For Blondfire – the brother and sister tandem of Erica and Bruce Driscoll – a musical bond has existed since they were out of their diapers. A genetic glue, which over time has fused the band into a well-oiled, indie-pop making machine, “I feel like when we start working on a song we’ll get a beat going, and what he comes up with is kind of what I want to hear. It’s really weird,” explains lead singer Erica Driscoll. She continues, “Growing up together we had a lot of the same influences. So Bruce will put something down and usually I think it’ll be really cool. We’re like on the same plain or something [laughs].”
[pullquote quote=”Everything from the recording, to the instrument playing, to the producing we’ve done ourselves.”]Behind Erica’s sugary sweet vocals and the infectious grooves of her brother Bruce, Blondfire’s music is intensified by their Brazilian background. Such South American tendencies are exemplified by a stimulating blend of exotic beats and rhythms. Splice this unconventional flair within a more traditional pop-enriched framework, and you’ll have an idea of what makes Blondfire tick. In essence, this co-gender act likes to take risks without steering too far into more esoteric domains.
I was lucky enough to catch the Locals Only regulars on a rare break and discuss their musical journey. Covering everything from legal troubles with the widow of a Hollywood legend, to paving their own success with an independent fervor, Blondfire invites readers behind the music and into the past and present which helped create it.
Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the band known today as Blondfire was initially named Astaire, in reference to the Hollywood luminary figure of (you guessed it) Fred Astaire. “We thought that was a good name, because our music was a little danceable at the time and obviously Fred Astaire danced. We didn’t think there would be any issue, but of course there was,” recalls Bruce Driscoll. The face of that issue was the embittered widow of the Tinseltown great who offered no leeway in sharing the namesake.
“Where the Kids Are”
For a band whose music back dropped episodes of Dawson’s Creek and films such as Monster-In-Law under Astaire, an unexpected name change was a concerning task, “We were pretty bummed, because we really loved the name Astaire, and had put so much into our work under that title. We had just done this great tour so it was a little bit of a blow, but we had to do it so we made the best of it. We came up with a name that we hoped nobody had had, because we didn’t want to have that problem again,” mentioned Erica.