Interview: Bluphoria – “We Are A Modern Take On Classic Rock”
Ahead of their upcoming self-titled debut album release, Recordspin caught up with Oregon-based alt-rock band Bluphoria.
Hailing from the Pacific Northwest, Bluphoria is known for their unique blend of classic rock, blues, and modern indie. The band consists of vocalist Reign LaFreniere, guitarist Dakota Ringer, bassist Rex Wolf, and drummer Dani Janae.
Formed in 2015, the band has been performing and writing music together for years, honing their sound and developing a loyal fan base. Their upcoming self-titled album showcases their range and depth as musicians, with tracks that range from angry breakup songs to Californian rock-inspired anthems.
Bluphoria’s music has been praised for its raw energy, relatable lyrics, and dynamic instrumentation. Their live performances are known to be a high-energy experience, with Reign’s commanding stage presence and the band’s tight chemistry on display.
Recordspin caught up with Bluphoria’s Reign via email to discuss how the band came to be, the upcoming self-titled album, and what else lies ahead in 2023. Here’s what he had to say.
Hey Reign, Thanks for spending the time to answer some questions. How are you doing today?
Thanks for taking the time to talk with me! I’ve been good.
First off, for those that may not have heard of you yet, how did you all meet, and what inspired you to start making music together?
I had started Bluphoria as a project and met all of my bandmates coincidentally. Dakota and I met because we were at a house-show in Oregon and we were the only two black guys there, which naturally had us get to talking. Rex actually went to a couple shows of ours early on. I went to see if he played bass on Instagram and he happened to have a whole account of poorly filtered pictures of basses. He ended up joining the same day. Dani ended up interviewing me for a podcast and, a year later, became good friends with Dakota, and asked if she could join the band. We all loved rock music and are dedicated to making music.
You’ve recently shared your single, “Columbia”, how does this track compare to the other themes of your upcoming album, and how did you approach the songwriting process?
“Columbia” is one of our more [The] Doors/[The] Rolling Stones like tracks on our album. Dakota brought it to us one day and, after a few weeks of jamming on it and rewriting some parts, it became the song it is today. “Columbia” is a song that has many different forms, but I can confidently say we are all proud of the outcome.
Listen to Bluphoria’s “Columbia” below
Talking about the debut album, it’s exciting to hear that you worked with Grammy award-winning producer Mark Needham (The Killers, Chris Isaak). Can you tell us a bit about that experience and how it influenced the final product?
Mark was a great addition to the album and he really brought years of experience to the recording session, that we greatly appreciated. He really helped us try new things and experiment with our songs which helped tenfold. “Set Me Up” was one of the biggest changes, originally it came in as a soft indie track and he helped us bring out the energy and anger that is inherent to the song.
How do you feel your sound has evolved since you first started making music as a band, and what do you think has contributed to that evolution?
Our sound very much matured. It went away from music made purely for house parties and towards making songs that were representative of our creative ideals. A lot of the changes came from the pandemic and having the opportunity to sit down with the music and do nothing but create the entire time.
Your music combines elements of rock, blues, alternative, pop, and psychedelia. Who would you say influences you, and how would you describe your sound to someone who hasn’t heard it before?
Our music tastes are eclectic. I’m a big fan of ’50s through ’70s rock, soul, and funk while Dakota loves psychedelic rock from the ’70s. Rex and Dani both are big punk and grunge fans, which I think can be heard in the music. I love Bob Marley, Sam Cooke, CCR [Creedence Clearwater Revival], and [Jimi] Hendrix. If I were to describe our sound to someone who hasn’t heard us I think I’d probably say we are a modern take on classic rock with heavy influences of [Jimi] Hendrix, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and early Prince.
Listen to Bluphoria’s “Set Me Up” below
With your upcoming shows in Nashville & Los Angeles, what can fans expect from a live Bluphoria performance?
We are definitely more high energy. A lot of our songs fill out live and you can really feel the excitement, and love we bring to the music. I do recommend bringing earplugs!
Finally, what song/EP/album have you been playing on repeat recently?
I’ve been listening to The Nude Party’s new release Rides On lately! That album is a great mix of my favorite parts of classic rock and Blues.
Bluphoria 2023 North American Tour Dates
With their new album set to be released on May 5th via EDGEOUT Records, Bluphoria is poised to make a big impact in 2023. For more information on Bluphoria, visit their website here.