Blessid Union Of Souls Biography
"Before we'd even completed our first demo for Blessid Union of Souls, I was watching a rerun of M*A*S*H," recalls Eliot Sloan, the band's vocalist," and you know how Frank was always hitting on Hot Lips Hoolihan? Well, he was doing everything he could to get her into his bunk, saying stuff like 'I need you Margaret, I can't stand for us to be apart.' Then he blurted out something like, 'Be with me tonight, Margaret. I need to feel the blessid union of our souls or I'm going to break out in hives.' I was laughing," says Sloan, "but I was also thinking 'what a cool name for a band.' And that's where we got the name from."
Once the band settled on a name and secured a deal with SBK Records, Blessid Union soon released it's first single, "I Believe." With a little luck, "I Believe" went to #1 and was the 4th most played song of 1995. "Let Me Be The One" followed, pushing the band's debut album HOME to Platinum status. Blessid's sophomore album which included the hit songs "I Wanna Be There" and "Light In Your Eyes" also fared surprisingly well at 400,000 units -- considering that EMI Records closed their doors just five weeks after the album hit the streets.
The five-man band from Cincinnati who has survived the nail-biting trauma of the record label shuffle, being shifted from SBK to EMI and then to Capitol, is now gearing up for their newly released album WALKING OFF THE BUZZ on Push/V2 Records. This project aptly showcases the band's range of talent and appeal and is certain to prove that this time, three really is a charm.
"You know, when the break came with Capitol," says C.P. Roth, the band's synth man and co-producer, "everyone was saying how sorry they were that we were dropped, but actually Capitol had picked up the option for our third album. The problem was we just didn't feel very aligned with them. But in Capitol's defense, they didn't sign us, they inherited us when EMI closed -- and that wasn't a good situation either. So, we asked for a release, and Capitol's president gave us one and wished us well. There were never any hard feelings."
Now affiliated with independent labels, Push & V2, Blessid Union has been afforded some independence of their own. They are being encouraged to evoke their vision of their music.
"as we've played out more, the band has solidified," says Tony Clark who plays rhythm guitar and bass. "At this point in time, the music isn't just influenced by one or two band members, it's influenced by all of us. Some people will probably say that WALKING OFF THE BUZZ is a new sound for Blessid Union. But those are the people who have never seen the band live. We're still the same band as we've always been, it's just that if you hadn't seen our show, you might not be aware of it." Continues Clark, "In the past, people who had just heard our records were always surprised by our energy on stage. They'd come up to us after a show and say 'I didn't know you guys could rock like that.' With this album, I expect the public to be saying, 'hey, you guys rock just as hard as your CD.'"
The first single off the new album, "Hey Leonardo (She Likes Me For Me)," does show an upbeat and zany side of Blessid Union. But as the band points out, it's still a love song of sorts. "Hey Leonardo" had it's beginnings on a road trip Eliot recently took to South Dakota to visit a friend. "It occurred to me," says Eliot, "that this girl just liked me for me -- for the indecisive knucklehead I am -- and that I didn't have to know or be a big star to win her affections. And then Leonardo DiCaprio's name plugged in because whenever I'd go on tour, the young girls down the street would ask me to say 'hi' to Leonardo or Hanson because they figured I knew them. So that was the genesis of the song. Later, band member Jeff Pence and producer Emosia got a hold of it and wacked it out even further."
However, not every Blessid Union song has a happy ending as evidenced by the title track "Walking Off The Buzz." The song deals with the sting of a broken relationship and was a cathartic experience for some of the guys in the band who recently suffered major break-ups of their own. As drummer Eddie Hedges puts it, "I know everyone will expect the song to be drug related, but that's not it at all. It's just that this particular group of guys has really bad luck with woman -- or at least with woman we like." Too much said about that.
Fans of the traditional Blessid Union ballad will find their heart content by another one of the album's standouts, "Standing At The Edge Of The Earth." "Standing" came about when the band was contacted by people who needed a title track for the movie ARMAGEDDON. The band went to work on "Standing At The Edge Of The Earth" immediately, but before they could even submit the demo, word came down that the Aerosmith tune had been chosen for the movie. It was disappointing," admits Sloan, "especially when our song fit so well and ARMAGEDDON turned out to be such an awesome movie. But the situation pushed us to write a song that we would never had written, so it worked out anyway."
With the release of WALKING OFF THE BUZZ Blessid Union's philosophy remains as simple as it always has been -- work hard. Anxious to get out on the road to support the record, they're looking forward to sharing dates once again with the likes of Matchbox 20 and Sarah McLachlan.
"I know it's show business," says Jeff Pence, lead guitarist, "and I guess we should make it sound more dramatic or romantic. But Blessid Union is just a rootsy, mid-western band. We know what we want to do. We want to keep playing rock'n'roll and having a good time. And we know if we want to continue to do that, we have to work hard. So that's just what we're going to do."
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Keep On Rocki'n | Reviewer: Pami Glasgow | 6/3/11
On Metrolyrics the song I Believe talks about jesus. I was just wandering if you have a song or track that you did with those lyrics, or do they have it wrong? I really love the song either way but I like the lyrics about JESUS. Thank You. Always your fan, and your sis in CHRIST, Pami
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