INTERVIEW: Getting to know Blonder
Brooklyn based artist Blonder has been causing a stir in the underground scene with his infectious indie rock that has post-punk tendencies. Blonder recently played a residency at Elvis Guesthouse alongside friends Dev Hynes (Blood Orange) and Aaron Maine (Porches). WET officially remixed his track, “Talk To Me” and Frankie Cosmos sang his praises in Vulture Magazine.
Blonder is gearing up for the release of his debut EP, and just released his latest single “In and Out”
New England Sounds: So, I know you have a lot going on. Your debut EP is coming out very soon, you have a lot of live shows announced. Tell me about how Blonder was born, performing as Blonder? When did you start this project? When did you start writing?
Blonder: It started last summer, performing live. Got a bunch of my friends together, they all opened for me, they all kind of had established bands. They all opened for me and tried to get everyone to listen to my music. Then during the summer, a couple very close friends of mine, Aaron Maine from Porches, and Frankie Cosmos, just my New York friends that are just supportive of my art. They just kind of opened up for me and I started live. In reality it started, you can say in January 2010, that’s the real start date. But you know what, I’ve just been trying to writing songs and trying to kind of like you know, like, I’ve just been trying to do something with myself for like six years, so there’s a lot of back-story there.
NES: Was there ever a moment, maybe when you were a kid, or a teenager growing up that made you want to pursue music as a career, or try to pursue music as a career?
Blonder: I don’t how technical this could be, My sister’s best friend lived down the block from us, I grew up on Long Island on a cul-de-sac, he was very cool and he skateboarded with some dudes from Supreme, and like he was always in the city, and like this was the 90s, so he was like extra cool. And just like, you know, it was just what saturated of a world, if you will. And, he basically just showed me like how to play drums and bass and stuff. You know, I just, he came, he was the first one to be like started to tell me that David Bowie was kind of like you know, the best we have,
NES: Now I know there are obviously, really only two singles out so far, but I know an EP is coming soon? You may not be able to say, but I know it’s something that’s like coming up for you.
Blonder: No, I recorded a full album at Sound City Studios in Van Nuys, Cali and then cut it down to five songs, which are coming out on this EP, which is called Five Dollars.
NES: You just talked about how when you record a song, cut it down, you were recording a full length, but you decided to do the EP instead Were they all songs that you’d had from the past six years that you talked about, or were some of them ones that were created in the studio, some the newer, how did you go about the songs?
Blonder: Yeah, there were songs that were accruing for a long time. Basically, the oldest song to come out is from February 2014 and that’s the one that came out on April 7th. I’m pretty excited about it. I mean, it’s just a lot of, I’ve written a songs for Porches, and then I’ve written some songs with friends. The way I work is kind of like, I used to kind of do everything alone in my bedroom and you know, be super … I have a little set up. I kind of found that when I went off to collaborate people like I would get so much more done and like I would get like just kind of so much out of just one, just one pressurized session with someone and usually like a song, basically or like, you know at least some section. And like, when I work alone it just takes forever like to you know I would always, I would over think it and it would be out of context of songs there. So basically, I would recommend a lot of different keyboards and literally 50 demos that I went into the recording with. And we chose 10 from that. So … Yeah, I don’t know if that’s going off topic. But yeah — it’s like, I wrote the back stuff in January, a few months ago, and recorded the new material, kept getting a little bored waiting for the record to come out.
NES: Yeah, no, sure.
Blonder: So, I just went back and realized that I basically have like years of lead up time to just write, so if I wanted to write go through whatever I want to go through but like now, making new music now, is like really different, you know, I just need to particularly like you know popular and anything. You know it’s like that whole thing about having your whole life through your first album and a year later your second is like so true.
NES: Now, you are, you are signed to a record label, correct?
Blonder: Yeah, I have — 300 Entertainment. Yeah, Lyor [Cohen, 300 Ent. Founder] just kind of came out to see an earlier inclination of Blonder which actually had a different band name, it was kind of a different product all together but some of the songs were actually for both, and he came out and he was just starting his company, he really liked us and signed us. So they take their time, you know, with the record label.
NES: So, if people that haven’t seen Blonder before, but they’ve heard you, why should they come out? – Not saying that they shouldn’t come out to see you – But what’s different live?
Blonder: Our standards are pretty high as far as being a live band. I really, I rehearse my band pretty seriously and militantly. I never really want to sound like an opening band that’s never written. I just want it to be like really, really, really tight, when we’re together. It’s kind of like, you know, that’s really it. You know, I talk to people and, you know, really, convincing then that we have, you know something worth it. There’s going to be a lot of bands and it’s hard to get it to music sometimes so you know, I really play these shows, and everything later, so people can get excited basically and know that we’re reliable to get excited for.
NES: Thanks! I think that’s all I have for you. I look forward to the Boston show with Methyl Ethel, it’s a great room. It’s my favorite venue in Boston. I mean it’s a small but it’s the heart of the Bowery, I mean it’s the Great Scott, it’s a great spot.
Blonder: Hell yeah. I’m excited. We’re very excited for sure!
Blonder plays Great Scott in Boston, MA on April 18th, tickets are available HERE