Read our interview below with Charly Bliss, the act performing at our Women In Music Holiday party. Check out their bandcamp here and get tickets here to see them at our Holiday party!
When did you first get into music and how did you come together as a band?
I’ve always loved to sing and I grew up doing musical theater and school plays, etc. I wanted to learn how to play guitar and write songs, but only sort of as a fantasy. I never thought it was something I would actually be able to do until I met Spencer. We met outside of a Tokyo Police Club show at Webster Hall when we were 14 and started video chatting every day after school. Eventually, one day he was like, “I bet you’ve secretly been writing songs. I wanna play them with you…” He has always been a wonderful, supportive friend and believed in me somewhat blindly. We started writing together and then the band formed around that. Sam is my older brother, and Dan has been one of my best friends since I was 11! Everything came together really naturally and we are really close.
Name an album, artist or experience that changed your perspective on music.
Kathleen Hanna came and spoke to a music writing class that I took my sophomore year of college and it felt like a very extreme, full-body, beam-of-light, eureka moment. I think it was the first time that I didn’t feel embarrassed to be a girl in a band. I used to feel like me being a girl was holding us back on some level. All of the bands we played with were all-dude bands and I felt like lyrically, physically and attitude-wise I was wrong for the job. Hearing her speak and becoming obsessed with her music made me feel like my perspective was an asset, and it was a life-changing revelation!
Describe one thing you love about being a woman in music.
I don’t know that this is necessarily exclusive to being a woman, but being on stage is one of the only times when I feel totally proud of my super-emotional, carousel of feelings that sort of tortures me in my day to day life. It makes me feel powerful and I feel totally free to be ugly and loud and assert myself. I think it’s rare and cool to feel beautiful when you’re also feeling really vulnerable. I feel like this goes without saying, but, I am so inspired by other women making music and I can only hope to do something similar for other women as well.
What do we need to know about your song Ruby?
“Ruby” was written super collaboratively! Lyrically, the song is about my therapist. A few years ago I developed an extreme fear of fainting out of nowhere that grew overtime and began to make it really difficult to do basically everything. I was too scared to ride the subway, walk up or down stairs, run, drive, play a show, etc. “Ruby” was my way of thanking my therapist for more or less curing me of that phobia.
(For Eva) Share one challenge about being the front-woman in a band of all dudes?
I am really lucky! Sam, Spencer and Dan are some of my closest friends on the planet. The more we’ve toured, the more sensitive they’ve all become to anything that might make me uncomfortable at shows or when we’re staying with people we don’t know, etc. I feel like we have a really wonderful understanding amongst the four of us, and I always feel like they have my back.