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Bl贸m – on being kind, using your voice, checking your privilege & making some noise 馃尭

We are the babies! & you are all the caregivers

馃挅 You are one of the darkest/loudest bands I’ve ever seen. How did you get so dark & loud?

Erika: Not sure!! Ha, the world is a weird place & I guess we are a reflection of that. Trying to take up as much physical presence as possible & be overwhelmingly in your face, or something?

A lot of amps help, Hells is pretty loud anyway!

馃挅 Bl贸m is such a beautiful & delicate name. How did you come up with it & what does it mean to you?

Erika: It means “Flower” but I guess it could be translated to “Bloom” & other such things.

Liz came up with it! It’s quite quirky & fun.

I think people get a shock when they hear a three-piece band named after flowers & don’t have men in their line up play such abrasive & upfront music.

I think people get a shock when they hear a three-piece band named after flowers & don’t have men in their line up play such abrasive & upfront music.

馃挅 What’s your song writing process?

ALL: Typically – Eri will write some riffs & bass structures, then take those to the practice room with Liz, who writes their drum parts.

Together they map the songs out. Hells writes the lyrics, & works on the vocal structure & style, once the instrumental aspects have been developed.

The songs usually have a rigid idea of structure which develops each time we play it; part improv & part just accidents until the song works itself out.

馃挅 Erika, what can you tell us about the effects you use?

Erika: I come from a background of noise & experimental music, & I guess have played pedals longer than I’ve played bass, ha!

I think the limitations of bass really push me to try & maximize the catalog of sounds I can create. When I start to feel like I’m close to the limit/as far as I can push things, I’ll get a new pedal. ha.

When Bl贸m first started I only used three pedals, & then cut it back down to 2.

馃挅 Hells, I’ve noticed you enter the crowd a lot at shows which brings a real presence & immersion to your music.

Is that something you’ve always done/how do you feel it adds to your performance?

Helen: I began doing the wandering about thing because I get incredibly nervous & prefer to be off stage.

I feel more comfortable off the stage, or with my back to the crowd, looking at Liz & Eri!

I’ve never done lead vocals before, luckily Bl贸m isn’t all about the vocals, it’s 3 equal parts oscillating – so people don’t need to pay attention to what I’m doing.

I feel more comfortable off the stage, or with my back to the crowd

馃挅 This next question probably shows my naivety but . . . it’s not often you see a band without a guitarist – what lead to your decision not to have one & how do you think it adds to your sound?

Erika: I actually don’t know! Bl贸m would be an entirely different band with a guitarist, I also don’t want to say it’s a gimmick but it does make us stand out I guess.

I also feel like I wouldn’t have as much creative expression. I don’t like thinking about playing an instrument, but more so about the sounds that come out, & what tools are best to create those sounds.

We chatted in the early days about picking up another member, but we would be much more interested in someone playing synth or noise.

馃挅 What is a skank witch & how can we be one?

Helen: Back when we started writing Bl贸m music – I had a very intense job supporting vulnerable adults with complex needs (ex-offenders, addicts, sex workers, abusers, people with learning disabilities, the list goes on!) the lyrics are taken from interactions with one of the clients I was working closely with around that time. 

Skank Witch was a popular insult from said client, no idea what it means, but from experience – it doesn’t take much be branded one. 

馃挅 You call your followers Bl贸m babies, how do you describe your fanbase?

Erika: We are the babies! & you are all the caregivers, now feeed meeee.

Our ‘fanbase’ is very varied which I like. I guess we appeal to the queer diy punk communities & weirdo noisers, but also to the black t-shirt beard gang.

馃挅 You all have 3 very strong & powerful identities. How do you describe your individual aesthetics?

Erika: idk? I just like cute things. I guess anime & jpop crossed with punk aesthetics???

I just wear pink dungarees, Hells is just Cher with a mullet

Liz: Black t-shirt no beard muscle daddy.

Black t-shirt no beard muscle daddy.

馃挅 What can you tell us about toxic dependency?

Helen: Lyrically, Toxic Dependency is partially about co-dependent relationships. I have been trapped in one sided relationships – romantically & platonically – with people who have been emotionally destructive & abusive.

In these relationships I’ve lost my sense of self & valued other peoples opinions above my own. People need validation & reassurance, but sometimes the source is part of the problem. 

So with that in mind, other lyrics are pulled from passing comments made by toxic people.

If you’ve been in that place yourself, you know how the tone & delivery of certain comments can quickly breed insecurities & feed into that cycle of low self worth.

 馃挅 What inspires you to play music?

Erika: Life? Nice people, horrible people. The horrible people often start the process & the nice people are there to encourage & empower.

馃挅 Who are your main influences in music/life?

Liz: hells

Helen: eri

Erika: liz

馃挅 When you’re not doing band stuff what do you get up to?

Erika: tending to my plants, & embroidery

Liz: I tattoo under the guise of @starttodaytattoos & I have a cat that’s a dickhead.

Helen: I organise gigs at a music venue, I play records, I play in another band . . . (KNM edit: she left that open for us didn’t she hahaha. Helen if you’re reading this TELL US WHO THEY ARE WE HAVE TO KNOW)

馃挅 What 1 thing could everyone be doing to make the world a better place?

Helen: Be aware of your privilege.

馃挅 What’s next for you guys?

ALL: Quite a lot!

We are playing our first show outside the UK next month, Borealis Festival in Bergen Norway, which we are very excited & grateful for!

We have our debut album due out this year – to be released on  (Pigsx7 front man Matt Baty’s independent label).

To support the album we are going on a UK tour supporting Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs in April/May.

Adding to this we have the impending track releases & accompanying videos, with the 12″ due out early May! 馃憖馃憖馃憖馃憖

We are working on organising a Newcastle album launch party & more UK dates for the rest of 2020 (which will hopefully include some festivals!

Lori on Be Kind : It’s hard to know how Bl贸m could disappoint at this stage. Unlike any other band, every release from this lot takes you to a different place – despite maintaining the same immersive presence that makes the release indisputably Bl贸m. Mixing their love of kitsch with that of abrasive sounds, ‘Flower Violence’ couldn’t be a more apt title for their upcoming record.

In a world where queerness, feminism, gender identity, mental health & socio economic stability are all under attack – ‘Be Kind’ reminds us to dose our anger with caregiving. The song interlaces the fabric of Bl贸ms light & dark innate force, uniting their caregivers in a mantric call to action: ‘stand together. try to be kind. speak the truth. speak your mind’.

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