rushonrock editor Simon Rushworth chewed the funk metal fat with frontman Conny Bloom and discovered these Boys are back for good!
rushonrock: Two years in do you feel it was the right decision to reform Electric Boys?
Conny Bloom: Yes, absolutely. I mean personally, after four-and-a-half years with Hanoi Rocks, it was a matter of what kind of music did I want to make after that. If you look at what my music usually sounds like then it sounds like the Electric Boys. When I sing the right songs they sound like that band so it seemed like the most natural thing to do. Of course I wasn’t sure the other guys were going to be up for it…
rushonrock: Were there a few tense conversations?
CB: It came together quite smoothly really. I’m so happy that was the case. There’s definitely a new vibe and we’re bouncing off each other.
rushonrock: If there hadn’t been a positive response from the other guys would you still be playing and recording as Electric Boys?
CB: I don’t know. First of all, all of the band members are back. But if it was only one or two of us then it would still sound like the Electric Boys. But it’s a difficult one. I’m just happy that I don’t have that problem!
rushonrock: Why did you get back together in 2009 and not earlier?
CB: I toured frequently with Hanoi Rocks and I made an album so I was always quite busy. The band split up and it was a matter of everyone doing different things. Electric Boys obviously came up over the years but there simply wasn’t time for it. Or at least the time to do it properly. It’s a full-time job as far as I’m concerned. But that’s how I look at things in general. If I’m involved in a project I give it 100%. If you’re going to do something then do it properly. To reform Electric Boys for a one-off gig would have been a waste of time in my eyes. It has taken time to get everyone tight again – it took time just to get us all back in the same room again! Now we are back together it’s all about what we can achieve in the future. We’re not at all nostalgic as people. We’re only interested in what’s on the horizon. It’s not like we want to remake the records we’ve done in the past – we want to make music that’s interesting to us and to the people who buy our music.
rushonrock: How did you feel when you did get in that room together for the first time in years?
CB: It was very exciting but the most interesting thing was that I became more aware of a special bond that we always had but maybe didn’t realise was there. There’s a certain X-Factor that’s very obvious when we play together as the Electric Boys. As a solo artist I’ve often played with local bands or house bands and there are some great musicians in those bands. There’s often a desire to play Electric Boys’ material and even though they do it note perfect it just doesn’t sound like ‘us’. That was the thing that struck me when we got back together for the first time – it sounded like the Electric Boys! Of course it was really rough to start with and it took a few rehearsals to get back into the groove. It’s funny though. It feels like there hasn’t been much of a gap between now and then – it’s almost like we’re a group of guys from school who haven’t seen each other for a few years. It seems to me like nothing’s changed but to the outside world we probably look quite different.
rushonrock: Did you write the new album from scratch or is there some material that’s been lying on the shelf for some time?
CB: There’s a mixture of stuff. There’s one song called Father Popcorn’s Magic Oysters – the chorus and the title I’ve had knocking around since I was a teenager! But I just never got around to making it into a song. So the new record features ideas from way back when to the present day. Even when I thought the album was finished I had a sudden burst of inspiration and wrote four new songs.
rushonrock: It’s a very varied album with a fascinating track order – was that intentional?
CB: Especially so nowadays. There’s so much music out there that’s easily available and everything in this business is moving very fast. It’s even more important to have an album that people can listen to and are not 100% sure of what’s coming up next. There are two or three little surprises and it’s good to keep people on their toes. I’m sure we can do even more of that on the next album.
rushonrock: The brass section adds an eclectic flavour to many of the songs – is that something we’ll see in the live shows?
CB: I suppose we could do it on special occasions but it’s all a matter of money. If you take more people on the road then it costs more money to do that and right now we don’t have a lot of spare cash! On a song like Rollin’ Down The Road the riff’s quite bouncy and sounds great on its own. And if there are things on an album that you can’t always replicate in the live show then you just wiggle your arse a little more than usual!
rushonrock: It’s the 20th anniversary of Nirvana’s Nevermind this week and 20 years since a lot of rock and roll started to die a death – do you feel bitter about that?
CB: To be honest that’s not something I feel at all. That’s not how I saw it at the time and not how I see it now. I actually liked the grunge movement. It was a very healthy and good thing to happen. There were a lot of hair bands and spandex bands and it took everything back to square one again. There was a fresh attitude about rock music and I honestly thought that was a good thing. For us as a band our demise was more about the record company releasing our latest album and not promoting it at all. I just felt like shit and I just didn’t feel like writing another album. It just happened to coincide with grunge getting bigger.
rushonrock: Finally, where does one of the best dressed men in rock buy his clothes?
CB: I like to buy a lot of my stuff from second hand shops. Then there’s a girl who works with the band and gives our clothes an individual touch. I’m a second hand guy really.
Electric Boys headline the Smokehead Rocks Tour across the UK next month. Catch them and four other bands here:
October 6 Liverpool O2 Academy
October 7 Grimsby Yardbirds
October 8 Nottingham Rock City
October 9 Glasgow O2 Academy
October 11 Sheffield O2 Academy
October 12 Islington O2 Academy