SOPHIC BLOOM: Seattle sound in the Covid era

Sophic Bloom is a 90s Seattle sound style project and the grinding single ‘Get Better’ is out now on digital stores for you to shout your head off and smash your guitar while jumping on your bed – mind the cat though.

The project was born by composer and multi-instrumentalist Zerp and his desire to go back to first love, grunge music. Band influences are Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, but also Jimi Hendrix, Beck and Ray LaMontagne. ‘Get Better’ is a heart-felt outburst about Covid and how lockdown affected people’s lives, in this case Zerp’s. It’s pure rage, the same we could hear in Cobain and we still do in Dave Grohl’s voice, whose similarity with Zerp’s, even in the melodies, is quite evident to me. 

With new releases already in store for us and coming out in the next two or three months, Zerp and the gang want to have fun, which seems to be the authentic nature of Sophic Bloom – a look at the savage era of grunge and a constant feeling of goosebumps. What else?

YMX: Hey Sophic Bloom, thanks for talking to us. How have these gloomy times been treating you?

SOPHIC BLOOM: Honestly, really tough at times. Before Covid pandemic and quarantine I would write, record, and mix/master at least one song and sometimes two every week. Then, when in the middle of quarantine, I would just sit with an instrument in my hand or staring at my blank DAW screen with no ideas. It really depressed me. However, around early April 2020, I decided that I was going to write and record an EP about how much Covid sucks. The album was completed and released as ‘I’m Fine’ on September 5, 2020.

YMX: How did you decide music was something you wanted to pursue? Are there any particular episodes that inspired you in doing so?

S.B.: I remember falling in love with music very early on in life. Way back to when I was just a little booger (around 5 years old) I started playing the drums and it just stayed with me. Flash forward 15 years later and I am studying private jazz drums and going to college for a performance degree in jazz guitar. In 2014, I randomly decided to learn how to scratch records and I studied the art form (often called turntablism) with Even though I stopped practicing regularly, this learning led me to producing beats for the students in the scratch school and myself and I fell in love with music production.

YMX: Here’s a fun game: name 3 artists, or bands, that inspire you and influence your work, and explain why:

S.B.: I’ll briefly list the biggies but then I want to list my current influences. Jimi Hendrix was my first inspiration, Beck is another huge inspiration, Jerry Garcia’s amazing melodic guitar solos, and Ray LaMontagne’s voice and songwriting melt my heart every time. Lately, however, it’s my close musical friends who influence me and inspire me the most. When I’m uninspired or feeling exhausted or drained I can always count on them. It’s cliché, but, it takes a village. The friends who have supported me along the way know who they are and when they read this I just want them to know that, “I greatly appreciate you”.

YMX: You recently released your single ‘Get Better’. Can you tell us how that project came about?

S.B.: The latest release, ‘Get Better (I Can Tell You Don’t Want To)’ came about when I was noodling on the guitar for riffs that just grooved a bit in the indie/grunge style. After laying down the guitar and bass everything just locked in – it was written and recorded in less than a week. The EP release before that has a more interesting back story as I mentioned earlier.

‘I’m Fine’ is basically a middle-finger to Covid. The first album, (self-titled), is really where the Sophic Bloom story starts. I was producing so much music using digital instruments that I was getting burnt out and I decided it was time to go to my roots. I’m a “Xennial” so I grew up listening to Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots – that style of music really was my first love. So I called my good friend and talented drummer, Mic, and asked if he wanted to collaborate on a grunge project with me. We did sessions every week and had a blast jamming together. Once all tracks were recorded I created a Kickstarter (it succeeded!) to help get the album pressed on vinyl. The whole birth of Sophic Bloom was very exciting and I’m so happy Mic agreed to come for the ride with me. I love playing music with him.

YMX: How did the pandemic affect your personal music recording experience? Was it easy adjusting to working remotely?

S.B.: Not really. I record from home, it’s where my studio is. I’m sorry this isn’t a very exciting answer, haha.

YMX: Professional livestreams seem to be really taking over these days. Is it something you would consider doing?

S.B.: Sophic grouped together in mid-2020 to rehearse for a livestream concert. Unfortunately, Covid continued to get worse and we had to play it safe and stop rehearsing. However, I’d like to say, the concept of live-streaming a concert is not out of the cards.

If people would like to be notified of a future livestream they could subscribe to our Bandcamp page and/or follow us on Spotify, Instagram, Facebook. We have a linktree with all of our socials and streaming sources on it:

YMX: Since pandemic began, online music promotion has become crucial for an artist’s growth. How important is that for you, and are there any strategies you are willing to share with our readers?

S.B.: Strategies? Haha. Well…. Sophic could use some! I would say… just grind. If you are committed to promoting your music you will research and dig deep on the internet. The grind is definitely real. Success doesn’t come easy.

YMX: Finally, what are your plans for the future? (releases, gigs etc.)

S.B.: The future is always uncertain. My goal, not just for Sophic Bloom, but also for my personal productions under the artist name, Zerp, is to continue to enjoy the ride and to continue to grind. Some days new song ideas come easily to me and sometimes it’s a struggle.

I can confidently say that Sophic Bloom and Zerp will have new releases coming out in the next two or three months so keep your eyes out. Again, I’ll say, the future is always uncertain, and I’ll quote some of my favorites: “We will get by” – Jerry Garcia “The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time” – James Taylor