Uxbridge foursome Bloxx are a lucky bunch. Since forming in spring 2016, the guitar-pop newcomers have strutted their stuff on stages nationwide alongside some of the finest indie acts of the moment – not bad for a band who still work in Wetherspoons [update – none of the band work at Wetherspoons anymore]. When I join drummer Moz, guitarist Taz, bassist Paul, and ringleader Fee Booth in the green room at Norwich UEA, they’re on the home stretch of an enormous tour opening for The Wombats, set to conclude in a couple of days time at London’s Alexandra Palace. This is a big deal.
Bloxx are one of our new music tips for Latitude Festival 2018.
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Fortune has been their friend, but Bloxx’s meteoric rise is equally thanks to hard work and perseverance. Besides putting in countless hours gigging across the capital, their handful of singles to date show they can whip up infectious melodies like nobody’s business. There’s magic in the air around Bloxx, make no mistake.
Hi Fee. How did you all come to be in a band together?
I went to college with Taz and Moz, and I met Paul at work. I was writing stuff and wanted to play a gig with actual band mates instead of just doing it acoustic, so I asked the guys to help me out. After that we just wanted to carry on doing it.
When was all of this?
Two years ago exactly now, the 29th March was our first ever gig. We’d literally been together a couple of days and we hadn’t rehearsed or anything. It was at a greasy little pub near us called The Treaty. It’s my favourite place in the world. It was great – far too good for a first gig!
I first heard of you when you opened for The Wombats at Brixton Academy last summer. How did you go to that from four mates playing their local pub?
Our manager also manages The Wombats, he put us on those shows. It was a weird jump up, it happened really fast but in terms of milestones, it was the best. You walk backstage there and there’s posters of every band ever. It’s the biggest show we’ve ever played, up until Ally Pally which is gonna be the next milestone. Maybe we deserve it, I don’t know! I think we do, in the least cocky way.
So much of the music industry is based on sheer luck though. You shouldn’t be embarrassed about doing all this amazing stuff.
It’s true, we’ve been so lucky. I think other smaller bands seem very annoyed that we’ve had all these opportunities. But we put ourselves out there so much and we’ve worked so hard for it. We gigged for a year straight, [including] ones that we had to pay to play. We’ve been ripped off, we’ve been through so much in the London circuit. Shout out to AbsentKelly who still owe us £100. Dickheads.
You’ve toured with Sundara Karma, Pale Waves, InHeaven, The Wombats… what’s been your favourite?
That’s such a difficult question. Wombats in terms of size and stage and excitement, but for me personally the Sundara tour because it was our first proper, proper tour where we were gone for more than a week playing loads of different shows. It was the first time we had great crowds, people jumping and pitting.
How about festivals?
Truck last year was the first proper festival we’d played and it was completely insane. We filled a whole tent with about 350 people which we had not expected at all. For a band that applied to play, we thought we were gonna get no one there. That really kicked things off for us, we started to realise that stuff was starting to escalate and get real. We’re back there this year we’re really excited.
‘Novocaine’ is the latest single. It feels like a real shift in direction for you guys.
That song started off pretty much like our other tracks but we twisted the direction because we realised that it was more funky, more of a pop-ready kind of thing. It had a disco-y vibe. It’s not so much that we’re going in that direction and that’s where we’re staying, we write a lot of music that doesn’t really fall into one category but you can tell it’s a Bloxx song. Our next single is completely different, ‘Second Opinion’, it’s much more guitar-driven. Most of our songs have synths and pop-y bits, but this one is just full band. Tord from The Wombats said it’s very Smashing Pumpkins.
What have you learnt from doing these shows with The Wombats?
How to play for two hours straight every night. It’s amazing. Their musicianship is incredible as well. They’re a really, really good live band. Insanely good. It’s taught us how to move a lot more [on stage] than we used to.
You’re really only at the beginning of your careers. When you look into the future of Bloxx, what do you see?
We always have this conversation with each other but our answer is never really exactly the same. I guess, just being successful. Big things, big shows, Australia, USA. We want to be doing this for as long as we can. We’re in this for the long run, I don’t want to go home and work at ‘spoons anymore.
What’s the next thing we’re going to hear from you?
We don’t actually know at the moment, but there is definitely an EP coming before an album. I think it’ll probably be three more singles and then an EP. We haven’t actually recorded anything except the next single.
Novocaine is out now.