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INTERVIEW: First Blush

Hi Charles, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hi, thanks for having me! I’ve been pretty good, excited about the rollout of the album and to see what people think of it.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Wouldn’t We All?”?

Sure. “Wouldn’t We All?” actually started its life as two separate song ideas. I wrote the second, uptempo half of the track first and then the slower first half later on. I couldn’t figure out what to do with each idea, so I put them away for a while. Then, about a year later, I was going through old song ideas on my laptop and came to those two and remembered how much I liked them, and what a shame it was that I couldn’t finish them. Then I had the idea of combining the two, and when I heard how well they complemented each other, I took a renewed interest in the project and started writing more to flesh out the track. Many months and countless iterations later, I decided on the version you hear today…

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

No, nothing in particular. Particular events or lyrical ideas almost never come first in my writing process. It usually starts with me sitting at the piano and just playing until I stumble upon something that resonates with me. It’s not until after a song is done that I can step back and kind of see what the song is about. To me, “Wouldn’t We All?” feels like dread and suffocation morphing into quiet optimism. And when I say “to me”, I really mean it. I strongly believe that there are no correct answers when it comes to verbalizing what a piece of music means to you. Any given listener’s interpretation is just as valid as anyone else’s, including the writer’s. The only truly correct answer is the music itself.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

Not for “Wouldn’t We All?”, but the next single, “Gold” will be accompanied by a video, which I’m super excited about. I think it’s going to give people chills.

The single comes off your new album Monologic – what’s the story behind the title?

It comes from the word “monologue”. After finishing the album I realized that all the songs felt deeply personal, more so than anything I had written in the past, so describing them as one big monologue seemed appropriate.

How was the recording and writing process?

Painstaking, but rewarding. As I mentioned, it lasted the better part of four years, and saw the writing and discarding of about five times as many songs as are on the album. Maybe I went a little overboard, but I think it was worth it and hopefully others agree.

How has Juilliard influenced your music?

I don’t know that Juilliard in particular has influenced my music, but my music education in general has definitely been a valuable tool for me. Growing up playing the piano, I was introduced to the basics of theory and harmony early, so when the impulse to write struck me later on in my high school years, I was well-equipped to realize my ideas.

What aspect of alcohol abuse and panic attacks did you get to explore on this record?

I think the record explores the aftermath of those things rather than the things themselves. The residual feelings that swirl around in your head: fear, remorse, contrition, hope.

Any plans to hit the road?

Definitely! Once the album drops in July I’ll be booking some shows in support of the release, probably mostly in the NYC and Philadelphia areas.

What else is happening next in First Blush’s world?

For now I’m taking a deep breath and enjoying a creative lull. I’m trying to enjoy the fruits of my labor with Monologic, but I also can’t help but start thinking about the next album and how I can improve. So stay tuned!

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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