(Rules of The Gauntlet: The artists (Like in this case Colin and Phil from Alternative Rock Band Bubbles Erotica) is sent a butt ton of questions ranging from standard to stupid from which they must choose at least 12 to answer and return them to us with a minimum of tear stains.)
Tell me about your new album. The writing, vibe, production/producers, etc
This is our first full-length album. We have been writing and working the songs since 2013. Writing the music for this album was a pretty slow process. We would be writing in between rehearsing for shows, and slowly built up a repertoire. We feel that this is our most ambitious project to date. From the wide-ranging styles and genres flowing through each song, and the dynamics mixing aggressive riffs and soft clean melodies. We also wanted to bring up issues in lyrics that were both personal to us and poignant to the time in which they were written. We did most of the recording ourselves, with Pete Grossmann at Bricktop Studios handling drums, and our guitarist recording the rest. It was mixed by Mike Watts at Vudu Studios, and mastered by Mike Kalajian at Rogue Planet Studios.
What are you working on right now?
Right now, we are working on more music videos, and booking shows the rest of the year. We are also hoping to collaborate with other artists, along the lines of the video we did for “Cicada Arcade.” The video was created, animated and directed by Ali at 3E Visuals. It’s always great to see/hear someone else’s interpretation of our songs. This is the second video we have done with him, and we have been super fortunate to work with him, as he has taken our vision for the songs and elevated the ideas and themes in them.
Why do you make your style of music? Why not polka? or Japanese symphonic folk metal? or..?
We write the style of music we do because of the influences we all bring to the table. Every one of us comes from a different place musically, and bringing those together in a room has allowed us to create our own sound. We aren’t afraid to blend different genres and styles into one song, and to try things that we haven’t heard before.
Where do your song names come from?
Phil: believe it or not, I find I come up with song titles before lyrics, and then almost challenge myself to cater the lyrics within that subject, usually the song title appealing more to the music. The song “Humbaba,” track 2 on this record, is a good example. We wrote the music first, and something about the music reminded me of the epic of Gilgamesh, so Humbaba was the name that I chose. Then after that I wrote the lyrics to fit the title.
What master musicians would you like to study with?
John Williams, enough said.
How often do you work on your music?
Typically, if we have shows coming up, we will rehearse pretty diligently. We are very picky about set lists, so we spend a lot of time before each show to craft a set we think will be the best suited for the crowd. We add transitions between songs, covers, interludes. We try to make each performance a unique experience.
Which voice in your head is the craziest?
The one that tells me to quit making music and live a normal life, fuck that guy.
What do you geek out to besides your music?
Colin: I read a ton of sci-fi and fantasy novels. My favorite author is Timothy Zahn, he is well known for his books in the Star Wars Expanded Universe, but his original series of books “The Quadrail Series” are my favorite. It is a noir detective story on a train traveling the galaxy.
Phil: I really love filmmaking. I will nerd out and research camera and lighting gear. Right now, I am in love with the Red Helium, which films in glorious 8k. I also really enjoy editing shorts and music videos and am always trying to perfect my editing technique.
Who the fuck do you think you are?
Mother fucker! Don’t talk to me like I am a sucker. (Inside joke, there might be one person out there who gets it)
Name two people cooler than Evel Kneivel. Why?
Freddie Mercury, because there’s nobody cooler than him, but a close second would be Dr. Ian Malcolm, the rock-star scientist praised for his work on the Chaos Theory.
Top 2 stupidest things you’ve ever done
The first would be an incident now dubbed ‘River of Fire’. In Highschool, Mike Phil and I played in a heavy metal band called Blood Loss. We had this old bass amp that we used to use for practice. One day during practice, it finally died. We grabbed some gasoline and took that thing to the forest and immediately proceeded to start it on fire. We started to get carried away, and thought it would be a good idea to dump the rest of the gasoline in to the creek in the forest and start the river on fire! YES! GREAT IDEA! NO! BAD IDEA! Little did we know, as soon as the gasoline hit the water it spread to about a 50-foot section of this small creek. When we dropped the match, we were surrounded in a wall of flames 20 feet high and burning ravenously. The look on Phil’s face as we panicked trying to pour water on the water that was on fire was absolutely priceless. The fire burned itself out in a matter of seconds, and the only damage was some charring on a tree next to the creek. It was really dumb, but a great story.
I do dumb stuff all the time, but the most recent experience I had was when I decided to let a fellow co-worker who has never used a pneumatic staple gun before try to staple together two pieces of wood whilst I held them in place. I knew in my head it was a bad idea, and the likelihood of error and hurt was high, but I let him do it anyways. Sure enough, what was supposed to be a single staple, ended up with him spraying staples into the air like Tony Montana at the end of Scarface. One of those staples ended up making its way into my hand, and piercing through two fingers. Instead of holding two pieces of wood together, this two-inch staple held two of my fingers together.
Which Muppet would you marry, which one would you wanna knife fight in a swamp, and which one should be our global emperor? Why?
I would marry Janice, because she’s a babe. I would get into a knife fight with Fozzie because he’s just super annoying. And supreme leader Beaker should be our global emperor because “me me me me me me me me memememe me me……..me”.
If you were facing unbeatable and fatal odds what song would you want to check out to? Why?
Exotic Animal Petting Zoo ‘Arendering’. The song just feels like it would be perfectly fit in a cinematic death scene.
Phil:I would chose ‘Ethel’ by Russian Circles. Yet again, it is another beautiful, textural, and emotional song for a cinematic death scene. We’re crying now, thank you.
Stella or Guinness? Why?
Fuck that! Pabst. Blue. Ribbon.
Falstaff or Prince Hal?
Falstaff, because he literally eat and drinks all day.
Top five favorite albums?
Individually, this list would be different for each member. But collectively, we feel these albums best represent where we come from as as band…
1) System of a Down – Steal This Album: System of a Down is number 1 on this list because their music is what brought us together as a band, and Steal This Album is a strange and underrated album that is no one else seems to like, but we all love it.
2) Rage Against the Machine – Evil Empire. Tom Morello’s riffage and Zach De La Rocha’s aggression are major influences on our sound.
3) Queens of the Stone Age – Songs For the Deaf. This is our pick for showing our more straight rock roots.
4) Muse – Absolution. Muse is band that we would are role models. From their song writing, to their performance and stage show.
5) Queen – Night at the Opera. A theatrical rock masterpiece, we hope to craft something as truly unique as this album.