House of Blondes
Gig Seeker Pro

House of Blondes

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE
Band Alternative EDM

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

This band hasn't logged any past gigs

Music

Press


"Beats Per Minute"

New York electronic trio House of Blondes never do anything in half measures. Their live-wire circuital approach to electronic experimentation allows for the incorporation and execution of dozens of influences and musical genres, sometimes within a single song. Coming together in 2010, John Blonde, Chris Pace, and Brian McNamara found among themselves a common musical thread—one which led them to form House of Blondes shortly after meeting. They released a lone single in 2011, which was soon followed by their 2012 debut LP, Clean Cuts. That album brought together blossoming synths, icy dancefloor atmospherics, and a subtle pop influence to create something that defied electronic convention while still giving fans enough brightly-lit textures and intricate rhythms to satisfy the most die-hard beat junkie.
For their latest release, a digital 7” featuring two new songs, the band eschewed their normal production to focus a bit more on guitar-driven dynamics. That’s not to say that the band completely drops their distinctive approach to electronic music, but it skews further to the left on these two tracks. When talking about the inspiration for A-side “Adam,” frontman John Blonde says, “I wrote “Adam” thinking about my friend and dreaming about what it might have been like to be a teenager in the UK in the ‘80s.” Replete with surprisingly relaxed rhythms, shimmering guitar lines, and dream-pop synths that invert the song around them, “Adam” feels like the very definition of intelligent electronic music. B-side “Summer In Reverse” drags out a frayed and tattered beat, combining warped synths and thudding beats with spiked guitar work to produce something redolent of each member’s influences while still allowing the band to maintain an insular musical identity. By taking some of the best parts of their debut LP and running them through a series of filters, condensers, and modulators (not to mention a couple of guitar amps), the band has taken the next step in the development of their own inimitable sound.
Beats Per Minute is pleased to premiere the “Adam”/“Summer In Reverse” 7” digital release from House of Blondes.
- Beats Per Minute


"Beats Per Minute"

New York electronic trio House of Blondes never do anything in half measures. Their live-wire circuital approach to electronic experimentation allows for the incorporation and execution of dozens of influences and musical genres, sometimes within a single song. Coming together in 2010, John Blonde, Chris Pace, and Brian McNamara found among themselves a common musical thread—one which led them to form House of Blondes shortly after meeting. They released a lone single in 2011, which was soon followed by their 2012 debut LP, Clean Cuts. That album brought together blossoming synths, icy dancefloor atmospherics, and a subtle pop influence to create something that defied electronic convention while still giving fans enough brightly-lit textures and intricate rhythms to satisfy the most die-hard beat junkie.
For their latest release, a digital 7” featuring two new songs, the band eschewed their normal production to focus a bit more on guitar-driven dynamics. That’s not to say that the band completely drops their distinctive approach to electronic music, but it skews further to the left on these two tracks. When talking about the inspiration for A-side “Adam,” frontman John Blonde says, “I wrote “Adam” thinking about my friend and dreaming about what it might have been like to be a teenager in the UK in the ‘80s.” Replete with surprisingly relaxed rhythms, shimmering guitar lines, and dream-pop synths that invert the song around them, “Adam” feels like the very definition of intelligent electronic music. B-side “Summer In Reverse” drags out a frayed and tattered beat, combining warped synths and thudding beats with spiked guitar work to produce something redolent of each member’s influences while still allowing the band to maintain an insular musical identity. By taking some of the best parts of their debut LP and running them through a series of filters, condensers, and modulators (not to mention a couple of guitar amps), the band has taken the next step in the development of their own inimitable sound.
Beats Per Minute is pleased to premiere the “Adam”/“Summer In Reverse” 7” digital release from House of Blondes.
- Beats Per Minute


"The Quietus"

It'd be nice to start everything again, wouldn't it? To know everything you know now, to have all your memory banks of experiences and senses and mistakes and regrets and triumphs, and take advantage of them to repeat your time over once more, but better.

John Blonde has released two debut albums. In 2012 he released his second debut album, under the name House Of Blondes. His previous debut album, in 2007, was also released under the name House Of Blondes. The first album was eponymous. The second is called Clean Cuts. He insists they're both debuts. What the hell?

In fairness, apart from John's low-key vocals, the two albums sound as different as you can imagine. The first is straight-up indie-pop, albeit touched with faintly abstruse song structures and an air of Catholic resentment and deep-seated melancholy rather than your common-or-garden Brooklyn hipster hedonism. Clean Cuts is something very different. The producer and engineer of that first debut album became the sort-of-bandmates for the second debut album. But it wasn't a transformation or reinvention; it was an ending and a new beginning. John essentially bought a synthesiser and an arpeggiator and threw his guitar and piano out the window because he wanted to make something real. Like a Yaz record.


I know all this because in 2007 John Blonde emailed me and said I'd cost him a lot of money by writing an article about the over-use of dynamic range compression, which he'd read, and which had made him spend a long time mastering that first debut album. He asked if he could send me a copy, and he did, and I enjoyed it, and thought little more about it. Until the other month, when I listened to it again and thought 'what happened next?'. So I stuck the name House Of Blondes into a search engine and discovered almost no reference anywhere, at all, to the album I had, but a few references to another album by a band of the same name, featuring someone called John Blonde, which called it a debut album and described it as synth-pop. I was confused, so I contacted John Blonde this time, and he kindly sent me his debut album. Again.

Whilst I liked the first debut album by House Of Blondes enough, I adored the second one. I can play it, and have played it, and will continue to play it, over and over again, back-to-back with itself. Because Clean Cuts is the most phenomenologically beautiful album I've heard in… a long time. The kickdrum pulse in 'Anhedonia', an Eno-esque ambient exploration, is so soft and deep that it feels like your own heartbeat. The synthesisers across the whole record sound like they're floating in the room in front of you, as though the tendrils of their oscillations and reverberations are reaching out and stroking your face, your skin, your inner organs.


If you think that the synths on The Knife's record sound good, then think again. The synths here sound as if the electric circuitry in your house has come alive and made music, as if your very environment is vibrating around you. It does not sound like a 'recording', like something that has been absorbed through a microphone and mixed and mastered and processed for dumb human consumption and then pressed to disc or encoded to MP3 and played back through earbuds or laptop speakers or a dynamics-and-frequency-flattening shop PA or a heavily-compressed-for-broadcast radio station. It sounds alive. It sounds real. It reminds you that recorded sound is the eighth and best wonder of the world, that it can make you believe in magic, that it can cause hallucinations and out of body experiences.

Grateful, intrigued, and a little confused, I started asking John Blonde questions, via email, because he lives in New York and I live in Devon, and meeting for a chat over a beer just wasn't going to happen, sadly.

So what is Clean Cuts? How is it a debut?

John Blonde: I definitely consider Clean Cuts a debut. I know that 'year zero' album had the same band name, but Clean Cuts represented exactly that from the previous work. I didn't mean to make it seem like there's this secret history, but the musicians and friends that helped me make Clean Cuts weren't the same as those that had helped before, so it honestly felt like a debut by a different band. I see the futility of attempting a Ralf & Florian scrub job! I just felt really attached to the name.

The new House Of Blondes band is a radical departure in sound from the old House Of Blondes band.

JB: Yes, it's a radical change of sound but it was something that happened naturally, it wasn't like a motto of "no guitars!" was thought up. There actually are guitars on the album but they're sort of deployed rather than used as the basis for everything. The other album was less of what I think things should sound like and this new one is getting closer. I used to wish I was a member of Broadcast.

How did th - The Quietus


"The Quietus"

It'd be nice to start everything again, wouldn't it? To know everything you know now, to have all your memory banks of experiences and senses and mistakes and regrets and triumphs, and take advantage of them to repeat your time over once more, but better.

John Blonde has released two debut albums. In 2012 he released his second debut album, under the name House Of Blondes. His previous debut album, in 2007, was also released under the name House Of Blondes. The first album was eponymous. The second is called Clean Cuts. He insists they're both debuts. What the hell?

In fairness, apart from John's low-key vocals, the two albums sound as different as you can imagine. The first is straight-up indie-pop, albeit touched with faintly abstruse song structures and an air of Catholic resentment and deep-seated melancholy rather than your common-or-garden Brooklyn hipster hedonism. Clean Cuts is something very different. The producer and engineer of that first debut album became the sort-of-bandmates for the second debut album. But it wasn't a transformation or reinvention; it was an ending and a new beginning. John essentially bought a synthesiser and an arpeggiator and threw his guitar and piano out the window because he wanted to make something real. Like a Yaz record.


I know all this because in 2007 John Blonde emailed me and said I'd cost him a lot of money by writing an article about the over-use of dynamic range compression, which he'd read, and which had made him spend a long time mastering that first debut album. He asked if he could send me a copy, and he did, and I enjoyed it, and thought little more about it. Until the other month, when I listened to it again and thought 'what happened next?'. So I stuck the name House Of Blondes into a search engine and discovered almost no reference anywhere, at all, to the album I had, but a few references to another album by a band of the same name, featuring someone called John Blonde, which called it a debut album and described it as synth-pop. I was confused, so I contacted John Blonde this time, and he kindly sent me his debut album. Again.

Whilst I liked the first debut album by House Of Blondes enough, I adored the second one. I can play it, and have played it, and will continue to play it, over and over again, back-to-back with itself. Because Clean Cuts is the most phenomenologically beautiful album I've heard in… a long time. The kickdrum pulse in 'Anhedonia', an Eno-esque ambient exploration, is so soft and deep that it feels like your own heartbeat. The synthesisers across the whole record sound like they're floating in the room in front of you, as though the tendrils of their oscillations and reverberations are reaching out and stroking your face, your skin, your inner organs.


If you think that the synths on The Knife's record sound good, then think again. The synths here sound as if the electric circuitry in your house has come alive and made music, as if your very environment is vibrating around you. It does not sound like a 'recording', like something that has been absorbed through a microphone and mixed and mastered and processed for dumb human consumption and then pressed to disc or encoded to MP3 and played back through earbuds or laptop speakers or a dynamics-and-frequency-flattening shop PA or a heavily-compressed-for-broadcast radio station. It sounds alive. It sounds real. It reminds you that recorded sound is the eighth and best wonder of the world, that it can make you believe in magic, that it can cause hallucinations and out of body experiences.

Grateful, intrigued, and a little confused, I started asking John Blonde questions, via email, because he lives in New York and I live in Devon, and meeting for a chat over a beer just wasn't going to happen, sadly.

So what is Clean Cuts? How is it a debut?

John Blonde: I definitely consider Clean Cuts a debut. I know that 'year zero' album had the same band name, but Clean Cuts represented exactly that from the previous work. I didn't mean to make it seem like there's this secret history, but the musicians and friends that helped me make Clean Cuts weren't the same as those that had helped before, so it honestly felt like a debut by a different band. I see the futility of attempting a Ralf & Florian scrub job! I just felt really attached to the name.

The new House Of Blondes band is a radical departure in sound from the old House Of Blondes band.

JB: Yes, it's a radical change of sound but it was something that happened naturally, it wasn't like a motto of "no guitars!" was thought up. There actually are guitars on the album but they're sort of deployed rather than used as the basis for everything. The other album was less of what I think things should sound like and this new one is getting closer. I used to wish I was a member of Broadcast.

How did th - The Quietus


"Brooklyn Paper"

It takes a lot of volts for music this wired.

House of Blondes is a New York-based indie-synth band whose live show consists of three dynamic stations, with Chris Pace rotating between two synthesizers and a digital multi-track, Bryan McNamara trading off electric bass and synth, and John Blonde playing two additional synths along with providing vocals.


In case you weren’t counting, that’s nearly twice as many synths as band members.

The impressive technological arsenal can create a lot of possibilities. In fact, Pace referred to himself as a “keyboard junkie,” while his band mate Blonde contending that he was more of a “synth scientist.”

These tech virtuosos’ performances defy the stereotype of the electronic show as a lone artist pressing play on a laptop full of polished products. Like a 1960s jam band or a jazz ensemble, the group considers its prerecorded material merely a starting point from which to improvise. Each member creates and responds to the off-the-cuffs riffing of the others to form a singular experience.

“It’s a commitment to nothing being sacred. Even if you work on something for two years it doesn’t mean you have to stick with it,” said Pace.“It’s about interpreting these decisions live.”

After being part of more traditionally instrumented projects, the members of House of Blondes feel liberated by the electronic genre. The range of sounds available now creates a sonic potential that energizes the band. The challenge for the artists is to transfer this flow to the audience. When things go right, the result is something wonderful and unexpected.

“Sublime moments that happen often,” said Blonde. “That’s what it’s all about.” - Brooklyn Paper


"Evolve Sticker"

In the video for Brooklyn Electro outfit House of Blondes’ single “Slow Motion Tourist” an astronaut wanders through New York City in full spacewalk garb. Taking in the sites on his home planet as if it were an alien landscape is a lovely conceptual conceit and a remarkably apt lens through which to admire the band’s full length 2011 offering Clean Cuts.

A traditional way to assess music finds critic and fan alike judging respective elements of melody and rhythm as they fit together to weave what we rather naively think of as a song. Beneath these reciprocal elements is a third dimension with which we understand music: space.

Reverb, sophisticated digital production techniques and careful arrangement helps to create and elaborate on sonic understandings of space. On this third axis we find the “spacemen” in House of Blondes plying their trade with wonderful mastery.

With each track on Clean Cuts, an assorted crew of musicians centered around John Blonde, Chris Pace and George Vitray cycle synths, pattern rhythms and enunciate themselves in much the same way a landscape painter creates a scene. Musical elements combine in a physical dance of sounds that evokes rooms, scenes and spatial dimensions first and foremost.

With long sustains and repetitive tracks, the focus is put on utter immersion. Listeners are invited to come in, sit down and feel the space buzz. In this meticulously haptic journey, listeners are rewarded with a panoply of emotion evoking sounds. From melodic explosions on tracks like “Slow Motion Tourist” and “Lower” to ominous bits of sawing foreboding on stand outs “I’ll Wait All Night” and “Come Running,” the album features an alternating current of phenomena.

The space is fantastic, if ever-evolving. The sounds are domineering and the vocals underplayed. This is helmet music. For those of us destined to never know what it feels like to don a spacesuit and enjoy an awe-soaked jaunt on an alien planet, this may be the closest we’ll ever get sonically. Through the sound dulling glass fishbowl atop our skulls, House of Blondes moans and echos with the sonar apparitions of their aural planet.
- Evolve


"Evolve Sticker"

In the video for Brooklyn Electro outfit House of Blondes’ single “Slow Motion Tourist” an astronaut wanders through New York City in full spacewalk garb. Taking in the sites on his home planet as if it were an alien landscape is a lovely conceptual conceit and a remarkably apt lens through which to admire the band’s full length 2011 offering Clean Cuts.

A traditional way to assess music finds critic and fan alike judging respective elements of melody and rhythm as they fit together to weave what we rather naively think of as a song. Beneath these reciprocal elements is a third dimension with which we understand music: space.

Reverb, sophisticated digital production techniques and careful arrangement helps to create and elaborate on sonic understandings of space. On this third axis we find the “spacemen” in House of Blondes plying their trade with wonderful mastery.

With each track on Clean Cuts, an assorted crew of musicians centered around John Blonde, Chris Pace and George Vitray cycle synths, pattern rhythms and enunciate themselves in much the same way a landscape painter creates a scene. Musical elements combine in a physical dance of sounds that evokes rooms, scenes and spatial dimensions first and foremost.

With long sustains and repetitive tracks, the focus is put on utter immersion. Listeners are invited to come in, sit down and feel the space buzz. In this meticulously haptic journey, listeners are rewarded with a panoply of emotion evoking sounds. From melodic explosions on tracks like “Slow Motion Tourist” and “Lower” to ominous bits of sawing foreboding on stand outs “I’ll Wait All Night” and “Come Running,” the album features an alternating current of phenomena.

The space is fantastic, if ever-evolving. The sounds are domineering and the vocals underplayed. This is helmet music. For those of us destined to never know what it feels like to don a spacesuit and enjoy an awe-soaked jaunt on an alien planet, this may be the closest we’ll ever get sonically. Through the sound dulling glass fishbowl atop our skulls, House of Blondes moans and echos with the sonar apparitions of their aural planet.
- Evolve


"THE DELI"

Here come House of Blondes. A groove-based synth trio, the band owes a heavy debt to ambient purveyor Brian Eno. Singer John Blonde especially sounds like the innovator from 'Here Come the Warm Jets' in the slow build of 'Do It Yourself (Landscape).'

As I understand it, Eno's ambient music works equally well when played in the background of a room as it does when closely payed attention to. This is the spirit behind tracks like 'Come Running'and 'Supermoon' (streaming below). These are songs that exist in their own universe of synth-generated noise and persistent drum machines that take on a life of their own as they evolve and develop over the space of over 9 minutes in some cases ('Love 2 B Looped'). A band that doesn't fit in with conventional pop formats, the time it takes to discover their soaring soundscapes is well worth the wait. See the group play this Sunday at Spike Hill at 7:30 pm with Photoreal. - Mike Levine - THE DELI


"THE DELI"

Here come House of Blondes. A groove-based synth trio, the band owes a heavy debt to ambient purveyor Brian Eno. Singer John Blonde especially sounds like the innovator from 'Here Come the Warm Jets' in the slow build of 'Do It Yourself (Landscape).'

As I understand it, Eno's ambient music works equally well when played in the background of a room as it does when closely payed attention to. This is the spirit behind tracks like 'Come Running'and 'Supermoon' (streaming below). These are songs that exist in their own universe of synth-generated noise and persistent drum machines that take on a life of their own as they evolve and develop over the space of over 9 minutes in some cases ('Love 2 B Looped'). A band that doesn't fit in with conventional pop formats, the time it takes to discover their soaring soundscapes is well worth the wait. See the group play this Sunday at Spike Hill at 7:30 pm with Photoreal. - Mike Levine - THE DELI


"CMJ"

For John Blonde, singer of the band House of Blondes, music is all about atmosphere, energy and sound, or at least that is the approach he and his band took when recording their debut album, Clean Cuts, released in early 2012. The electro-synth trio of Blonde, synth player Chris Pace and bassist Brian McNamara has a list of influences as long as your arm, but the sound it creates is distinctly its own.

It all began in 2007 with an epiphany after Blonde attended a particularly inspiring Genesis P-Orridge and Thee Majesty gig at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory. The electro genre was calling his name, but he needed some help from the only guy he knew was capable of getting the sound he wanted: Chris Pace. After a 20-minute jam session at Pace’s place, involving Blonde beating his hand on a couch among other things, Pace was able to carve out what is now the song “Anhedonia.” McNamara joined in 2011, and the band officially became a trio. As for the name, it was in the works for a while. “I’ve kept a small book of fake band names since I was 9,” Blonde says. “‘House Of Blondes’ was in that book. ‘Short Stuff’ and ‘Marry Me Freddie Mercury’ were also in that book, so competition obviously wasn’t stiff.”

The improvisational tactic begun with Blonde and Pace carried through as the band recorded Clean Cuts, which leans toward electro-pop. The ethereal vocals on “Do It Yourself” peg an ’80s feel while the Temper Trap-esque drum line modernizes it. But there is also a “sadness to the tracks,” as stated by Blonde in a recent interview. It can be heard in the dissonance and release between the synth and bass in a song like “Lower,” the chords reminiscent of a baroque classical piece. There is a method to their improvisation; it is not something out of nothing, but playfulness with a plan.

You don’t have to take my word for it though, as Clean Cuts is now available on Spotify for all to hear before House Of Blondes plays a pair of shows in New York this summer; June 12 at Pianos and July 8 at Spike Hill. - CMJ


"Bloggertronix"

This trio of New Yorkers creates some interesting experimental music, ambient electro-pop using synths, drones and deep bass. Their debut release 'Clean Cuts' dropped late last month on Glowmatic Records.

The below video is for the first single from the album, 'Do it Yourself (Landscapes)' and we also have a link for you to download the second single 'Slow Motion Tourist' for free...Beautiful beats...Check it! - Bloggertronix


"Bloggertronix"

This trio of New Yorkers creates some interesting experimental music, ambient electro-pop using synths, drones and deep bass. Their debut release 'Clean Cuts' dropped late last month on Glowmatic Records.

The below video is for the first single from the album, 'Do it Yourself (Landscapes)' and we also have a link for you to download the second single 'Slow Motion Tourist' for free...Beautiful beats...Check it! - Bloggertronix


"I Guess I'm Floating"

Brooklyn’s House of Blondes have been teasing recently with the above still from an upcoming video for “Slow Motion Tourist”. It looks straight out of 2001, especially paired with the slow, deliberate, autonomous pacing of the song which, of course, seems to be about the slow, deliberate, autonomous pace of fat tourists. ‘Nuff said. - I Guess I'm Floating


"I Guess I'm Floating"

Brooklyn’s House of Blondes have been teasing recently with the above still from an upcoming video for “Slow Motion Tourist”. It looks straight out of 2001, especially paired with the slow, deliberate, autonomous pacing of the song which, of course, seems to be about the slow, deliberate, autonomous pace of fat tourists. ‘Nuff said. - I Guess I'm Floating


"Interview Magazine"

Clean Cuts, the debut lo-fi release from ambient electro-trio, House of Blondes, is a hypnotically minimal album, filled with light, airy vocals, analog chords, and solid drums. Inspired by Wolfgang Voit's '90s techno project, Gas, House of Blondes recorded all of their tracks in one or two takes, using pre-existing sounds to create new ones. Don’t, however, think that the band’s improvisatory method is indicative of a half-hearted effort: "There's an enormous amount of preparation leading to that free moment," says band member John Blonde.

Interview met up with John Blonde and his bandmate, Chris Pace (the third HOB member is Brian McNamara), who cited New Order, Steven Reich's Music for 18 Musicians, Miles Davis, and Prince as influences.

THE BEGINNING: Blonde: It started in 2007. I'd seen Genesis P-Orridge perform with Thee Majesty at the old Knitting Factory in NYC; it was this pulsing ambient stuff with spoken word and it gave me a really strong desire to do some electro stuff. Before that, I'd been in a few indie rock bands, [but] Chris Pace was the only person I knew that was adept at doing and recording electro. I wanted to use synths—and that kind of gear is haunted! You can't get [the sound I wanted] from a computer. I went to Chris' studio and we recorded me beating my hand against this couch and twenty minutes of sound. Out of that, he carved the song "Anhedonia." The whole album, the band, was built around the pulse of that song, and it's how we approach almost all of our material now.

NATURAL SYNTHETIC PLEASURES: Blonde: We've recorded dozens of songs. There are probably 50 House of Blondes songs no one will ever hear! I created four different albums and came up with the final nine tracks. There was a sadness to the tracks that I liked, but there was this hope in them also. There's a search for people in the songs—needing other people, acknowledging the beauty in other people. I'm a huge movie fan; somebody like Almodovar... you watch a movie of his and it's immersive! On every song on the album there are natural elements and more traditional instruments being used. On "Shadows," there's a huge guitar solo that starts in the middle of the song and doesn't end. "I'll Wait All Night" was mainly synths, but there's feedback [that] we created using guitar. It never felt like we were creating something synthetic.

THE VIDEOS: Blonde: Obsession is one of the most fascinating things you can film. Our videos are like that: the music points to something that might seem casual to one person, but is actually an entire world for somebody else. "Do It Yourself (Landscape)" was an homage to Luke Smalley, a photographer that took kids from high schools and photographed them in old-fashioned uniforms inside gyms and on old exercise equipment. All of his stuff has a haunted quality— [it’s] from the past, but filmed in contemporary life. When he died, I wanted to pay tribute to him, so I came up with the idea of doing a video with a bunch of boys working out. There is this underlying homoeroticism to it, but there's also a nice elegance. I'm not afraid to say it's “erotic,” but that was not my intention.

D.I.Y. ETHIC: Pace: I think it's rare that any music is not collaborative at some point. There are few musicians who can really do it on their own, but you can spearhead it yourself—you can make your own project. The single "Do It Yourself (Landscape)" is about empowering yourself.

THE LOWDOWN: Blonde: The whole record leads up to the song "Lower"—this inescapable feeling that without somebody else, you can feel like nothing, but at the same time, you don't need somebody else for validation or to feel alive. Without the feeling of connectedness, [life] can feel bleak; everything is just so relentless and hyper, everything is coming at you at an extreme rate [and] we're numb to it! The whole record is reaching out, [it’s] a longing for transcendence. - Interview Magazine


"Interview Magazine"

Clean Cuts, the debut lo-fi release from ambient electro-trio, House of Blondes, is a hypnotically minimal album, filled with light, airy vocals, analog chords, and solid drums. Inspired by Wolfgang Voit's '90s techno project, Gas, House of Blondes recorded all of their tracks in one or two takes, using pre-existing sounds to create new ones. Don’t, however, think that the band’s improvisatory method is indicative of a half-hearted effort: "There's an enormous amount of preparation leading to that free moment," says band member John Blonde.

Interview met up with John Blonde and his bandmate, Chris Pace (the third HOB member is Brian McNamara), who cited New Order, Steven Reich's Music for 18 Musicians, Miles Davis, and Prince as influences.

THE BEGINNING: Blonde: It started in 2007. I'd seen Genesis P-Orridge perform with Thee Majesty at the old Knitting Factory in NYC; it was this pulsing ambient stuff with spoken word and it gave me a really strong desire to do some electro stuff. Before that, I'd been in a few indie rock bands, [but] Chris Pace was the only person I knew that was adept at doing and recording electro. I wanted to use synths—and that kind of gear is haunted! You can't get [the sound I wanted] from a computer. I went to Chris' studio and we recorded me beating my hand against this couch and twenty minutes of sound. Out of that, he carved the song "Anhedonia." The whole album, the band, was built around the pulse of that song, and it's how we approach almost all of our material now.

NATURAL SYNTHETIC PLEASURES: Blonde: We've recorded dozens of songs. There are probably 50 House of Blondes songs no one will ever hear! I created four different albums and came up with the final nine tracks. There was a sadness to the tracks that I liked, but there was this hope in them also. There's a search for people in the songs—needing other people, acknowledging the beauty in other people. I'm a huge movie fan; somebody like Almodovar... you watch a movie of his and it's immersive! On every song on the album there are natural elements and more traditional instruments being used. On "Shadows," there's a huge guitar solo that starts in the middle of the song and doesn't end. "I'll Wait All Night" was mainly synths, but there's feedback [that] we created using guitar. It never felt like we were creating something synthetic.

THE VIDEOS: Blonde: Obsession is one of the most fascinating things you can film. Our videos are like that: the music points to something that might seem casual to one person, but is actually an entire world for somebody else. "Do It Yourself (Landscape)" was an homage to Luke Smalley, a photographer that took kids from high schools and photographed them in old-fashioned uniforms inside gyms and on old exercise equipment. All of his stuff has a haunted quality— [it’s] from the past, but filmed in contemporary life. When he died, I wanted to pay tribute to him, so I came up with the idea of doing a video with a bunch of boys working out. There is this underlying homoeroticism to it, but there's also a nice elegance. I'm not afraid to say it's “erotic,” but that was not my intention.

D.I.Y. ETHIC: Pace: I think it's rare that any music is not collaborative at some point. There are few musicians who can really do it on their own, but you can spearhead it yourself—you can make your own project. The single "Do It Yourself (Landscape)" is about empowering yourself.

THE LOWDOWN: Blonde: The whole record leads up to the song "Lower"—this inescapable feeling that without somebody else, you can feel like nothing, but at the same time, you don't need somebody else for validation or to feel alive. Without the feeling of connectedness, [life] can feel bleak; everything is just so relentless and hyper, everything is coming at you at an extreme rate [and] we're numb to it! The whole record is reaching out, [it’s] a longing for transcendence. - Interview Magazine


"POP! Stereo"

Someone has apparently forgotten to tell House of Blondes that we are in the year 2012. This group of New Yorkers has apparently missed the passage of time and continues to reside in 1981. Lost in a sea of early OMD and New Order records the band sound as if they've not bought a single piece of equipment in thirty years and sincerely enjoy creating atmospheric washes of synthetic color over each and every song they write.

Their album Clean Cuts is a masterwork in pop minimalism that sounds like the best team up between Brian Eno and OMD that never happened. With lush analog-sounding synths washing over minimalistic beats and detached vocals the whole thing sounds like it was recorded in an underground tunnel and feels about as cold as that too. That, my friends, is what makes this record so cool...it's detached and cool demeanor that seems like it's looking off in another direction.

Cooly wandering the post-apocalyptic soundscape as if it just didn't care, House of Blondes proudly resides in its own introspective world. The lush imaginative songs truly belong in a post industrial environment of their own and if you can manage to get to that location you're rewarded with a form of post-modernism that's sleek, clean, and very cool. Clean Cuts is a work of retro futurism that pays tribute to its influences in fine style and had it been released thirty years ago it would have been declared a work of genius. It's that good, that abstract, and that essential. - POP! Stereo


"POP! Stereo"

Someone has apparently forgotten to tell House of Blondes that we are in the year 2012. This group of New Yorkers has apparently missed the passage of time and continues to reside in 1981. Lost in a sea of early OMD and New Order records the band sound as if they've not bought a single piece of equipment in thirty years and sincerely enjoy creating atmospheric washes of synthetic color over each and every song they write.

Their album Clean Cuts is a masterwork in pop minimalism that sounds like the best team up between Brian Eno and OMD that never happened. With lush analog-sounding synths washing over minimalistic beats and detached vocals the whole thing sounds like it was recorded in an underground tunnel and feels about as cold as that too. That, my friends, is what makes this record so cool...it's detached and cool demeanor that seems like it's looking off in another direction.

Cooly wandering the post-apocalyptic soundscape as if it just didn't care, House of Blondes proudly resides in its own introspective world. The lush imaginative songs truly belong in a post industrial environment of their own and if you can manage to get to that location you're rewarded with a form of post-modernism that's sleek, clean, and very cool. Clean Cuts is a work of retro futurism that pays tribute to its influences in fine style and had it been released thirty years ago it would have been declared a work of genius. It's that good, that abstract, and that essential. - POP! Stereo


"Music Under Fire"

I remember years ago just laying in the grass in the summertime as landscapers worked dilligently in the distance. Maybe it was a mulching machine or maybe it was a chainsaw, but the noise was consistent, high and almost melodic. It reminds me of the intro to House of Blondes’ song “Do It Yourself” from their debut album Clean Cuts.

The band’s lo-fi presence is really filling my limitless void for music lately. “Do It Yourself” reminds me of an ambient electro version of The Who’s “Teenage Wasteland (Baba O’Riley). Not to say it’s ripping off any certain song; the comparison is merely meant for a bridge to another powerful genre. There’s a melodic groove well before the drums kick in (2:48) and song slowly builds into something far greater than what we started with. Unlike most music in pop-culture, the fruit within this song is listening to the entire thing. Only then can you appreciate such grandiose elevation over the course of five minutes.

Oh, and you’ll probably feel really out of shape after watching the video.
- Music Under Fire


"Music Under Fire"

I remember years ago just laying in the grass in the summertime as landscapers worked dilligently in the distance. Maybe it was a mulching machine or maybe it was a chainsaw, but the noise was consistent, high and almost melodic. It reminds me of the intro to House of Blondes’ song “Do It Yourself” from their debut album Clean Cuts.

The band’s lo-fi presence is really filling my limitless void for music lately. “Do It Yourself” reminds me of an ambient electro version of The Who’s “Teenage Wasteland (Baba O’Riley). Not to say it’s ripping off any certain song; the comparison is merely meant for a bridge to another powerful genre. There’s a melodic groove well before the drums kick in (2:48) and song slowly builds into something far greater than what we started with. Unlike most music in pop-culture, the fruit within this song is listening to the entire thing. Only then can you appreciate such grandiose elevation over the course of five minutes.

Oh, and you’ll probably feel really out of shape after watching the video.
- Music Under Fire


"RCRD LBL"

House Of Blondes, an electronic trio from (where else) Brooklyn, name-checked all the right artists (GAS, Eno, New Order, early OMD) to get my attention, and they somehow actually came through! "Slow Motion Tourist" is an atmospheric robot stomper that's equally ready for the closing credits and a dry ice-laden dancefloor. Hear more on their new one Clean Cuts, which is out now. - RCRD LBL


"RCRD LBL"

House Of Blondes, an electronic trio from (where else) Brooklyn, name-checked all the right artists (GAS, Eno, New Order, early OMD) to get my attention, and they somehow actually came through! "Slow Motion Tourist" is an atmospheric robot stomper that's equally ready for the closing credits and a dry ice-laden dancefloor. Hear more on their new one Clean Cuts, which is out now. - RCRD LBL


Discography

"Do It Yourself (Landscape)", single, 2011
Clean Cuts, LP, 2012
"Psycho Killer" (Live), download, 2012
"Adam/Summer in Reverse", single, 2013

Photos

Bio

"The synths here sound as if the electric circuitry in your house has come alive and made music, as if your very environment is vibrating around you." - The Quietus

"New York trio makes 'Clean Cuts' of electronic pop." - CMJ

"'Slow Motion Tourist' is an atmospheric robot stomper that’s equally ready for the closing credits and a dry ice-laden dancefloor." - RCRD LBL

"These are songs that exist in their own universe of synth-generated noise and persistent drum machines that take on a life of their own as they evolve and develop . . . A band that doesn't fit in with conventional pop formats, the time it takes to discover their soaring soundscapes is well worth the wait." - The Deli Magazine

"'Clean Cuts' is a work of retro futurism that pays tribute to its influences in fine style . . . a work of genius." - The Pop! Stereo

"House of Blondes cycle synths, pattern rhythms and enunciate themselves in much the same way a landscape painter creates a scene. Musical elements combine in a physical dance of sounds that evokes rooms, scenes and spatial dimensions." - Evolve Sticker

House of Blondes is an electronic trio comprised of John Blonde, Chris Pace and Brian McNamara. They've been playing together in New York City since 2010.

It began when Thee Majesty and Genesis P-Orridge played Knitting Factory in New York. This electronic experimental music pointed toward a new way forward and House of Blondes, as a concept, was born on John's walk home after that gig.

That moment led to the discovery of Throbbing Gristle, modern classical works by Steven Reich, Philip Glass, and Terry Reily, Kraftwerk, Human League, the electric period of Miles Davis. The influence of all this fevered music resulted in House of Blondes being focused on atmosphere, energy and sound.

Eventually John, Chris and Brian found each other and together they adopted a post-punk attitude that allowed them to try anything, to take 15 minute jams of noise and electronics and errant chords and make them something grander. The result is their debut album "Clean Cuts", released in 2012.

RCRD LBL stated that the band "name-checked all the right artists (GAS, Eno, New Order, early OMD) to get my attention, and they somehow actually came through!"

BEATS PER MINUTE enthused that the band brings "together blossoming synths, icy dancefloor atmospherics, and a subtle pop influence to create something that [defies] electronic convention while still giving fans enough brightly-lit textures and intricate rhythms to satisfy the most die-hard beat junkie."