Usually, we feel the need to make sweeping introductory statements about an artist or band that we interview, but not today. It’s pretty simple, really. We like these guys. I had the pleasure of firing a few questions to the lovely Blossoms bassist Charlie Salt who discussed new songs, a couple of ‘unifying’ turtlenecks and the appeal of, what sounds like, a resounding interest in enjoying some Sam Adams lager with our staff when they make their way to our Harbor. We’ll take it. Enjoy falling for this sharp, refreshing, Manchester-based band – we already have.
First off, thank you for taking the time to do this – the reception of your EP after playing some songs on WTBU radio was crazy! People were so receptive. Does it feel good to hear that it’s translating so well across the pond?
Our esteemed pleasure…
Absolutely. It’s nice to see our music translating as far as Southampton, let alone the USA! Even after playing our debut US shows at SXSW, we were completely overwhelmed at the response we received from the two shows we played and it’s great to see a healthy flow of interest on social media from overseas. When can we make our return?
ASAP! What about Blossoms is different than the bands you’ve been apart of in the past?
Blossoms is on a whole new level, period. It’s safe to say that each of us have certainly taken the best from our previous ventures and intertwined them onto a sufficient pedestal we can all work from – the main attribute being drive. There were five people at a stalemate with the bands they were in, so it was long overdue.
How did you go about naming the band?
A question that so many people ask and we love to answer.
The name comes from an infamous drinking hole in our hometown of Stockport that shares the same name. It was first suggested by Tom (Vocals) after a chance fly-by on a bus to Joe (Drums). A week later, coincidentally, Charlie (Bass) suggests the same to Joe unknowingly of Tom’s fore mentioned proposal. Fate eh?
I’ve found that the artists whom I admire and play the most are the ones who’ve really grafted their way up and were unwavering in their belief in the band’s potential. How important has that drive and belief been to Blossoms?
It’s a pleasure to see someone acknowledge this, especially using the word ‘grafted’, a word that is too often used in an insufficient context. Without mentioning any names, you see so many bands born with a silver spoon in their mouth that hastily rise to the top on the back of distinctly average/M.O.R material. You can just tell immediately that they’ve never chugged their way up to Scotland in the back of a CO3 leaking LDV Maxus to play in front of a pissed-up Thistle fan and his dog…
These things prepare you for anything and everything. They allow you to be so much more grateful and appreciative of the good times that so many people would take for granted.
How has Manchester influenced your sound? Do you find that the city has been really embracing you as its own?
I’m forever analogising Manchester to an ancient convent where the only religion is music. It’s a place where artists can reside, ply their trade and not feel pressured into creating the new new. It’s definitely a place that embraces creativity and for Blossoms, she’s always been there for us.
Bit random, but I find it interesting how a band’s aesthetic plays such an integral part to their public perception and how people listen to their music once they have that image in their heads. What inspires you in that way? A little 60’s funk, no doubt?
Not in any way whatsoever. It’s slightly depressing to think that the success of future bands and artists relies on a percentage of aesthetics and not just the music isn’t it?! The industry has changed massively. You can’t get away with looking like
Shane McGowan anymore and write great pop songs, you have to slip on your Beetle Crushers and skinnies before they’ll even give you a breath to show them what you’re made of. As far as Blossoms’ materialism goes, we take inspiration from anything, there’s no guidelines or requisite dress code. If we look good, we look good.
Was there a specific festival or live gig growing up that really moved any of you? One where you just got lost in the vibe and sound; maybe even one that made you realize, “I have to do this”?
Coming from such a musical Mecca as Manchester, you’re immediately immersed in the music, so growing up close to the City, it leaves you accustom to appreciating the live scene it has to offer. There’s always something on the boil for you to sample. I (Charlie) remember watching Morrissey on his 50th Birthday at the Apollo Theatre and thinking to my 17 year old self: “Surely you can’t get away with this as a profession? But if you can, where can I apply?” A poignant evening for me.
What bands or artists do you guys love right now?
We’ve had the privilege to play alongside a handful of wonderful artists this past year including The Vryll Society, SOAK, The Sundowners, PEACE and a bunch more. Lost In The Dream by The War On Drugs has had its grooves played out – a beautiful LP.
How was the vibe at SXSW, was it your first major gig in America?
You can’t really put the experience we had into words, it was five days we’ll never forget and an absolute pleasure to be sent over by the messiah of radio himself, Mr Steve Lamacq. There were nerves and excitement in equal measure which were soon overcome by the more-than-positive reception we received at both shows. Upon conceiving the band, we always aimed to venture overseas with our music, so to play our debut USA show at SXSW was electrifying. A solid Trip Advisor 5 from all of us…
Is there a big difference between British and American crowds?
Yes. Our transatlantic cousins tend to ponder over each track and asses the pros and cons before making an immediate response. They seem to lose themselves within the music a lot more than people back home. In contrast, do I have to describe your stereotypical British crowd? Surely you’ve felt the warmth of ammonia on your shoulder…
Speaking of writing, how did ‘Blow’ come about?
‘Blow’ tells the tale of a heartbroken adolescent, who doesn’t know which way to turn after his only love has taken him for an unfaithful ride.
‘Cut Me and I’ll Bleed’ is one of my favorites off the EP – what inspired those lyrics?
The title says it all really. There’s no hierarchy in the human anatomy. Everybody bleeds, everybody hurts. We are all wired identically.
The video for ‘Blow’ is really tight. As a former film major I have to ask what movies influenced the creative process? I get some strong Tarantino vibes. Also – respect for the black turtleneck theme.
Thank you… And thanks for mentioning one of our videos. It’s a topic that’s often swerved, so it’s nice to see someone pick up on its’ creativity.
The French inspiration was taken from Jean Luc Godard’s Alphaville, the abundance of smoke was taken from the dank streets of NYC in John Schlesinger’s Midnight Cowboy, and the overall sinisterness was inspired by the one and only Travis Bickle in Scorsese’s Taxi Driver.
Humor me – You’re headlining Lotus Play Beats’ festival (one day), can you name five other acts you’d want on the lineup?
If we’re adding a sprinkle of humour then…
Benny Hill (Complete with Milk Cart)
Del & Rodney Trotter
This might be hard but can you describe performing on stage in one sentence?
The World disappears for a tea break (Coffee break for the American reader) and there’s the five of you all moving in sync with one another, as if you’re the last quintet on earth.
If you had to listen to five songs on repeat for the rest of your lives– what would they be?
In no particular order…
#1 The Smiths – There Is A Light That Never Goes Out
#2 The Smiths – There Is A Light That Never Goes Out
#3 The Smiths – There Is A Light That Never Goes Out
#4 The Smiths – There Is A Light That Never Goes Out
#5 The Smiths – There Is A Light That Never Goes Out
You have a UK tour coming up, what are you looking forward to the most? Are your sights set on the US?
Since the moment our flight left Austin back in March. The five of us share an irrevocable love towards the USA.
Lastly, do you have anything to say to your Boston fans?
We’re partial to a Sam Adams Lager and intrigued by the MIT card counting story. We’ll make sure we Bring Down The House when we hit your City and make sure it’s a (Tea) Party.
You can catch the band at Summer in the City (July 4), Y Not Festival (July 31-August 2), Reading & Leeds Festivals (August 28-30). You can check out some more tour date for this summer and early this fall here.
Did we mention that they’re playing shows with The Charlatans? Tickets are still available.
You can also check out Part 1 of their Tour Diaries to get to know the band as the continue to tour around the UK.