I had the pleasure of chatting to James Hunt from Bloom in anticipation for their second album ‘Bloom’ due out on 22nd of January. Bloom have toured the Globe a few times with their debut album ‘Atlas’ and bagging an Aria for Best Dance Release for their song ‘You Were Right’. The Australian Trio spent two months in Berlin writing ‘Bloom’ and it was time well spent.
You guys have had some super crazy last few years, can you share your best highlight with us?
Hmm…Yeah there has been a lot of highlights and I always come back to this Falls Festival set, two years ago we played a sunset set in Byron and that was one of the most memorable sets. The crowds were so crazy it was almost ridiculous. It was a pinch myself kind of moment! So I think those kind of shows are the most memorable sets we have done and what we live for, it was kind of crazy.
How about one moment that you hope never to repeat again?
A big moment, this was from a long time ago in Adelaide about five years ago. In the live show you know I play drums and the nature of what we do, I get a Click Track in my ears so I can keep time with all the other elements in the whole sound. The Click Track cut out and think that is my worst nightmare. You know that the front of house is a delayed sound so I was trying to play quicker than that. That show haunts me to this day and I always triple check that it is working.
I watched an interview with you from 2012 and one of you said that your first album incorporated all your influences, that you took a little bit of each of your inspirations. Would you say that Bloom is different to this and is more your own unique sound?
I think that our sound has always been a response to the stuff that we have been listening to musically and being inspired by, that was the case for Atlas and I think it is for Bloom as well. I think that we have become a bit more Savvy and knowing exactly what we like about the music that we enjoy and knowing how to replicate and pull off some of the sounds that we hear from other songs. So yeah I guess we are a little more Savvy now but I think our sound is a manifestation of us processing stuff and splurting it out on the page and seeing what happens and what the mixed results are.
When I listened to Bloom to get ready for this interview I put my headphones on and was transported to another world, which was not so good for me because I needed to write questions! Very few bands do that to me so great job! I kind of felt like I was floating and with album named after a group of Jellyfish was quite fitting.
I told my daughter that and she freaked as she was badly stung by a jellyfish all over her legs! She will still want your album though.
Oh that is cute! I think that we were looking up these words as during the writing process we were very much inspired by sea creatures and floating and things that were weightless under water. For some reason we were really into that. We were researching possible names for the album and came across Bloom as a group of jelly fish but I think in hindsight I realize that Bloom is like a swarm like 1000’s of jellyfish as opposed to a school of fish. I was on triple J and said that a Bloom is a group of Jellyfish and Marine Biologists said that it was actually incorrect. It is cool, we love the double meaning on that word, of blossoming and that was a theme on the album for us, the under water serenity and floatiness.
Each track on the album has a working title named after an animal – from yellow fin tuna to seahorse, chameleon to ocelot, vulture to komodo dragon, octopus to flounder, from the Irukandji jellyfish and the mysterious xanthareel.
Was this a new thing for you the songs having an animal as the working title?
We did this on the last album as well, we were typing things alphabetically on our last album was the themes of location and traveling so we might have a track called Antarctica and the next one would be the Caribbean. It keeps it fun for us and it helps to keep each song to have it’s own identity. We were writing so many ad-lib ideas we did not want to say Elevator idea 3a version or something really abstract like that. For Bloom we used animal names most of them underwater animals. It was fun, like each song was our own little pet.
Cute! (both laughing.)
Can you explain the artwork of Bloom? I keep looking at it but can’t work it out !
Well the artist that did that is called Jack Vanzet and we have been obsessed with his stuff for a while. we were pretty stoked to be able to work with him and he did all the individual single art as well as the cover. He designed some and sent it to us and we bounced ideas off each other in regards of the color. He is a brilliant artist, he would listen then come back with 8 different versions of what we were describing. But for the album cover he pretty much just sent that and maybe one other and we were lost in it straight away. We loved the color, it has so much depth, it feels like you are looking into a flower that is blossoming to a galactic out of space world. I don’t know, we just loved it! It is really cool and really important to us that the visual aspect means something to us.
You can check out Jack’s work here.
Congrats on your ARIA for You Were Right? How important are these awards for you as an artist?
I think not as important as it might seem, I am saying that in terms of what they might of seemed to be as me as a kid saying omg an Aria! Like it is out of this world and is but it is an amazing accolade to have. But it is also not why we do it, we don’t do what we do for awards or getting a trophy but that is a really nice point of acquisition as people believe in what we are doing. it was really meaningful to get that and we found out when we were in our hotel room in London. We were screaming and jumping up and down like little kids, it was pretty crazy but definitely not the be all and end all in any sense.
Going to Germany on your own away from love ones has seemed to have worked as Bloom is shaping up to be a hit. How did you enjoying being in Berlin and would you want to do that again or go somewhere different?
We loved that time it was really cool period when for two months we were living in Berlin and it was winter so we were kind of huddled away like that video we made and we were going out to see so much live music and electronic music and absorbing it all and trying to write as many ideas as possible. It was a huge part of the record and then coming back to Australia we still had it in our minds, we were hearing the kind of drive or groove of the stuff we were listening to. I don’t know if I would say we would do it, it was cool that we had not done that before the last time we wrote on the East coast of Australia sun drenched so I don’t know what we will do for the next album, we are already talking about writing again as the thing with this album was that we were aiming to finish it on a particular date in 2015 and we kept pushing the deadline as we just needed more time to process things and let it sit. So yeah we are already thinking about the next album.
I think my favourite song off the album is track 10, although that changed quite a few times while listening! Lose my head could be my anthem right now.
Is there one song in particular that you connect to the most?
Well, yes I guess like what you are saying is that it always changes, it is hard to pick a favorite in total, I think I am now into inner bloom again, I love that one, I always seem to come back to that one. I am proud of that song and what we did on that, it came really naturally, we did not force it or anything it pretty much just came out. It represented a lot of the music that we were really loving. It does change and tomorrow I might like another track.
The cool thing about this album release is that I have not been listening to the album too much so I have not almost killed it, last time when we finished Atlas I was so stocked to have finished it, I was listening to it in my car, this time I am kind of saving it a bit. When it comes out I can give it a full listen not for the first time but have more of that initial spark.
You are playing at Coachella festival the same day as Guns and Roses, I bet you never saw that one coming!
haha, yeah I did not even think that would be a thing! But it will be very cool, there are a lot of artists playing there, I want to catch LCD Soundsystem for sure and it would be cool around our show day to be part of the festival and explore and see many of the other acts.
I really like that you write music that you like not just try and write hits. I think that some bands spend why too much time trying to write that one hit that will make them an international success.
Thank you very much! Appreciate it.
Thanks for your time James.
- Like An Animal
- Say A Prayer For Me
- You Were Right
- Be With You
- Tell Me
- Until The Sun Needs To Rise
- 10.Lose My Head
Interview by Jen Rees