Whoever said that modern life is rubbish had a point. The four members of Blues Pills would probably agree, at least if their music is anything to go by. This Swedish/French/American collective may all have been born this side of 1988, but in their world every day is 1969.
Blues Pills: Nudes Of The World
No, we’re not on about 60s disciples Blues Pills, who remain fully clothed as a rule. Their music, on the other hand, does strange things to people – like make them strip naked in public.
Happily, the retro bubble – where psych-tinged blues riffs punch through the smoke; where Peter Green reigns supreme; where tie-dyed cheesecloth isn’t so much a fashion choice as a state of mind – suits Blues Pills. And people love them for it. During a recent show in Sweden one male fan even stripped naked. “His belt-buckle flew in my face,” singer Elin Larsson says with a laugh. “I was like: ‘Dude, put your clothes back on, seriously!’”
Thankfully there’s no aversion to clothes on this sunny morning in Vienna. Instead I’m greeted outside the city’s stately Belvedere Palace by a shyly smiling bundle of old-school hair and new-school hoodies ready for a photo session. Blues Pills are in town to play a headline gig at the less stately Arena Wien, a show that will mark a step on their journey from unsteady novices to a fully fledged force of nature.
In photographs, the Rapunzel locks and steady gazes of core songwriting duo Larsson (25, Swedish) and bassist Zack Anderson (24, American) exude statuesque elegance. Guitarist Dorian Sorriaux (19, French) has a porcelain pallor. Sitting together today they look like gothic rag dolls – tiny, pale vampire children blinking against the bright sun. Later, in the palace’s immaculate gardens, they relax when quizzed on their fondness for pre-1980 music.