Bleeker are steadily building a rock solid name for themselves in their native Canada. With an altered band name and a slightly revamped lineup, Bleeker's aesthetic and work ethic are as sturdy and as unshakable as ever. Musically cross-pollinating the swagger of The Rolling Stones with a psych-tinged groove, Bleeker fall amidst Jet, The Black Keys, and Royal Blood in the alt rock spectrum. What sets them apart is an ever-so-subtle current of loose cannon danger that courses through every riff, every note and every melody in their latest album Erase You.
Plus, they've got time on their side. They aren't a flash in the pain showing up today and lasting through tomorrow, at the latest, before fading into obscurity. No way. Bleeker have clawed their way to the top in their home country. Now, they are ready to sink their sonic hooks into both the ears and hearts of the rest of the world. Consider this your fair warning.
For the boys in Bleeker, there is a jones for writing music that they are compelled to satisfy. They have found the delicate balance that eludes so many musicians and bands. They wrote the entire album Erase You on their own, with the exception of lead single "Highway," which they co-wrote with Matt Squires.
Make no mistake — Bleeker live to play and play to live. But they don't take themselves too seriously and they don't try and force anything; instead, they still approach the art and craft of making music with the same unjaundiced eye as when they were first getting their legs under them. They refuse to get sucked into cynicism or any forced pressures. It's not do or die for them — it's just do! And those are the reasons why Bleeker will prosper as they storm the North American market.
Singer Taylor Perkins said, "If this all ended tomorrow, we'd still be stoked because we got to do so much as a band. Yes, we have other interests besides music. Our guitar player is a skydiving instructor and does extreme things. We all have our thing outside of this. But it's the songwriting that's the passion. My brother Cole and I get together and we write and see what happens."
He furthered, "You cannot let it become a job. You have to look it at the way you did when you started out when you were 13. We never thought of making money. We're were only about making music. We are still doing that. Anything else will make you miserable. If you cannot have fun in rock 'n' roll and music, where can you have fun?"
That is a universal truth.
The Bleeker boys love all the perks of the rock 'n' roll lifestyle, from the touring to the partying to the good times. But they've gotten some of that ancillary stuff out of their system. "We went through the bullshit aspect of being in a band, since we've done it for so long," Perkins said. "You know, when we were younger, we were all about stealing booze and having sex with girls."
They've got the life lived, the experience, the know-how, and the fire. And their commitment to the band is 100 percent distraction-free. "We don't have kids and overhead," Perkins said. "There are no crazy ass commitments. We just get up and do our thing. Nothing else conflicts. We are on call all of the time. You can't have any other career if you are going on tour for months at a time."
With their mission firmly in place, the band decamped to producer James Michael's studio in Eagle Rock, California to record the majority of Erase You over the course of two months, only working with one outside producer Matt Squire on the track Highway. This album will define Bleeker's career. It's the album on the back of which they will truly arrive, thanks to songs like "Highway," which resonates with its handclaps and garage pop vibe. It's uptempo from stem to stern and "always in your face." Perkins noted that "it has that lo-fi, old school vibe, but it still has some hooky melodies."
Then there's "I'm Not Laughing Now," which has quite the backstory. Perkins remembers, "I had an old, shitty computer. Six years ago, I recorded it an empty bathtub and used a cereal box for a snare. I went into the bathtub because I had to stomp on the floor to get a bigger boom. It was the best kick I could find in the house. It was a terrible recording and I burned it on CD. It had been called 'Cereal Box.' It went through years of people not hearing it. We copied the demo as much as we could, since it was so simple with a huge, hooky chorus. It's the best song I've ever written."
It's that sort of ingenuity, improvisation, and by-any-means-necessary approach that make Bleeker so unlike their peers. Forget spending millions of dollars on equipment and software to make it sound like millions of dollars weren't spent on equipment and software during the making of this album! Bleeker don't need those sorts of tricks; it's all raw and it's all real on Erase You.
The title track is a riff-driven song and as Perkins says, "Everything drops out and sucks you in. It's a massive chorus that comes out of nowhere." You know, that pretty much describes the whole of Bleeker. Their music and their devil-may-care vibe pull you in, but you don't want to waste time planning an escape. You just… accept it and allow yourself to be further drawn in. That's why they are on a path to explode into worldwide consciousness.