A chat with Nottingham band Blondes

Blondes‘ newest single ‘Supernatural Highlights’ released 25 September, showcases their talent as a band. The five lively boys bring passion, enthusiasm and express their thoughts about the year ahead. Chatting to Ellie Danemann of Platform Magazine, Blondes discuss their concerns for the future and how they’ve adapted to the changes…

Ellie: So firstly, congratulations on the new release of your single Supernatural Highlights, how does it feel to be producing and releasing music again?

Mark Turton: We feel fantastic and after the turbulent time of trying to get it produced and released it is quite a big breath of fresh air to finally have it out there. It is quite nice to feel productive post-lockdown and it’s nice to feel like we are hitting the ground running again.

Will Potter: It is a relief!

Alex Davison: I think it is nice to feel like we have some purpose again, it can feel like there is no real way to measure what you’re doing and putting a song out is a nice way of feeling that we are taking a step forward. Our last single was six months ago and that was great but obviously not being able to gig means you can’t move forward as easily.

Ellie: You guys must really miss performing live, are there any live shows you have done that have stuck with you?

Tom Herbert: I think when we supported Blackwaters at Bodega was really fun as it was quite packed and was a great venue. I also loved headlining Rough Trade because all our friends were there to support and we raised money for MIND the mental health charity.

Alex: Good question, Dan [Stroud]’s parents came to our Rough Trade gig and they said we were really nice boys and that it was a great performance.

Mark: I think Dot2Dot was a really good one as well, it was our festival debut but it went straight to our heads because we were walking around with our artist wristbands which meant we could jump the queue and made us feel way bigger than we are.

From Left to Right: Mark, Tom, Will, Dan and Alex (Image Credit: Ellie Danemann)

Ellie: What was the inspiration behind the single’s name?

Will: It was one of the few lyrics that stood out, to be honest, we nearly called the song ‘double vision’ but Alex pointed out it sounded too much like ‘chuckle vision’.

Mark: What’s quite cool about it is that it is an adjective that you wouldn’t usually use to describe something. I just find it really interesting. I also really like how the single cover’s colouring represents what the song invokes.

Alex: It’s like Fluorescent Adolescence.

Mark: I like the amount of syllables in it, it seems like the right length. Is this too much?

Ellie: Haha no not at all! Are there any bands that you’ve been listening to that inspired the single?

Will: In all honesty, when I wrote that song it was just a two-chord song and I remember watching a random band years ago where they had a two-chord song called Price Tag which really inspired me to develop this song with the band. Actually, Islands in the Stream also inspired me because the melody sounded quite nice.

Mark: I think there is always a tendency when you’re writing songs to be as complicated as you can, but it’s nice to have a two-chord song that is textured and layered to sound more interesting.

Tom: If you listen closely there is some piano and an interpolation of the Coming of Age riff. I think both songs are sisters and we’d originally intended for the songs to be released together, but we had to adapt to the changing situation, unfortunately.

Ellie: What are some of your future plans when things hopefully go back to normal?

Dan: Gigs. Lots of gigs.

Will: We would like to look outside of Nottingham as we have only played here, I feel we need to be more ambitious and go elsewhere. We know some other bands from other cities who would be more than happy to be on the same bill with.

Mark: We’ve got a mini Peak District tour set up, the bands Will was talking about are from Leeds and Sheffield so hopefully we can make that our debut tour.

Ellie: Any thoughts on when you will release your first album?

Alex: Hahaha we are holding it hostage until we are signed to be honest. It is quite difficult for a young band at our age in our financial situation to finance our own debut album. You need to fund studio time, distribution, promotion and marketing. It is both financially impossible right now and impractical to gig in support of the album. It is not something we have considered as a realistic project at the moment. It will happen, just not yet.

Dan: It is better to build a base of support through singles and EP’s.

Tom: We also have two songs coming out and we will finish that first before thinking about an album.

Mark: I would like an album that’s a complete project sonically, where all the songs feel like they belong together. We’re still finding our feet within our style so we kind of have to gel everything together first and develop this a bit more.

Ellie: I think it’s a great idea to build a following before tackling any daunting projects like an album, so how do you guys plan on building a fan-base in the changing music industry?

Alex: So we all now live together which is really nice and means we have more of an opportunity to write together and we’ve converted one of the bedrooms into a part-time studio space. The aim is to release the material that we have recorded and after that we’re looking into writing, recording and self-releasing new material. We will try to build an online following as we are unable to do it in person at the moment. So keep your eyes peeled!

Mark: We’ve realised Dan is really good at producing, so we now have the means, the time and the equipment to start making more music.

Will: We are slowly getting better at recording ourselves, the more often we do it the better we’re getting. Given the current situation, learning to do it yourself is the best thing to do.

Tom: Building on that, we’ve had quite bad experiences in recording places. It’s too expensive but now we have the ability to do it ourselves. Honey was self-recorded and we’re really proud of that. We’ve developed a good working relationship with a producer who’s worked with us on our last 3 releases as well as the next two, which is perfect because he understands what we’re aiming for.

By Ellie Danemann

Feature Image Credit: Ellie Danemann

One Reply to “A chat with Nottingham band Blondes”

  1. We both wish you all our best wishes for your well deserved success. The band is fantastic, sending you love from Eileen & Keith (Alex’s Nannie & Grandad in East Yorkshire xx

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