Blood Blush is an intriguing band from certain parts of New Jersey / NYC, committed to a sound they call “Dreamgoth”, and for sure they have a cool vibe and a heavy mass of darkness in their inspiration. Recently they released the video for a single called ‘Demon Clout’ and find theirselves very bussy with a bunch of tour dates in the US. Here’s the full interview with this band, about this mad world, their background, and some other stuff.
What was the seed of Blood Blush, what were you hearing, what records or songs, or books inspired you to form the band?
The idea for Blood Blush started many times. Listening to early Cure albums like Seventeen Seconds and Pornography really pushed a certain kind of dark minimalism in my mind. The first time I wanted to make a post-punk band was in 2008 or 2009. I was working with two bass guitars and a drum machine. I made some demos and then pursued other bands. Nothing happened. The Horrors Primary Colors had a big effect on my songwriting and influence. I was in a bind where I wanted every song to be 2 or 3 minutes in length and Primary Colors just allowed me to shift away from that cycle. I saw Soft Kill play one of their early shows at Mississippi Studios in Portland before all the “drama.” I was surprised how much their performance was like a revamped Chameleons but with an individual stamp. Upon moving back to Seattle, I started writing more demos with Soft Kill, The Chameleons and Interpol on my mind. Still, nothing came of it. By the time I got to New York, I probably had about 10-15 songs I had never fleshed out so in 2017, I just finally felt that it was time to start BLOOD BLUSH. Besides all the boring dramas I love to watch I think emphasis on the unknown and the strange is what I like to focus on. Shorts films by Maya Deren have always made me want to push further without resources. The Sound of Waves by Yukio Mishima has been a go to book for self-reflection. It’s all about one’s get up and go.
Why is it interesting to make goth music in postmodern world?
I would question why it was interesting to do anything now. The world we live in has almost made itself too accessible. Nothing is special anymore.
Goth music, to me, is very serious and truthful. When I hear a goth song about love – the depth, the poetry, the struggle that goes into the music and lyrics hits harder than whatever mainstream radio hits are popular at the moment. The honesty of goth really peels back every layer. People don’t fake who they are when they sing or play their instrument. To me goth is people at their rawest form; a secret self – unless you are a fake person and pretending to be goth (I’m looking at you Pale Waves and other fashion goths).
I kind of hate today’s music industry that has so many possibilities but also is doomed with traditional media. What do you think of your scene, independent music, and everything that is going on in these days?
Independent music is pretty much the new old mainstream that I grew up with in the 90s and early 2000s. I don’t even understand what the corporate magnates like Warner Brothers or Columbia records produce anymore. Independent labels are the taste makers (and I think that’s great!) but I do also think there is way too much music and accessibility. In a world where no one is allowed to feel unwanted and not special, it feels like there a place for everyone. That’s good but also no one is critical anymore. Sometimes music is just bad. My music can be bad. Your music can be bad. It’s not trolling. It’s just the truth. No one became good at a craft by handing in subpar work and having superiors accept it. Just my take.
The New York post-punk or goth scene is a bit odd. The goth and post-punk bands don’t register to me as goth or post-punk bands. It’s sounds like a lot of shoegaze or college radio bands that just slap the term post-punk onto their genre descriptor to get people to notice them. Even worse when alternative rock bands or Nu Metal bands claim to be goth because people grew up thinking Korn and Slipknot meant goth music (it doesn’t and you should do some research if you still think it does). To be fair, I want Blood Blush to be a goth band but I don’t even know if we fit in that category entirely. I’ve been calling our music dreamgoth.
I personally think Los Angeles and Vancouver B.C. have much better bands than New York. Though, the community and scene for goth in New York is one of the best. The DJ nights, goth events and kink events are very accommodating. Everyone is welcome across the board without prejudice – except for Bros and fake fashion goths. Places to hang for great New York City goth culture are The Red Party, K-INK Out, Underworld, Dances of Vice, Tableaux Art Salon, Svmmon, Sanctum, Nothing Changes and Procession.
I’ve just heard a bunch of east coast artists dedicated to post-punk (or whatever), and you can feel similarities in their sound. Do you think there’s a difference between the sound of the east coast scene if you compare it with bands from California, Oregon, or Seattle?
Yes and no. For post-punk, I think California produces a lot of carbon copies of bands that existed before. Sometimes it works really well and sometimes you get a duplicate. Also, I’ve seen more California post-punk / goth bands suffer from wanting mass appeal so their sound is more pop than anything else. Portland and Seattle have always had a good scope on dissonance and so I think you get some more DNA / Gang of Four influence from those places. Seattle and Portland do a good job at pushing the boundaries of music you get good sounds from bands like Lithics and Nail Polish. I feel that the East Coast really likes it’s DEVO and Wire sounds of post-punk i.e. Future Punx or Parquet Courts. Of course there is overlap and everything in-between but that’s just what I’ve seen over the last 5 years.
This a cynical world, and everybody seems to know everything in music. What’s your biggest motivation for making music in a present like this?
Live performance. If you can do something strange in front of people, it will be a bigger motivating factor to have folks follow your band than just posting a bunch of shit on Facebook. You heard right regular white guy who plays guitar: stop wearing t-shirts at your shows. Have some decorum and take some influence from the past.
I know you want to remove your tracks from bandcamp, why is that? Are you working on new stuff?
Yes. We had some old demos on our bandcamp page that were taken down. We just want to rerecord those songs in a better format. They aren’t embarrassing but they don’t fully represent what Blood Blush sounds like at this time. If you downloaded those free tracks, consider yourself a lucky person.
It seems like if the present was driven by demons, reality is so violent and humanity is lost. How does all this mess affect the way you see and make your own music?
It doesn’t affect me. Humanity is lost. The world will end sooner than we expected. It’s just time for acceptance. If you think things are going to change or get better, you’re fooling yourself. I have plenty of love in my life. I’m surrounded by great people I admire. It’s time to live with hedonism on the mind rather than practicality.
NEW MUSIC FROM BLOOD BLUSH
T O U R D A T E S
O C T O B E R
10.10.18 MANHATTAN, NY at The Special Without Brett Davis (Television Performance 11pm)
10.18.18 PITTSBURGH, PA at Nettle Nest with Child of Night and Death Instinct.
10.19.18 COLUMBUS, OH at No Culture (Video Performance – 5pm).
10.19.18 COLUMBUS, OH at Tree Bar with Master Servos, Berndsen, Child of Night and DJ Steve OD.
10.20.18 INDIANAPOLIS, IN at The Spruce Goose with Violent Meditations, Emily Bewley, Tombaugh Regio and Den Dwellers.
10.21.18 CHICAGO, IL at WLUW (Radio Performance – 5pm)
10.21.18 CHICAGO, IL at DC Torium with Reverent, Canter, Mr. Russia and Old Irving.
10.22.18 DETROIT, MI at Phoney Island with Dr. Fadeaway and Soviet Girls.
10.23.18 TORONTO, ON at Quixotic Sounds (In-Store Performance – 5pm)
10.23.18 TORONTO, ON at The Painted Lady with Bloody Blue Darlings, September Death and Trick Casket.
10.24.18 MONTREAL, QE at Mademoiselle with Wavery, Bermudes and The City Gates.
10.25.18 ALBANY, NY at Orange Peel with Spell Runner, Cowboy! Halloween and Bare Mattress.
N O V E M B E R
11.01.18 QUEENS, NY at H0L0 with Veda Rays, Korine and Lacey Spacecake.
11.02.18 CLIFTON, NJ at Dingbatz with Christian Death, The Witch Kings, CHMCL STR8JCKT and Robby Bloodshed.
11.16.18 BROOKLYN, NY at Bushwick Public House (TRUST EP Cassette Tape Release Party) with PUSH! and Gorgeous.
D E C E M B E R
12.04.18 BROOKLYN, NY at Ceremony with Primitive Lips and Recognitions.
12.13.18 MONTCLAIR, NJ at The Meatlocker with Primitive Lips, Puddle Splasher and Whiner.