Locals Only EXCLUSIVE Interview: Bleeker

What’s up Chicago? Welcome to the launch of locals only, a blog dedicated to spreading the music of the city’s scene through interviews with local bands, recaps of shows, and links to new tunes.

Self-described as having “the swagger of The Rolling Stones with a psych-tinged groove”, Bleeker has recently seen their hit single, “Highway”, hit #1 on America’s Music Charts’ Canada:Active Rock chart, #5 on Billboard’s Canadian Rock Charts, and is quickly making its way up Billboard’s Rock Airplay chart. You can listen to “Highway” here.

Photo taken from bleekerofficial.com

The Canadian rock band recently headlined 101.1 WKQX’s Queued Up Artist showcase at the Double Door. A few days after the band’s Chicago show, I had the opportunity to conduct an interview exclusive to locals only with front man Taylor Perkins.

What inspired you to start playing music? Who are your influences?


Front man Taylor Perkins: I can only speak for myself and Cole [Perkins], but I would say our parents. They introduced us to so much great music at a young age. From classical to Louis Armstrong to Cat Stevens, The Beatles and so on. They bought us our first instruments and then put up with us playing them non stop! [Laughs] So much support. As far as musical influences, it’s always changing. A new song we hear on the radio. An old song burned into our brains from sometime in our childhood. It’s hard to say specifically.


What’s the main difference in playing U.S. shows versus Canadian shows?


Perkins: Each part of the States seems to have a signature dish. Chicago Deep Dish. Philly Cheese Steak. New Orleans Gumbo! We always get excited for certain cities for that reason. There isn’t an Edmonton lasagna, or a Thunder Bay pot pie. There IS Quebec poutine though. It’s out of this world.


What are some highlights from your time in Chicago? What was it like to play the Double Door?


Perkins: The Chicago Deep Dish we had almost put us in a coma. We won’t eat that before a set again. And hearing Chicago accents! Way better than Canadian. Double Door was a great venue. Cool back rooms; great for bands to hang out and mingle. Very band friendly. The staff were super down to earth and we had a crowd way bigger than anticipated. Great to see a city supporting live music like that! Doesn’t happen everywhere.


The first time I saw you guys play was when you opened for Sublime with Rome over the summer. Any plans to work with them any time soon?


Perkins: Yes! We will be playing with them this summer in Canada. I’m sure we will continue to play with them through the next few years. They are all amazing people and we’ve developed some great friendships. You never know what bands are going to be like, but those dudes are the shit.


You just put out a full length at the end of October. Can you talk a little bit about what it was like to record that? Any favorite songs?


Perkins: Recording it was super easy. It took a month in Los Angeles and the guys nailed it. They are all at home in the studio which saves us a lot of time. We experimented quite a bit and it came out exactly how we heard it in our heads which is always good [laughs].  My favorite song is “I’m Not Laughing Now”, hands down. If I had the chance to show the world just one song that would be it.


I saw that you recently hit #5 on Billboard’s Canadian Rock Charts, #1 on Canada’s Active Rock charts and are quickly moving up the Billboard Rock Airplay charts. Congrats! What does that feel like? Are there any specific people you want to thank?


Perkins: It’s great! All my friends believe I’m in a band now, which is nice. It’s great to have the ball rolling and a relief to know we must be doing something right. And yes! It’s a long list, but for now I would thank Allen Kovac, Rose Slavic, Adam Arnkoff, and everyone at Five Seven Music for working so hard with us.


What can we expect next for Bleeker?


Perkins: A lot of touring! Playing as many cities as we can. Creating new content to share with everyone. New versions of songs for Spotify. A new single for radio in the next month or so. Lots of everything. Going to stay as busy as we can!

You can listen to Bleeker’s debut album Erase You below.

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