Ahead of Stockport band Blossoms’ show at The Ritz on October 23, frontman Tom Ogden chatted to MM about their tour, miserable songwriting, and plans for the future.
If you haven’t heard of Blossoms, you will. After signing a major record deal with Virgin EMI, the self-confessed working class Stockport five-piece are now in the process of recording their debut album.
It’s due for release next year, but in the meantime they’re hitting the road on a 13-date-tour of the UK climaxing at The Ritz on the October 23.
Blossoms refuse to be typecast, and their music is reminiscent of a vast array of different bands from opposite ends of the spectrum.
— B L O S S O M S (@BlossomsBand) October 14, 2015
“We’ve never really know what to say when somebody asks us, ‘what genre are you?’,” said front man Tom Ogden, “Because we’re all about pushing that boundary.
“To me, if something’s good, it’s good. If something’s bad, it’s bad. It’s like, ‘why do you like Oasis?’ you just like them don’t you. I don’t like a song because it’s from a certain genre; I like a song because it’s good.”
Yes, there are the familiar sounds of Oasis, The Stone Roses, and The Beatles but it is clash of different sounds.
Like a rock and roll milkshake concocted by The Doors, the Arctic Monkeys, the Happy Mondays, the Pixies, Shed Seven and Kraftwork, it is all impeccably innovative and imaginative but it works. And that is what makes them so good.
Try to give Blow a quick listen without it’s beautifully pieced together chorus sticking in mind for the rest of the day.
They state that pushing genres is what they’re all about, however, their Facebook page describes them as Ethereal Nostalgic Sonance – but they argue that this was ‘just a bit of a joke’.
— B L O S S O M S (@BlossomsBand) October 15, 2015
“We want to be one of those bands like the Arctic Monkeys – the Arctic Monkeys don’t sound like anybody, they just sound like the Arctic Monkeys.
“We come from Stockport, Manchester so we don’t want to sound like a typical Manchester band. You can hear the influence there but we want our own style.
“But we’re doing quite well with that now so I like to think that our own style is starting to come across now that we’re playing bigger venues and bigger places.“
In the past the band has named the likes of the Arctic Monkeys, Oasis, Abba and The Coral amongst their biggest influences but during this exclusive with MM – but a surprisingly different influence sprang into conversation.
“Do you remember that film ‘There’s Only One Jimmy Grimble’?” he said.
“That came out when I was about seven and the soundtrack to that was absolutely fucking mint.
“I remember hearing Waterfall by The Stone Roses, and I just immediately loved it. My dad loved The Beach Boys, God Only Knows. Tunes like that, and obviously Oasis and The Stone Roses.”
THERE ARE JUST 5 TICKETS LEFT FOR MCR RITZ GIG IN THE WHOLE WORLD. BUY (OR CRY ) AT SEE TICKETS. pic.twitter.com/K5ULJvzCQ2
— B L O S S O M S (@BlossomsBand) October 15, 2015
The gig is part of the bands third tour of the UK where they are playing 13 shows at some of the leading venues in the country.
Already tickets for their performances at Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool and London are completely sold out.
“This tour coming has some of the biggest venues we’ve played but our first tour we started about a year ago, almost to the day. I really can’t wait to get going. We’re all buzzing for it, especially Manchester. I’m praying we get a big crowd down to The Ritz gig.”
The five piece have already garnered an impressive number of supports slots, opening for the likes of Howling Bells, The Orwells and The Rifles over the past few years.
And this isn’t the first time the band has played The Ritz either. Last year they supported Inspiral Carpets at the venue.
But it’s been 12 months since the gig and in their own words: “We just don’t know what to expect.
“With everything that’s going on at the minute with the record deal and the tour coming up, it’s incredibly overwhelming, but we’re just trying to keep going without letting it get to our heads.”
But where does the inspiration come from to write? Ernest Hemingway famously said: ‘There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed’. And similarly Blossoms do the same.
“I write my best songs when I’m quite miserable. Being a songwriter has its perks – I mean, something makes me feel really shitty and the first thing I think is, ‘huh! I’ll write a song’ and they’re always the most raw and real ones.
“A band is all about a relationship. It’s a relationship between you and the music, but it’s also a relationship between you and the other members of the band.
“In Blossoms we all want the same thing and that’s why we clicked originally – we were just wholly organic. We all have the same goals. We just want to keep pushing ourselves to create better and better music and play bigger and bigger places. Nothing is holding us back.”
— Shannen. (@ShannenFFC) October 16, 2015
Although it isn’t all positive. There is a somewhat inaccurate, romanticised perception that life in a rock and roll band is utterly brilliant.
But of course it is hard work and being away from home so often most definitely has its negatives.
“Keeping a good relationship with your family is pretty tough. Relationships with other people too. There really isn’t that much time on our hands.
“We’re constantly in the practice room or traveling up and down the country playing gigs, so it isn’t ideal; but then again, you can always right a song about it.
“It’s like this one big shitty rota – everything bad that happens, you get a good song out of it.
“We’ve been together for two years now and I’d say we’ve spent almost every single day of that time together – either writing songs or working on other ones. So yes, it’s incredibly intense and it takes a lot of commitment.”
After being featured in NME and on BBC 6, 2016 is the year that marks the release of Blossoms’ debut album.
However, miraculously, the lads from Stockport do not seem to be phased by such a daunting task.
“We’ve got the album coming out next year so most people would be like, pressures on now, but we’re not. We’re pretty chilled about it all. We just want it.
“This is what we’ve always wanted. And we’re ready. We’re writing more and more songs, and they’re better than ever before. They’re coming from the heart.
“This is all we’ve ever wanted. We’re not changing our approach or changing our methods, we’re doing everything exactly the same and working towards our goal.”
People forget that there is very little money to be made from being in an unsigned band. The only driving force behind a hard working unsigned band is the passion to go on and succeed.
And Blossoms are the living proof that even with a music industry like today you can still succeed.
“There’s only so many times you can ask your mum for a tenner. But now that we’ve got a record deal it’s like, fucking hell – weight of my shoulders.
“Some bands don’t ever have to go through that. We’ve had to plow through the hard times as a working class Manchester band and now we’ve gotten a record deal it’s like fuck.
“This is all we’ve ever worked towards – we want it more than those other bands. You know, you never get a brilliant band coming out of Eton.”
— B L O S S O M S (@BlossomsBand) October 16, 2015
However it seems that hard times for Blossoms are over and the good times have only just begun.
In the space of two years they have risen through the ranks of music from just another band in Manchester to signing a major record deal with one of the biggest record companies in the world.
“The whole team around us now is really positive. Every day is incredibly positive. Hopefully when the album comes out next year it’ll really take off – only then are you in the big world so fingers crossed.
“We’ve been going for so long alone. When the sort of people from Virgin EMI come in then where can it go? The sky’s the limit. We want to play bigger shows to bigger crowds.
“We’re not scared. We’re not scared to be the biggest and best that we can be. We want to be played on Radio 1. We want to be on the telly.
“We want it all.”
Catch Blossoms at The Ritz on October 23.
Image courtesy of Blossomsband via. YouTube, with thanks.