We checked in for a quick chat with Sonny from The Blams to talk musical inspiration and being the sweatiest band they can be.
Life is pretty sweet for The Blams boys at the moment. Two singles released to a flurry of excitement, a couple of big September gigs on the horizon, including a London headline show and now a slot on 10 Minutes With…
We caught up with Sonny from the band this week to talk all things blammin’.
SUR: Hi Sonny, thanks for taking the time to speak with us. So, for those who don’t know about The Blams, how would you describe yourselves?
Sonny: We’re basically like Nirvana, if they were just a couple of East London geezers. Gritty, grungy, punk, in your face, lairy-ness.
It’s exactly what it says on the tin, blammin’.
Okay, so it that where the name ‘The Blams’ comes from then?
Yeah, definitely! It’s a doing word or action word.
It actually all came from a Britney Spears cover. We were doing a punk version of one of her tunes and we were just like “what are we going to do with the chorus?” And it was actually the bassist Kerridge who said “just blam it!” so it caught on after that and we ran with it.
We originally did a gig as the Primity Effect and it was just awful. We sounded like we took ourselves to seriously. During the show we did a cover of ‘River Of deceit’ by Mad Season and it just bombed. Everyone was bored, even we were bored! After that we changed our name to Rip River in homage to that performance.
But then the Britney cover came along and we were just like “Right! Now we’re blammin'”
I know you guys have, sort of, grown up together and you said before you’re like Nirvana. But what were your musical influences growing up? Do you all like similar stuff?
Yeah, sort of, well me and Kerridge have been friends for a good seven years. But the band members have changed a bit. We used to have a different singer and drummer. With those original members we all met through school. It’s only the new drummer Matt who we’ve met through music.
It’s funny though, because before it seemed like a group of lads just messing about. However, now we’ve come together more as a likeminded group of people, with a deliberate cause. So, we’ve gone from three boys drinking in a garage to “oh! Let’s go and headline a show! Haha!”
But to answer your question we do all have similar tastes, it’s grunge mainly. We’re all big fans of bands like Pixies, Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana, and some early punk stuff like Fugazi. Personally I take a lot lyrical inspiration from bands like Meat Wave, whereas Kerridge is more into Jawbreaker and Outkast which is, weirdly, where he take a lot of his bassline inspiration.
Just to stay on that theme for a second then, you’ve listed Smashing Pumpkins in your influences there. And when we worked on reviewing your latest single ‘Throwing Rocks’ there were lots of Pumpkins connotations in that track. Is that a sound you want to continue with?
Sort of, yeah! I mean we’ve labelled ourselves as post-punk. But all the songs keep coming out a bit grungy. We’re happy with the tunes, so that’s the main thing. In fact, our next single is coming soon too and that’s, probably, even more grungy.
Although, we do have other songs which are more punky or certainly somewhere in-between grunge and punk. Just as long as they’re lairy and in your face and we’re having fun playing it, then we trust that someone else will enjoy it too.
We definitely agree with you there, when we reviewed ‘Throwing Rocks’ we weren’t expecting that sound at all. There doesn’t seem to be many new bands out there at the moment hitting that grunge scene hard like that.
Yeah, it’s definitely been a conscious thought from us. We’re always thinking when we’re creating a tune that we don’t want to make it sound like there’s loads of sounds piled on top of it. We almost want it sound like what it is, three lads screaming our heads off in a garage.
But if we can just sound like a couple of lads having fun and keep that energy throughout what we do. If you think about grunge music it’s all about letting go and sweatiness. Now we’re just trying to be the sweatiest band we can be.
So, just staying on the songs for a second, the other thing which caught our eye about ‘Throwing Rocks‘ and ‘Never Knew’ was the artworks. Who are those people on the covers?
Okay, so ‘Never Knew’ is me enjoying a fine drink at a very young age, which very Blams spirit isn’t it. And the other one is Kerridge with a goat. Although, when we used that image we were like “Ah this is awesome, didn’t Pearl Jam have one with a goat on it or something?” So it was perfect for us.
But we thought having those kid pics as the artworks would give us a nice introduction to people. Because, to be honest, we just thought it would only be our mates listening to them anyway. But, flash forward to now and we’ve been listened to in 46 different countries!
However, I can reveal that the third single won’t be a kid pic. We’ve got a nice new logo now so we’ve moved on. We’re starting to become serious boys now.
You’ve touched on it there, but how have you found the start The Blams have had? With the band still, in it’s infancy and we don’t know how far this new grunge sound can go. How’s it been, being listened to in 40 odd countries?
It’s been a lot madder than we expected. ‘Never Knew’ is over 3.7k streams on Spotify and ‘Throwing Rocks’ is now on 2.5k.
Obviously we’ve got a decent following on Instagram and we’re now on TikTok too. But you never think anyone’s actually going to listen, you think they may have just seen a couple of funny videos a while back and forgot to unfollow to something. You don’t expect them to actually engage.
Now we’re in a place where we’re playing live shows and internet strangers are showing up to see us because they like the tunes. So it’s been interesting to see it unravel.
Ah nice, so I suppose you still, kind of, have that fear that you’re going to walk out on stage and there’s about eight people there?
Erm, it’s sort of a fear but we’d also love it too. It would be good drama wouldn’t it. Because then we could get proper sweaty and get down there in it with them.
Although Matt, the new drummer, was in a band before us and he has a ghost story where they played a gig somewhere up north and the audience were literally in front of them with their hands over their ears. So it can’t be that bad.
But I wouldn’t say there’s a fear there with us. Like, we’ll come and play in your garden! We’re not bothered.
I’m not sure my garden’s big enough, but I’ll bear it in mind. Within that theme of live shows, though, obviously we’ve got to talk about your huge headline show on the 18 September at The Beehive in Bow as well as your support slot alongside San Quentin at The Venue, Southend on the 24th.
Yeah, so the slot with San Quentin and the Ezy Riders was just something we organised ourselves. San Quentin are great boys and it’s something of a hometown show for them. So we’re going to go down and put on a gig which is just all about the music, basically.
Whereas, the London one is a bit more organised. We’ve done it through the promo agency Rough Edges who’ve given us a headline slot which we’re ever so thankful for. Yeah, we’re buzzing for it!
Nice, we’re sure those shows will be huge! But are there any plans to get out around the country anytime soon?
Definitely on the cards. We’ve just go to put the feelers out and see who wants us really. Again, we’ll play to eight people, we just need to know where those eight are and we’ll get the train up. Haha!
But, yeah, we’ll definitely be up there this year.
So what can those audience members expect from a Blams show?
Sweat mate. We’re in the crowd, we’re sweating, we’re blammin’! I don’t know what else to say about it. Haha!
Oh, and a lovely Britney cover which is never coming off the setlist.
No, that’s fair enough, we did kind of tread over old ground there. Haha! So with you saying the new track is coming soon and I know you’ve got more tunes in the locker. Can we infer from that then that an EP or album is in the works?
Ooooooh! See, the thing with that is… we’ll drop an EP or an album when we think anyone will listen to it. So as soon as we think we’ve got a bit of wind under our wings and we think people will take it in over a 20-minute period we’ll whack one out, no problem.
Awesome man, so to wrap up, our final question is always the same. Have you got any good Netflix recommendations for us?
Oooh! Good question. To be fair all three of us love ‘It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia’. We live for it. If you haven’t seen it yet, you don’t know what you’re doing.
Yeah, go stream our music and watch that.
Well, thanks so much for your time Sonny. All the best for the upcoming Bow and Southend shows. We’re sure you’ll knock them out of the park.