Words by Asha Krishnan
Blondes are an indie-pop band from Nottingham. They are kids from the modern age: their song ‘Coming of Age’ shot to fame on TikTok, with a nostalgic guitar riff that captured the imagination of thousands, and took us right back to days spent sauntering through the school corridors, smoking cigarettes out on the quad, and thinking we were cool as hell. Lippy Magazine caught up with Tom and Will from the band to chat about what they’ve been working on lately. We were only slightly disappointed to find out that none of them, in fact, were blonde.
The music video for ‘Coming of Age’ was released on 4 March 2021. Featuring several 90s/00s retro tropes – the opening shot sees an angsty Holden Caulfield-type plugging headphones into a Walkman and lying back on his bed – Tom tells us that the video was themed around the idea of the past. “Looking back” he thought matched the nostalgic feel of the song itself. While the video takes us on a trip back in time through our adolescent years, we ask the lads to tell us about how it felt to shoot a video in the present. It was a surreal experience. “It was fun, but when the camera is on you, we were also thinking: ‘We’re not actors, we’re just some boys from Nottingham!’”
Feeling the connection between the boys, we’re surprised to find out that not all of the members of Blondes knew each other before they started the band, with their first official meeting being at their first band practice. “Initially, when we didn’t really know each other, it was people bringing almost finished stuff to the group, but more recently we almost always write together.” This is how all writing gets done and creative decisions are made – together as a band. “It’s so much easier to get stuff finished. If you’re ever stuck, one of the others will almost definitely be able to suggest something.” Will explains.
How similar are their tastes and styles? Will and Tom answer for each other: “I think we all have quite different tastes really. Tom likes more older post-punk, new-wave punk music, don’t you?” Will says. “And you like more 90s brit-pop, 2000s indie.” Tom fires back. “I think it means we can bring everything to a song. I might add a new-wave bassline and Will may bring a brit-pop tune.” Of course, conflicting tastes create interesting sounds. Sounds that are original, but hard to define.
“We say we make indie music, but there are elements that don’t fit that label. Some of the songs we haven’t released yet have trumpets in! The 1975 do this really well. They incorporate not just the standard two guitars, a bassline and a drum, but experiment with other sounds like keyboard synths or samples.”
Entering into a more commercialised music-scene, the boys talk to us about this transition, and how they have found the adjustment process of working with people outside of Blondes. “Once you get over your nervousness you realise that not only are these people really good at what they do. They are also really easy to get along with. There is not really an ego-thing despite how successful they may be. They really are just normal people. “
“We’ve also noticed that we’re very impatient. If it was up to us we’d probably release every single song straight away,” Will jokes. “But really we’re so lucky, its different for us, but it’s a good thing.”