The “Dark Rooms” That Inspire Bleeker [INTERVIEW] BC Artist Profile: Bleeker
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With a band name Bleeker, one might have thoughts of some depressing, dystopian future, but after spending some time with Taylor Perkins (Vocals), Cole Perkins (Guitars), and Mike Van Dyk (Bass), my New York cynicism gave way to the fun, easy going attitude that these Canadian rockers brought across the border. Having recently released the official video for their latest single “Highway” I set up a time to catch up with the guys while they were in New York.
I got to High Line Park early to scout a location for portraits only to find out that the band was already there. What band gets anywhere early? They were witty, silly and just had a positive aura about them that made spending time with them such a joy. Taylor offered to carry my bag. To say I was charmed would be an understatement. To say they are charming would also be an understatement. I caught their set at Jones Beach opening for Sublime with Rome, and Taylor were even able to charm three, hardcore long Island natives dressed in wife beaters to get up and shake it, by simply asking them to get up and dance. To watch this go down was a thing of beauty.
After taking a few portraits with the fellas, I sat down and had a little chat with to learn a little more about them.
What is your first musical memory?
TAYLOR PERKINS : I would say, when I was a kid, for christmas me and my brother got these little pianos. and it had “Let It Be” on it so you’d just press a button and it would play “Let It Be”.
MIKE VAN DYK : I remember my aunt having this all in one 7 inch player and Let It Be” was on one of the 7 inches. So, that was amazing.
Where do you go for inspiration when you are writing your music?
TAYLOR PERKINS : I think it’s different every time, outdoors usually, or just switch it up every second. He spends a lot of time in a dark room…
COLE PERKINS : Yeah, I like being in my room.
Would you say that dark rooms inspire you?
COLE PERKINS : YES.
What’s the best way to describe the chemistry of the band?
TAYLOR PERKINS : No one takes themselves seriously and no takes each other seriously.
MIKE VAN DYK : Nobody likes Taylor.
What’s the best day as a band so far?
TAYLOR PERKINS : Today, right now… no (laughs) … one of my favorite days was when Mike lost two phones in one day. That was pretty amazing.
COLE PERKINS : It was the best for us because we got to laugh at him.
TAYLOR PERKINS : So he got drunk on the plane and left his phone and then walked into the ocean with his backup phone. I think that was a really good day.
Would you agree?
MIKE VAN DYK : Yeah, it was good. (laughs) Well, it wasn’t too bad because it was a week where I didn’t have to talk to anybody. I just got to hang out with these guys so that was nice. But when we landed in Toronto and everybody turns their phones off air plane mode every bodies like, “OOOH” talking to people, that’s when I was like (makes a very sad face).
What do you guys do in your down time?
COLE PERKINS : I hang out in a dark room. In a studio (giggles) that’s what I do.
TAYLOR PERKINS : Mostly just music, we frolic a little bit.
MIKE VAN DYK : Yeah… Music. Frizbee, golf.. I like to cook, I just like to hang.
COLE PERKINS : Mike will come over with a bunch of food and make a crazy meal for us, and we just drink busch tallboys all day and play music.
As an artist with a platform to reach other people, do you ever feel a responsibility to say something and if so what is it?
TAYLOR PERKINS : Ahhh, no.
MIKE VAN DYK : At least at this point in our careers, no. We just sort of keep our mouth shut about that sort of thing because everyone has an opinion, and if you have one I think in this game, it could do you harm.
COLE PERKINS : I don’t really have any opinions on any of that stuff anyways. I just can’t be bothered, just make me cynical… Like news stuff? Like Trump and stuff?
TAYLOR PERKINS : I just can’t be bothered. It would make me very angry and cynical.
COLE PERKINS : We spend to much time in dark rooms playing music to care about that stuff.
Bus breaks down in the middle of no where, no help is coming, which member of the band gets eaten first?
COLE PERKINS : Eaten?
MIKE VAN DYK : The drummer.
TAYLOR PERKINS : If it was just the three of us, I think these two would kill me and eat me. They’d shut me up pretty quick anyways.
The new song “Highway” is really awesome, what do you want people to take away from it?
TAYLOR PERKINS : My favorite bit about that song is from start to finish, it’s just like driving and I just want people to sing a long with it at a concert.
I know I was Taylor.
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Cortney Armitage is a photographer and writer based out of Brooklyn, NY. Born into the world of indie rock ‘n’ roll, she travels back and forth from Los Angeles capturing artists in and out of their natural habitat. Contact her at: www.CortneyArmitage.com