Homegrown BLORRnography: An Interview With Chris Hess from Le Blorr
Synconation got an exclusive interview with Chris Hess from Le BLORR, freshly home from their European tour. Synconation was being represented by Errett Goff, which was a risk in itself.
For the uninitiated, Le BLORR used to just be called BLORR. And Nesquik used to be called Nestle Quick. For the super-uninitiated, BLORR is an acronym for Bastard Lovechild Of Rock-n-Roll, which reminds us all that there are in fact minute yet important differences between Rock and Roll, and the band makes sure to utilize and celebrate both in their music. They are an epic psychedelica/ hard rocking music duo with twinges of electronica and a live set that usually involves underwear, giant banner/flag waving, crowdsurfing, and the occasional throw-up. They sound like Wolfmother and The Black Angels and maybe A Flock Of Seagulls all fell in a swimming pool of liquid LSD and bubble bath and then everything got batshit giggly. They have miraculous stage names like Cookie Sugarhips (Chris Hess) and Hot Damn Sweet Huckleberry Winn (Adam Winn) as well as music videos that give me boners and dizzy spells. They have played with our very own Sunbears, Surfer Blood, Matt And Kim, Angels And Airwaves, Casiokids, WAAVES, Cold War Kids, Black Lips, Sundress etc. and have been taking part in the all hallowed Secret Shows all over the European realm. (They also have a band name that is easily adaptable to journalistic puns) OH AND THEY HAIL FROM JACKSONVILLE. Your argument is invalid.
US: Let’s talk turkey. What is the best meal you’ve had on your Euro-tour and where?
CHRIS HESS: Best meal on Euro Tour was probably a tie between the Indian food we had in Birmingham and the traditional German breakfast we got from our kind host Jean Patrick. Jean Patrick serenaded us with original love songs in his native French tongue so you kinda can’t beat that.
US: What is it like having the jawbones of a Greek god? Don’t deny it, you guys are beautiful, beautiful men. How does being outrageously gorgeous factor into being rock icons?
HESS: You must be talking about Adam and he isn’t beside me at this moment so I can only make a measly assumption that he has lots of eye-sex from behind those colorful drums of his.
US: What bands do you think Le BLORR fans also enjoy and listen to besides Le BLORR? What bands do you wish they would listen to and enjoy?
HESS: Hummm… Slightly Stoopid? Mudvayne? Jewel? No I’m being facetious… Fans would prob listen to Pepper? Slipknot? Cheryl Crow? Although I wish fans of Le Blorr would have us in a playlist along the likes of Flaming Lips, Prince, T. Rex, Etta James, maybe some E.L.O., maybe some Astrud Gilberto to go to sleep, perhaps a little Lord Huron to vacation to, and then some Reptar and Darkhorse Saloon to party to.
US: When did the “Le” come to be, and what prompted it? And what other band names did you toy with before Le Blorr?
HESS: The “Le” came about over a year ago. We just wanted to add a little class to the sound of the acronym. As to not draw too many similarities to our indie rock counterpart Gwar.
US: Did you know that I once threw up at one of your shows? How does that make you feel? I was wearing a Sonny’s BBQ polo shirt, I guess to be ironic, but most people all night kept asking me if I worked at Sonny’s. How does THAT make you feel?
(Long awkward pause)
…anyway, I drank too much and threw up all over it, but I still stayed for the whole show. And then later I saw you guys play at an acoustic set at an after-party. I felt much better then. How does that make you feel?
HESS: It makes me feel great that you threw up at our show. It means you were going for it… You came to the game to play ball. I like that. Someone came up to me once bleeding profusely from their face and said “LOOK! I bleed for you!” and then walked away. I had never been more flattered. Vomiting is right up there with blood.
Oh and I myself love a pulled brisket sangggwich with a mix of the sweet bbq sauce and the hot sauce. So whether you work there or not… endorsing Sonny’s in any way is totally cool. I don’t remember an acoustic show after any Jax shows. Are you sure you are interviewing the right band? This is Le Blorr not Gwar dammit! Jokes. I’m sure we did that some time or another.
US: You guys were equally shit-hammered.
HESS: I’m not too much of a “sit around the fire and awkwardly sing songs to the party” kind of dude so I must have been blackout buzzed if I was doing that. And at that I am surprised you didn’t vomit on me for doing that.
US: I’m a kind and benevolent interviewer. I don’t fight much. You? Do you all get along on your tour? Do you ever fight? If so, is it totally rockstar?
HESS: Adam and I are kind of like a married couple that has settled in to the finality of their vows. We know we have no choice but to get along so we do… splendidly. He is one of my best friends. That said there is no spontaneous sex at rest stops. Kind of a bummer but at least we’re not fist fighting before shows.
US: Aside from, say… The Black Keys… there isn’t a whole helluva lot of gritty Rock-n-roll out there in the mainstream today. Why is that, do you think?
HESS: Well if you really dissect it… even the Black Keys polished their sound, added members and started writing songs a little more pop-oriented then the early stuff of theirs that was total blues stripped to its core. I think the change was necessary and a nice evolution. It happened to turn out very well for them. But as far as other gritty rock n roll bands in mainstream… well here’s a theory… Perhaps the “public” perceive any grit in music as a lack of funding needed to make it sound perfectly polished. And therefore assume that if they don’t have the funding then they are poor or not signed… and of course if they are “poor” or “not signed” to a high paying record deal then they obviously have no talent. I’m totally assuming now about the majority public so ya… kinda just talkin out my ass.
US: What jobs would you like to have if you suddenly got bored of being rockstars?
HESS: I was coordinating events like benefits and art shows before the band and that stuff was really engaging for me. Adam would probably just go back to the gun factory he worked at when he was 16.
US: I’ll leave that one for when he is here to defend himself. So! Let’s talk about them Travelin Pants! USA vs The Rest. Pros and Cons of a Euro-tour?
HESS: Honestly as far as people go… the one thing I noticed was that we’re all kinda the same. (GIGGLES) Maybe they look a lil different and sound different… but you’ve got your super excited music fans, your pretentious cool kids, your amazing hosts, and your hard-workers. I’ve seen all that in the States. I could say in some of the more remote cities that probably don’t get shows as much… I mean, people really want a good romping… they get unapologetically into the tunes they are digging at the moment. Getting lost is the only con…. not being able to read signs.
US: Been there. Now onto an important question. Would you survive in The Hunger Games, and why?
HESS: I think I could get far. I would offer myself up to the gang as a fuck-toy. Then they would not want to kill me until the end… by that point I would fool them into thinking the passionate sex was love. They couldn’t kill me then. Only problem is I wouldn’t be able to kill them cold-blooded… That would be where Adam would come in. He could probably do that. Especially if I made him do a bunch of our logistical work… I could probably just point and shout “KILL” and he’d be on it. Then it would come down to the two of us. And we would do like that chick and her fake boyfriend did and have us both win. “Gay Love Conquers Hunger Games”
US: Who was the most fun to tour with?
HESS: As far as best band/ most fun… Black Lips were incredibly nice to us. We just played one show with them so it wasn’t really a tour but I had a super inspiring talk with Ian. They were all so cool to us. THEY like to party more than anyone too. Matt and Kim were also probably the two happiest kindest people who play music.
US: Who is your biggest fan and does he/she have a restraining order?
HESS: I haven’t turned so cruel yet to put a restraining order against my mom. But I never could. She is by far the best band mom ever and I think its cause she is our biggest fan. No bias involved.
US: Someone once said that rock n roll has a hard time when democrats have the White House because its hard to build a rock culture when the young kids don’t feel as oppressed by The Man. Do you think this is true, and why or why not?
HESS: I could definitely see the point. But for me, specifically, I don’t get off too much from politics in music. I am not saying it’s not good, or heck even necessary sometimes. Just not my thang. I guess my goal in music is to give people a strong temporary feeling. But I shy away from preaching my views cause one I don’t think people really care to hear what I think about that stuff, 2) it’s kind of a boner shrinker. 3) most of all I myself am probably not an expert enough on politics to where I should be swaying lots of people’s opinions. Not to say I don’t have my views, cause I do. But if I have a bit of naivete on a subject I would rather ask questions about it then preach bullcrap… Knaaaaw whut I mean?
US: In the Bush years, The Warped Tour had The Dropkick Murphys. These days they actually had Katy Perry. Thank God for Le BLORR I guess… Speaking of which, what’s the immediate future hold? Any new videos? And when will you guys be playing in Jacksonville next?
HESS: We’ll be playin Jax on the 8th of June I believe. Square One with Darkhorse Saloon. Also, we’d love to join you for a radio set if that could be arranged. (GIGGLES) Yes we will be working on videos probably when we get back from recording in NY… this summer… Got some ideas but I’d have to erase your memory if I told you.
US: On that note, when you think of the greatest interviewers you’ve ever encountered, what position in the Top Three am I? Be sure to remember that once I referred to your singing voice as “an angel having a piercing orgasm”…
HESS: YOU are at the top. Why you are not a staff journalist at Rolling Stone is beyond me. Also upsetting as we would both be in great places in our careers. When the time is right. Congrats on the NPR stuff! That is really good. And thanks for the kind words. To mix divinity and sex in the same compliment is well… divine… and sexy… yup.
US: I don’t know if RS would let me use words like “Grendel-Satch” which I’ve now been able to slip into two articles. I do it all for the noms. You guys are great! See you in a few weeks Cookie Monster.
Look for Le BLORR at Square One on June 8th playing with Darkhorse Saloon. Read about their European tour at http://leblorr.tumblr.com/ .