Monday, June 27, 2022

Conny Bloom of The Electric Boys talks about new album Ups!de Down

With the latest album Ups!de Down now on the (virtual) shelves, Conny Bloom the enigmatic frontman for The Electric Boys, has kindly shared his thoughts on covid, the album and some insights into songwriting as well as tales of a guillotine.

Thank you for taking the time to speak to the RAMzine Community. We have thoroughly enjoyed (and reviewed) your recent album.

Conny Bloom: Hi! I’m glad you have! Thanks very much for your support.

The first question, however, has to be, away from the music, how are you coping with this dreadful pandemic (bearing in mind the different rules around Europe and the UK)?

Conny Bloom: By staying creative and movin’ on, by keepin’ myself busy. Thankfully there’s a lot of work that comes with the making and the release of an album. That has surely helped.

The new album, Ups!de Down, was recorded while lockdowns were in place around the world, how did you set it up, record it and achieve such a professional finish?  

Conny Bloom: I recorded demos of the songs at home, that’s how we normally do. Then we’ll pick our faves and record them, all together in a big room for about 4-5 days. Overdubs were done afterwards in either the rehearsal place or in my home studio.

You seem to have dialled down the funk element a little on this album; was this a conscious decision?

Conny Bloom: No, it wasn’t. I’m not good at writing something on demand so whatever comes out comes out. Then we make an album when we feel we have stuff that we dig. This one has a bit more edge than the previous one and rocks a little harder.

The opener, ‘Upside Down Theme’ is seven spectacular minutes of quality riffing and solid solos before an acoustic bridge brings in a slide solo and a change of pace. It’s an instrumental – full of pure joy with each distinct section speaking volumes... How did ‘Upside Down Theme’ come about and how the hell did you put so many sections into one coherent theme?!

Conny Bloom: Haha! Who knows where all these ideas come from?? I look at it as a composition of feelings from 2020. We party-started the year with a bang, then all hell broke loose. Got knocked down, but crawled back up again and then there are all these emotions that follow. It’s all that and also the theme to the record.

How did the brilliant surf/punk/rock ‘Twang ’em & Kerrang ’em’ (a delirious blend of styles and even name-checks Eddie Cochran) come about?

Conny Bloom: I had the title and the main riff and decided to turn it into a tribute to rock’n’roll. I grew up hearing Eddie Cochran and 50s rock before I started school so those are my roots.

The video for ‘Super God’ is genius with the cardboard cut out Electric Boys and it’s full of subtle, like the brief Kiss mask during the intro – the drawings were created by you (Conny) but how did it all come together? 

Conny Bloom: Thank you! We worked with Gustav Kronfelt who’s great at editing. He also did the ‘You Spark My Heart’ video from the previous album The Ghost Ward Diaries. I did the drawings, he made them move.

Although some 80s influences shine though all of your songs, who are your real heroes… musical or otherwise? 

Conny Bloom: I have no 80’s heroes really. Most of my heroes were active during the ’60s-’70s. I listen to sooo much stuff so it’s hard to say. At home I mainly listen to reggae and gypsy jazz. I like 70s hard rock; Purple, Mountain, Sabbath, Captain Beyond.. And 60s stuff: The Doors, Steppenwolf, Beatles, Birds Pink Floyd. I like the Woodstock gig bands, you know what I mean? And I’m a big fan of the English glam rock years with Bowie, Bolan, The Sweet etc… The Alice Cooper Group was my first hero at 9.

In a similar vein, if you could only keep one album from your personal collection – which would it be?

Conny Bloom: Mission impossible!! Ok… hm.. 

Made In Japan by Deep Purple. Or Bob Marley Live. Or Killer by Alice Cooper. Or… 

I know you have plans to tour, but with the uncertainty of the virus, what else are you working on, can we expect another ‘Game, Set, Bloom!’? (which I loved despite not understanding a word!)

Conny Bloom: Hehe, thanks! Yes, I will continue with my solo stuff but right now Electric Boys needs all the focus.

You have toured in the past with some of the greatest bands on the planet – any favourite stories or secrets you can share?

Conny Bloom: Opening up for Alice Cooper for instance was great. Me and Andy (Christell, bass player) had our amps next to this big thing covered with a huge black blanket. We became friends in school because we were Cooper fans so this was a big moment.

So we got curious during soundcheck and looked around… No one saw us so we lifted the blanket: The guillotine! Like, who would have thought that I would be on stage next to Alice’s guillotine when I was 9 years old, diggin’ the “Killer” album?

Finally, do you have a message for our RAMzine Community? on any subject!

Conny Bloom: In these days, I’d say keep the faith because this too shall pass. See you somewhere down the road!

Thank you taking the time to share your thoughts and music; it’s appreciated.

Conny Bloom: Thank YOU and all the best!

Tom Dixon
North East born, South West domiciled music lover - mainly heavy rock & blues but not averse to other genres. I'm fortunate to have retired early & I can now take full advantage of the 40+ years I have spent collecting, listening, watching & playing (badly) & have enjoyed researching how blues in particular has shaped the music we know & love today. Now if only I could get my Strat & Musicman to sound in reality how they do in my head!

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