INTERVIEW: Charly Bliss chats new music, festival season and planning that perfect playlist!

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We spoke to a lot of bands at Boston Calling but the first one was Brooklyn’s Charly Bliss, who kicked off the festival as one of the first performances of the weekend! Fresh off a spring headliner, the band is jumping straight into festival season, as well as prepping for their gigantic fall tour as support for emo kings Death Cab for Cutie. As well as a heavy touring schedule, the band hinted at new music coming soon!

Find our chat below including the picks that had to be on the playlist when Spencer and Dan were DJ’ing Emo Night Brooklyn after the festival last Friday!


You guys are DJ’ing Emo Night Brooklyn tonight. What are the bands you’re making sure to play, or maybe songs that you have picked?
Spencer Fox: Oh man, where do we start?
Dan Shure: It’s funny because, Spencer and I, we made a playlist of songs to choose from and the first thing on Spencer’s playlist is exactly the first song I was thinking of putting on. Which is a song we discovered on tour in a taco place. We’d heard this song and we were like this is so funny but also really good. And it’s a song by Man Overboard called, “Love Your Friends Die Laughing”. And it’s really good.
SF: It’s like way too earnest. It’s too genuine of a song that you can’t not kind of laugh at it.
DS: I think it’s so perfect.
SF: It is! It gets stuck in my head all the time.
DS: I think it’s cheesy.
SF: But it’s not a bad song!
DS: Yeah I think it’s so good. And then we’re playing a mix of stuff, I’d say.
SF: Definitely, a few My Chemical Romance cuts. Pushing the 3-4 range.
DS: I mean part of me was like, we should be really curatorial DJ’s and play some deep cuts. But I’m guessing what people want at this party is songs from when they were growing up that make them a feel certain type of way.
SF: Totally, the bangers.
DS: They want the hits. And I think any good DJ should play the hits.
SF: I also feel like it’s all about choosing songs that have those great moments. Like I think that’s one thing that emo music does so well. Is those hugely intense moments. Like in “I’m Not Okay” where it’s ‘Trust me!’ You know what I mean? I feel the set is about choosing songs that have a lot of that going on. So My Chem, Blink 182, Sum 41. We’re not pulling out any tricks. All the hits!
Sometimes it’s all over. Like they’ve definitely pulled out Backstreet Boys.
DS: Oh, okay good because we have some outliers. Nothing like that.
SF: But we got like a P.O.D. track in there. Not quite emo but I feel nu-metal and emo go hand in hand.

Then you just finished your headlining run on May 22nd.
DS: Yeah, we were in New York for four days or something in between.

Then considering the album, “Guppy”, it only came out in 2017. It’s still very new but from looking online, I know you guys have been together for a long time, since you were kids. How did that tour go and maybe the set today? Obviously there was a huge crowd for you. Maybe a highlight of the tour, a big city for you on it?
SF: A highlight! I feel like the Toronto show was definitely a highlight.
DS: Toronto was great, Chicago was great. I always love the shows that are surprises. When you think there’s going to be fifteen people there and it turns out that there are like a hundred or whatever. For example, Kansas City, was kind of crazy.
SF: Shockingly one of the best shows of the tour.
DS: Ferndale, Michigan was really good too. It was a pretty solid tour. I mean we did our first headlining tour literally days after the record came out so it took a bit of time for people to get to know it. There were some good shows but there were also shows in the earlier end of the tour where there were just not a lot of people there.
SF: Yeah and not shocking because we didn’t expect Kansas City to be a fun place or have a good audience, but it was our first time ever being there. Or really ever being anywhere remotely close to that area so we just figured, it’s our first time ever playing this city. There’s no reason to expect that it’s going to go particularly well. But it was definitely one of the most responsive and enthusiastic crowds we had the entire tour for sure.

Then like I said before, the band really started when you were teenagers. That’s kind of the roots of the band.
DS: Yeah we’ve all sort of known each other since we were teenagers.
SF: Yeah me and Eva started writing together when we were in our senior year of high school. And then Eva put together an EP of songs that she had been working on for a program that she was going into in college. And so she brought in Sam to record those songs and I think it became clear to us that there was something there. After that initial recording session, the four of us which included a bassist that was not Dan at the time-
DS: But then became Dan.
SF: Then that former bassist morphed into Dan. No but from the get go, it felt like it was a really cohesive project and we all really got along and have similar musical sensibilities and senses of humor. And it just kind of took off from there.

Then this is such a cliché but they always say that the first album takes years. I know that it was a long process for the band. Even though it was such a long process for you, are you currently working on new music? I know you played a new song today so I’m sure you’re working on things. Is it just writing in general, writing with something in mind?
DS: Yeah I don’t know how much we can say but there is stuff, there is something coming soon. We are working on another album. We did take a long time on the first record and it was kind of a bummer because we really just wanted to release it. But I’m so glad we waited so long because you only really have one chance to release your first record. And I feel like the waiting allowed us to do it in the best way that we could at the time. Instead of just releasing whatever. So I think it worked out well for us. There’s a green man over there or a green woman, wait is that Pussy Riot?
SF: Oh shit!
Yeah that must be Pussy Riot.
SF: That’s so fucking sick. That’s so cool.
Yeah I can’t wait for them.
SF: There’s so many cool people here, why are we here?

But yeah this line up is the most diverse I’ve ever seen. Obviously Sunday is a lot of like the r&b, mainstream with Eminem and Khalid but like Manchester Orchestra tomorrow with The Menzingers too. Then you have Charly Bliss today with Citizen too. I think it’s definitely the most diverse line up they’ve had at Boston Calling.
SF: It’s really awesome playing for people that you wouldn’t usually play for. I feel like some of our best tours have been with bands that we wouldn’t jump to in thinking what would be a band that we would go on tour with. Like bands that are not exactly who we would think, that their audience would be our audience. That’s really been an amazing thing, to play with an array of bands. Like playing for people that you don’t think would naturally come see a Charly Bliss show.
DS: And there’s so many bands we love too that are playing this festival. Big Thief, Noname, Alex G. It’s actually really funny. We played a festival with Alex G, actually we played a festival with him last summer when we played right before him, and then we played with them a week ago at a festival in Canada then we played pretty much right before them today. And then we’re flying to Sasquatch tomorrow and playing with them again. It’s just funny because I wouldn’t necessarily expect us to play together. Our music is pretty different.
SF: But we love Alex G so much.
DS: So much, so it’s like a real treat.
SF: They’re the sweetest dudes on earth. They’re great.

It’s a good little rapport and a friendly face to have when you’re flying to like different festivals every day.
SF: Yeah, familiar faces in general. Regardless of how well you know somebody, just being able to see the same face in a strange location.
DS: Even if it’s a band you don’t necessarily know very well, you see them and you’re like ‘I’ve seen you before!’
SF: It’s like cool, we’re not the only ones doing this crazy shit! Less insane, having some sort of grounding.

So to kind of get back to it, I know you guys probably can’t talk about it too much but you guys are working on new music.
DS: We’ve definitely been writing and working on new stuff for sure.

Do you think that’s something that will come out in 2018 or do you think it will be a little further away?
DS: I think further down the road for sure but it’s constantly changing. We’re figuring it out.

Then to end it off, Charly Bliss has been touring non-stop. I caught you guys when you were out with Tokyo Police Club which I think was just last year.
SF: Oh, fuck yeah!
DS: Yeah they actually just came to our show in Toronto.
SF: Sweetest, sweetest people.
DS: We all got stick and poke tattoos and we were trying to convince them to get tattoos.
SF: Dave was down, Dave was so down.
DS: Dave was down but nobody in Tokyo Police Club has tattoos except for Greg I think.
SF: But like honestly when Dave walked in and saw us getting tattoos, his face lit up. You could tell he wanted one so bad.
DS: But yeah those guys are so nice. Our booking agent is based in Canada and so we’ve toured with a lot of Canadian bands and they’re all the best. Like Tokyo Police Club, Pup, Wolf Parade, they were all awesome.
SF: Our favorites.

Then we’re still fairly early in 2018. Like I said, he debut only came out in 2017, you have the tour with Death Cab for Cutie this fall which is huge.
SF: Insane, unreal! Just ridiculous.
So that’s obviously a huge thing for you guys, obviously a huge tour coming up but is it just kind of the goal to keep touring or like that one main tour and then take some time off to record? Like maybe the focus or goals for Charly Bliss? You probably can’t say too much.
SF: It’s hard. I feel like things are constantly kind of changing as we get further along in the writing process but I definitely think we are dead set on tour, tour, tour as much as we possibly can. It’s honestly our favorite thing to do and I don’t think there’s going to be any shortage of Charly Bliss tours in the immediate future for sure.

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Colleen has been writing about music since 2009. Interviewing bands since the glory days of Warped and has continued to do so for now over fourteen years. As well as doing freelance for other publications, the love for everything rock continues today.