A Guide to Los Angeles with Blondfire in Los Angeles
In its early days, Blondfire was called Astaire and brother and sister duo Bruce and Erica Driscoll wrote and played songs together. Nowadays, frontwoman and guitarist Erica leads the band as it continues to develop its sound. With alternative pop vibes and dreamy vocals, this Los Angeles band has gone on a journey of experimentation and if you haven’t heard of them before, now is the time to jump on board. Erica talked to us about the uphill climb of making it in the music industry and why she thinks Los Angeles is just like a unicorn.
What is the best thing about Los Angeles? The weather, my orange tree, flowers, the ocean, pretty much that California dream.
What is the worst? It’s probably what everyone says but, the traffic.
If your city was a person or character who would it be? A unicorn. Beautiful and breathtaking, but at the same time everything you see isn’t always real.
What is a perfect day in your city? Just being out in nature somewhere with the butterflies and hummingbirds.
What are some of your favorite places to tour? The East Coast is definitely a little more manageable because the cities are a lot closer together. It’s always fun to be back in New York City, but I’ve had also had great shows and met some awesome fans in places like Kansas City and Salt Lake City.
What has been the most surreal moment in your career? There have been a bunch. I pinch myself quite often with things I get to do. Playing Lollapalooza on the bill with some of my favorite bands was one of them.
“#FlashbackFriday to this time last year that we had a blast playing #Lollapalooza.” via @blondfire
What inspires your songwriting? Life experiences, but also seeing a random word or phrase can inspire a whole story and song. Sometimes these things just kind of come out of nowhere and I was just open to it. Like it was always out there, but somehow I tuned in. Music is crazy, magical and amazing.
What’s the hardest thing about being in a band? What’s the best? I liken being in a band to climbing a very large hill where people are constantly trying to knock you off. It can be really hard sometimes. There’s a lot of uncertainty and constant work involved in keeping this thing going. The best part is definitely the music. When I’ve stumbled onto a song idea that I’m truly excited about, recording it and listening back to what I’ve created or playing a show where everything just comes together and getting lost in that moment. Those feelings can’t be replicated.
Which cities party the hardest? How so? We’ve had some crazy times with folks in Columbus, Ohio of all places. Lots of alcohol and something called “Ladies 80’s”. Austin also goes hard, plus I dig those outdoor bar and BBQ places.
What has surprised you the most about touring? How insanely tired you can be from traveling then get on stage and go from zero energy to 11. Also, how it’s possible to basically live on hummus, tortilla chips, Kind Bars and wine. #tourdiet
What’s the strangest thing that’s happened to you while touring? Out running a twister in Canada! We were in the middle of nowhere and this tornado was right alongside the highway. We really didn’t know what to do. Do we try to outrun it or turn back? Thankfully, we outran it, then it crossed the road behind us. It was pretty surreal!
“Craziest thing I’ve ever experienced!!! #wearealive #thisisrreal #canadaiscrazy” via @blondfire
What does the band like to do for fun while on the road? On tour we’re so busy that our idea of a good time is finding a great cup of coffee or a bowl of Pho! On our rare day off on the road, just doing normal things like exploring the city, having a good meal or catching a movie is so nice. All the things you kind of take for granted when you’re at home.
What’s your favorite way to interact with fans, before, during and after the show? I run all my own social media, so I do my best to respond and interact with people that take the time to say something nice or ask a question. After the show I’m usually at the merch table to meet and chat.
What is the most useful career advice you’ve received? Two things, find what makes you unique, different, special, do that and stay true to who you are. Also, don’t compare yourself to others. Everyone has their time, moment, ups and downs. Sometimes it can look like someone has it all, but you never know what’s going on behinds the scenes. Cheer on your friends and trust your time will come.
If you could tour with any band or artist from any time in history, who would it be? That’s such a hard question! There are so many different bands and artists I love, but I would probably go full 80’s and be out there with the Pet Shop Boys or Depeche Mode. Maybe I could sing Dusty Springfield’s part on “What Have I Done To Deserve This” or play keys for Depeche Mode, so I could be in the middle of it all happening.
How do you get oriented in a new city? Yelp is my friend.
Which bands/artists are you listening to these days? Mostly I’ve been going back to bands that influenced me to do music in the first place. The Sundays, New Order, Cocteau Twins, Siouxsie and the Banshees. Newer stuff, I really dig Tame Impala.
Los Angeles photo by Pavielle Garcia.