A DIY success story from Stockport, Blossoms built a large fan-base through hard graft before eventually being picked up by Virgin EMI.
After a nod on the BBC’s Sound of 2016 poll they’ve gone from strength to strength this year, taking their synth-led guitar-pop to increasingly larger audiences.
Daniel Jeakins sat down with the band in their dressing room at Y Not Festival 2016 to talk their debut album, being inspired by everything from ABBA to Grand Theft Auto, and embracing social media.
Hey guys – I’m sure it’s been a busy few weeks in the run up to the release of your debut album (out August 5). What have you been up to?
“Tom Ogden (singer): “We’ve just got back from Australia and Korea, went straight to Kendal Calling yesterday and now we’re here!
“Korea was amazing – the fans were waiting for us at the airport with presents. It’s so surreal.”
A lot has been made about the lines being blurred between ‘indie rock’ and ‘pop’ over the last few years, and your name has been thrown in with the likes of The 1975 in this debate. What do you consider yourselves as?
Tom: “We’re pop. We’ve always said from the start that we write classic pop tunes. Oasis were a guitar-pop band really, they were a rock and roll band but the melodies owed a lot to pop music.
“Our influences range from The Beatles to ABBA, The Smiths, The Stone Roses, Arctic Monkeys, Taylor Swift and a lot of the Grand Theft Auto: Vice City soundtrack. If it’s catchy and it’s got a great melody we’ll like it.”
Do you think there’s still snobbery attached to bands who aim to write out-an-out pop music?
Charlie Salt (bassist): “Yeah, people expect you to like someone really pretentious. We’re of the mindset that if it’s a tune it’s a tune.”
Tom: “Deep down a lot of those snobs probably like a lot of that pop music I mentioned. With that said we haven’t really had a lot of snobbery around our band – or if there has been we’ve been shielded from it.”
You signed to a major record label – what has your experience of that been so far?
Tom: “Really enjoyable. We’d already built up a fan-base and grafted the old-fashioned way so it wasn’t something that brought us instant success. We weren’t even signed when we played the main stage of this festival last year – we sold out the Ritz in Manchester as an unsigned band.
“There’s obviously only so far you can take it on your own though – we wanted to sign to a major label. When that time came they told us ‘we’re not going to tell you how to dress or what to do. You’re doing something right now, we’re just here to knock everyone’s door down’”.
The label seem to really have got behind you – your album has received a huge push. What’s that been like?
Tom: “It’s been great – I think the label have seen the drive in us and have backed us because of that.
“We’re on it in every level. We make our own videos, do our own artwork, write our own songs – we do it ourselves. We want to be big and put the work in to get there.”
How important is it for bands to embrace social media with as much commitment as you guys have? You seemingly reply to every tweet you’re sent!
Tom: “It’s second nature. There’s five of us and we’re all on it. It’s 2016 and you have to embrace what’s in front of you.”
Josh Dewhurst (lead guitar): “It doesn’t take five minutes, all it takes is to get your phone out when you’re chilling out after a gig. We’re all interested in what people have to say about us.”
You were all in other bands before Blossoms – how did that experience help you be successful?
Tom: “It was vital. When I was first in bands when I was 15 I had nothing to write about. When Blossoms started we’d all been in bands for about five years – we definitely needed that.
“If you get signed in your first band as a teenager it can often all go wrong. We’re lucky that no one wanted to sign us for a while, really. We’ve evolved better as a result of that.”
Blossoms will release their self-titled debut album on August 5.
Blossoms play the following UK live dates:
Sep 23: Birmingham, 02 Institute
Sep 24: Bristol, Bierkeller
Sep 26: Cambridge, Junction
Sep 27: Norwich, Waterfront
Sep 29: London, 02 Kentish Town Forum
Sep 30: Manchester, Academy
Oct 1: Glasgow, 02 ABC
Oct 3: Newcastle, Riverside
Oct 4: Sheffield, The Leadmill
Oct 5: Leeds, Leeds Beckett Student Union
Oct 7: Nottingham, Rock City