Pop Dee-Lite : Interview with Blondfire

When I got the new Blondfire CD, My Someday, in the mail, it came with a handwritten note from the brother-sister duo. That’s because Erica and Bruce Driscoll aren’t paying someone to do the marketing and promotion of their debut full-length CD, now available on iTunes and CD Baby. I originally told you about the bright and airy Euro-pop prettiness of My Someday here. In fact, they wrote the songs themselves, recorded the songs themselves, produced the CD themselves and released the CD on their own label, Tender Tender Rush. You can’t get more indie than that. This all comes after they were dropped from EMI in late 2007, after the label was bought out and went through many internal changes. But that didn’t get them down. In fact, they feel like the time they spent working with the major label helped them hone in on what they really wanted in their new album, which was to essentially stay on the same musical path that won them so many fans with their Don’t Whisper Lies EP. Now that the CD has been released, Bruce was nice enough to talk to me about where the duo has been and where they’re heading.

Blondfire – Pretty Young Thing

Dee : What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of being in a band with your sister?

Bruce : Each of us knows what the other one likes. We also like similar bands, and harmonies come to us easier. I think our voices compliment each other. There really is no downside. We aren’t much for drama.


Dee : Who are your musical influences?

Bruce : Pet Shop Boys, The Smiths, New Order, 80’s new wave, Buddy Holly, the Everly Brothers – even film scores. We love the Beatles, too. Great melodies are important. We also have a lot of Brazilian influences because our mother is Brazilian and we’ve spent a fair amount of time there.

Dee : You initially started out as Astaire, but you’ve since changed your band name to Blondfire. Why?

Bruce : We chose Astaire because we liked it and didn’t think it would be associated with Fred Astaire. We were on a tour with Ivy and Stars when our lawyer called and told us that Fred Astaire’s estate called and we had to change our name. At the time, we were broke. We had invested every last cent into the tour and showing labels what we could do without actually being on a label. We were devastated for awhile. We didn’t know what we were going to do. We decided to keep going and went through a list of thousands of band names. We chose Blondfire. The name is nonsensical, really. We decided if our fans like our music, it didn’t really matter what we’re called. We’ve gotten a great response so far to the new name.

Dee : The single L-L-Love from Don’t Whisper Lies was a huge hit as a free download on iTunes, and led to Blondfire being the first unsigned band to record an iTunes Exclusive EP that landed at No. 1. It also ended up on several movie soundtracks. What was your reaction to that?

Bruce : Erica woke up one day and said she dreamed the phrase “L-L-Love.” It took us three hours to write and record the song. We were so happily surprised that people were so into the song. We knew the song had potential, but we never expected that kind of response.

Dee : You were signed to EMI in 2006. What was it like going from no label to a major label?

Bruce : We recorded with EMI for about a year. We had enough songs to fill 20 albums. But EMI wanted us to go in a different direction – a direction they weren’t even sure of. So we just kept writing and writing, when we knew in our hearts we had written enough songs. We did meet a lot of great people while we were there. But the label was bought out, and bands that hadn’t started production were dropped. We were one of those bands. But when we got dropped, there was a sense of relief.

Dee : How so?

Bruce : We took the best songs we had written on our own and spent time mixing them at our parents’ house in Michigan. It was the same thing we had done with our Don’t Whisper Lies EP. We took it back to basics where we felt most comfortable.

Dee : And how do you feel now that you have the finished product in your hand?

Bruce : The album release is therapeutic for us. We set out to be true to ourselves and our sound – to create something that sounds like us. We’re not trying to be anything but who we are, a brother and sister who love making music, and we’re proud that we captured that on My Someday.

Dee : What are your hopes and dreams for your own someday now that My Someday is complete? Where do you go from here?

Bruce : I think we’d both like to be able to really license the songs off this new album a lot. Get them in movies, TV shows, etc., and be able to reach new fans through that route. And hopefully we’ll continue to do well in that area so we can continue to make more and more records. We’re also looking to do a lot of touring. We’re trying to put the word out that we’re looking for a band to go out on the road with. We done a few tours in the past with Ivy, Stars and Robbers on High Street, and we really enjoy playing our music live.


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