Bloom: Meet the youthful quintet blossoming into Australia’s next…

Bloom are one of the most exciting and promising metalcore bands to emerge from the country’s thriving scene in a minute. Having met at school in Sydney, and come of age through going to see bands like The Amity Affliction and being part of the city’s thriving music scene, the quintet – singer Jono Hawkey, guitarists Jarod McLaren and Oliver Butler, bassist Andrew Martin and drummer Jack Van Vliet – have quickly found themselves rising up. Bloom are blooming. And right now, they’re mates having a massive adventure.

Our friendship has remained our northstar as a band and we’re extremely fortunate to be in the position we are today,” says Jono. We all still love each other’s company, and we get to do crazy shit together as friends!”

This energy can be heard in their debut album Maybe In Another Life. Before its release on Friday, we joined Jono to get inside the reasons why you need them in your life…

They’ve spent two years honing their debut to perfection

Not for Bloom the quick, play-it-and-get-out studio session. Their debut album is the result of two years sharpening and perfecting every song. It’s buffed everything on there up to an incredible sheen.

It’s wild reading that sentence, as it definitely doesn’t feel like two years,” says singer Jono Hawkey, but at the same time it has definitely felt like a slow and tedious rollout. Since 2019 we’ve worked with a producer in Melbourne [Christopher Vernon] who has become an integral part of our writing process. We began pre-production for the album in January 2022 at his studio in Box Hill, Melbourne where the first seven or so songs for the album really came into shape. It wasn’t until September 22 that we were able to get back down to finish the album and get everything tracked properly.

Since then it’s been a labour of love to get everything into place for release. It’s nice to look back on the past two years and feel like we’ve put everything we could into that record. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves and become a little bit of perfectionists with our releases, and that definitely was a big part of why the album has taken so much time.

One of the most special parts of the album for me is during the guitar outro of Fragments Of A Dream, the part that was used on the final record was lifted straight out of one of those first pre-production days all the way back in 22, where very quietly you can hear myself and Jack yelling about some PS3 game we were playing while the take was being recorded. I think it’s really nice that we have those little moments scattered around the album, almost like a little time capsule.”

…And they spent a year preparing for their first show

In case Bloom didn’t already seem like they take their work seriously, even putting the band together and getting rolling was a meticulous process. Albeit not one entirely of their own choosing…

Right when Bloom started, I was studying Audio Engineering at a college which gave us access to studio rooms we could book for four hours a week to record music’,” says Jono. We used that as an opportunity to all cram into a tiny room where we could be as loud as we wanted and play together.

We started off by learning covers of Defeater and Touché Amoré songs, and eventually started writing our own music. It became a bit of a routine where every Wednesday night from 8pm til midnight we would all get together and head to the studio to either record an idea, or all set up and practice the songs we’d written. It took us ages to get booked for a show as when we were starting out we really didn’t know who to talk to or how to market ourselves, so we just used that time to all get better at our instruments and develop our own identity.”

They’re the only band ever to have supported Bad Omens in Aus

Bloom themselves admit this is a bit of a weird flex”, but still one worth making. The band hopped on BOs own gigs when they were over in Australia with Knotfest, earning them the approval of metal’s fastest rising stars, and bragging rights over every other band in their homeland in the process. Fair…

We were offered the only support slot for their Brisbane and Sydney sideshows, which were their first Australian appearances,” they say. It was a wild 48 hours involving driving to Brisbane, playing an insanely packed room and then driving back down overnight to Sydney and playing another insane show. We got the offer with less than a week’s notice and we were all pretty delirious by the end of it. It’s crazy how shit just happens sometimes!”

They’ve got a lot of different creative arms

As well as bringing in different influences (“Big band and jazz, theater, the early 2000s emo wave… We all eventually met at metalcore”), Bloom are a creative free-fire idea zone.

We met Jack for the first time when working on a project for a local short film festival, and we made a few together before the band started,” says Jono. Everyone has been creatively engaged with each other for a long time, and it’s fun that the artistic relationship has evolved so much.

We all collaborate on everything. From instrumentals to lyrics, everyone’s ideas are incorporated into the final product. We have an open room when we’re producing our music, and everyone is slouched on the floor, office chairs or on couches crammed into this small room. Everyone is always shouting out ideas even if they have nothing to do with the instrument they play. It makes for the best possible version of what we can all be as a unit.”

They know how to have a laugh on tour

During recording, Bloom almost made a ritual of fuelling themselves with curry from the local veggie place, to the point the music is almost paired with the food, in their minds. Similarly, the rigours of the road are tamed with… toys.

Being a band from Australia, the majority of our touring involves a 12-seater van and 10-hour-plus drives between each show. This results in a lot of travel time and induced cabin fever. Something that has become a constant for us is making sure there is at least one throwable toy or ball within arm’s reach throughout a tour. A big one for us is the Nerf Vortex [a foam ball with a tail and a whistle] which is usually the unanimous MVP by the end of tour. We’re all big sports people and going to a park/rest stop/side of the highway and throwing around a Vortex is such a great way to break up the day, instead of where we’d usually just be stuck sitting in a van or killing time waiting between load in and our set.

Some of the most memorable tour highlights have been going to a park in a city we’ve never been before and throwing around the Vortex for an hour or so. It’s also such a great way to break the ice with other bands on a tour package. There’s just something so enticing about a ball that whistles that can be thrown really far that is too irresistible!”

Bloom’s album Maybe In Another Life is released on February 16 via Pure Noise

Read this next:

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  • Dying Wish: We’re very radical people, but maybe showing love and compassion is the most radical thing that we can do”

Posted on February 15th 2024, 3:16p.m.