August 2012 - BLUES PILLS
I have found a new highly-effective medicine against boredom and grief, which bears the name BLUES PILLS. Without the fear of overstatement, I can say that their 10" EP 'Bliss' (review here) is a magnificient debut. One of the reasons for this is singer Elin Larsson, who always manages to left a characteristic mark on the band's powerful 1970s-based heavy blues rock. The line-up is complemented by ex-Radio Moscow members Cory Berry (drums) and Zack Anderson (bass) as well as guitarist Dorian Sorriaux. I am pretty sure that we will hear more of BLUES PILLS in the future, but before it was time to find out more about this great, new band. So, I took the opportunity to send over a couple of questions to the group, which at that stage had just returned from their Spain tour. Elin, Cory and Zack were kind enough to answer my questions.
How was your tour in Spain? Are you satisfied with the outcame and response?
We couldn't be more satisfied with how the tour turned out. We didn't know what to expect, because it was our very first tour for Blues Pills. Also, everyone was telling us that summer was the worst time to tour, but it was the first time everyone in the band was available to tour so we booked it anyways. Despite all that, the shows had bigger turn outs than expected. There was an excellent crowd response and we received a lot of positive feedback.
We sold out of our 'Bliss' EP and gained a lot of fans. One of the highlights was a festival we played in Portugal called Milhoes de Festa, where we performed to 2000+ people. It was an honor to play for so many people, and that they gave us the opportunity when our band is so new. We can't wait to go back to Spain and Portugal. We are all proud of how successful our first tour was.
So far, you have only released the excellent 'Bliss' 10" and a new 7". Well, it is clear that you play more than only five songs each night. So, of which tracks does the set list consist? Have you played a lot of new songs?
It consists of all the songs on the EP and 7 inch. Yes, we have a lot of new songs, around 12 or so. Some nights when the clubs demanded long sets we would extend some of the songs and did some improvised blues jams.
Please, tell us more about the genesis of BLUES PILLS. How did you come together?
We started the band in Iowa where we were living at the time. Elin was visiting from Sweden for several months around October 2011 - January 2012. This is when we recorded the first Blues Pills songs, 'Bliss' and 'Black Smoke', which we recorded in our garage on a 4 track cassette recorder. These recordings are what came to be the 7 inch on Maximum Ames Records. We started sending out those songs on the internet, which is how we contacted Peter from Crusher Records. He offered to release an EP, and we were just going into a local studio (Righteous Dog Recordings) in Ames, Iowa to record more demos. Also at this time we had started talking to Dorian through the internet.
We had met him in France on our last Europe tour. We were really impressed by his guitar playing, especially for his young age (16 at the time, now 17). At Righteous Dog Zack and Cory recorded the drums, bass, and rhythm guitars for the songs. Then sent the tracks to Dorian to record on, which he did from his home. This was the first time Blues Pills "played together", although not in real life at this point. Elin then finished recording her vocals from Sweden, and finally the 'Bliss' EP was complete. Shortly after we all moved to Sweden where we started practicing together and preparing for the Spanish Tour. Which is where we are today.
This question is for Cory and Zack. Why did you leave Radio Moscow?
We felt it was time to move on.
Most bands release a debut album, but you started with a 10". What was the reason for this decision?
To be honest, it wasn't really planned. It happened really fast. Peter offered to release the EP, and we gladly accepted. It seemed a good opportunity to start getting our music out there.
When can we expect your first album and do you stay with Crusher Records?
We have a lot of new songs and are still continuing to write more songs for the album. We are definitely planning to record it before the end of this year. We have the material, and want to record as soon as we can, but we also don't want to rush it either. We want to take our time on it and make it the best we can. We are really happy with Crusher Records, and it is a definite possibility but we haven't committed to any label as of now.
I am pleased that your lyrics are printed on the backcover of 'Bliss'. How important are lyrics for you?
The lyrics and vocals are one of the most important parts of the band for us. We like to include the lyrics simply so people can know what the lyrics are saying.
You've been on tour in Spain, but when will you visit other European countries such as Germany or Italy? Are there any plans for another tour in 2012?
Not in 2012, but we are already planning a tour for sometime around March/April 2013. We've only just begun working on it but we surely will be covering as much ground as possible. I think definitely Germany, Netherlands, France, Belgium, and Poland, but we will have to wait and see how it turns out. Until then we will be playing shows around Scandinavia, and working on the album.
Thanks a lot for your interest in doing an interview with me! Is there anything you would like to add?
Thanks a lot to you for being interested in interviewing us! It's a real pleasure!