>> Bleeker is a fresh alternative rock band from Canada, made up of Taylor Perkins (vocalist), Cole Perkins (guitarist), and Mike Van Dyk (bassist). We recently had the chance to ask Taylor Perkins some questions about their latest single, "James Dean", their forthcoming EP, and their evolution as a band!
How does your forthcoming EP 'Problems' differ from your debut album, 'Erase You'?
Problems was written within a few months as opposed to collecting songs we had written over the years. Everything is fresh and new. Almost as new to us as it is to the audience. It was written/recorded in different places in that short period of time which as well. One in NYC, two in LA, and one in our backyard in Orillia, Canada. Before we knew it, it had all come together without any problems... ironically.
"James Dean" sounds more raw than much of your previous work from both a vocal and instrumental standpoint. Is that partially to reflect the struggle the song presents to contrast with the uplifting chorus or is there more to it?
We wanted it a bit more edgy sounding because of how massive and poppy the chorus is! Definitely looking for the balance. We left the verses imperfect which really lets the chorus pay off. The raw sound must also come from how high I have to sing it. We made sure we recorded it in the highest key possible to give it an urgent feel. It worked out! But I'll be kicking myself a few days into playing it live for sure!
Where did the idea for the music video come from and how did that change over time?
We were sent so many great ideas but this one stood out because... We had to do the least amount of work! I know that sounds lazy, but I think at the time we were over pretending to "rock out" and have a massive exhausting day. The day we shot this video was amazing. All the actors came in and we got to watch, and laugh, and have a good time meeting everyone. We may have had about 30 minutes of work ourselves. Perfect.
What is the songwriting process like for you, and what are your biggest sources of inspiration?
For the most part, it is Cole and myself in our backyard studio locked away writing and recording demos. We start something abstract and a few days we have a product... good or bad. Then we let others listen and live with it. We just bounce ideas off each other until it's something we can both listen to without wanting to pause it and fix. There are highs and lows, but the highs are what we are searching for and ultimately why we love music. Writing a song you are excited about. Inspiration wise.. everything. Friends, family, life, different songs we have heard that day. It comes from everywhere.
Has that process changed significantly since the band changed a few years ago?
I would say in small ways. The songs are more experimental because we don't need to include every instrument that everyone is playing. None feels left out. We can use sounds, leave out guitars sometimes etc. There are less rules now.
What were the most challenging elements of going from a five-man band to just the three of you?
At first, it was missing the other two guys as people. It felt like there was a hole. But after that, it was playing these songs live. With two less people, everyone had to step up a bit more. But we got an amazing drummer, and we are adding a keyboard player, which we've never done before. Back to 5!
What is your chemistry like as a band today?
It's effortlessly. We've all known each other our whole lives. I know them better than I know anyone. We have never had serious fights or doubts. It's a family vibe. Cole is the voice of reason, Mike is the mom, and you would have to ask those guys what I am.
You seem to be starting to unify your image. Is that something that was really important from the get-go, or did that come with touring with bands like The Struts?
It's just a developing thing. And I'm sure it comes with growing up and getting older. But we are regular small town guys. We are the type of people who will just wear anything that's clean or something we got for free! But slowly we are being more aware of how we are perceived and it's important. We won't be going to fashion shows anytime soon... But little by little we are finding an image. I will say our image on a Friday night show compared to Sunday morning...much much different!
Do you have a moment that stands out as your favorite thus far as a band, or individually along the way?
Writing this record and having everyone at the label, as well as our friends, as excited as we are. That's the unique feeling with this one. We feel we have something amazing here...and the idea of what's to come is a great feeling.