A Chat With: Blonder
New York indie rocker Blonder joined Day Wave on tour this Spring. At their Montreal gig, before Blonder and the Lonesome Cowboys (his band) sound checked, we had a chat about his debut EP, touring and The 1975.
(Photo by Robert)
Why did you decide to name yourself blonder?
I had written and recorded all the music, mixed and mastered it, it was all done. I still didn’t have a band name cause I came to this project from an old band I was in where I was writing stuff. I decided I would stop being in that band and try to do something new. Even though that band is doing good stuff in New York I just wanted something new anyway, maybe not that smart but I did it anyway. So, I didn’t have a name and all these songs are about this relationship I was in at that time. She basically called me in the middle of the night and we were basically breaking up, and she knew I had all these songs done and she was like “I’m with my friends”… and they’re all blond, “I have your band name, I know what you have to name your band” and that was really it. I was like ‘this is insane I gotta go back to sleep’, but then I realized that was the perfect name for the collection of songs I had. It was kind of about something that wasn’t definitive, it was more than, so blond, blonder than, you know what I mean? This weird more than thing.
You’re EP is coming out this week, how are you feeling about that?
I’m supposed to be excited, I mean I don’t want to be fatalistic or anything but I think it’s just going to come out. People are going to slowly gravitate towards it on their own time. I think we have a pretty cool premiere with a blog but besides that there’s no real anticipation, it’s just a debut record, it’s just the beginning of something.
And what can people expect from it?
It borrows from a lot of 80’s arena rock bands like Duran Duran and Tears For Fears. Then it also does this New York thing that is more contemporary and might borrow from The Strokes. So, yeah I’m excited for it just to come out and for people to hear it as a body of work cause that’s how its intended to be listened to. These singles have been out for of a long time, the first single has been out since last June. So, really you’re only getting 2 new recordings but that’s okay because I think its important to see it as a package and understand the story of the relationship
The EP is called 5$, why that name?
It was originally going to be called EP 1 and basically we started playing these shows in New York and they were 5$. We kind of kept doing those shows and I liked how it was a little throwback to the old days, not that I was around for that but like cheap rock shows you could go see. I think it just referenced that. And there’s something I’m doing with this project where the design aspect of it, like the single art and the titles are separate from the music for me. Its another opportunity to create. That 5$ thing really matter of fact, I feel like that name is a lot like how my single art has been coming out, kind of harsh, straight up, this is it.
What’s your favourite track on your EP?
Probably a song called What We Want. It’s my favourite one because it has the most house music influence and it’s a bit of a harsher song. It mixes punk music and house music. The vocals are really funk but the beat and stuff are really house-y. I made that song with my friend Aaron who’s in this band called Porches and he does a lot of house music stuff so I kinda let that influence seep in. Its the most innovative song sonically, the least indie rock sounding tune.
I feel like Just Because is really more electronic also, we’re definitely not getting one genre in your music
Definitely yeah. The EP, each song is very different because, once again its not boring, its not like a band doing the same thing for every song, I tried to make every song its own world almost.
I was gonna ask, for Just Because, how did that electronic vibe come in?
I think its just about thinking about how each sound has its own provenance, like its own history to it and I didn’t wanna make just an indie rock record with just guitars and drums you know, I didn’t want it to be live feeling. I still wrote rock songs, I wish I wrote R&B songs and so I didn’t want to just stick to one thing. Also, bands like Depeche Mode and like Scritti Politti, they’re these 80’s bands that wrote essentially really amazing rock songs but put them in a different
Was there any artists that inspired the making of the EP?
No. I tried not have that be the case. They were written a really long time ago, like 2015. The whole next EP is already written, not recorded but yeah.
Do you get tired of playing these songs?
Honestly, I think they’re good songs so they last. I think what’s cool is that the more exciting the band makes them the better we play them. It actually surprises me about the whole record; that I actually don’t hate it cause its still lasted for me.
I asked you about artists because in Just Because there’s a subtle The 1975 and Two Door Cinema Club vibe in it and its just funny how you tweeted about the Arcade Fire song…