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Kid Bloom

Singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Kid Bloom joins us on the podcast for a wide ranging conversation. We discuss the idiosyncrasies of growing up in Los Angeles, playing strange gigs, writing songs on an instrument vs in a DAW, gaining traction without a label, and creating music that is unencumbered by social pressures.

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Transcript

Evan Ball:
Hello and welcome to Ernie Ball's Striking A Chord podcast. I'm Evan Ball. Today on the show I have a fantastic conversation with Kid Bloom. In this episode I speak with Kid Bloom about many things including what it was like growing up in Los Angeles, a dynamic city with distinct character and peculiarities. We talk about his music, gaining traction without a label, some of his more noteworthy gigs and creating music on guitar or piano versus within a [inaudible 00:00:38] such as Ableton Live. And we have a great conversation on reaching the point or the mindset or maybe the comfort level where you're honestly creating the music you want to create. I think it's probably a harder place to get to than we might think. All right. Without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, Kid Bloom. Kid Bloom, welcome to the podcast.

Kid Bloom:
Thank you so much for having me, it's a true honor. And I'm a long time Ernie Ball guy. I got... I'm actually looking at... what do I use? I use the Slinky Top Heavy Bottom.

Evan Ball:
Well, that's perfect. That was going to be my last question, but let's lead with that. Perfect. Okay. I would like to back up and get some background before we get to the present. Where did you grow up?

Kid Bloom:
I grew up mainly in Studio City, California. So it's like a Valley.

Evan Ball:
All right.

Kid Bloom:
So my parents aren't from here, they're... my parents are European. My father's from Austria, my mom's from Luxembourg. And they came here to kind of work in the industry themselves and fulfill their dreams. And then out of that, I think just like... it allowed me to feel like I could do whatever the hell I wanted as far as that concerns. You know what I mean? As far as it's like, following a dream or whatever have you. But I grew up here for the most part with them, every once in a while going back to visit the family in Europe. But I actually, I speak German, so I actually identify very closely to my European side, but I'm definitely a California boy for sure.

Evan Ball:
Okay, yeah. Oh, that's great. So your parents came here to get into the music business?

Kid Bloom:
Yeah. So kind of half and half. My mother is an actress and a producer and a director and all of that cool shit. And she, at that time was an actress who as well was following her dream here, but she's also very, very and had been already established in Europe, which is still the case. So her work is there.

Evan Ball:
Really? Oh, cool. Okay.

Kid Bloom:
Yeah. So it's kind of weird. Throughout my life it's been like a little bit of both. You know what I mean? I have a sibling as well. I have two sisters, but my oldest of the two sisters, she goes back more than I do. And she went to school out there and I kind of decided to just stay here. You know what I mean? I kind of decided to kind of jump into the waters here.

Evan Ball:
Okay. So did you... sorry. Did you say she's from Luxembourg?

Kid Bloom:
Yes, my mother is.

Evan Ball:
Okay. Is that where the hub of her acting is?

Kid Bloom:
Germany is her biggest market. That's where... She lives in Luxembourg, but she works primarily in Germany.

Evan Ball:
Okay. Got you. So LA... Yeah, growing up in LA could look like so many different things. It's such a big place.

Kid Bloom:
Oh, it did, dude. It did. For me it sucking did.

Evan Ball:
Was it good place for you?

Kid Bloom:
I mean, to be honest with you, yes and no. And I might even put no first because I fell into very many... I mean, I want to be careful with how I say this because it can be super freaking cheesy, but I lost myself so many times in the process of all this. And whether that be to bad habits, people that I thought were my friends or that I thought I had to impress with silly shit. And then I think the greatest thing was out of all of that here in Los Angeles, I kind of found a way to retreat into my own thing. I don't know, just kind of away from all of that. And it didn't happen until like literally a year or two ago. I wasn't able to fully retreat into what I do and my world at all. I was just so... It's a lot of acting like you know what you're doing in this town. You know what I mean?

Evan Ball:
Yeah.

Kid Bloom:
And I think I fell into that, dude. I fell into that for sure. I was like, "Oh dude, I could just talk about what I do and then I'm doing it."

Evan Ball:
Got you. Were you ever pursuing acting or was this always music?

Kid Bloom:
I'm going to be honest with you, I tried it once. I went off to an audition once and it very quickly proved to be something that I just don't know how to flex the creative muscle for or just something that I'm just not... that just doesn't really come naturally to me. Like, music when I... The nervousness before I get on stage or I play something is a good kind of nervousness, but the nervousness I felt from acting was like I wanted to throw up all the time so...

Evan Ball:
All right. Okay.

Kid Bloom:
For now I think I just... I have a lot to say when it comes to music.

Evan Ball:
Yeah. Before we get deeper into music, any hobbies, sports growing up?

Kid Bloom:
Oh yeah. Soccer, dude.

Evan Ball:
Oh, that's what I like to hear.

Kid Bloom:
I love... I still... Dude, some cat... No, it's actually... if I'm going to be honest, there's this... Okay. So I love him so much. He's the guitar player, the lead guitar player in the band and his name is Dan and he's from Australia, dude. And him and I, our favorite thing is just kicking a soccer ball around and having a soccer ball on to watch, shit like that. That's how we get away with it now. Not too much running, but yeah, dude, that was honestly my first love. I wanted to be a professional soccer player.

Evan Ball:
Oh, that's so cool. That's a big passion of mine too.

Kid Bloom:
Really?

Evan Ball:
Although now as an older gentleman, I'm sort of living through my daughter's club soccer. She's really into it, so I'm just kind of this weird soccer dad now gets really [inaudible 00:06:06].

Kid Bloom:
Dude, I love that. I was also a club player, I played Valley United.

Evan Ball:
Okay.

Kid Bloom:
That makes sense, right? Studio City. Yeah.

Evan Ball:
Yeah. Okay, Valley United. So do you follow soccer at this point?

Kid Bloom:
I am a huge... Obviously when the... Soccer, just in the energy and being from Europe, it's like... Well, not from, but having blood. It just... I don't know. It's like when the World Cup... it sounds so cheesy, but when the World Cup's around, I'm obviously following. It's just the same way that everyone follows these basketball tournaments.

Evan Ball:
Okay. That's fine. I'm completely in the same boat. When the World Cup rolls around or even a big tournament like a Euro Cup or [inaudible 00:06:46]-

Kid Bloom:
Yeah, of course.

Evan Ball:
I'm all in. I love it.

Kid Bloom:
You [inaudible 00:06:47] that's great.

Evan Ball:
Yeah. And big in to the US national team. And I was actually in Europe for a few World Cups, just happened to be there. So it's so fun.

Kid Bloom:
Dude, which one by any chance?

Evan Ball:
2006 I was in Spain.

Kid Bloom:
Dude, I was at that World Cup [inaudible 00:07:02] final.

Evan Ball:
Really?

Kid Bloom:
2006, when Zidane hit the... when Zidane did the thing.

Evan Ball:
Oh, that's so crazy. Yeah. I was-

Kid Bloom:
Remember when Zidane headbutted the dude fully?

Evan Ball:
Yeah.

Kid Bloom:
That was it. I saw that live.

Evan Ball:
That's like what his whole career... it comes down to that moment now. That's what he's known for.

Kid Bloom:
Oh man, yeah. That's another thing.

Evan Ball:
Yeah. So wait, that was Italy, France?

Kid Bloom:
That was Italy. France. Yes, sir.

Evan Ball:
Yeah.

Kid Bloom:
And my mother being from Italy and also having French background because Luxembourg and all that, there was a lot of turmoil with her on who to support.

Evan Ball:
Yeah, I know. I was in Madrid. So there was definitely like a little... A group of Italians made their presence known, going through the streets. Yeah.

Kid Bloom:
I'm sure.

Evan Ball:
All right. Moving on. So when does music come in to the picture?

Kid Bloom:
Honestly, pretty damn late. It was interesting for me because I spent most of my time when I started really... I wasn't really proud of what I was doing. I was having a hard time finding my identity in the whole thing. And I really... one thing that really freaking bothered me is what am I saying? What am I talking about? And then there kind of came a point after high school where I really started taking music seriously and arguably too seriously at the beginning because I...

Kid Bloom:
There was a lot of pressure in... especially in Los Angeles and in the States to go to college. Right? And in right out of high school I felt like, "Fuck this. I don't... First of all, if I don't get accepted too at least an Ivy League, you know what I mean? I'm an asshole.And second, if I don't go, I'm a failure." So all of that being completely false, which I found out later, I went to... I took the easiest route and got accepted to Berklee College of Music, which I attended for one semester.

Evan Ball:
Really?

Kid Bloom:
Yeah. Weird, right? And I attended it for one semester, was completely heartbroken by the experience and came home and just started sitting in dusty rooms and fucking making this shit that I wasn't proud of. And that's now where I'm getting to. That was the first EP that I brought out, and then the second, and then there was... The third one even... I mean, the third one's Lemonhead, which started my exploration of what it would be like to just make music out of myself.

Kid Bloom:
And so basically, what I mean to say with this, I wasn't signed and I was really just trying to focus too much on all the external bullshit that music had to offer. Meaning the fans, the touring, stuff that I wasn't doing. Then it wasn't until I really learned to calm down and just like, "Okay, what am I saying? Let me take the time for myself to make music." And that's actually believe it or not where I am right now, dude. I just brought out Blood Sugar and I really liked that at EP, I like moments of that EP, but it's still in my opinion here that I'm struggling to find. Not struggling, but yearning to find my voice and my identity in the whole thing.

Evan Ball:
That's interesting how you see it that way. Yeah.

Kid Bloom:
I absolutely see it that way without a doubt. As a matter of fact, that's how it fucking is.

Evan Ball:
Yeah. I guess you know.

Kid Bloom:
But what I mean to then... I'm sorry, I'm just giving you a quick synopsis of it. But literally right now, standing in front of this Blood Sugar thing that I put out and still feeling somewhat of a watered down version of not being fully me from top to bottom. I'm working on a record right now, which is my next release, which I'm very happy to say it's some of the stuff that I'm most excited to put out ever in my life. So I think it just recently kind of got... I'm still fighting it off. I'm still there.

Evan Ball:
So what do you mean? I mean, you feel like you're not being honest enough with yourself when you're writing it or your frame of mind? Or you just haven't-

Kid Bloom:
I think those have a thing to do with it, of course. Right? Because if you're not in the right frame of mind or if you're not honest with yourself, it's just not going to be. So I think that has a thing to do with it, but on top of it, I think it has a lot for me of just letting go and making the music that I want to make and not worrying about anything else. You know what I mean? Just making the music that I would like to play, that I'm proud of.

Evan Ball:
So in the past, do you feel like you've still in the back of your mind, you've been worrying about what other people think of what you should do? Or...

Kid Bloom:
Without a doubt. I mean, I could have saved us five minutes by saying it like that, but-

Evan Ball:
No, this is great.

Kid Bloom:
... I think worrying about what other people think about your work is like the death of your work.

Evan Ball:
Yeah. And it's so a part of human beings.

Kid Bloom:
And even... Here's another crazy thing, dude. Remember I was telling you earlier how in Los Angeles I might've fallen into bad habits growing up?

Evan Ball:
Yeah.

Kid Bloom:
Well, one of those being extensive drug use, which wasn't like... Don't get me wrong. I'm not like some crazy junkie, but I just had some bad habits which led to me having to get a crazy vocal surgery. I had a huge polyp in my throat, which... What's even crazier about this is I like singing the first three EPs, not even singing correctly. And now Blood Sugar, even some of those songs on there have recordings of me still with the polyp. Yeah, dude. Now on this new record, bro, I'm singing like I've never sung before.

Evan Ball:
So wait, is that related to drug use or your singing?

Kid Bloom:
Well, I know it was singing wrong for sure. But I mean, that stuff doesn't help.

Evan Ball:
Yeah. [inaudible 00:12:44] smoke?

Kid Bloom:
Yeah. A lot of cigarette smoking and I was also... I fell into doing the marching powder, if you will. And I don't want to be someone that's maybe even quiet about that because a lot of kids fall into that here unknowingly and I was one of them. And I was literally like, "I'm not addicted to this stuff." And then when some... Most of the time when it feels best, it's often too late. So that's kind of like, out of all that damage that I did to myself and overcoming it, that's a lot of where this music is coming from now. The new stuff.

Evan Ball:
Yeah. Hey, when did guitar come in? Or actually, the fact that you got into Berklee College of Music means you must have been fairly engaged in music during high school. Was this guitar centric or...

Kid Bloom:
Yeah. Actually, guitar was first. As a matter of fact that's where it all started. Any excuse to play the guitar.... There guitar was like my vessel, dude. It's like it didn't... I was so frustrated because I was trying to write Jack White [inaudible 00:13:47] songs. When I started [inaudible 00:13:50] heavy guitar music and that wasn't coming out all too well and it just didn't... It made me mad, what I was writing. And then I had to take it... This is interesting, check this out. So I considered myself be the most proficient at guitar out of all the instruments that I know how to play because I started playing. You know what I mean? That's the first one and I've been playing it for almost 15 years now, maybe more. But what's interesting is there came a point in Berklee and after high school where my dad was once like, "Yeah, you should just try writing songs on piano. You write different songs on piano." And believe it or not, my main songwriting instrument is piano.

Evan Ball:
Oh wow. Okay.

Kid Bloom:
Yeah. And I had to... What's really cool about that? Is like when I'm recording and I do all that and then afterwards, when it gets hard time, it's like nerd time. You know what I mean? It's like nerdy... Okay, let's do a queen like harmony here. Let's do a six different tones for this part, it's just nerd time. And that's a way that I've kind of figured out to do it now, but in high school, man, that was it. I was just literally [inaudible 00:15:06].

Evan Ball:
Were you playing in bands in high school?

Kid Bloom:
Yeah, for sure.

Evan Ball:
So when does the electronic element come in? Is GarageBand a gateway or Pro Tools or something? Or is it more just straight on a synth?

Kid Bloom:
I think it's... Oh, so it's Ableton for me, which I cannot... See, here is how I describe Ableton to my friends. Ready? Ableton takes your idea and says, "That's cool, try it like this." You know what I mean? It has this-

Evan Ball:
Yeah. [inaudible 00:15:37] kind of this black box for me. I've heard all these cool things that peak my interest, but I've never actually tried it.

Kid Bloom:
Dude, you have to try.

Evan Ball:
It's a lot different from Logic or Pro Tools?

Kid Bloom:
It's different, but I think it is and it isn't. It's almost... In my opinion, it's so straightforward, but it's so user-friendly but at the same time I see it as weirdly enough almost its own instrument in some ways. And for me that's cool because I get sucking pissed when I sit in front of Pro Tools. You know what I mean? I can't sit in front of it for eight hours, but Ableton, for some reason allows me to do that. And don't get me wrong. After I create all of the the fun stuff, it goes into Pro Tools for mixing.

Evan Ball:
Oh, okay. But you're really creating your songs in Ableton?

Kid Bloom:
Yeah, for sure.

Evan Ball:
Yeah. Okay. So does Ableton have really cool and different electronic instruments and sounds built in that maybe other-

Kid Bloom:
Well, I'm going to be honest the way... Yes it does, but I think the way you get any sound that is unique to you is you do a little bit of digging, you do a little bit of experimenting. And one thing that Ableton is very, very good with is stints and sounds that are created by users. You know what I mean? You could... Evan, if you were a wiz you could code yourself a synth through right now and then use it on Ableton very easily. So basically, a lot of my issue too is I've been scouring all these different stint sounds and modeling them and snares and sitting there and recording them and then just kind of having my own sound library. And that is something that works really great in Ableton. But on top of everything, this is the biggest one. The clocks in Ableton are amazing. You can stop and speed up, sorry, slow down and speed up music very easily. And also work audio with almost literally a microscopic amount of artifacts. Like very, very little [inaudible 00:17:35], but you know what I mean? You can't even tell.

Evan Ball:
Oh, that's cool. Yeah.

Kid Bloom:
And that's why I really love it. It's like... You know what? If it's changed my son, because it's like a DJ's interface, it's like thinking about music like that, but then kind of plugging it into my medium which is more of this 70s, 60s influenced and then also 80s pop.

Evan Ball:
Right. No, I'm definitely intrigued. I think I got to get Ableton. It's about time.

Kid Bloom:
Dude, I think you should. I would love... On our next phone call I'll give you all my secrets.

Evan Ball:
Yeah. I mean, that's one of my happy places. If I have time to just... I just use Logic, but just having time where I can just get lost in there messing with sounds and just creating music that way more than I do on my guitar... And I consider myself a guitar player but-

Kid Bloom:
It's different. And also I've kind of come down to the fact that when you're making your music... and especially nowadays because what's taken from music is energy every time. And I learned this from my ANR at electric field, his name is Jerry and I would send him mixes that sounded like ass, but he was like, "Bro, this is amazing. The energy is fantastic." And then he started always talking about energy. And once you start paying attention to the energy over how audio sounds, it can vary drastically change how you write music. And with Ableton side, I think it's easy for us musicians to now sit there and constantly hype ourselves up with what's coming out of these speakers. And that's oftentimes very hard to do just on a guitar.

Evan Ball:
Yeah. Right.

Kid Bloom:
It's like we have to create our own... We're like, we have to create our soundscape and blast it into our faces for eight hours to fully conceptualize where the energy can be taken. Whereas that step kind of starts after you write the song, which by the way, I don't have any qualms with writing a song on an instrument than producing it. I think that is a very... that is the ground zero of songwriting, is writing it on a channel or on a guitar and then producing it. That's a beautiful way of doing it and I have done that and it sounds great, but those songs sound different from the ones that you create all at once on a [inaudible 00:19:47] or something like that.

Evan Ball:
Yeah. So was this electronic element present when you were going to Berklee or in high school? It sounds like in high school you're more rock guitar. So when does the electronic stuff come in?

Kid Bloom:
So out of high school, went to college still very rock guitar, pissed off at the whole world for not liking rock music. Then this hip hop shift happened, which I... I'll be the first one to say when this huge boom in trap music started, I was so reluctant to it, but now I fucking love it. Oh my God. I'm using trap influenced sounds and feelings and energies in my music now. So I think it kind of started with that. Just kind of hearing that so far right. Type of music from what I make to then start to have to think, "Okay, how can I somehow make... I don't have to copy it, but how can I somehow make music that can live in not how that music sounds, but how that energy is." And that's where it started for me because you can easily copy how something sound, but if you have a song has the same amount of energy as something else, it can live in those realms.

Evan Ball:
So how does your music start to gain popularity? Because it looks like for a long time you were putting out your music yourself. So how does it spread?

Kid Bloom:
I think... I have to say... Oh, and I'm sorry. I forgot to tell you the main answer to your question beforehand was electronics really started for me out of literally just trying to push myself as far out of the Jack White situation as possible.

Evan Ball:
Oh, so it was intentional.

Kid Bloom:
Yeah, totally. It started as just to push myself as far away from guitar music to see what the fuck would happen if I was [inaudible 00:21:37] drums and bass first and that's kind of how that happened. And now I'm even trying to find how to de-electrify it as much as I can. You know what I mean? With all my instruments and all that stuff. Sorry, [inaudible 00:21:50] short answer.

Evan Ball:
No, that's great. Yeah. Thank you.

Kid Bloom:
So your next question was...

Evan Ball:
How did your music start to spread and gain popularity?

Kid Bloom:
Dude, I have no idea. I think it just happened when I let go, but I will also say that I have really many talented friends that were doing much better than I in this field when I started. For example, you have The Neighborhood, you have this band called Honey, you have this band called Bad Suns. They're all really good friends of mine and of all the musicians and people you know in LA, they are the best. And they were doing really well. And they took me out on tour, every single one of them took me out and we played shows together and that helped a lot with the LA scene. And then, yeah, that's how the LA scene started for me.

Evan Ball:
So being part of a scene is very beneficial, would you say?

Kid Bloom:
For sure. And I was blessed... It's hard to say... there's... I mean, the LA scene is such a weird one because there's so many sub-scenes and micro-scenes and this and that, but as far as being in a collective of other people doing what you're doing from fucking scratch and it's working in some way or form, it's something special and it does make it. You know what I mean? It does go further than you think at some point.

Evan Ball:
Right. Okay. So you're writing this stuff, but do you assemble a band in order to be able to pull it off live? Or was it-

Kid Bloom:
Yes and no. I mean, the boys... It's just an understood thing that I'm the artist and I'm writing the music and these boys are also a part of the band. It's just... I hate putting... I've always wanted to get to a point where it just wasn't... They can all do whatever they want. They can put out their music, they can tour with other artists, but they're in Kid Bloom, you know what I mean? It's just easy for everyone, but also for me, it just allows me to get my fucking ideas out.

Evan Ball:
Yeah. Are these guys that you've already known or an audition situation or just people you've come across through music?

Kid Bloom:
Yeah. People I've come across through music. I mean, Clayton is the drummer, he's one of the filthiest drummers. And he's just the most handsome down to earth dude. And then you have-

Evan Ball:
[inaudible 00:24:10] a picture of him in show notes.

Kid Bloom:
Yeah, of course. And then you have Ian, who is just the most rock and roll bass player, but also super modern about it. And I'm talking about he's playing on a lot of the new records and I believe he played on Sweet Dream on the EP and in one year. He's a great bass player, also very handsome. And then you have Dan, who is Australian and he's just the funniest dude on the planet. And it's just such a tight knit group and what's so cool is we're a four piece. So it really feels like... you know what I mean? It really feels like we're on tour. It's like, wow, just the four of us making this sound. It feels really cool.

Evan Ball:
Yeah. That's awesome. And then, so still you're doing this without a label for a while. Right? And gaining popularity?

Kid Bloom:
Yeah. I mean, trying.

Evan Ball:
Are there certain breakthroughs that you can look back and see as markers like, "Oh, that really propelled us forward." Or-

Kid Bloom:
I'm going to be honest with you, if I... Okay. So my biggest breakthrough personally, so I'm going to answer this completely honestly, is the song Sugarcoat because I dropped it independently and within like a week about 2 million streams. And that's when I felt like, "Okay, if I..." And those numbers don't mean anything to me, I swear they don't. It's just... for the first time in my life it kind of felt like, "Okay, someone actually kind of cares. Someone's listening to you."

Evan Ball:
How do you think that's spread?

Kid Bloom:
I don't know.

Evan Ball:
Just organically, huh?

Kid Bloom:
I literally... man. I could not tell you. I have the best manager in the world, her name is Summer. And she is literally... she moved here from Texas because of me basically. I don't want to take all the credit for it obviously, she's bringing her kids and her family here, but I was her main gig. So she dropped everything. And for her to have signed me within like, dude, two years, she takes me on for two years and signs me to Island. She's such a hard worker and I attribute a lot of the spreading and even change to my mindset and the energy I was putting out to her. So...

Evan Ball:
That's great. So just looking at how you've released music thus far, I'm curious, how do you think about releasing singles versus EPs versus LPs?

Kid Bloom:
You're talking to someone that has never released an album and has looked forward to that moment in my whole life. Can't wait. That's like dream, to put out an album.

Evan Ball:
Okay.

Kid Bloom:
So for me right now, my mindset is I'm on album mode. In fact the interesting thing is nowadays you have remixes, right? You have five versions of the same song with different people on it. I'm going to be honest with you, I think a lot of it is oversaturation. I don't think there's anything wrong with releasing single after single. I think quality is something all artists should strive for because it's just so fun to do so.

Kid Bloom:
But as far as the position I am in, I'm actually going to... I might surprise you with what I'm about to say, but I'm really cool with that. I just want to put out as much as I can. You know what I mean? I want to... And that's good for me too. When I die, I want to have a massive desal graphy instead of... To me it's not... at the same time is it's not being quantity over quality. I want to... in the essence that I'm chasing after the highest quality that I could possibly achieve because that's what I like to think that I do when I write music. Out of trying that, well, writing a fuck load of songs, you know what I mean?

Evan Ball:
So are you tempted to go the single route because you have something you want to get it out there? Or...

Kid Bloom:
Both.

Evan Ball:
Okay.

Kid Bloom:
Literally just both. Literally I fucking throw out three singles just because... And then put out an album and then maybe put out another EP because it's a hip hop vibe. It doesn't matter to me. To me right now, the one thing that matters is just... I don't know, writing stuff I'm proud of.

Evan Ball:
But are you going to hold back certain songs? Maybe say, "Oh, I save this for an album."

Kid Bloom:
Oh, yeah. I'm doing it right now.

Evan Ball:
Okay. Yeah.

Kid Bloom:
Yeah. I absolutely I'm doing that right now. I would let... I mean, one of these days I'd love to play you some of this stuff.

Evan Ball:
Yeah. How far along are you?

Kid Bloom:
Dude, I have 10 songs.

Evan Ball:
Recorded?

Kid Bloom:
Yeah.

Evan Ball:
Oh, wow.

Kid Bloom:
Believe it or not. I'm over here in quarantine.

Evan Ball:
Making use of the time, good.

Kid Bloom:
Yeah. Well, I don't want to sound like, "I have 10 songs already." Obviously not. Half of them might not be on there yet, but I'm happy that it's moving.

Evan Ball:
So you still want to write, get a bigger catalog and then choose from that pool?

Kid Bloom:
Yeah. It all came from... my dad told me this and that for some reason it's one of those things that stuck with me forever, dude. He said write a 100 songs, out of those 100 songs, 50 of them are going to be horrible and the other 50 of them are going to be somewhat cool. And then out of those 50, 25 are going to be the ones. And out those 25, 15 of them are going to make the album. And out of those 15, one of them is going to be a hit.

Evan Ball:
Can you kind of get a sense when you're writing them? Do you get a little sense like, "Okay, here's the single or this is the one that's going to be going around."

Kid Bloom:
Yes and no. I have... yeah, I get the sense. To me the sense is just a translation of being so excited and I'm dancing. You know what I mean? That I'm not sitting there like crossing my arms like, "Yeah, this is the single." I'll be dancing, I'm like, "Oh, man." And then you know what? I almost don't even think about that at all until the label hits me up and goes, "Yeah, this is a single." Because they kind of look at it through... I let them look at that through their lens.

Evan Ball:
Right. All right, let's get deep. What do you want your life to look like in 10 years from now?

Kid Bloom:
Dude, that's a very interesting question. I mean, first of all, in 10 years I would like the condition of the human race to be a little bit better.

Evan Ball:
Good goal.

Kid Bloom:
I mean, yeah. Let's hope we can do it. The world is crazy right now and I'm going to be honest, it's hard for me to even envision anything for myself. But as far as where I want to be in 10 years, I want everyone to be healthy, I want to be standing on the freaking Coachella main stage and I just don't want to see the end of it. I just want to chase this, dude. I want to have more phone calls with you. You know what I'm saying? I want to... By the way, I mean, dude, I've been fucking rocking you guys for all my life and it's just so cool. This is a great moment for me. Like, you guys want to talk to me. I mean, it's about time, man. I've been paying a lot for you guys as strings. It's about time.

Evan Ball:
No more. All right.

Kid Bloom:
I'm kidding. I'm totally kidding. No, I'm so kidding.

Evan Ball:
No, it's great to hear that you're already playing them, though.

Kid Bloom:
Yeah. They're the best. My G, hey, I'm not even kidding. Check this out. This is a little bit much, okay? Do you know how you guys have the names on the back?

Evan Ball:
Yeah.

Kid Bloom:
Yeah. My dream is to one day be one of those names.

Evan Ball:
Yeah. It's good company on that pack. I've actually interviewed a few artists who said getting on the pack is a big moment.

Kid Bloom:
But see, that's what you guys did. That's something to be said, that's super cool. You're a company that took it like, "Okay. Well, the spring is where the touch starts and let's see who gets it." And you know what I mean? I just think it's cool, man.

Evan Ball:
That's cool. All right. Lightning round.

Kid Bloom:
Let's go.

Evan Ball:
If you could tour with any band or artists past or present, who would it be?

Kid Bloom:
Oh, okay. In the past Electric Light Orchestra.

Evan Ball:
Really?

Kid Bloom:
Yes. Just because I'd want to sit side stage. And then maybe just... oh man, I just love... Oh, here's one. Okay. Stevie Wonder, Electric Light Orchestra, either one of those two.

Evan Ball:
Okay.

Kid Bloom:
And then in the present it would either [inaudible 00:32:05] band Phoenix or Keto Paula.

Evan Ball:
Okay. Favorite way to pass your time on tour.

Kid Bloom:
Sitting in the van with the boys somewhere on the side of the road having a beer, honestly. Or in the shitty hotel rooms.

Evan Ball:
Okay. Just hang out time with the boys.

Kid Bloom:
And that's just me being very nostalgic right now because I've been sucking [inaudible 00:32:27].

Evan Ball:
Right.

Kid Bloom:
Yeah. But yeah.

Evan Ball:
Oh man. I mean, it seems like everyone's just itching to jump out there as soon as it's possible. And you-

Kid Bloom:
Dude, you got to understand too. And I'm speaking for... Okay. Do you know the band [inaudible 00:32:40] Marias?

Evan Ball:
Yeah.

Kid Bloom:
They're very good friends of mine. And they started popping off quite a bit before I did and they grew a massive following and they're doing really well. But what I mean to say by this is for us to be friends, we'd be friends growing up. So it's just starting to get so rock and roll for us and then this shit happens, which I'm not putting it on us because we have a lot of work to do as people before we even deserve to have this kind of fun again. But I'm just saying we're really itching because we thought this would be the year that we would actually do this. But hey, fuck. I turned 25 next week. That's also another thing.

Evan Ball:
Oh, you got plenty of time.

Kid Bloom:
Do you see this plenty of time? I'm getting nervous, dude.

Evan Ball:
Yeah. I remember feeling that way.

Kid Bloom:
That's great.

Evan Ball:
All right. Let's see. Best gig ever. Anything stand out?

Kid Bloom:
Oh, yes. Best gig ever, oh man. Okay. Check it out. Santa Ana was one of the craziest shows when we were on the Lemonhead tour. I had to... This was so sick. Place is packed, which is a new thing for me. I've never sold out a venue like that on tour. Place was packed and I'd set into the mic, I said, "[inaudible 00:33:56] you guys have to excuse me because I don't have a voice." Like that. And then dude, I didn't have to sing a single word of the whole hour set. I was literally not on the mic. It was insane.

Evan Ball:
Wait, why was it just that one gig? Could you really not or you just wanted to try it out?

Kid Bloom:
No, I literally couldn't talk.

Evan Ball:
You actually couldn't. Yeah.

Kid Bloom:
I lost my voice. Remember the polyp I was telling you about the surgery?

Evan Ball:
Yeah.

Kid Bloom:
So that was really starting to act up on that tour and to the point where like... Summer, my manager was like, "Dude, I don't think you should sing this next show." And then I would do like," I have to." And then this gig showed up, you know what I mean? And I just said that. And I was still singing, but it was so overwhelming, the singing back. But I had to just let it go.

Evan Ball:
I have a worst gig ever.

Kid Bloom:
There was a couple bad gigs. One, so check it out. It's funny to say worst gig ever because these things make me laugh and smile so much now. But one dude... I don't know if you're familiar with the Fox and the Hounds.

Evan Ball:
No.

Kid Bloom:
It's a bar in the Valley, it's like a run down dive bar and we show up and we're like, "Oh, the Fox in the house." And that sounds cool. We show up and we're literally playing in the tables where everyone's drinking. There's literally people... first of all, nowhere to be found. There's only one couple in the back of the room that's having like a weird date night at like one in the morning. And we're completely by ourselves in this fucking bar. Literally by ourselves, completely by ourselves. No one in it besides the bartender and this couple. And then we finished the set and we're packing up and this fucking couple that comes up to us just, "We fucking loved you guys."

Evan Ball:
That sounds like the best gig ever.

Kid Bloom:
Yeah. You know what I mean? It's the worst and the best.

Evan Ball:
Yeah. So you won over 100% of the audience.

Kid Bloom:
Yeah, dude. I think I won the hearts of everyone that night.

Evan Ball:
All right. Here's... I don't know why I put this on the list, but let's try it. If you were to buy three houses around the world, what cities would they be in? That actually works for you since you're a wealthy man.

Kid Bloom:
No, I love this question as a matter of fact. Are you ready? I got it.

Evan Ball:
Yeah.

Kid Bloom:
Okay. So I would obviously need my studio creative house in Studio City, California. And then I need like one very... So this might change over the course of my life, but I would love to have an apartment in New York for when... because my label is there and it just would be awesome. So apartment in New York, house in Los Angeles and then here's the crazy one. You ready for this?

Evan Ball:
Yeah.

Kid Bloom:
A full out mountain, goat mountain home in Austria. In the mountains.

Evan Ball:
Wow.

Kid Bloom:
Yeah. How weird is that?

Evan Ball:
You know what? I mean, you got to mix it up. You got LA and New York covered so that kind of make sense.

Kid Bloom:
I identify with the Austrian side of me so... And I've spent so many summers there, I love it. You get it if you were envisioning the food that I have in my head right now.

Evan Ball:
Right. Okay, I already know this one. If you were a professional athlete, what sport would you want it to be in? Soccer?

Kid Bloom:
Water polo. Oh.

Evan Ball:
Yeah. Okay. So are you still playing at all? Do you get out?

Kid Bloom:
I mean, I'm going to be honest with you. I'm ridiculously out of shape, Evan. I have a beer belly at the moment and I'm making a ton of music so I'm slouched over everyday, but-

Evan Ball:
Yeah. [inaudible 00:37:26].

Kid Bloom:
I mean, it's so hot right now too, but there's so many stupid excuses. I just have to get back out there.

Evan Ball:
Yeah. What is your most popular song?

Kid Bloom:
Streaming wise, I don't think I have outdone Different State of Mind at the moment.

Evan Ball:
Right. [inaudible 00:37:42] on Spotify, that's what I saw too, yeah?

Kid Bloom:
Yeah. I think that's still the one which... Yeah, there you go. That's another thing that artists kind of maybe have trouble with. Well, I do at least... it's like trying to beat a song is kind of also not where my head is. I'm just kind of trying to write stuff that eventually, hopefully will surpass it. But yeah, that's the most popular one, at least in the eyes of Spotify.

Evan Ball:
Do you ever wonder why it is? What it is about the song?

Kid Bloom:
I actually do sometimes. And I think, you know what it is? Completely the fact that I wasn't thinking about anything else, but singing that song when I was writing. And I think those subtle things really go a long way.

Evan Ball:
Yeah, that's interesting.

Kid Bloom:
And dude, Evan, man. I actually have to say, I really like these questions you're asking because I feel like I can answer them truthfully as well. But with that song in particular man, it's so haunting to me and it's so funny. It teases me, dude. It's it literally sits there and it goes, "I'm just two chords. I'm the simplest fucking song you've ever written and the best doing one." You know what I mean? Fucking teases the shit out of me.

Evan Ball:
Did it come together easily?

Kid Bloom:
So easily, literally in five minutes. [inaudible 00:39:01] two chords. And you know what's funny? So that song and then this other song that I just put out on Blood Sugar called Fake Ass Smile. Those are the two fastest songs I've ever written. They were like... And by fast I actually mean to more say easiest because it just kind of came out in a very short amount of time without much thought. But I'm trying to... what you were saying is that I'm trying to kind of bring that back a little bit to the music that I'm making now. And that kind of just... you just got to let it all go.

Kid Bloom:
And I'm just very grateful to be in a place right now where I am able to let it go because you take me back to three years, I was very angsty and anxious and fucking why I'm not signed? [inaudible 00:39:45]. And I don't want to hide behind that I've just had this mentality the whole time because it takes growing out of really negative situations sometimes to be able to just see that it's not necessarily that you're not talented, but it has to do with the state of minds that you're in.

Evan Ball:
Yeah. That's great. Sometimes I'll be wrestling with a song and I'm like, "Should it be this hard? Should I just move on to something else?"

Kid Bloom:
That's the worst feeling of all time and guess what? Yes, it is that hard. Wen you ask yourself that question, here are the two things you have to say, yes, it is that hard. And B, yes, I should do something else and come back to this. That's how music works, right? Because there's no mistakes as well as when it feels is this right? It feels like, "Oh, am I doing this song justice? Because I think I can do better. Or is it just fucking bad?" You know what I mean?

Evan Ball:
Right.

Kid Bloom:
There's so many levels of doubt to it. And that's another thing, that doubt. That's a huge thing that played a thing in my life. I just recently stopped doubting myself like a year ago, bro. Just this doubt. I make psychedelic pop, whatever the hell it is. That how is that going to be in the world of the Travis Scott's and the Drake's. And how is that going to ever possibly work? Yeah, you know what? [inaudible 00:41:06].

Evan Ball:
Well, I can't wait to hear the new stuff.

Kid Bloom:
I'd love to play it to you, man.

Evan Ball:
Yeah. Well, this has been great. Thanks for doing this. Any parting words or anything you want people to look out for in the future?

Kid Bloom:
I'm really excited to come back on this show and talk about the record, man, when it's about to come out.

Evan Ball:
Yeah, we would love to. That's awesome.

Kid Bloom:
Yeah, man. Me as well. And dude, thank you so much for having me. I was very genuinely excited to speak to you.

Evan Ball:
Thanks for tuning in to Ernie Ball's Striking A Chord podcast, go check out some Kid Bloom and be on the lookout for new music. If you'd like to give this podcast a nice little review, that'd be great. If you'd like to contact us email strikingachord@ernieball.com.

Kid Bloom:
Dude, you might have to start an Ernie Baller Club. That works, Ernie Ball Club. Come on. And it's literally soccer.

Evan Ball:
Oh, I would love it.

Kid Bloom:
That's hilarious.

Evan Ball:
We can reach out to all endorsees and see who plays.

Kid Bloom:
Dude, I think you would be very, very surprised.

Evan Ball:
I would be surprised.

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