Hello there, how does it feel to have so much support from the biggest Metal record label in the world? It seems that they have a lot of faith in your music and put a lot of effort in it to promote the record well. Does this stimulate you to work as hard (or harder) as they do or does this overwhelm you sometimes?
It feels great! It’s basically a dream come true, because we really loved some of the other bands on the label before we got signed. Bands like Graveyard, WItchcraft, Kadavar, and Orchid. We couldn’t believe it when that became a reality. It’s true, since being on a bigger label it can be really a lot of hard work. I think it can be a bit of both like you mentioned, motivating to work harder, and can be overwhelming at the same time. Still, mostly it just pushes us to work harder. It’s an amazing opportunity, we feel, and we don’t want to take that for granted. This is what we’ve always wanted to do, and it’s an honour that we have the support of a label like Nuclear Blast!
Why do you think that fans, magazines and your record label think that you are the next big thing, or even that you are the big thing right now? What makes BLUES PILLS so good in your opinion?
I don’t know, but we don’t want thoughts like these to get too much into our heads. They are nice compliments, but that can be distracting because in our minds we aren’t even close to be good enough. We always want to find a way to be better at our instruments, and create better songs than before... It can be hard to stay motivated to become better if you already think you are the best, so we prefer to just keep it simple, and just stay focused on our music, and try not to think too much about the critics, whether it’s positive or negative. That being said we really are grateful for the successes we have been having, and the band growing, playing more shows, releasing an album...these are all things we have to be thankful for everyday because not everyone gets that opportunity and it doesn’t last forever.
One thing that makes BLUES PILLS so good in my opinion is the fact, that you sound (still) like “storm and stress” to me – fresh and not overthinking ideas too much. Am I right with this?
Haha, that’s good that it sounds fresh. I don’t know about over thinking, we probably over think things a lot but I’m glad it doesn’t come across that way. Maybe we are over thinking in a different way than usual, because we are mostly thinking about if the song has emotion and feels natural. We are NOT over thinking to make things as technical as possible, adding more notes or playing faster to burn peoples minds...instead we want people to feel the song in the soul.
Fans, following your music over a longer period now, will recognize that many songs on your debut are remakes of songs you have already released before – only three out of ten are really “new” if Iam right (“Gybsy, because it’s a Cover also counts as “old”). Why did you choose to redo all those tracks again?
The reason the debut album has all these songs is because all these EP’s and things were meant to be demos, and we were recording ourselves. We didn’t originally plan to release any of those songs, but rather we were recording demo’s to send to labels to try to get signed. Then they ended up liking the songs enough to release them, so in our minds these weren’t really completed versions, although looking back I’m glad we did release them that way because it gives our early releases a pretty raw feeling which is kind of cool in hindsight. Still for our debut album, it would be the first time for us to go into a professional, and it was our first “real” album on a bigger label, so we wanted to include all of our best songs that we had made up to this point, even if some songs were already released. We needed to do them justice, recording them in a real studio, and we would have felt like they were wasted if we didn’t, so it was partly just for ourselves, too.
Are the new versions of the songs better than the “old ones” or just different?
In our minds everything about the album is way better, as I mentioned in the last question those early version were originally going to be demo’s, however, the EP’s do have a more primitive raw appeal to them. But that’s a big reason for us redoing them on the album is because we felt like we could do them much better.
Where is “Mind Exit”, a track you play(ed) live and is included in the “Live-At-Rockpalast”-Show but was have never released on a proper release?
Mind Exit, is a good example of a song which wasn’t complete yet at the time we played live at Rockpalast. You can hear what the song became when you listen to the song “Ain’t No Change” on our album. This is basically mind exit after we finished arranging it and adding vocals, but with Mind Exit you can hear an early version which was more of a live jam at the time. We have always had to play all our material which we have live, even when it wasn’t necessarily completed and released since we have done so much touring before actually releasing an album. It has exposed a lot of our songs to our fans before being officially released and they can kind of see how the songs evolve.
Do you think as a fan it’s better to own different version of songs? Having all your records means to have three different versions of “Devil Man” for example.
I don’t really know if it’s better or worse. I will say in the future we don’t plan on re releasing old songs, but for the debut album it made sense for the reasons I explained earlier. In the case of Devil Man, we definitely never thought we’d do it 3 different times, but by the time the debut album came, Devil Man had become sort of a fan favourite, and it didn’t seem right to not have Devil Man on our first album. Still, we didn’t want it to be exactly the same version since it was the 3rd time, so we did change some things to give people a little variety. Our fans can then all decide which one they like better. We pretty much play the old version live, though.
Do you think there will be some fans who compare the different version and say “Oh, the version of “Devil Man” on the “Devil-Man”-EP is much better!” or “Jupiter” was much better as it was still “Bliss!”?
Of course, that will definitely happen. I think people also have a tendency to like the first version they heard, because they are used to it.We knew this would happen before we decided to use these songs again. But on the other hand, we think these versions are way better, so part of it was just to please ourselves. And the other reason is I think that because its our first full length on a much bigger label than before, we will be reaching countless new fans, and for them this album will be the first music they have heard of Blues Pills. And that was a big reason we didn’t want to let those songs go to waste. We wanted, what we felt, were all of our best songs on the album, regardless if they had been released as EP’s... the full length is more important.
Your debut-album has a much sharper and clearer sound as all your recordings before had. Simple question: Why? Do you think this kind of sound is more mass appealing?
The answer to that is really simple. This is the first time we ever recorded in a pro studio. The other stuff was either live or recorded in basements or practice spaces on pretty shitty gear. We weren’t aiming to make it more appealing we just wanted it to sound good! That’s about it ! :) It was recorded and mixed completely analog, with no computers at all, though. So we kept it true to the processes they would have used in the 60’s or 70’s. I think it gives it a more natural vibe and it’s more true because it’s not possible to fix anything later in a computer. What you put onto the tape is what you get.
From the outside it seems that the three guys in BLUES PILLS are all very quite, introspective people and let Elin do all the talking and stuff. Is this some conscious decision of yours or is my outer perspective just wrong?
It’s not really a conscious decision, we are all pretty shy, but Elin is probably the most talkative in the group. She’s the lead singer too so she is kind of the voice of the band. She is pretty shy too, though, and doesn’t always want to do the talking, but it just kind of happens because lots of people want to talk to the lead singer in the band. We all aren’t really comfortable doing interviews and we get nervous and stuff, especially when its a filmed interview! Those or the worst. I don’t know why it’s easy to be on stage and play, but interviews are scary.
Will you continue releasing so much music in the EP- or single-format or will you focus on doing full-length-records in the future?
We are focusing on making a second album next. We’ve done enough EP’s for now. We’d also like to maybe do a live album at some point.
Speaking of the future: You will be on tour with your labelmates of Vintage Caravan in October. Are you already excited to play a proper headline tour with an album in the back?
Yes! Beyond excited. First headlining tour with an album. Feels like we’ve been waiting for this forever. It’s going to be great, that about all I can say.
Thanks for answering my questions! If you want to add anything, feel free to do so!
Thanks to you, for supporting Blues Pills!