Artist Interview: “Tokyo” by Bad Bloom

Q: I absolutely love the aesthetic of this song, with the airy guitars and dreamy vocals. What did you enjoy most about making “Tokyo”? 

KATE (Of Bad Bloom): Thank you so much! This song was a lot of fun to write. It came together so easily for me and Jay – I set the bass and vocals, and he came in with these super dreamy guitars that were just what I had imagined. We wrote it from our tiny apartment, looking out the window at the NYC skyline, and it just really matched how I felt when I saw the bright lights from afar.  

Q: Is Tokyo a metaphor for something? What was the inspiration behind the song? 

KATE (Of Bad Bloom): Tokyo is about the feeling of wanting to escape to a beautiful place. I often have these daydreams of being somewhere that energizes and inspires me. A place where you kind of forget where you are because you’re so overwhelmed by joy, mystery, and excitement. Jay and I have always wanted to visit Tokyo, and it just perfectly represented the feeling I wanted to portray in the song.


Q: Some refer to your music as Dream Grunge. Do you agree with this statement? 

KATE (Of Bad Bloom): I like this! Jay is really inspired by/loves Nirvana and The Smashing Pumpkins and I love chill, dreamy vibes. We both really wanted this project to feel different, a fusion of shoegaze/post punk with dreamy, catchy vocals, so dream grunge works for us 🙂


Q: I love how catchy your vocals are, and how the music is somewhat distorted, putting the listener into a daze. Who are your biggest influences? 

KATE (Of Bad Bloom): Thank you! I’ve always been a fan of catchy vocals, Jenny Lewis is one of my favorite musicians. I’m also really inspired by Rainer Maria – just noisy, emotional, female-fronted rock. We’re also both fans of layered, intricate guitars, so definitely The Cure, My Bloody Valentine, DIIV, and Ride.


Q: How has being a couple affected how you create music? 

KATE (Of Bad Bloom): It has been excellent. We were both in separate projects before Bad Bloom and it was always difficult coordinating schedules for practice, shows, etc. Jay and I work so well together musically, we really just get the vibe each other is going for. We both come to each other with ideas, and it’s a really fluid and productive process, living together and inspiring each other is really great. Also, we can practice pretty much any time!


Q: I see that you are from Queens, New York. How is the music scene there? Do you prefer it to LA? 

KATE (Of Bad Bloom): We actually just moved from Queens to Rochester, NY. We had been there 10 years and decided it was time for a change. We love NYC and always will. We played Mercury Lounge before the pandemic, and all the venues are excellent with their own personalities. Tiny clubs to big venues. We prefer NYC to LA, but we love to visit LA and can’t wait to play there.  


Q: Who would you most like to collaborate with, if it could be anyone in the world? 

KATE (Of Bad Bloom):  Prince, Robert Smith, Jairus Mozee or Blondie. Dreaming those dreams!!!


Q: In your own words, how would you describe the music that you typically create, and what is your writing process like? 

KATE (Of Bad Bloom):  Shoegaze is our overall vibe, but we take cues from pop rock. For instance, we’re really into Rod Stewart now – like WOW. That’s some good songwriting. Or, Dolly Parton, Sam Cooke, Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel. Shoegaze + Pop is what we’re going for. As far as writing goes, we usually start with me writing some sweet bass lines and a vocal melody, recorded demos on Garageband. Jay will take that, spend some time with it, and then write some guitar tracks. 


Q: What is your favorite song to perform and why? 

KATE (Of Bad Bloom): Our song Sagan, from our first EP ‘Candle’, is one of my favorites to perform. It’s a rocker baby!


Q: What projects are currently in the works? Has the pandemic affected any upcoming music you’ve been working on? 

KATE (Of Bad Bloom): First and foremost, we can’t wait to play live! We only were able to play two shows before the pandemic, so we want to pick up right where we left off. We want to hit the road and do some mini-tours. We have also been writing a ton! I cannot wait to record again. The pandemic only made us work harder, since we spent so much time together at home. We were able to build out our studio and really create some space to lay out some new demos!

Interviewed by Melissa Cusano

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