Wednesday, May 10, 2017

A Ripple Conversation With...Bo Blond of Doublestone

When I was a kid, growing up in a house with Cat Stevens, Neil Diamond, and Simon and Garfunkel, the first time I ever heard Kiss's "Detroit Rock City," it was a moment of musical epiphany. It was just so vicious, aggressive and mean. It changed the way I listened to music. I've had a few minor epiphany's since then, when you come across a band that just brings something new and revolutionary to your ears. What have been your musical epiphany moments?

For me I it was the grunge wave. Growing up far from decent record stores, it could take some time for the music to get to us. But when grunge hit, it hit hard! I remember hearing Breed with Nirvana and thinking “that guy is crazy, I love it!” The local heroes Psyked Up Janis’ first album is still one of my favourites. Grunge has stuck with me ever since. In fact, when Jamie and I started Doublestone we wanted to play grunge. The first EP we did, Really.., is a testament to that 90's vibe.

Talk to us about the song-writing process for you. What comes first, the idea? A riff? The lyrics? How does it all fall into place?

It varies but most of the times I write some riffs at home, put them together and think I have the next hit. But as soon as we start jamming things change, some times a lot. A guitar riff is turned into a bass line and a whole new feeling emerges. I Natten was one of those songs that almost wrote itself from a guitar-riff-turned-bass-line like that. That song more or less kickstarted all the songs on the new album.

Who has influenced you the most?

For riffs I always go to Black Sabbath. Why go any further, haha? When we started the band for real and Kristian joined on the bass, we listened to Sabbath all the time. When we were on the road Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath was on repeat for the best part of a year. That album along with Fleetwood Mac - Rumours is probably our favorite albums. If Doublestone had a theme song it would probably be The Chain, that track rocks.

Where do you look for continuing inspiration? New ideas, new motivation?

I love listening to newer bands. The stoner/doom scene has a lot to offer these days and it is always great to be inspired by the newer bands. Being from Denmark we try to look towards our Swedish brethren. Musically they’re always years ahead of what is happening in Denmark and their bands are usually way more talented than anything we come up with in Denmark. Graveyard, Hypnos, Horisont, Monolord, etc. The Swedes just keep fostering great bands. But of course you have to mix it up from time to time. I also listen to a lot of blues/folk. Johnny Madsen (danish blues/country musician), Colter Wall, Daniel Norgren, etc.

We're all a product of our environment. Tell us about the band's hometown and how that reflects in the music?

We all grew up in Haderslev, a small town in the south of Denmark, close to the sea and the German border. Kristian and I both grew up on farms outside of town and Jamie in the “city”. Now we live in Copenhagen, capitol of Denmark. True city folk would probably call us “bonderøve” (directly translated “farmers asses”), haha! For us it means is that we never totally translated into the big city life. Don’t get me wrong, Copenhagen is great, but there is no reason to change you dialect or humour just because you move to the big city. We don't really think about it very much but our joint heritage definitely create a certain mood surrounding the band. Something that feels a lot like home and I think it somehow shines trough in our music.

Where'd the band name come from?

I don’t recall the details, but it's from back when we were a two-piece, just me and Jamie. We had a lot of suggestions but nothing really stuck. I guess Doublestone was the easiest to remember.

You have one chance, what movie are you going to write the soundtrack for?

Warriors from 1979. The main theme from the movie is amazing and I wish I wrote that. It has an almost Wipers feel to it. In my ears, with all the soul tracks mixed in there as well, that soundtrack is pretty much perfect. “Can you dig it?”.

You now write for a music publication (The Ripple Effect?). You're going to write a 1,000 word essay on one song. Which would it be and why?

Fairies Wear Boots with Black Sabbath. That song is amazing! I think most of us know the story behind the lyrics. But imagine the stories you could come up with, that would all sound plausible considering Ozzy's life. That would be an amazing essay about dancing dwarfs, crazy doctors and fairies with giant feet.

Come on, share with us a couple of your great, Spinal Tap, rock and roll moments?

We were booked to play Heavy Day in Doom Town in Copenhagen. We were booked for the late Saturday night slot. We‘d been trying to stay sober all day, which was hard because we attended awesome shows all day. Heavy days was always well visited, also by people from all around the world, so the gig was a big deal for us. We played our set and at the end we wanted to do an encore. We played Low and asked our roadie, who is a great singer, to grab a mic and come join us on stage. The issue was that he had gotten really drunk trying to sell merch for us all day, to people that haven't heard us yet, an impossible task! I think he sang about two lines then tripped backwards over Kristan’s foot, directly into Jamie’s drums, almost ending the show for us, haha! The video from that night is priceless fun!

Tell us about playing live and the live experience for you and for your fans?

We love to play live, that’s definitely what we enjoy the most about being a band! For us it's the small gigs that does it. Bars, floor shows, creepy basements, etc. The closer we are to “the party” the better.

What makes a great song?

When a song feels “immediate”. I don't know if that makes any sense, haha. When it feels completed and not overly complicated, like any one could play it. Fresh yet classic at the same time. We stride towards that in all songs we do but very rarely capture it. It’s complicated to do simple songs, but sometimes we get lucky.

Tell us about the first song you ever wrote?

I don’t remember but I guess it was in my early punk/grunge days. Probably something about school, probably really horrible, haha!

What piece of your music are particularly proud of?

I'm really proud of the new album, we never sounded better and more in tune. I never feel like that before we release anything, so that must say something. If I had to choose one song I think it would have to be Low. It seems like that track connected with a lot of people.

Who today, writes great songs? Who just kicks your ass? Why?

I think Colt Wall write amazing songs, along with our friends from Demon Head. They just keep pushing out one great song after another. You should definitely check them out!

Vinyl, CD, or digital? What's your format of choice?

I like vinyl. I got into the game pretty late but nothing beats the sound of a record and the physical aspect of actually putting on a record and finding the right groove to place the needle in. And if you like cover art, there can be no other format. They are little pieces of art.

Whiskey or beer? And defend your choice

Beer! We drink a lot of beer. That's all you do in Denmark. Really, there is a beer for every occasion. Jamie and Kristian do often top of the beers with whiskey shots, though, and sometimes we bring a bottle of whiskey on stage to share with the guys in the audience. That can be a good icebreaker and a good way to get people to move closer to the stage during the gig. The crowds in Denmark can be a little reserved until half way trough a show, unless they have had a lot of beers.

We, at the Ripple Effect, are constantly looking for new music. What's your home town, and when we get there, what's the best record store to lose ourselves in?

We used to hang out at Route 66 all the time. It is one of the oldest record stores in Copenhagen. They survived all the CD stores opening and closing. The owners Martin and Mette have helped us out a lot with releases and production and they’re just really great company as well. Everyone with an interest for vinyls, should check out that store if they’re visiting Copenhagen.

What's next for the band?

We are really looking forward to hitting the road and playing the album live this fall. We are working with Orakel Booking so hopefully some shows will be announced soon. Out next big goal after signing with Ripple is to play more shows in Europe, and hopefully also get a US tour planned at some point. That’s one of our big dreams and it seems like a realistic goal now that we have some awesome contacts in the states.

Any final comments or thoughts you'd like to share with our readers, the waveriders?

We hope the readers will give our new release a listen, we’re really proud of this album and we hope that shines trough to your ears as well. If you’re ever in Denmark, hit us up on facebook and we’ll guide you to the best venues and bars. Cheers!

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