A Sit Down With Charly Bliss at SXSW

By Joseph Bonney
Music Journalist 

On a Tuesday afternoon at SXSW, I approached the venue where New York pop rock band Charly Bliss was performing.  As I walked into the venue, I could hear Eva Hendricks singing the song “Love Me”. The rest of the band, Spencer Fox (guitarist), Dan Shure (bassist) and Sam Hendricks (drummer) were playing strongly to amplify her voice. After the performance, I approached their manager who pointed me towards Eva– who mistook me as a fan at first when I offered to assist in carrying the band’s gear to the van. She laughed and thanked me once she realized the mistake. Shortly after reaching the van I met Sam and Spencer, who were quick to excitedly point out my red jeans and black shirt matching my backpack. Then, Dan came by with his stoically friendly demeanor quickly afterwards.

charly bliss
Eva Hendricks of Charly Bliss seeing a friend. Photo by KTSW Multimedia.

I took the group around the corner, away from the chaotic atmosphere, where I was then able to conduct the interview.  All four of them were giddy and ecstatic to get started.  I asked how their day was going at SXSW. According to Eva, “We’re great! It’s been really fun. So far it feels kind of like being at summer camp.” The others agreed before going on a tangent about the film “Get Out”.  “The end. Just– it was so gratuitous, it’s the best like oh my god (moment).” was Spencer’s response to my question about his favorite part.  

When I asked about the meaning behind their upcoming album, Eva explained.

“So, Spencer came up with the name Guppy.  But I think [with] us it just felt really appropriate, like, it took us a really long time to put this record out, we recorded it twice, we really took our time and we made sure it was like absolutely what we wanted. But I think for that reason, we feel a little bit like the underdog side of things.”

They had also worked on a three-part music video that was filmed by a close friend of Sam’s to promote the EP Soft Serve.  He explained the original concept of the videos being three independent ideas before the group felt they could connect them. “Let’s just Frankenstein a complete story!” he exclaimed, the group mutually agreeing.

When I asked about the song “Turd”, the band got serious for a moment.  I was surprised at the sudden mood shift. Seeing the cheery male trio suddenly back off was confusing, yet admirable.  “‘Turd’ is a song that I wrote about being catcalled and being made to feel less than at our shows.” Eva said. “I was walking around with three of my girlfriends and this group of, like, construction workers started screaming at us, and my one friend Alex screamed, ‘In your dreams, turd!'” Hearing her discuss this moment was saddening, but powerful at the same time.

The interview eventually ended on a light-hearted note when the whole group reminisced about a time they performed at a sorority house, and Eva wanted to cheer up Sam who was in a bad mood.  So the group popcorned each other on a trampoline, “And basically at the end of the story I peed my pants.” The group exploded.

“There was a lot of laughter,” Spencer added.

Watching the group interact was the best part of the interview. You get a feeling that they are truly genuine people. They’re just a bunch of friends who happen to love making music together. Things felt natural and organic amongst the bandmates, which made their chemistry feel so rich. It’s something that I know will propel them to work harder to achieve higher musical goals in the future.

Featured image by KTSW Multimedia.

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