So many of the happiest memories I have are filled with music. It’s like the sound is woven through each memory, connecting them. My saddest memories have music attached to them too and without warning a song will come on the radio and I am instantly tearing up thinking of a lost loved one. I married a music man who also has songs attached to most memories, a basement full of 45’s and albums and he is now my personal DJ.
My #MusicMonday posts will include interviews and music from new and veteran artists from all genres of music as well as the people that bring that music to us. I will also share music that has meant the most to me throughout my life.
Recently I came across a post on Twitter about a rock band from England. I followed the link and had a listen. I instantly liked the bluesy rock sound and was thrilled when they agreed to an interview! So all the way from the UK, I hope you enjoy meeting the lads from Blue Nation as much I did.
The three-piece Blue Nation Band released their new album; ‘Steady Your Soul’ in April of 2016 via their own Box Seat Records label.
The rockers drew their inspiration for the album from a reservoir of influences. The production is sparkling, natural and high quality. The band members grew up in the 90’s with alternative rock and Brit pop and were influenced by such classics as the Beatles, The Who, Cream, Zeppelin, and Big Star – with bands like Rival Sons and Black Keys providing the current backdrop.
The album was recorded with engineer/ producer Andy McPherson (The Who, The Buzzcocks, Eric Clapton) and mastered by Jon Astley at Close To The Edge (Peter Gabriel, Porcupine Tree, Tori Amos, The Rolling Stones, Judas Priest).
The band is comprised of Neil Murdoch providing vocals and guitar, Chris Bloor on drums and Luke Weston on the bass. They have played over 400 gigs across the UK, on moving trams, at Silverstone for the British Grand Prix and in New York’s Greenwich Village and Manhattan. This wealth of live experience helped them tailor the original songs that make up the album.
Interview Questions and Answers:
Neil Murdoch = NM- Guitar and Vocals
Luke Weston = LW- Bass
Chris Bloor = CB-drums
Q: Tell me about the band members
A: NM -We have myself Neil, I am the guitarist and singer in the band, Luke Weston is the bass player and Chris Bloor is the rock at the back on drums. Each of us bring our own style and way of going about things but it just works perfectly!
Q: Who is the funniest?
A: NM– I would say Luke, he has a unique sense of humor which just cracks me up. Chris to be fair can hold his own though so it’s a close one but Luke edges it oh so slightly.
Q: Who is the most serious?
A: NM I don’t think any of us take on the serious type. We are all serious when it comes to writing, playing and setting the goals for the band but in all honesty you need to be a band of brothers or a gang that needs to bounce off one another. Having someone who is always serious can’t be good for the group in my opinion. The lads will probably say I’m the serious one after reading this.
Q: Who is the most adventurous?
A: NM: That’s a tough one, not one of us is standing out. I’m trying to think if one of the lads is a secret skydiver or something but nothing is springing to mind. Okay if I had to pick one I will go with Chris.
Q: Which of you is the peacemaker?
A: NM Probably the manager. No, only joking, we don’t fall out. We are so incredibly lucky to have each other it’s unbelievable. It’s hard to put into words but it just works. The planets aligned the chakras were in place and bang it hit us in the face that this is the band, this is what all three of us have wanted from being in bands all our life.
Q: How long have you all been together? How did you meet and come together as a band?
A: NM: Since August last year! 2016 was a manic one for me personally and for Blue Nation. We released the second album, Steady your Soul and completed three tours. In July the previous drummer moved to London and the bass player decided it wasn’t for him anymore. Was it a shock, yes and no, but hey, things happen for a reason and I couldn’t be happier that Luke and Chris have joined and taken us to the next level. I didn’t realize how good this could be until they joined. How we met, we all move in the same circles so it was friends of friends that kind of put us together. It really wasn’t a massive effort. We just let it all fall beautifully into place.
Q: Do you perform original music?
A: NM: Yeah this is the only thing we do. It’s all our own stuff. Indie, blues riff driven rock. Well that’s how I would describe it.
Q: Do you write the music and lyrics? If so what is the writing process?
A: NM: Everything we do is written by us, it’s a collaborative approach. For example Luke sent Chris and I these beautiful acoustic chords he had and said “What about this?” And out of that we have two more songs. One is a massive riff based song called Rich Girl and the other is this great folksy Crosby, Stills and Nash type vibe number. Lyrically I will normally just see what I feel when we first run it through. The lads and I then decide what works and what doesn’t. Each song is different, one of the most recent songs I had the music and lyrics already sorted and the lads were happy with it. I don’t really like to think of the song writing as a process, I’ve heard so many stories of writers block and all I can think of to say is “Well just don’t write at that time then.” You have to be inspired to write otherwise it will just come across in the song. It amazes me the times people will come up to us and say things like. Oh that song helped me or it took me back to being a kid etc… The reason it did that is because that’s what it did for myself, Luke or Chris. It means so much to us to speak the truth and to make sure we connect with the audience on that level.
Q: If you could go on a dream concert tour- what old school bands or performers would be on that ticket with you?
A: CB: Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin
A: LW: The Who, Cream, Led Zeppelin and Frank Zappa
A: NM: I agree with Chris imagine having a conversation on tour with Lennon, Hendrix and Page. Mind blowing!
Q: Who would be on your present day dream ticket?
A: CB: Noel Gallagher, Foo Fighters, Incubus
A: LW: Mars Volta, Incubus and Chon
A: NM: Rival Sons, The Who and a band from England called Dead Sea Skulls, Check them out. Brilliant band and nice guys to boot!
Q: Where would your dream tour take you, cities countries etc…?
A: NM: New York, Japan, China, Russian, Australia, UK, every major city in the world will do 😉
A: LW: LA, Tokyo and Marrakech
Q: What is your favorite meal- one you would all agree on?
A: CB: Holly Mills Pasta Bake – Trust me it’s incredible!
A: NM: Luke is a Vegan and Chris and I are vegetarians so to be honest food wise we kinda all agree. Although Luke is trying his best to convert us to be Vegan.
A: LW: Something cruelty free
Q: What is each of your favorite non-alcoholic drinks?
A: CB: A nice cup of tea
A: NM: Green Tea or Vimto
Q: Who is your audience?
A: NM: Anyone who appreciates good riff driven blues rock music. We have incredible fans who really go the extra mile for us at shows and online.
A: LW: Awesome People
Q: Where do you want to be as a band in one year?
A: CB: In front of a large crowd pinning them to the wall with our sonic delights
A: LW: Professional and recognized
Q: Best concert you ever attended, each of you?
A: CB: Oasis, Manchester, Maine Road 1996
A: NM: Michael Jackson, Cardiff Arms Park 1992 (I was really young for the record!)
A: LW: The Who at the Albert Hall. I had backstage passes and I met Zach Starkey. He knew my name before I told him. It was overwhelming
Q: You visited New York as a band? What did you love?
A: NM: Yeah went over to play some shows. We love everything about NYC, the place is just off the scale. We took a trip to Electric Lady Land Studios and nearly lost it. It’s a special place and we will be returning!
Q: Not like so much?
A: NM: Massive trucks in the middle of the night blasting the car horns at other drivers. Just didn’t get it.
Have a listen:
Where to purchase Blue Nation music:
You can buy the CD from here <http://bit.ly/2kapWvt>
Photo credit: Jennifer Stone Photography