Uma Bloo… A DeClunk Q & A

You may cast your mind back a few weeks when DeClunk premiered the track ‘Marguerite’s Novels’. Uma Bloo also release the album Don’t Drive Into The Smoke on March 23rd. So, get to know Uma Bloo in this little Q & A then have a listen to ‘Margurite’s Novels’ below.

Hello Uma Bloo…..welcome to the DeClunk universe.

Thanks for the invite ❤

Please describe your surroundings so that we can make a picture in our mind’s eye.

It’s morning at my office job, so the lights are harsh and bright. There are lots of keyboards clicking and clacking. Every once in a while someone talks to another in a low and indiscernible voice. Chicago’s weather is throwing fit typical for January, so you can’t see very far out the window. However in the winter you have the rare ability to see the wind move because of the snow, so that at least can be examined. 

Please introduce us to the band. Who does what?

My name is Molly. I play guitar, sing, write the songs, produce and run art direction for Uma Bloo. 

Luke Blanco plays synth and bass and does some production for the band.

Mike Altergott plays lead guitar and produces.

Steven Rutledge plays drums for us. 

How did the name Uma Bloo come about?

I always liked the name Uma and it seemed to me whoever had that name was singular in their nature and appearance. Uma Thurman was the most famous Uma I knew of at the time and she of course is well known for her role in Kill Bill. I was 19 or 20 when I came up with the name; I liked the way revenge looked on a woman so that’s probably why I took it on for myself. And then Bloo was originally going to be the name of a cat I didn’t end up getting. I repurposed the name and changed the spelling, something about the way Bloo looks on a page makes me think of pouting, probably because it’s close to “boo.” The color blue also reminds me of Neptune which mythically resembles dreams and the subconscious which always intrigued me so I wanted to somehow incorporate that into my title.

Initially the name was for a burlesque character I was cultivating. It took me a while to get the confidence to share myself as a musician and performing burlesque ended up being the catalyst that got me there, so it seemed natural to keep the name. 

There is an album on the way, Don’t Drive Into the Smoke. Is it correct that it was recorded in three days? If so, why and did it keep the process fresh and exciting? Does this come over throughout the album?

Yes, we did record it in three days and we actually only had our drummer for one of those days so each part was really do or die. I wish I had a more romantic reason for doing it so quickly, but honestly it’s primarily because that’s all we could afford. Making music is expensive! I don’t regret or resent it too much, though. I think it did help us to just go ahead and make choices quickly. 

The process wasn’t that stressful for me, personally as I’m not concerned with perfection by any means. I like music because of the emotive potential not because a player can play perfectly to a click track or something. I like art that is more primal than professional. At least for this first album it mattered very deeply that the urgency of feeling was as palabale as it felt when I wrote them originally. For the most part I think we achieved that and maybe that’s because we only had a limited time to get it done. 

Is there a theme that runs through the album?

Loss and a desire for more, being greedy + needy for love in all forms. 

Is there a tour or is that still proving to be rather difficult?

We are hoping to tour this spring, shortly after our album is out at the end of March. We’re still in the process of making our ideal route and everything, so we’ll see how successful we are at making it happen. Everything is kind of up in the air so we’re trying to stay nimble and determined. 

If we were to hang out with Uma Bloo, in your neck of the woods, for a weekend where would you take us, what would you show us?

Honestly I am probably not the best host, I really embraced the homebody lifestyle during quarantine. But I could definitely show you around my living room, maybe have tea and talk some. Humboldt Park is kind of close to me, it’s great for long walks and pondering under trees. There’s tennis courts there too- I love tennis. I’m not good but I play with a lot of heart. There’s not really any consequences in tennis unless you really care about winning which I don’t. I stopped drinking but there are a ton of bars with great lighting; Estelle’s, Sleeping Village (also a fantastic venue around town), and I’ll always have a place in my heart for Cole’s Bar. Harold Washington Library is fun to get lost in and I like to go see Lake Michigan whenever I can. So that’s a few options 🙂

Are there any bands/artists that you recommend we give a listen to?

Pixel Grip, Mia Joy, Lady Dan, LISKA, Waltzer, Late Nite Laundry

Thanks for taking the time with DeClunk. We look forward to hearing the album. 

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