Blood Club is the recently renamed solo project of Boston badass, Liana Helene. Formally, Liana's Fire, Liana makes fuzzy noise pop with experimental samples and echoey delays. Her new tape, Unattack, is out today (June 5th) on Mina's World. Here's a first look at one of our favorite tracks, "Creep Gold," and our brief conversation with Liana herself.
Hi Liana! Your previous project "Liana's Fire" always made me think of St. Elmo's Fire, one of my favorite movies of the Brat Pack collection. Because of this, I've always interpreted your music as your own "coming-of-age story." Is your new project similar in that respect? Or does it focus on different themes entirely?
I wouldn't really say it's a coming-of-age project, honestly! Blood Club is the same project as Liana's Fire actually, it just has a different name that I feel more comfortable with. I don't really believe it connects to coming-of-age, though maybe inadvertently. I definitely do think, though, that it's a rapidly growing body of work, which is probably going to change a lot, and has changed a lot since it's started.
The new name feels like a tongue-in-cheek homage to Lorde's EP Love Club. Am I reading too much into it, or are you maybe embattling the same "wicked kids" she sings about?
I don't listen to or particularly like Lorde actually! I had no idea she had an EP called Love Club. It's funny, I think a lot of the "wicked kids" probably really like her music now. Meta, right? Aren't we all embattling wicked kids though? They might literally be kids, or they might just be whoever is trying to oppress and suppress us…in any case we must separate ourselves at all costs!!!
The whole album feels a lot darker than what I'm used to hearing from you. What were some of your influences that differentiate it from previous sounds?
With this tape, I was focusing a lot more on very specific feelings and experiences, and relying on those to use as tools to build texture and sound for everything on the tape. It's a little bit different than trying to compose based off of the influences of specific sounds that you really like and that are made by other people. Not to say that I didn't rely on that at all with any part of the tape, but I was definitely less compelled by those kinds of influences.
How did you learn how to produce this sort of music?
I learned to produce the type of music I'm making based on the materials that have been accessible to me. I found a lot of keyboards in my basement and I started using those, and then people started giving me things to make music with and I also started finding things on the street. It's really only when I started playing a lot of shows that I started buying fancy stuff. I use garageband to record almost everything and sometimes I will record on a tape. I don't have any microphones except the ones that come on whatever device I'm recording into. I've said before that I'm lo-fi by lack of resources. I intend to keep it that way!
What exactly is "creep gold"?
Creep gold is the color the light turns as the sun is about to go down, when it hits everything around you so hard that you have to be quiet and wait until it is dark out until you come outside of your own body and head.
What ideas are you exploring on 'Creep Gold'?
Creep gold is an exploration of memory, specifically the retrieval of memory and of feelings and textures associated with those memories. The song was composed with the aim to translate very internal feelings into something that can show itself as a piece of "accessible" evidence (this is mostly for me, I have no idea how this will hold with other people). I really like the idea of taking super internal and specific feelings and making them external for the purpose of art.
I'm getting major spooky vibes from this song. I love the way it builds. It sort of feels like an attack which is freaking me out. How do you get your music to evoke such specific moods?
Wow! Thank you, I think this is my intention so I'm glad you feel it. I feel a lot of specific moods, and it's the most important thing to me that I am able to translate these sonically. Everything around me triggers very specific memories and feelings and I use all of my power to put these into sound.
Recently when you played at the Silent Barn I was struck how your music brings together some really varied elements, of homemade experimental bedroom-pop and also a more performative punk side. I wanted to ask you about sort of bridging those two different music worlds and how each of those spheres is inspiring to you?
When I first started going to shows, I was going to a lot of punk and hardcore shows even though I was making experimental music. I've been super inspired by the intensity in those environments, and I like to make my performances really brutal and confusing. The brutal part comes from punk and the confusion comes from everything else that influences me. I don't think people act like they're at a punk show when they watch blood club, but I think I act like I'm at a punk show when I do Blood Club.
Who would you love to play a show with?
This is SUCH a hard question. I would love to play with the What Cheer? Brigade. I get the most incredible feeling every time I go to one of their shows.
What are you listening to right now?
Right at this very moment I am listening to "Expire" by Screaming Females, who I have been listening to a lot of this week... and lately I've been listening to a lot of Doldrums, In School, Laurel Halo, and also Chris Weisman.