BLDP have been steadily catching the attention of music lovers everywhere with their electronic pop that’s both ambitious and deeply intimate. Zach took a moment to answer some questions and pass over a teaser for their new single, Sons and Lovers, from their debut album of the same name.
Jack (vocals/guitar), Zach (drums), Dan (bass/synth) and Joel (keys) met in Boston and now reside in NY, their music beginning life as experimental electronica, however when Jack found out his mother had breast cancer the band swerved in a more accessible melodic pop direction. A direction that people, such as his mum, would enjoy. Just as Black Light Dinner Party’s new music began to reach people, Jack lost his mother to cancer. This bittersweet legacy can be felt throughout their debut album, songs as light as gossamar despite their lyrical introversion, literally sparkling out of the speakers, and should see BLDP as one of 2013’s understated electronic pop gems.
You guys all met in Boston but were you in different bands and became mates through seeing each other around or just all musos and friends who finally thought, well, maybe we should be playing together?
We were friends before the band. We were making music together casually and having fun…I don’t even think we knew what instruments each other played when we were first writing songs together. It was all electronic at that point.
Why the move to New York? Has the change in environment influenced your songwriting at all?
That is where we practice and NY has always felt like home for us. The hustle and grind of NYC makes it’s way through.
The obvious question – have you ever been to a black light dinner party? I imagine it to look fairly terrifying, like Sunday dinner with the Cheshire Cat family…
We’ve never been, but I like your interpretation. I’d imagine it’s like that, but with analog synthesizers and technicolor lights.
After a time of being fairly low-key, at what point did you feel more comfortable with presenting yourselves to the public and how are you dealing with people – like me – asking lots of questions and wanting you to be really open about your back story, which is so deeply personal?
We released a few songs and people really seemed to respond. It just felt natural to take things further. We couldn’t have asked for a better response, we’re very lucky and grateful for that.
Is there a song that each of you see as a favourite or truest representation of what this album stands for? Which n’ why?
“Sons And Lovers” is the heaviest for us, we wrote that one last, and it represents where we are headed next. “Gold Chain” and “Older Together” are the most fun to play live.
Sons and Lovers doesn’t feel like a debut album – it’s so pefectly structured and flowing and feels like its been made by a band who have already done a massive amount of maturing and writing. Do you see yourselves in that way or are you still on a learning curve?
Thank you! We are definitely still learning, there is always more to learn. We each pay attention to different things in the music and look out for each other. For example, Joel has an ear for the technical and chordal side of things, while Jack is more focused on rhythm and depth. Dan is our rock, and holds it down on the live front.
The visuals for your music seem divided between the raw urban feel of Gold Chain/Older Together and the more whimsical, adventurous animation of We Are Golden and Sons and Lovers. Which is more true to the band and why?
The truth is somewhere in between. Both of those exist, but it’s a balance. I think New York is bringing out the grit in us.
Ron Jeremy appearing in your video seems a little incongruous with your sound – what made you want to feature him, despite him being a penis legend?
He fit the role perfectly for Gold Chain, and dreambear (video director) was able to make it go. Our bass player Dan actually had his phone number through a friend early on, and used to prank call Ron, years ago. He’s a fascinating character, and a stand up guy.
I do have to ask about your little video game online and also the sounds on some of your tracks which feel very old school 80s gaming. Who is the one slightly obsessed with it and what’s the pull towards it?
Joel bought a German synth called a Doepfer and had the idea to make 8-bit versions of our songs. We all love that stuff though, it’s in our roots.
BLDP’s debut album Sons and Lovers out 24th September
Interview by Taylor Glasby