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  • Brittney Williams

INTERVIEW WITH… NASHVILLE’S PSYCHEDELIC ALT-ROCK BAND BLUPHORIA

 

| BLUPHORIA |

 

Meet Nashville’s rising new Alt-Rock band Bluphoria, the blues rock meets psychedelic alternative rock is comprised of Frontman/Lead Guitarist Reign LaFreniere, Rhythm guitarist/ Backing Vocalist Dakota Landrum, Bassist/Backing Vocalist Rex Wolf, Drummer/Backing Vocalist Dani Janae. Lead vocalist, Reign took some time out of their busy schedule to speak with me just ahead of their debut album, which is out now. I spoke with frontman, Reign LaFreniere about the new self-titled debut, his artistic influences, being a Black man in Alternative music, the band’s origin, and much more.

You can check out my interview with Reign of Bluphoria below and stream the band’s self-titled debut here.

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Thanks for taking the time to speak with me at The Reclusive Blogger. How are you guys doing?

REIGN OF BLUPHORIA: Thanks for having us! We are doing great and are very stoked about the new album release.

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: You guys formed in Eugene, Oregon, but now call Nashville home. Frontman Reign grew up in NorCal. How much would you say those distinct soundscapes from these notable music cities pop up within your sound?

REIGN OF BLUPHORIA: Growing up in the bay was very influential for me as an artist. The bay area has been the center of so many music scenes over the years and I feel like, because of that, I’ve internalized all of those influences within the sound we have now. Being in Nashville has also been super inspiring because all the musicians here are so helpful and collaborative and it seems as though the bare minimum is to be talented here but at the same time because of the culture here every musician is welcome.

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Even though we are progressing with bands/artists like yours, Meet Me At The Altar, Gary Clark Jr., and overseas with the Nova Twins. How do you feel this space can be more open to artists of color, particularly black artists, despite what we all know is the origin story of rock music?

REIGN OF BLUPHORIA: I think that by changing the narrative on what is expected of black art would do leaps and bounds. I remember writing music when I was younger and being intimidated by the fact that I didn’t have a lot of people to look up to that looked like me making my kind of music. You’d see Gary Clark Jr. and Leon Bridges and such but I think by just being present and promoting those artists will normalize it more and kids who are like me when I was younger will be more inspired to create and follow their passion.

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Can we talk about your forthcoming album? What was the creative and writing process for it like? Did you have a particular sound that you wanted going in? How did it differ from any of your past recording sessions?

REIGN OF BLUPHORIA: It’s kind of crazy to say but most of the songs we wrote in the last three years were written during the pandemic. A lot of the songs on this album kind of reflect that feeling as well. We wanted to make a project where the whole crux of it was to capture a peaceful melancholy. Most of our songs are upbeat and driven by major chords but at the same time the lyrics tell a sadder story which was very reflective of our experiences during covid trying to make the best out of a bad situation. This album is a much more mature version of our previous projects sonically and it really came to life because of the help we got from Mark Needham.

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: The producer on your record Mark Needham has worked with many major acts like Imagine Dragons and The 1975. What was it like working with the Grammy-winning producer? How did he shape your sound?

REIGN OF BLUPHORIA: He was great! He brought a lot of experience to the studio which helped us and his patience was unmatched. We had gone into recording having never used a click track and bickering about what would make songs better and his mantra was always to try whatever ideas we had and see what the outcome was. It really allowed us to grow our songs and turn the project into what it is today.

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Were there any songs off the forthcoming full-length release that were more challenging to write? Which ones came together quickly?

REIGN OF BLUPHORIA: Most of them came to us quickly. I’m personally one of those writers who, if I have an idea, finish writing the song on the spot. We did bring "Set Me Up" to the studio completely unfinished and it was interesting working on it and seeing how it changed and filled out. That song was difficult because it started as an indie rock down-tempo ballad of sorts and we messed around with a lot of ideas to really make it angrier and sound how it is today.

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: What would you say are Bluphoria's biggest inspirations or influences? These can be from an artistic, musical, and even personal standpoint.

REIGN OF BLUPHORIA: Our band has such an eclectic music taste. I am very influenced by '60s soul, rock n roll, and funk. I grew up a big fan of Sam Cooke and Bob Marley then high school came around and I was a Hendrix and Beatles fan. Dakota is very influenced by psychedelic rock of the '60s and '70s like Pink Floyd and Velvet Underground which is an interesting match for the rest of the rhythm section who are big fans of punk and '90s grunge and most of the time name bands that I’ve never heard of! It does seem to work somehow and I like how all of our influences connect in our music.

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Name a fictional character you think would most identify with your soundscape or aesthetic.

REIGN OF BLUPHORIA: That’s a hard one. I have my favorites but I feel like we could have our music pop up in the Guardians of the Galaxy spaceship at some point! Especially if we were an '80s band!

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: And my last question. What is up next for Bluphoria in 2023? Thanks again, guys! I wish you so much success going forward!

REIGN OF BLUPHORIA: We are just preparing for our album release on May 5th and the shows that follow! We hope to be going on tour this summer and get back to writing some more music! We appreciate you and thanks for having us on!

Thanks for the interview time, Reign! You can learn more about Bluphoria including info on their upcoming summer tour below. The band’s self-titled debut album is out on all DSP’s now!

Bluphoria, please visit http://www.bluphoriaband.com/

Watch “Ain’t Got Me” on YouTube here

BLUPHORIA | Socials: YouTube TikTok Instagram Facebook Twitter

 

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