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chat room: blond tides interview

Updated: Oct 4, 2020

Welcome to the chat room; an on-going series created by Wonders Zine. We aim to know artists better through asking about their creative processes, inspirations, and goals.

This chat room feature explores Blond Tides.


Ethan (20) - Bass and Vocals

Michael Schumacher (21) - Guitar and Vocals

Owen Phillips (23) - Drums

Instagram: @blondtides

Wonders Zine had the absolute pleasure of chatting to Blond Tides; an up-and-coming band from Chicago, Illinois. With their new album ‘Smoking Kills’ coming out very soon, it was a delight to chat to the band members about their music, each other, and the importance of zines for the music industry.

Welcome guys! Where's Owen?

EM: Owen is sleeping so it is just going to be us today!

What’s the meaning behind your band name?

MS: We named the band Dumb House on a whim because we wanted to release music so badly, and did not really give it much thought. Blond Tides encapsulates us and our new music much better.

EM: Mike and I were dying our hair Blonde one night at our old crib and were talking about band names, he said Blonde and said Tides and the rest is history.

How did you guys meet, and when did you decide to form the band?

EM: I met Mike at a Joyce Manor concert is 2018 and we rarely talked, but I hit him up to ask if he wanted to play guitar in this other group I was working [with], and after our first practice, we realized we had the exact same interests and decided to form our own group. I met Owen on a music forum and we linked at a house show in the city one night and we instantly clicked. After introducing Mike and Owen, we all went to another Joyce show in Champaign in 2019, and that night, Mike convinced Owen to be our drummer. Now we are all pretty much inseparable.

Describe your music in three words.

EM: Hmmm, introspective.

MS: Provocative.

EM: Gets the people going.

What’s your favourite song?

MS: Stang Kelly has a certain charm to it. It is one of our favorites too. Ethan and I wrote it the first day we hung out in a parking lot while we were skating. Stang Kelly was always a high energy crowd pleaser so we loved performing that one. Off our new EP my favorite is drugstore cowboy.

EM: My favorites off the new EP are Frankie's 45 and drugstore cowboy. T.D.T.C is my favorite to perform live because my bass line is so simple, so I can yell and go crazy. I think my favorite to perform live of the new ones will be Dead Man’s Curve.

Check out the songs mentioned:

Who are your biggest influences?

EM: The Ventures, The, and Regina Spektor

MS: Velvet Underground, Dion and The Belmonts, and the Buttertones

Who would you absolutely love to collaborate with?

MS: Our goal in the future is to build a community of local artists, if we agree with the goals and outlook of someone, there is no limit to who we would be stoked to work with. It would be sick to get on a track with a songwriter from Sydney, Kirin J. Callinan.

What does your creative process look like?

EM: Sometimes we hang out, sometimes we write music, sometimes we like it, and sometimes we do not. More seriously, we sit down in our little music room and exchange riffs, melodies, lyrical themes, and general ideas for songs. There is no set structure for our process because I think that would limit us. We are all really close, so collaborating is kinda just like hanging out. We are all pretty unfocused though so sometimes we just end up talking for hours and not getting much work done. I remember the EP was supposed to be done a week ago, but instead of recording the last song we ended up arguing about the golden mean for like six hours on the roof and getting bent - I was not gutted about that. I think I get off track a lot and Mike has to be like “yo Ethan, we have to seriously work tonight” and I appreciate that a lot, cause sometimes you have to keep the homies in check.

How do you think zines have impacted on the music industry?

MS: Zines are a natural fit for the DIY scene, it is a perfect way to foster a sense of community in the local circles, but also international ones. Especially right now considering people are limited in interacting with in person, [so] zines allow people to still feel connected to scenes. Also, considering a lot of people are out of work right now, and struggling especially hard, I have seen so many zines step up to support communities that are most vulnerable and that is really fucking important.

What’s next for you?

EM: We are super proud of Smoking Kills, we worked really hard on it and are so stoked for it to be out next week. So go pre-save it and let us know what you think! Even if you don’t love it, we love you! There is a lot more music coming in the future, we want to start working on bigger projects and have consistent releases. And also we plan to revamp some of our old songs from DH and release those in the next few months.

MS: Once we can start playing shows again, that too - a lot of shows. Also, going to start working on some videos, so we are really eager to tell some stories from a visual perspective that are being told sonically.

Anything else you want to let people know?

MS: A lot of artists and venues are struggling right now, so if you have the means to help support the scene do that.

EM: Follow us on Instagram, pre-save the album, talk to us, we are here for you, and check out Wonders Zine!



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