I have observed and admired Blue Nation for a while now. They have been described as “ones to watch” by Planet Rock. That is something that we most definitely agree with. Why wouldn’t we. The Birmingham lads have a varied music catalogue of bands and eras that inspire and influence them such as The Beatles, Cream, Zeppelin,The Who, Small Faces and 90’s Brit Pop. They have combined it all to create a new sound, heavy riffs, breathtaking vocals and impressive song writing. They go the extra mile when it comes to engaging with fans. Regularly live streaming and engaging with them on a Personal basis. You almost feel you are part of the bands journey and it’s definitely something to be apart of. They have secured a sponsorship with Relco London, so not only do they produce great music they look the part too.
After purchasing their new album "The Kaftan Society "and being blown away, it seemed necessary to interview the band to find out more.
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Blue Nation Interview
Firstly, tell us about the bands beginnings and how the band formed?
It’s weird we all just kind of found eachother. You have members that of course come and go but the three of us feel stronger and tighter than ever. Ben saw us play supporting the Virginmarys in Birmingham and when our previous drummer left, he messaged me saying he wanted to join. Luke and I have played gigs together in the past and a mutual friend put us together.
What’s the meaning & inspiration behind the bands name and who came up with it?
I came up the with the name while watching the news. We can be quite down on ourselves as a Nation (UK), so we wanted a name that represented how amazing we are as people when we come together. Many people think it is to do with Birmingham City, I can tell you now it isn’t! Not with Ben and I being Villa fans!
What’s the bands songwriting processand (lyrics or music first) and where do you find inspiration?
It can be both to be honest. Luke may come up with a killer riff and we write around that or I may come with a finished song or maybe even 1 line. Whatever we do though we do it together. I don’t think you can call yourself a band unless you all write together. Everyone has a part to play and you cannot be precious about ideas or songs. 3 minds working on a song is much better than 1 in our opinion.
It’s been a difficult time for the entertainment industry more notably band’s such as yourself. How have you managed to stay motivated, focused and engage with fans?
We all spoke about it when everything started kicking off. People need escapism and need a distraction from real life. We decided to stream every Thursday at 7pm and call it “Live from the Front Room” We are still doing it now 26 weeks after we started it. The response we got from the fans was incredible. We had people all over the Globe tuning in and telling us it was the highlight of the week and that they looked forward to Thursday nights. Each week they tuned in, shared the stream and bought merchandise; it was mind blowing. We also raised money for Birmingham Hospitals as well when the clap for the NHS was happening. We always want to give back to the fans because without them we are nothing. They are the most dedicated people we know. When you have that kind of support from around the world you don’t need to stay motivated as you do it for them. Focus isn’t an issue for us because all 3 of us want to achieve and push forward as a band and keep giving people the music.
The bands latest album release “The Kaftan Society“ how does differ from previous releases?
It has way more riffs. We made a conscience effort to build up the songs, so they hit harder and had that edge to them.
Which bands past or present influence the bands sound and musical style?
The Beatles, The Who, Small Faces, Rival Sons, Pink Floyd all the good stuff!
Can we expect new music as we approach 2021?
100% we want to get into the studio and record this year and plan to release a 4 track EP in 2021
Do you have any pre or post gig rituals? If so what and why?
Pre gig we don’t have any rituals, but we do go into our own little zones. I (Neil) will stay out the way and listen to music, Luke can’t sit still, and Ben will be either doing press-ups or warming up with some drum drills. After the gig we usually just talk to fans and chill out.
You have performed at some big festivals throughout the UK includingsome prestigious venues in the USA. Tell us about some of the most memorable gigs.
Playing British Grand Prix F1 was a mad one. Sound checking with F1 cars zooming past you while it is teeming down with rain. Walking out onstage and the sun blasting through was great. Rhuddfest is great as well, they have had for the last 4 years and its grown into a beautiful festival with some really top acts headlining. The US was daunting at first. When you are about to head out onstage and the guy tells you this is where Dylan started!!! One of the most memorable was the Album launch in Birmingham. In one of our songs “Down by The River” we wrote a partfor the crowd to sing and we didn’t know if they would do it. Up rolls that moment and the roof nearly came off with them singing. Luke and I looked at each other and nearly burst into tears. To have a crowd of people sing your song back at you is incredibly special!
What can we expect from A Live Blue Nation Live Performance?
Big Riffs, melodies, chatting to the audience and damn good night out!
What does the future hold for the band? Tell us about your goals & aspirations?
We want to grow to bigger venues and spread the music as far and as wide as we can. If we do that, the rest will fall into place. A shared goal is to play Glastonbury and appear on Jools Holland!
The band are heavily influenced by the mod scene. Tell us why that particular subculture is important to you and why?
I think we all take influences from it. Luke is a full-blown Mod and I was introduced to it through the music through my Dad and then Ocean Colour Scene. Being in a band is like being a Mod. Look the part, be part of something and stick up what you believe in.
Tell us about your favourite mod clothing brands and some of your collaborations with them?
Relco London Clothing sponsor the band and the gear they produce is quality. They provide what we wear on stage and have helped us with getting “The Kaftan Society” on vinyl for us. The main thing about them though is the people that run Relco. They have done loads for us and we just want to repay them by showing as many people the clothes they produce. They even give anyone ordering any gear 25% off if they put BLUENATION25 in the check out! We have worn clothes from Phix before as well.
(Our special 25% discount code for www.relcolondon.com is BLUENATION25)
Finally, is there anything you’d like to add or let people know?
If they want to find a band who are not stuck up and willing to come on a journey with us, then we are the band for you.
Copyright © Mods Of Your Generation, 2020, Logo & image credit Blue Nation, Relco London. All Rights Reserved. No part of this interview may be reproduced without the permission of the authors.