» Conny Bloom - Electric Boys
« back

Interview conducted December 12 2018
Interview published January 24 2019

Electric Boys played their last show of 2018 on December 22nd in Stockholm, Sweden, and Metal Covenant seized the opportunity to talk for a while with frontman Conny Bloom.

Tobbe: How are you able to find inspiration to write songs and make albums today?

Conny: Well, I think I find inspiration from everything, really. And as I start to think in terms of, like, "It's been a long time since I wrote a song; there will never come another, ever again.", suddenly there are 5 in a row.

It could be anything, like: I've been at home, cleaning, or rebuilding the apartment for 3 days, and later I have realized that's probably, you know, when I reset and find the way back to inspiration somehow. There are, you know, ups and downs; like with everything, really.

Tobbe: So you don't write music all the time, and instead try to find periods when you're more creative?

Conny: I'm just not that person who goes to work and write, but rather it comes in chunks. It's hard for me to just sit down and start writing. I kind of started playing guitar to escape from school, you know, and going to work to start writing is like ending up behind a school desk again. It doesn't really work for me.

Tobbe: And when you're writing songs, how do you know what stuff goes to what song, or do you write a song all at once?

Conny: Well, if you look at my voice memos, it's often short riffs, or that I've written some lyrical idea. So there's often fragments of stuff, but sometimes a more or less whole song comes, and oftentimes those songs become the greatest ones actually, because, I suppose, there's something obvious about them; how the verse leads to the bridge, and how that one leads to the chorus. There's a flow there, that just makes it really good.

If you look back, songs that have become singles and the favorite live songs today are to a great extent the songs that I didn't have a hard time writing, you know.

Tobbe: So in what way does an Electric Boys album reflect a certain phase of your life? Or maybe it doesn't?

Conny: Well, it does, in some way. But I don't know if should even try to analyze it. Anyway, I don't know how to. But of course, all you go through, and you get older, experiences, what kind of music you hear maybe at that certain time. All that influence what you eventually end up with when you write your own music, I guess. I mean, I couldn't have written Get Nasty [1989] today, you know, but I couldn't have made You Spark My Heart [2018] when I was 20, for that matter.

Tobbe: But as you write music today, do you feel that you still have some of the same influences as you had when you were younger?

Conny: Yes, I think so. But song-wise, I don't know, really. It's more guitar-wise. I still have the same basic ideal about how I think a good, you know, Fender Stratocaster, should sound like. But song-wise, we've just let the songs come this time around and then that has become what Electric Boys is today, instead of us going "We should sound like this and stick to some sort of frames.".

So we have just ignored the frames this time and just went for it, really. Which is nice, because now that we have done this, even though it's not a straddled groove or funk rock riff, you can hear that it's us when I sing and we play. So now it feels like we can do whatever the hell we want to, on the next record and the record after that one.

Maybe it will sound more Electric Boys than ever, in terms of what it was supposed to be like before, or else it might go in another direction again. But it's nice, and there's no reason to try to recreate what you have done 30 years ago, you know; when everything else around you have changed.

Tobbe: You've got a solo record in the works and what's the status of that stuff right now?

Conny: I've recorded the foundations, so we're starting to lay down vocals and guitars soon. It's coming out this spring.

Tobbe: And what can you tell me about the music so far?

Conny: Well, it's a continuation of the last one, and it's in Swedish. It's recognizable in that way. But it's new songs, so, you know, it's not the same. I don't know what to say, really; it's me in Swedish, again, so to speak.

Tobbe: You're the most creative force in Electric Boys, so what makes you wanna do solo records on the side?

Conny: It's basically because I have more music inside of me. And I decided, as I put that thing together, that I didn't want to be held back. You know, when Electric Boys are playing it becomes, you know, arena rock at once, because it's loud as hell and everything, and I didn't want to be held back by volume and everything like that. I want to be able to play different places and let the songs be what's strongest and not a specific sound picture, or something like that.

So, that's what's the big difference, and that I want to try to sing in Swedish. And it's nice; it's two separate things and they split in a natural way in my own head, so to speak. It's not like I'm thinking about "Is this Electric Boys or not?", but it speaks for itself, when the ideas come, what it's suitable for.

Tobbe: In regular professions people get better at what they do as the years go by, and the same goes for a musician's skills, yet most fans always look back at band's early records, and how are you able to handle such a situation?

Conny: By not giving a crap about what people think. [Laughs] No, of course we care about what people think, but you can't make a record from what you think people will like, you know. But we have always reasoned like: you know, first of all, if you write a song and you stomp your feet and move along with the riff, then you know that you have something going there. Then it runs through the band's filter, you know.

When we rehearse, it's like "Well, maybe not." or "Oh, this is good.". And in the end, when we think it's good, we make a record, and then you just hope people will like it. But I mean, if people don't like it, it's, you know, like "Oh well.", because we ourselves think it's really good.

But if we had done it the other way; if we had tried to do something that someone else will like, and even if they think it's fantastic and you become the biggest band in the world; if I go to sleep at night and feel like "This sucks. This is not good.", then there's no point doing it anyway. So, you must follow your own gut feeling.

Tobbe: And if we go back in time, do you personally think that you guys made any mistakes, career-wise, that stopped the band from becoming bigger than what you actually became?

Conny: Yes, absolutely. And some of them we couldn't do anything about. We knew about some of them, like different choices in releasing singles. We were arguing with our record company in America, like "This is nuts! You can't release that song. We have to release this one first, and then you can release the other one.".

We had quite heavy discussions, whereas other bands were like "You should just be happy to have an American record deal.", but we were just "This doesn't work.".

We were quite cocky. But it turned out the way it turned out and there is no guarantee, if they would have done what we said, that we would have become bigger, for that matter. We don't know that. But it took too long time between the first and the second record, for example, so we lost some momentum there.

Related links: