do you think that you have another book in you?
I started writing it about three years ago, mostly when we were on tour. The book idea actually was based on the classes I taught on Warped Tour. I heard so many stories from fans and got a good idea of what they were needing to hear, and I made a point to cover a lot of those topics in the book-things like anxiety, self-harming, not knowing how to reach your dreams. I wrote for about 2 years, just whenever I felt like it, and then spent the last year editing and getting the release ready. And-yes-I will definitely be writing more in the future-I love the book writing process.
What has the reaction been like so far from “Turn Your Pain Into Art”? Are you finding that fans of your band are also reading it?
It’s been amazing! It is already a number one Amazon bestseller in multiple categories, and BBC America included it as one of their “Ten Things You Need To Know This Week.” But hearing the feedback from our fans has been the best part. It’s so great to not be constrained in a three minute son, but to be able to say exactly what I want to in this book.
Are you in the process of writing new music with your band, Icon For Fire? When can fans expect more music?
We are getting ready for the Turn Your Pain Into Art tour right now, and will focus on more music making later in the year. We have been writing some new songs that we hope to share later in 2018.
Are you excited to be headed out on the road with your band Icon For Fire next month? What can fans expect from these shows?
Yes, definitely. It’s one thing to interact with our fans online, which we do a lot of, but getting to be there face to face is a whole different level of connection. We are playing our full rock set, and incorporating some of the themes of the book. We are even including some of our fan’s artwork into the set. It’s going to be unlike any show we’ve done before.
Where do you find that you at your happiest- on stage performing, in the studio recording music, writing songs or elsewhere?
That’s such a tough question. I love the rush of being on stage and having these incredible experiences with the audience, but there’s nothing like the feeling of writing a lyric that perfectly captures what I’m trying to say.
We are living in a crazy and at times rough world right now so I am curious how you think being a musician gives you the most joy in life today? How do you think that new music being created today is going to reflect these difficult times?
Being a musician is a way for me to contribute to my audience, to create songs and content that help people feel understood and less alone. It also helps ME feel understood and less alone, so that’s a win. I am hopeful that the tumultuous climate we’re in will help us focus on what matters, and all the pain we’re experiencing will create more opportunities for growth and art creation. It’s no fun being an artist when everything is perfect.
Who are some of your favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? What musicians would you absolutely still love to work with in the future?
I am currently blasting lots of Florence and the Machine, and I think Kesha’s latest record is mind blowing. I would love to collaborate with some hip hop artists in the future.
What do you hope your fans take away from your music? Do you find that a lot of your music has a greater meaning behind it?
I hope people listen to our music and think “this band gets it.” I hope we are making the life experience a little easier, and creating a community of fans where everyone can be their messy beautiful selves.
Is there anything else that you would like to share about yourself or your music with our readers?
We would love to meet you on the road! We’re playing pretty much every major US city so come out and say hello. Our dates can be found at iconforhire.net.