So how and where did you come up with the name "Golden Bloom"?
SF: I like to make up different answers to this question all the time, mostly just to amuse myself, but out of respect for this blog I’m going to give you the real story. The name really came from two Jeffs; master guitarist Jeff Patlingrao and master thespian Jeff Goldblum. One day last summer, Jeff (Patlingrao) tagged a photo of me on Facebook, but it wasn’t actually me, it was Jeff Goldblum from “The Fly”. Since I was already on a quest to find a band name, I responded by saying, “maybe I should just name the band Goldblum”, as a joke. Like most jokes however, it became less funny every time I thought about it and it actually started to sound good to me. I went through some different versions (The Goldblooms, Gold Bloom, The Golden Bloomers) before finally landing on Golden Bloom.
You play all the instruments here, which one was the hardest to master?
SF: I don’t really think I could say I’ve really mastered any of the instruments I play, but the instrument I probably spend the most time tracking in the studio is the drum kit. I try to avoid a lot of editing so I’m always going for a solid take of the whole song. Even though I’m always drumming on my legs and tapping my feet along with songs in my head, I never really have the drum parts to a song totally worked out until I’m behind the kit in the studio. Not only am I focusing on getting the perfect take, I’m more or less arranging the part while I’m tracking. Drum days can be tiring days, but they are also the most fun for me.
Where did the song "Doomsday Devices" come from?
SF: The Band of Horses song “Is There A Ghost” musically inspired “Doomsday Devices”. I know you’re probably thinking, “those two songs don’t sound alike at all”, and therein lies the difference between being inspired by a song and imitating a song. Lyrically, it was my first effort to write a first person narrative as someone else. All the songs I’d written previously were actually about me. The “me” in this song isn’t really me at all. Even though it’s an upbeat and poppy song it’s really about someone who can’t help but be self-destructive when they’re alone. In an effort to make the video a little more fun and tongue-in-cheek, it’s about the President (cough, cough, Bush) who actually plays with WMD’s (as well as giant Nintendo controllers and dancing monkeys) when everyone goes home at the end of the day. Silly, right?
Of artists that you have played with, who do you consider yourself a fan of?
SF: Most recently I played a show with Robyn Hitchcock & The Venus 3, who I am definitely a fan of. Robyn has a stage presence like no one I’ve ever seen, and his all- star band consists of members of R.E.M., The Minus 5, Young Fresh Fellows and many other great bands. Not only were they amazing on stage but they were all super nice guys off stage.
Tell me three of your musical heroes – and how they influenced this album.
SF: I’ve been racking my brain to figure out who my musical heroes are and I’m completely stumped. I think the word hero has too much meaning perhaps. Martin Luther King Jr. was a hero, I’m not sure if my favorite band/artist in the whole world can stack up to that. Nevertheless, I’ll tell you that three heavy influences on Fan the Flames are The Beatles, Stevie Wonder, and Marvin Gaye. The Beatles are a no-brainer. They were the first band I really listened to, during the formative years where my taste in music began to take shape. I’d be lying if I said that The Fab Four didn’t in some way influence any music I’ve ever written and recorded.
You’re probably saying, “OK, I can hear The Beatles’ influence, but Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye?”. I’ll be the first to admit that Golden Bloom sounds nothing like Stevie Wonder of Marvin Gaye, but that’s the difference between influence and imitation. I remember the first time I listened to Stevie Wonder’s Innervisions album and learned that he not only sang and played almost all of the keyboards but drums as well. It was the coolest thing I’d ever heard, one person playing multiple tracks like that. I knew instantly that I wanted to record music the same way.
As for Marvin Gaye, it was his What’s Going On album that first made me realize that you can make a great album with great songs that are really about important issues. When I was writing songs for Fan the Flames I often kept What’s Going On in mind, trying to make the issues that I felt were important core aspects of the lyrical content.
And good stories from your tour this past summer? Did you have a "rock star" moment?
SF: My favorite moment (of a couple of hours) from touring this summer would have to be spending the afternoon at Pizza Putt in Burlington, VT. It’s an indoor mini-golf, arcade, batting cage and laser tag wonderland where anyone at any age can run around and feel like a kid. The mini golf is the real highlight for me. Each hole is designed to be a different geographic location (Golden Gate Bridge, Stonehenge, Pyramids of Egypt, The Grand Canyon and more)! Do running around, giggling & playing laser tag count as “rock star” moments?
Tell me the most embarrassing thing that happened on stage.
SF:Why tell you about my most embarrassing moment on stage when I can show you? Thanks YouTube!http://www.youtube.com/user/TheMotionSick#p/u/231/AuLI5U1HjkE
What’s next for Golden Bloom and Shawn Fogel?
SF: This first album was over a year in the making and I feel like there’s a lot of life in it. I’m hoping that 2010 provides us an opportunity to tour more and get Fan the Flames into the hands and ears of many more people. I’m also working on a split single with The Motion Sick right now. Golden Bloom is recording a song by The Motion Sick and The Motion Sick is recording a cover of a Golden Bloom song. The plan is to press it as a 7” and get it out there in February. I’m hoping to do similar split single cover projects with other bands this year. If anyone has suggestions send them on over firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll see what we can do!
Thanks for the interview, Shawn!