THE BLUEPRINTS INTERVIEW

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THE BLUEPRINTS INTERVIEW

One of York’s hottest bands, The Blueprints have been steadily amassing fans over the past few years. High-profile support-slots with the likes of The Bluetones have inevitably helped them spread their melody-rich music far and wide. Here, in an exclusive interview with “Pulse” author Steve Rudd, chief songwriter Stu talks about the band’s history, their favourite venues, and their upcoming slot at York’s Fake Festival…

Hey Stu, how are things, and how has 2016 treated you so far?

This year has been really good so far. After wanting to release a single on 7″ vinyl for a long time, we’ve finally done it! “Multiply/Circles” came out on 7″ transparent yellow vinyl at the start of the year, and it has gone down really well. The novelty still hasn’t worn off. We launched it at the Brudenell Social Club, which was another box ticked. Aside from that, we’ve been gigging and working on new material – not to mention buying too many guitar effects pedals!

How long have you been together as a band, and how would you best describe the style of music that you play?

The Blueprints have been in existence for over ten years in various forms and lineups. As far as style of music goes, we’ve kind of hit on our own sound. We’re very melodic, with “wall of sound” guitars, and a really punchy rhythm section. We call ourselves “wonky guitar pop,” but it’s really the songs that are always at the front of our minds. They’ve got to be good; if they’re strong enough, everything else follows.

Were you all friends with one another before forming the band? If not, how did you all hook up?

Myself and our drummer Russ went to school together, and we’ve played in bands ever since. Mark joined a little later on when there was space for a new bass player; luckily for us, he was up for it. He’s the glue that keeps us all in check. Sophie initially joined on keys, but she is an incredible guitarist, so she swiftly switched to playing guitar for us. She loves effects and creates great sounds; she’s also a brilliant songwriter. We’d played on the same bill as her previous band, and we clearly shared musical interests, not to mention taste in guitars, which is very important! We’re now engaged, and we get married next year.

You’ve supported some top-name bands, The Bluetones included. What was it like playing on the same bill as Mark Morriss & Co.? 

We felt very lucky to play with The Bluetones. I bought “Slight Return” the week it came out, and I’ve been a fan ever since. It was a great gig: very busy, and the audience were very open to hearing new music. It was a true pleasure.

You’re poised to play at York’s Fake Festival. How did that “gig” come about?

We can’t wait for it. Three out of four of us live just around the corner from the Knavesmire, so it’ll be like a homecoming gig. Dave O’ Hara, who is a true gentleman, asked if we’d like to play, and we jumped at the chance. Festival gigs are great, and the “Fake Festivals” are really cool in that they’re a mix of original music in the afternoon and tribute bands in the evening. As a result, people will hear music that they maybe wouldn’t normally get exposed to. It goes another step towards spreading the melody.

So how do you guys go about writing your songs? Is there one main songwriter in the band, or do you all have a bash and see what happens?

For the most part, I’ll get the song knocked into some shape, then I’ll take it to rehearsal, and we’ll see how it sounds. We know straight away if it’ll work or not. Generally, the good ones will have a good vibe about them on the first run-through. After that, I’ll take it away, rearrange it, and tidy up the lyrics until it all sits well. Everyone comes up with their own parts for the song, so it’s kind of like I’m steering, but they’re making it go. They’re all great musicians, so we’re pretty lucky that way.

What do you think of the music-scene in York at present? Would you say that there are more venues and “original music nights” than there used to be?

Definitely! There seems to be a real appetite for it at the moment. The quality of the artists is really high, too.

Where are your favourite places to play in the city?

There are some great venues, old and new. The Crescent Club is putting on some great shows, and it’s been doing really well. The Fulford Arms is brilliant to play at, too. The Basement and Fibbers are both going strong. The Duchess will be missed when it closes; we’ve played some great gigs there.

Given how busy you’ve been with playing live of-late, have you managed to get into the studio at all?

We’re always planning the next single, so the plan is to go in later this year to get some tracks recorded. We’re writing at the moment, and the new stuff is exciting.

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Do you plan on releasing an album anytime soon?

We tend to prefer releasing EPs or singles, because it keeps the momentum up, and we can then release something more regularly. It also gives us an opportunity to have a different theme or sound for each release. We don’t just chuck out a collection of tracks; each release has some kind of cohesiveness, so the songs work together in a certain way. It can make it more of a challenge to write, but that’s definitely a good thing.

Finally, how can people find out more about you?

Facebook and Twitter (@theblueprintsuk) are the best ways to find us. We also have a page on Bandcamp, where you can get hold of all of the EPs in both digital and “real life” formats. Our Facebook page can be found at www.facebook.com/theblueprints

 

For more information about “Fake Festivals,” visit www.fakefestivals.co.uk 

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