Sydneysiders Bloom are set to release their EP ‘In Passing’ on Friday. The EP is a beautifully crafted journey through death and grief, confronting in places with the literal lyrics, thought provoking and reflective. I sat down with Jarod and Jono to talk about the EP, the band and asked the most important question of all…. is the EP coming out on vinyl!
I have been flogging ‘In Passing’ guys, it’s so good!
Jarod: Oh yeah you’ve been sent it, I forget that it’s out in the world!
Jono: People have heard it.
Jarod: It’s crazy that people have actually listened to it. It’s been such a long time coming.
Jono: It’s weird because I think we anticipated a different kind of release; I think everyone did. So it’s weird now that oh my god we are four days away from release and obviously people have heard it already. It’s like omg we are doing it I guess!! New music and then we will see when we can do shows.
Jarod: We recorded it almost exactly a year ago. It was the end of October that we went down to Melbourne and recorded it with Chris Vernon. I think we were all thinking it would be out in March. Stuff with Greyscale started, which pushed it back, then it went into corona virus and now we are here. I’m just happy that it’s happening. I think that it’s a good time to get it out. Other bands like Alpha Wolf, Knuckle Puck and Movements have had successful releases, all be it different to usual. People are still wanting new music.
I think that’s it. Everyone is wanting new music and taking the time to properly listen to what’s coming out.
‘In Passing’ is pretty personal EP
Jono: The EP is sort of written around the passing of my grandfather last year who I didn’t really know all that well. And it was just the time that I remember spending the most with him, while he was on his death bed. After getting back from New Zealand, where all my extended family are, I came to the boys and said, ‘Hey I know that we are writing at the moment, I would love to do something in vein of this’. It kind of just snowballed from that. We started by throwing up some concepts and things that we all can relate too. So songs like ‘Daylight’ where it is a much more generalized like ‘hey everyone dies’. Everyone has this fear of not knowing when it will be the last interaction with someone. Through to songs that are very literal about it. ‘June’ and ‘The Service’ are very much a play by play, this is how it happened. I think we really just wanted to take all of the stuff that I personally had been through and feelings that the greater band had and pile it into a nice little package around someone passing.
Is there any reason why it starts with ‘The Service’ and works backward?
Jono: I think it captures people quite quickly. It’s a song that right from the get-go is no bullshit. It sets the tone for the rest of the EP. I think it provides a really nice context around the fact that the next four songs are going to be in this style and quite literal.
Big question… Is it coming out on vinyl because it really needs to be!!
(Then we all laughed!!!)
Jono: All we will say is there is more to come on the vinyl front. It was the first thing that we were asking for but our big daddy Joshua (Greyscale Records) has got some things in motion but that’s all we will say about it for the moment….
Tells about the Bloom story for those that are new to you guys
Jarod: Technically Bloom started in 2016. Jono and I had been around people who had been in bands through high school, heavy bands, and we were never in any of them! We were the outsiders who were a bit jealous, so we went for it. I remember our first rehearsal was truly awful.
Jono: It was just me and you really!
Jarod: The drummer that came, he didn’t learn any of the songs. We were playing to a guitar pro, fake drums over a lap top speaker. It was such a disaster. We just kept at it, just ourselves, going to a studio that Jono was studying at. We had access to studio time basically for free. We wrote some shitty demos and got our heads around the whole thing and then got some friends to come in. I think that’s when it became real, when we had an actual drummer and an actual bassist!
Jono: We have been really fortunate in the sense that a lot of our friends that we have been super close with, whether it be through music or school, are all really great instrumentalists and love the same sort of music. It was super natural when we went ‘Hey Bloom is just me and Jarod, but we need a guitarist, we need a bassist, we need a drummer” and it was all friends in our circle that we reached out too. And because a lot of the boys we had been close to for a while it just seemed like a no brainer. It was super fortunate because drummers are so hard to find. A bassist who actually played bass and wasn’t a guitarist who was having to take on the bass role. Little things like that we were super fortunate with.
Jarod: Absolutely. And we have noticed how hard it is to find members, with friends who are looking for bands to join or drummers to join their bands. They ask us do we know anyone and the only people I know are drummers who are already in bands.
Damn I should have continued drumming when I left school!! They are the only instrument I can still play, not at that level though …..
Jono: They are in hot demand. All you need to do is keep time and its fine!
That I can do!
Jono: Fantastic. Done.
Jarod: There is such a high demand, so we definitely got lucky there.
Jono: From that we just started playing more and more together and started writing. Like Jarod was saying, writing shitty little demos, and it got to a point where we were like let’s record some music. That’s what you do now. Our first stuff we did was with someone who played in a band that we used to go and see all the time. We were finding our feet. This is back in 2016 that we recorded it, from their it was just like okay now we try and play shows. None of us had been in a band before so it was super new to a lot of us and we didn’t know what we were doing. Over the last 3-4 years I hope that we have learnt from a lot of the mistakes we’ve made, and we have gotten better at things. The band has always been a pretty self-sufficient band, we are good at working and doing stuff in-house. It’s been cool because we have all got to learn and get better at certain aspects through out the whole experience.
Jarod: I think the big thing now is that we know people. I think that is the biggest hurdle starting out. When we wanted to play a show, we didn’t know anyone who puts on shows. So where do you start.
Jono: Send an email I guess
Jarod: Yeah. Now having three years of being in a band we know promoters, other band members, people who record, mix and master. And we are friends with these people. Its become easier to put on shows and get support from the people who do these things. We can’t put on a show ourselves; you need someone to run the door and sell merch, we have friends and colleagues now that we can reach out to. It’s amazing to have that network.
Jono: We are also really lucky because we have such an incredible wider support network. We have two outstanding managers; we have Josh and Dylan over at Greyscale who are just absolutely rooting for us in every way that they can. Especially with this release. It’s felt like we can take our hands off a little bit more and just sit back and let the shit that we have organised over the last 12 months roll out. It’s been really nice because we haven’t had to do it all ourselves this time around. Having that support network to be able to say, ‘Hey this is what we need to get done’ and people will help us get it done.
You’re only going to get better with experience. Jarod and I have been best friends since year 9. We were lucky, in the sense that when we were 18 or 19 so we just said fuck it lets do music, lets make a band. And it has progressed into this and we are all super stoked with it.
Jarod: When we started you couldn’t really scream
Jono: God no! I couldn’t play an instrument, I couldn’t scream. I had no previous experience.
Jarod: I couldn’t really play guitar. It’s been good for that too; it pushes you to be a better musician. If you put out something bad it comes back on you.
Like you said, having that network now you have people to bounce stuff off as well.
Jarod: That s the big thing with Chris, I feel like that is something that is going to be really crucial for us moving forward. Taking your stuff to Chris and being able to have his creative input, having that extra set of ears. We obviously have heard the songs for 6 months or so it’s really hard to come up with something new because your brain is ‘this is how it sounds’. You take that to Chris, and he has suggestions for tweaks to phrasing or adding musical bits in, and it’s what the song needed to just get to that next level.
Jono: When we took ‘Cold’ down it was the first time we had worked with Chris. We looked up to him and all of his bands. When we finally recorded with him, the song we took down to him which eventually became ‘Cold’, there were sections that we couldn’t have even come up with. Little ideas or little moments in the song. If we didn’t do this song, this way with this person it probably wouldn’t have turned out as well as it did.
Jarod: Those little bits that he added were so valuable. Even though it was like one lead line or phrase, it ties everything that we already had together.
Jono: We could not speak more highly of Chris.
He definitely has the love of a lot of people.
Who influences you guys?
Jono: The first two I will throw up on the board would be, the two that we have said since day dot, which is Counteparts and Touché Amore. A nice little happy in between. There are songs that we write that we are like wow we really like this. Sort of more melodic drawn back, less intense sound. But then we also love Counterparts and having those really big heavy hitting moments. We skate on the line between those two. Even when I’m writing lyrics, especially for this release, the Touché Amore album Stage Four was a huge influence because there are not a lot of albums out there that exist in our genre where it is written super literally especially around the concept of death. When I was writing it that was the main thing I was pulling a lot of the writing style, or the phrasing or how to describe things. I guess that in a sense was my biggest influence.
Jarod: Yeah I definitely try, especially since the EP, to take inspiration from random spots. So I take a lot from pop punk, which isn’t super out of our genre, but I feel like I am trying to take stuff from pop a lot more as well. Not big things but you’ll sometimes hear a drum groove or something that is in a Dua Lipa song and you’ll be like that is sick. It really gets you moving, it’s a really driving kind of feeling. Trying to take that and putting it in a heavy setting I found has been quite inspiring. It’s hard to sit here and write 10 demos to take down, by the fifth song you’ve exhausted all of what is in your mind, so you need to broaden your horizon. I find it gets you a better end result because it’s something that might not be as common in hardcore music. If you can bring it over from a different genre and wrap it up into hardcore, it’s something I have been trying to do a lot more. It makes me more creative.
That melding of genres is happening so much more
Jarod: Diamond Construct have just added a DJ so that is separating them from just metalcore because they have that extra element. It’s cool to see the genre mix.
I can’t wait till there is no such thing as a genre!!
Jarod: Yeah it’s all music.
Jono: Yeah, its conforming into that ‘I guess we play this genre sort of, most of the time, except for when we don’t’ It’s more common place these days to mix up genres. Way back when, 2015-2016, around that time you wouldn’t see bands doing trap beats and breakdowns. But bands like Paledusk and Diamond Construct, like a lot of those heavy hitters do it so nicely. They make it totally work.
Just like Bloom have totally made ‘In Passing’ work. ‘In Passing’ is out Friday on all platforms.