Interview: Bloxx

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Credit: Tom Oxley

On Bloxx’s latest single ‘Everything I’ve Ever Learned’, Fee Booth sings about mental health issues advising “You should learn to hold on, it’s not the end of the world”.

Throughout our telephone call, I am struck by the raw honesty and openness Fee exudes. Just like Bloxx’s music, with Fee, what you see is what you get. I catch up with her just five days before their headline tour starts.

The Indiependent: With just five days to go until your tour starts, are you ready?

Fee: Yes. We have one more rehearsal still left to do. There is a lot involved with rehearsing, sorting out merch, preparing backing tracks etc. I tend to leave things until the last minute but we will be ready.

The Indiependent: How will the gigs differ from the Bloxx we saw at Reading or Leeds?

Fee: Festivals are more of a collection of songs that we think people want to hear. This tour is our longest set yet. It gives us the opportunity to incorporate the softer songs. With a headline tour, there is more structure in navigating the breaks and changes in the set.

The Indiependent: Which songs are you particularly looking forward to playing live?

Fee: Definitely ‘Everything I Ever Learned’ and ‘Pop Culture Radio’. These are songs off our new EP and it’s always special to play new music live.

The Indiependent: I have read that you are particularly proud of ‘Everything I Ever Learned’. Is this a taste of the future Bloxx sound?

Fee: Yes, I think we are transitioning to a new era. ‘Everything I Ever Learned’ is very raw and personal. These are songs that are more about what I want to talk about. They are raw and organic.

‘Everything I Ever Learned’ is the first song I wrote during lockdown and at a time when I was figuring stuff out. For a person with bad anxiety and ADHD, the lockdown was tough. This music feels self-defining.

The Indiependent: I now understand why your Twitter is so honest, it gives a real sense of who you are.

Fee: Honesty is important and social media reflects the changes I have gone through. When we made our first record we were just “kids”. During lockdown, I had two birthdays and the time to reflect. Writing became easier and being honest helped. I stopped following all the fake celebrity accounts as being less open leads to issues being stigmatised. We need to break down those barriers.

The Indiependent: Your social media talks openly about addiction, has that process helped or hindered the preparation for the tour?

Fee: The tour has been a defining factor in dealing with the issues. Six months ago I wasn’t sure whether I would get to the place I needed to be at. It has been a long process and just two weeks ago I wasn’t sure whether the tour would go ahead. I wouldn’t have been able to tour without facing the addictions and I am still in recovery.

The second record will be influenced by the changes we have gone through and issues we have faced. I think it is important to use the platform we are given for the right thing.

The Indiependent: So now you are ready for the tour are there any venues you are particularly looking forward to playing?

Fee: Always Manchester and Heaven, in London. I saw Marika Hackman live at Heaven and was blown away; I’m looking forward to being on that stage. Honestly, we are looking forward to playing all the venues. Only Glasgow is a venue we are not yet familiar with so that will be exciting in a different way.

The Indiependent: Do you adapt the set to the audience mood?

Fee: We keep to the same set as it is difficult to change when on stage with so much involved. If there is a tight curfew, then we may put a shout out on Twitter as to what change we should make.

The Indiependent: How do you keep it interesting for yourselves night after night?

Fee: It is two years since we did our last headliner so it will be exciting. We thrive off each other; we are four friends on stage just having fun. Also having spent three years playing the same ten songs, it will be great to play such a long set and play our new music.

The Indiependent: Who should we look out for on stage?

Fee: Me—I’m the insane one. [Pause] But now I am in recovery from addiction, I guess Taz is the one to watch. Taz is an insanely talented guitarist.

The Indiependent: What’s next after the tour? New Music?

Fee: We are currently riding the new EP. There will be new music but I wouldn’t expect a new album until early next year. We don’t want to rush it. The next record is very important to us both for the message and also the sound that goes with the message.

The Indiependent: Your social media has been great in introducing me to music. You mention The Band CAMINO a lot – are they are an influence?

Fee: Yeah, they are great. I would say they motivate me rather than influence me. The structure of their songs and the lyrics, lyrically they are so strong. They have motivated me into focussing more on the lyrics rather than just creating an instrumental piece to build on. The music and sound are still important but I’ve started more with lyrics

Our sound is a mix of so many things coming together, not one thing. I would like us to be seen as genre-bending. There are influences; Jeff Buckley, Kings of Leon and Sam Fender—he can make banging tunes starting with just a few simple chords.

The Indiependent: You are about to tour, but your first album was released a year ago, how does that feel?

Fee: I like to call Lie Out Loud the album that never was. We waited five years and then released the album at the worst time. Right in the middle of a shit storm. But, it’s been a learning curve. I just tried to keep it moving along while I figured things out. That’s what lockdown was all about.

The Indiependent: Now that the world is opening up and people are out of their houses and having dates, what Bloxx track should someone put on to impress their date?

Fee: ‘Off my mind’ as that is kind of a sexy-sounding song (a view agreed by Fee’s housemates). Or maybe album tracks such as ‘Changes’ or ‘What You Needed’.

The Indiependent: Do you have a final message to those heading out to see Bloxx live or listening to your music?

Fee: We just want to create a safe place for people to enjoy and feel involved.

Interview conducted by Andrew Butcher

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