Interview: Blimeyohriley

Rockers Blimeyohriley released a blinder of an EP recently, titled Where We Are Merely Imaginary. I completed a review of the EP and wanted to find out a little more, hence this interview!

By Jane Howkins

You recently released an EP titled Where We Are Merely Imaginary, which we reviewed. What can you tell us about the EP?

The record was originally penned not long after our first album, way back in late 2016.
There were a bunch of songs that never made it through the conceptual idea stage, they were too ‘tongue in cheek’ and too similar to our last record. We felt that we needed to evolve somewhat, or change our style completely.

I think Deano initially wanted us to take up a gimmick. I believe dressed in drag was his best idea. We soon put a stop to that plan I can tell you. The record was in limbo for a while as I had a major work commitment to attend to which was for 2 years or so. Initially this EP was an album which early on had a concept linking the songs into one narrative, but after a while it was brought to my attention that the plot resembled Forrest Gump, honestly.

The boys took great pride in letting me know this. I’d never even seen this movie, it’s crazy.
Anyway, this idea was scrapped soon after realizing that we couldn’t afford to record the whole album. So it was condensed. The only song that holds its theme still from that plotline is Pink Elephants. Saying that, I reckon most of the songs have general linked themes between them. We might release those other songs someday. I don’t know, we might end up doing something different. You can never tell.

How has the reception to the EP been so far?

Pretty good all in all. We are admittedly, a small group from a sleepy Devon town. We don’t pretend to be anything else, so to have folks from other countries listen and even reach out and give us a thumbs up is really great. It was always going to be a risky move to change up the style so much in our local scene, but it seems to be going down well.

Also, we are stoked by the kind words in all the reviews we’ve had and achieving some decent radio play like BBC introducing and some cool online stations too. Hopefully we can keep that momentum going.

Has the pandemic hindered your work much?

Oh yes. Obviously the main issue was getting together to rehearse and write. The first few gigs after the lockdown were ropey to say the least. Like all of a sudden standing up and playing guitar was a little alien, after being sat on our backsides strumming for so long. Most of the writing for the EP was done using home studios and pinging tracks back and forth.

I think this is where it went a little off-kilter. I guess a lot of musicians have a similar story. The experience was good for experimentation, but you can’t beat being in the room with your mates and riffing off of each other. No gigs meant that we weren’t pulling in cash flow, which in the past would fund a project like this.

I even looked at art grants. I remember getting up super early, like 4AM before I went to work, so that I could fill the submission forms out. They are quite extensive. Anyway, just like my physics G.C.S.E exam I failed with flying colours. I think all in all, it was my voice that suffered the most, Without practicing at full volume or in a rehearsal situation for so long, I found that the high notes were getting hard to hit as well as controlling stamina. Which had never been an issue in the past. After some vocal training and warm up techniques, I feel like I mended my voice in time for the record. That’s actually really saying something. I hate the sound of my voice.

You released a single called Stress back in June. What can you tell us about the track and why did you pick that one for a single?

We picked it because it’s one of the shortest and has the most traditional song structure. I always write long songs, I can’t help myself. I always want to take it somewhere else. I think I even challenged myself to be under 4 minutes. I failed. Ha. The video was the fun part of that track. I love the concept. It was Deano’s idea. I think it highlights the theme of the track, with a little bit of comedy thrown in for good measure.

Do you plan to release any more singles in the near future?

I don’t know about singles from this EP. I think it works better as a whole thing. I know that’s not how things are done generally now. I guess I’m old fashioned. We will look to release something, hopefully, next year. There’s a couple of Ideas kicking about at the moment.
Maybe more original stuff or we have a large catalogue of covers and medleys that would be cool to record, if nothing else it would be nice to have them for ourselves.

I’d love to play a packed show and record it and have it as a live record, maybe film it too.
The other thing is a mockumentary type thing that we have talked about for years now. A new idea comes up every now and then. It’s all about time and if we can find some really. I know that Fish, our drummer, has always wanted to start his Peter Andre tribute act. He loves it! It’s not something I or Deano want to get involved with, but if that’s what he wants to do, I say go for it! You won’t see me get in the way of another man’s dream.

Have you started writing for another EP or an album?

There are a bunch of tunes. Some more finished than others, a group of them being the second half of the EP. We could probably commit to a new record tomorrow, we might even do that. Tomorrow is another day. There are always new ideas for songs, they all tend to differ in style slightly. I think we would want to get stuck into something that pulls a bunch of songs together that have similarities.

Get in that pocket you know? Who knows our next release could be way chilled. Lots more reggae, ska and swing. Hold off throwing down heavy passages all the time. This is very unlikely however.

Your music has quite a punky sound. What/who influences you most as artists? What have you been listening to recently?

Personally, I love punk and hardcore. It’s something that has just followed me my whole life, and deep down the three of us are all metalheads. That’s how our sound evolved really. Three metal heads in a reggae band. It was always going to go this way. In fact we all started together when we were 18 in a Metal band. Like, 20 years ago. A much simpler time.

Speaking of time, it was our belief that we were ahead of our time at that point, and the world wasn’t ready for the random, low tuned raucous nonsense that emanated onto the high street from our drummer’s bedroom a couple times a week. However, it’s not all we listen to. I am a self confessed music junkie. I love finding new music and artists. As do Fish and Deano. It’s a good thing, it means that we are always pulling influence from everywhere. It’s inspirational.
I think this EP displays a lot of our influences if you have a keen ear.

Where are you based? What is the music scene like in your part of the world?

We come from a little Devon town called Honiton. Once upon a time, we had a great little hometown scene. Us and our pals would put on events in a couple local bars, with what can only be described as classic line-ups. Always had a great night and a large party. That did fizzle out. Our town is sadly inflicted with business closures and a lot of the venues haven’t survived.
There are plenty of places to play though. Loads of beer and music festivals dotted throughout the summer and being near the coast, there are great venues that put on nights.
Exeter and Plymouth have a regular buzz going on.

Do you have any tour dates lined up? We have a stint of shows throughout the summer till the end of September. Just around Devon, Dorset and Somerset. Our personal schedules keep us tied fairly locally for the moment. We will do a good few before the year ends and will keep going again in 2023 for sure.

Any last words for the fans?

Only, thank you. We hope you continue to enjoy what we got.