Interview: Blood People talk forgetting common words, new music and coming up in Chicago

Blood People played Barrel House night two of Big Turn Music Fest in Red Wing, MN.
(L to R) Jeff Loehrke, Mickey Molinari, Aly Jados and Norm Burns.

We’ve all temporarily forgotten a word we know we shouldn’t have. Trying to explain what the word is without remembering the word itself can be a source of amusement for others and frustration for ourselves. In the case of Chicago rock band, Blood People, one such incident resulted in their name.

“She was trying to think of a word for family and she said, ‘You know…like… blood…people.'” said bassist Norm Burns of vocalist/guitarist Aly Jados’ memory lapse responsible for the band’s name.

As soon as the phrase left Jados’ mouth, the band knew that was it. “I just kind of blurted it out and it was like ‘Oh, that’s it,’ you know? I just think that’s how band names start, I don’t know,” laughed Jados.

Jados and guitarist Jeff Loehrke had been playing together for a long time before forming Blood People.

“Jeff and I have been playing together since we were like 16. Like in my parent’s basement, you know. We have been playing on and off together for a long time. We had a band in college together, and then I kind of did my solo thing and he was doing a metal band,” said Jados.

Eventually, Loehrke had a riff that he knew the perfect voice for and showed it to Jados. One song quickly became two and they soon recruited drummer Mickey Molinari.

Burns didn’t come into the picture until his sister, the band’s original bassist, moved. “She moved not far away but far enough where you couldn’t really make the band work, so Norm picked up where she left off,” Jados explained.

The band’s individual music tastes cover a wide range, from The Beatles and the Bee Gees to The Dillinger Escape Plan and Propagandhi. Surprisingly or not, this includes jazz, “We all played jazz music back in the day. I don’t know if that carried over. Only in our subconscious, maybe,” said Burns.

Jados considers herself someone who listens to everything, ” I grew up listening to metal and thrash but also The Beatles and classic rock stuff. I mean going on the spectrum I can listen to the Billie Eilish record and like a lot of different types of artists,” she said.

With as large a music scene as Chicago, one might think that it would make it harder in some respects, but Jados sees more positives than negatives.

“I mean, I think it’s more of a good thing because, like, we’ve got a lot of friends and we get to see our friends all the time through being in bands. And there are a lot of cool places to play. So, I think having more bands in a city means there’s more shows, more opportunities to play…I don’t know, more fun,” she said.

Loehrke added,” It keeps you on your toes to keep pushing and keep trying new things.”

After a three year wait between their self-titled EP and 2019’s “Great Reactor” EP, the band has no intention of waiting that long to release new music.

“We are kinda wanting to demo out as much as we can and then like stop playing so many shows and just focus on writing. Because we tend to like ‘Oh, do you want to play a show?’ ‘Yeah. We’ll play.’ ‘We’ll play.’ ‘We’ll play.’ And like all we are doing is playing shows, you know what I mean?,” Jados added it is hard for the band to say no to an opportunity to play because they love playing their music.

While the band has plans to release a lot of new music this year, they aren’t sure yet if they will come in the form of multiple EPs or a full-length.

“That’s a little down the road because we want to amass as much new material as we can and we will see how it all looks, and take a step back and see what all fits,” said Burns, adding to expect a couple of singles sooner than later.

“I think regardless of format, it will be just as much music whether it ends up being all together or in chunks,” assured Loehrke.

Laura Ellen Brandjod (LEB): Did someone actually think you sounded like Steely Dan?

Aly Jados (AJ): (laughs) Oh that was Khile. It was just one of our friends. We were like, ‘Can you write us a bio?’ and he was like, ‘yeah, here you go.’

Jeff Loehrke (JL): Yeah it’s like, ‘If you’re f–d up enough, we sound like Steely Dan, but that’s on you, muffin.’

Norm Burns (NB): Where is this at?

JL: I don’t know.

AJ: It’s lost to the internet.

LEB: It’s on your Facebook profile.

(All laugh)

NB: Is it really? Ok, cool.

LEB: Yeah, just so you know.

(All laugh)

NB: Good to know, good to know.

AJ: Yeah that was at the beginning when we were just like, ‘We’ve got to have something,’ and we asked Khile to do it and that’s what he came up with.

I remember looking at that and being like ‘What the f– is that,’ and I, I don’t even know how to change it so, whatever, it’s there.

NB: I mean It’s not necessarily wrong. Someone could get pretty f–d up and be like ‘It’s Steely Dan.’ ‘Yeah, we saw Steely Dan.’

LEB: Do you have a favorite song to play live?

AJ: Honestly I like playing ‘Last One Standing’. I mean it’s the first one we did, but I just love coming out blazin’ with that one. Like, I don’t know why, it’s just if I feel the energy. If I feel that energy circle during that song, I know it’s going to be a good show.

But I also love playing ‘Burn the Ships’, too, and that’s another one off of our first EP.

JL: That’s my favorite. ‘Burn the Ships’.

AJ: It’s just fun to play and end with because it’s kind of like two songs in one, I don’t know.

JL: What’s your favorite song to play [Norm]?

NB: ‘Liars’ Club’. It’s high octane. I can cut loose on that one. Well, and the new one. I like playing ‘Perfect Circus’ a lot.

AJ: Yeah I was going to say that but–

NB: It’s not out yet.

AJ: Yeah, it’s not out yet.

LEB: I like to end on some fun questions. I just find that the answers are usually pretty interesting.

The first is that you are stuck alone on a desert island and only have one album for the rest of your life. What would you want that album to be?

JL: He [Norm] already knows his.

NB: It’d probably be ‘Era Vulgaris’ by Queens of the Stone Age just because I imagine if ever found again, I would have transformed into the weirdest little creature that anyone has ever seen.

(All laugh)

Yeah, I could listen to that album over and over again. I would say ‘…Like Clockwork’ but that one’s too depressing, and that could be bad on a desert island, so better go with ‘Era Vulgaris’.

AJ: I don’t know why, but when you said that the first album that popped in my head was Amy Winehouse ‘Back to Black.’

NB: Really?

AJ: Yeah. It’s a really good one. I heard two of the songs on that record today at lunch and I couldn’t help myself but to sing out loud, but I don’t know.

If I thought about it more maybe it would be something else. But I love that album. It hits me hard.

JL: Probably ‘London Calling’ by The Clash. I mean I think it’s a tie between that and several others but…

AJ: Like what?

JL: Well like Radiohead ‘The Bends’, the first Rage [Against the Machine] album.

NB: I would almost want to say ‘(Remember Me) I’m the One Who Loves You’ by Dean Martin.

(All laugh)

AJ: What about ‘Bennie and the Jets’, Norm?

Norm: Oh yeah, ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’. F– yeah.

AJ: I feel like that would be a good one for you.

Norm: I’d do that in a heartbeat. That would be a good one. ‘Everyone Loves Alice’? (mimics riff). Yeah, maybe Elton John.

LEB: If you were hypothetically broken up and could join any band you wanted to, who would it be? 

NB: Rascal F–ing Flatts.

AJ: I have to say Metallica. I was going to say The Runaways, but I don’t think that counts anymore. I think it would be cool to be in an all-girl band. I’m sick of these clowns (laughs).

JL: I would be in Propagandhi.

LEB: Anything else?

NB: We just released our music video for our song ‘Recluse’. You can check it out on Youtube and Apple Music, Spotify, whatever streaming platform you use.

AJ: Follow us @bloodpeopleband on Instagram. That would be awesome.

NB: The first EP and the second EP ‘Great Reactor’. Check ‘em out. Dig ‘em.

AJ: And be on the lookout for new stuff. We’ve got some stuff in the works, so it will be coming out in the next couple months.

NB: Call into your local radio stations and demand that they play the song ‘Shapeshifter’ by Blood People. 

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