Editor’s Note: It’s been extremely well-documented that the Covid-19 pandemic has essentially brought the world to a standstill. That is certainly no secret. Bleeker is using this time to be creative with their social media. On Thursdays and Sundays, Bleeker will be performing live on Instagram Live and on Facebook Live. In this interview with Madness To Creation, vocalist Taylor Perkins of Bleeker discusses the Covid-19 pandemic, along with how they’ve changed their social media platforms, and mental health awareness. Their “Erase You” album is available on all streaming platforms and fans can find Bleeker at the following locations:
Madness To Creation: Hi Taylor, thank you for taking the time to chat with me for Madness To Creation how are you doing?
Taylor: Good how are you?
Madness To Creation: Oh, you know, a bit stir crazy doing the social distancing thing, how did the radio show go in Canada.
Taylor: It was pretty great, I’ve never been good at the social media thing, like I’ve never had a Facebook account or anything, so doing this is such a new thing for me, trying to do these live videos and trying to figure out how to make it work and make it exciting, I think it was a bit of a learning curve, but I think we’re going to get it, so *laughs*
Madness To Creation: I think we are all going through learning curves right now, what is the biggest thing that you have learned from this covid-19 pandemic, whether it’s in your personal life or in your music career?
Taylor: How fragile everything is, and how something like this can literally turn the world upside down. It is so crazy how you could just live life and try to do what you want to do, like go after my music career, just live like that and do whatever I want to do with it, something like that, it’s crazy how something so small can just disrupt everything that I’ve been trying to do for the past forever, so that’s the biggest thing that I’ve learned.
Madness To Creation: Let’s get to Bleeker’s music. How has the response been to the album “Erase You” and what were the most challenging and rewarding aspects when Bleeker made that record?
Taylor: It went really well, it was the record that catapulted us into the States and into Europe and stuff, so we’ve always been very Canada-based, and once we had that record and we had that song “Highway”, it got added in the States and in turn it got added in Canada, I don’t know why that always happens, getting added somewhere else before here, it went Number One in France, so it kind of opened up the world with that record.
Madness To Creation: Did you get to experience France or other parts of Europe yet?
Taylor: Oh yeah! Paris is one of those places where it should live up to the hype in my opinion, I love that city, but I didn’t get to enjoy it as much as the other guys because it’s usually me doing the press and all that other stuff, so we got to go see the Mona Lisa and I got to hear about it. It was fantastic, I love the whole vibe over there, and we got to see Germany and we got to see Scotland and other places I wouldn’t normally get to go see if I wasn’t doing music.
Madness To Creation: When you play in front of those audiences in Europe, Canada or United States, what are some of the biggest difference that you have noticed?
Taylor: It’s pretty similar, not so much the other countries, but it’s more about the different cities, I usually find the smaller cities and the cities that don’t always get entertainment, they always have more fun, they usually take advantage of it when it comes, so I like playing the smaller towns because of that.
Madness To Creation: A fun play-on words, question for you, if you could “Erase” one thing off of this planet what would it be?
Taylor: That’s tough, I don’t want to be rude so I’m trying to think of something that’s not rude! *laughs* Do you know what I hate, this is what came to mind, those stupid scones, I think scones are the dumbest thing of all-time, so let’s get rid of scones.
Madness To Creation: What don’t you like about scones?
Taylor: It’s like a dry dessert, it’s a dry piece of bread with always never enough fruit in it, it’s the worse thing of all-time, I don’t know if that was a good answer, but that was the first thing that came to mind.
Madness To Creation: You released the lyric video for “Problems”, take us into the video and song, and if you’re the songwriter, what were you going through when you penned those lyrics?
Taylor: That was when we were starting to write for the record, and starting to get back on social media, I took over the Bleeker Instagram, and just going through Instagram and social media and hearing these horror stories of these kids growing up and going through school, it’s so important for them to get “likes”, where it’s just this huge toxic environment for people to have to do that. I was talking to my drummer’s sister and she was saying how bad it was and it’s all about all the “likes” that you can get, so with all the pressure of social media and trying to think that you’re better than you are and always trying to look good and trying to do that kind of thing. That song kind of tells about that.
Madness To Creation: Is that primarily why you’ve stayed off of social media until recently?
Taylor: It’s weird because I’m always doing something else or it’s not even on my mind, so I never really got on social media and when I do, I really can’t spend too much time on there, so usually what I’ll do when I’m on Instagram or something, I’ll go through a post but I don’t really go through too many other things, and I just get see people go through those things and I don’t want to see that.
Madness To Creation: So what’s your mindset when you enter that studio or when you step onto that stage?
Taylor: In the studio, my mindset is very relaxed because I realize that we can do as many takes or do it as many times as we have to until it’s all done and we can, we have as much time as we need to have. I used to be super nervous when it was vocal days, but now I feel at home in the studio and there’s never any pressure, it’s all just we can make the best ideas and when we put it out, it’s a very fun vibe.
As far as live performing, we’ve been playing live for 16 years, we’ve been playing live since we were seven or eight, so I don’t have anymore nerves at all, it’s more just excitement, it’s just when I’m really really bored and hanging out until two minutes before we go on and then I get super excited and we love performing live.
Madness To Creation: What is the craziest and biggest memory that you have on the live stage?
Taylor: The first one that comes to mind is that when we were playing San Diego or something and we were playing and just a couple of songs into the set, and some crazy person just came up on the stage and just started spray painting the whole drum kit and we just kind of kept playing, it was hilarious! It was the weirdest thing of all-time. I think the drum kit that we were using were from another band, I think there was a very pissed off fan.
Madness To Creation: What were they pissed off about?
Taylor: I don’t know man, I guess we did something that was our fault! *laughs*
Madness To Creation: We focus on mental health awareness in terms of normalizing mental health conversations with one another, what does mental health awareness mean to you and what advice do you have for our readers?
Taylor: I have a lot of family members, very close family members who all suffer from depression and all that, for me, it’s always been very important, we try to keep it to where there’s no stigma around it at all in my family, and everybody has to try to help each other, we wrote a song called “Disaster” and we wrote it about how sometimes life just sucks and that it’s hard, but if you have the right people and the right structure around you, it makes it so much easier. It’s always been pretty prevalent around me.
Madness To Creation: What is something that you cannot go without in your daily routine?
Taylor: I have to exercise, which has been one of the harder things to do with this Covid thing, I love just getting out and going to a gym or something like that, I feel a lot different from when I don’t, I feel lethargic and I just feel kind of like down in the dumps, I have to exercise, that’s the one thing that I have to do.
Madness To Creation: Do you have a particular workout regiment that you follow?
Taylor: No, I switch it up quite a bit, I have some friends that also do it, so I’ll just go with them for a week and try to pick up their routine, and then I’ll do something different. I don’t go too serious cause I just love getting out for 45 minutes to an hour and just do something. It’s usually just weight training and I’ll do some cardio at the end.
Madness To Creation: I know that this is tentative with this Covid-19 pandemic, but you guys are opening up for AWOLNation and Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness, what can fans expect from that tour if it’s still going on, and what’s one thing that you want to learn from this tour?
Taylor: I expect to have a lot of fun, we always have a lot of fun when we go out, I expect to eat a lot of really good food, I love traveling through the States cause it’s all so different instead of just one country, and we love trying all the different kinds of foods, I expect to also meet tons of people that we can carry on with through our lives and our career. I think as far as learning something, from AWOLNation, I know that he has crazy energy on stage, and I haven’t met him yet, but he seems like a very thoughtful person and it seems like he has an all around good vibe and obviously he’s an amazing songwriter too, so I would love to just sit with him and see his process works and how he does it. He’s been doing it for so long too, I remember when “Sail” came on the scene and that was just the craziest song, so yeah it would be cool to see how it works.
Madness To Creation: We are going to play a quick round of “Would You Rather”? Would you rather eat steaks with a spoon or watermelon steaks? This is the would you rather edition?
Taylor: What, say that again?
Madness To Creation: This is the question that you picked. Apparently watermelon steaks are really rare, I don’t know what they are haha.
Taylor: I’ve never heard of a watermelon steak, since it’s rare, let’s go with that! *laughs*
Madness To Creation: Where can people find Bleeker or anything else you would like to add?
Taylor: Stream us on Spotify and check out our socials, we’re pretty active, we’re doing some live streams on there for our shows on Thursdays and Sundays now, we’re definitely going to be doing that every week and we’re just going to try to stay busy and try not to go crazy!
And there you have it! Fans can stream “Erase You” via Spotify in its entirety below: