You’re going to be feeling like a “Hundred Bucks,” or maybe even a million bucks, after you experience the brand new single from hard rockers James Blonde. It’s the brand new single (which you can pre-save/order now via Apple Music, or Spotify) from the wittily named band, a driving alternative rock anthem about finding personal fulfillment beyond the common sources we look towards like relationships and commercialism.
It’s a pertinent message for a society that has become so enthralled with getting by indulging in simple, temporary pleasures like consumerism or binge-watching television shows. On this topic, guitarist and singer Steph Mercier said, ”The song is about looking in the wrong places for fulfillment or just ways to get through day to day life. Finding myself looking for distraction and comfort in ways that we’re not physically, emotionally or financially sustainable. Hoping people will take a more active perspective on what they are doing with their time, money and energy from day to day. To find the healthiest and truest version of their life possible.”
It’s a worthwhile message that we should all take to heart from a band that has something to say. While James Blonde may have played their first concert on New Year’s Eve 2017, the members had already established a solid songwriting chemistry thanks to many years of playing together under a former moniker. Because they already had a knowledge of each other musically, the debut James Blonde album followed later in 2017, with the single “Heartbreak” receiving solid attention on Spotify and through Starbucks of all places, who added the song to its in-store radio playlist across the world. Their follow up single “Sh!tshow” then hit #96 on the U.S. Top 40 charts! Riding off of this momentum, the band have toured very consistently across North America, which has given them solid local fanbases in many cities.
Ready to feel like a “Hundred Bucks?”
Continuing to demonstrate their solid work ethic, the band are writing and recording new music as much as possible. They will be continuing to consistently release singles throughout the rest of this year, also hitting as many cities as they possibly can. To learn more about the entity that is James Blonde, and their new single “Hundred Bucks,” we caught up with drummer Philip Taylor for a little Q&A.
Ok, so I think we can deduce what the inspiration was behind the band name James Blonde. Is there any more of a story to it than what is beyond the obvious?
Philip Taylor: “Well, we always felt like the band had its own identity. We’re three very different personalities, but when we’re together, whether making music or just hanging out, this whole other group identity comes out. So we wanted to give it a ‘people’ name, preferably something fun and kind of fictional. So that’s where the idea for James Blonde came from, we thought it up while recording our first self-titled album.”
Although all three of you had already played in a band previously together, the first official James Blonde concert was an opening gig for Sam Roberts Band and Serena Ryder in your hometown of Niagara Falls on New Year’s Eve 2017. That is impressive to say the least. How were you able to score such a huge gig for your first ever official show?
Taylor: “The death of the previous band left us a good inheritance! But honestly, when we say we played in a band together previously, we just mean the same band... But with a different (older) name! After the departure of an ex-member and our subsequent departure from our old label we had been itching to change the name. So we felt like with a new album for 2017 and that big NYE gig booked, it was the perfect time to start anew!”
Looks like the guys have the theatre to themselves in the artwork for “Hundred Bucks”:
Your new single “Hundred Bucks” is a catchy, very radio-friendly song that I think illustrates well your songwriting talent. How did this song come to be written?
Taylor: “Thanks! We were just on way back from recording our first single ‘Sh!tshow’ with Gus Van Go in New York City and driving overnight back home when Neil first brought up the song idea/early lyrics. He had these thoughts kicking around and starting writing the lyrics while we were listening to some MGMT. We started working on it that week and realized after listening to the first demo draft thought ‘oh shit, are we ripping off MGMT?’ So we went back to the drawing board and reworked the song into something we’re even more happy with!”
“Hundred Bucks” is about finding happiness and inner fulfillment beyond things we commonly rely on to find satisfaction. Should the song be taken as a social commentary or is it more of a personal story than that?
Taylor: “It was definitely written more as a personal statement and experience. The song came from being both under and overwhelmed by the freedom and boredom of living alone for the first time in a while and trying to find some fulfilment in the wrong places. But it ended up being more than that after we started having more fun with the lyrics and music around them.”
Is “Hundred Bucks” the first single from an album to come soon? Or is the plan to just release singles right now?
Taylor: “I wish we could say an album is coming, we do have a ton of new song, definitely enough for one... But as you know, the independent artist is not made of money. So as it stands right now, we’re living the singles life...”
Listen to more from James Blonde with their recently released single “Sh!tshow”: