Nashville based rock band, Bluphoria, is about to embark on an extensive run of the United States following the release of their self-titled album back in May. This will be the first headlining tour for the passionate four-piece composed of lead singer and guitarist Reign LaFreniere, rhythm guitarist Dakota Landrum, bassist Rex Wolf, and drummer Dani Janae. I got the chance to talk with them ahead of their tour about the album, their writing process, and future goals!
Hey! Thanks for chatting with me! If you wouldn’t mind, please take a second to introduce yourselves and the band!
Reign: Hey I’m Reign, Our band is called Bluphoria. We are a four piece alt/psych rock band.
First off, I wanted to ask you about your new self-titled album, Bluphoria. I gave it a listen and I love the way you blend so many different genres into one unique sound. What was the writing process like? Was it different from the process for writing your previously released EP’s and singles?
Reign: It was a much more personal process. It took us a while to write it so it really captured our mental states creatively and emotionally going through the pandemic. It was such a fun process being in the studio and working with such a legendary producer. It really taught us more about music and helped us hone in on our craft.
Rex: I think for the new album, we took a different approach compared to our earlier releases. For the album, we fuse our different playing styles together which lead to the album to sound like a mix of different genres. Each band member has different preferences and tastes in music and I think we blended all our influences together especially apparent in songs like “Let You Go”, “Columbia”, and “Walk Through The Fire”.
Going off of that, is there one person that generally takes charge of writing lyrics and someone else that focuses on building the other parts? Do lyrics or riffs come first?
Reign: I typically bring lyrics and ideas to the band. Dakota does as well; we like to have our songs a little more personal by letting everyone add their own personal touch to the music. Rex writes so many iconic bass lines that it’d be foolish to write a part for him and Dakota does the same with his riffs.
Who and or what were some influences for you when writing the album?
Reign: My biggest influences for the album were probably Hendrix, Sam Cooke, and The Beatles.
Do you have any favorites off of the album? Any “favorite children” so to speak?
Dakota: My favorites off of the album are “ Columbia,” “Ain’t Got Me,” “Set Me Up” and “Let You Go.”
If there was one track that you could choose on Bluphoria that defines you as a band, what would it be and why? In other words, if someone were to ask you, “Who is Bluphoria?”, what song off of the album really represents you?
Dakota: I think for the band “Walk Through the Fire” and “Set Me Up” are probably the best songs that define us, it has the energy that we bring with us on stage along with a good look at the kind of genre we play in and music we make.
Rex: They are hard hitting songs that blend in our pop sound. They also have lots of energy like we do!
You are from Nashville. What is it like finding your own space in a place that is so full of talented and diverse individuals? Do you feel that there is a good sense of community in Nashville?
Rex: It is wonderful being a musician in Nashville. There is in fact a large sense of community and most everyone is very supportive of each other. Musicians go to each other’s shows, post about each other, and book gigs together. Most of our good friends here are other bands/musicians we play with and hangout with.
Dakota: I think Nashville has the best community for musicians I have ever seen. Every musician I’ve met here is very uplifting and genuine, each one wants to see others succeed. It’s so cool to be around this many talented people and so amazing to feel so inspired from people that you can consider close personal friends.
I noticed that your tour schedule is pretty extensive. You guys have a busy couple of months! Are there any cities that you are most looking forward to?
Reign: I’m super stoked to see San Diego and the Jersey shores. There are going to be so many cool cities along the tour, but I’m pretty excited to see the ocean again.
Dakota: I’m really looking forward to the 5 shows we have through California and seeing Seattle mostly because I really miss the west coast and the pacific northwest. Really looking forward to New York as well because I’ve never been!
Do you have a dream venue to perform at?
Reign: I really want to play festivals. That’s how I feel I’ve made it, if I play outside lands or Bonnaroo.
Dakota: I think if we ever got on a festival stage I would be over the moon.
I know that this is a pretty loaded question, however it is always one of my favorites to ask because it garners such a diverse response. What does this tour, and consequently this album, mean to you?
Reign: It’s finally a start to our musical careers and what we have worked so hard for. Touring is such an integral part of being a musician and being able to travel and grow as not only a musician, but a person, is such a spiritual experience that I’m glad I get to be a part of.
Rex: This upcoming tour and album else resembles commitment to me, and I’m sure that goes for all other band members. Touring and the album release are things that we have been working for for a very long time. We had dedicated and sacrificed a lot to be able to make these things happen and we are very excited. It is truly amazing to have the opportunities we have and we are very grateful to see our commitment and dedication come to life.
Do you have any goals for 2024? These can be individual goals or group goals!
Reign: I hope to play a big music festival or open for one of my favorite acts and overall just better myself and my music.
Dakota: I want to write so much more music and share it with even more people. Hopefully another project gets started and if I cross my fingers maybe even released. A bunch of more shows, maybe even a festival!
I have to ask, have you already started working on your next project? Do you write continuously or will you be taking a break on tour?
Rex: The band is continuously writing, we love to bounce musical ideas off each other whenever we are together. We have recorded some new stuff already, and we hope to start putting our next record together soon.
Finally, if there was one more thing that you would like readers and fans to know, what would it be?
Rex: I would like to tell the readers and fans that we undeniably appreciate your love and support and we hope to continue to make enjoyable music!
Dakota: We would be nowhere without all of the people that have uplifted us up and cared about the things we want to create. I don’t think anyone can make it alone and I definitely know that when I think about the people that have followed us and helped us. I hope we can keep making music that you enjoy.