Various Blonde, “All Bases Covered”

Meredith Schneider

Kansas City-based Various Blonde – comprised of Joshua Allen (guitar/vocals), Adam Mcgill (guitar) Evanjohn Mcintosh (bass), and Mark Lomas (drums) – is getting ready to release their new album in September. In honor of that, we’ve got the premiere of the music video for their title track “All Bases Covered”.

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The song is so amazing, with bass that hits for days and these undeniably fun, other worldly, gorgeous vocals from Josh Allen. The video matches the song’s propensity for inducing a party vibe, with bright, psychedelic images layered into visuals of Josh singing the song. It is geometric pop art that has come to life and made a very lasting impression.

We’re so excited to hear and see more from this album, that we took a second to catch up with Josh about the project, and their lives killin’ it in the midwest.

What was your first musical memory?

My first musical memory was probably watching a VHS tape of the 1983 Motown Awards that included Michael Jackson’s famous performance of “Billie Jean”.

When did you decide to pursue music? Was there a defining moment?

I would say, I decided to peruse music seriously around 2011. I mean, there were moments between now and when i first picked up the guitar where i would decide to practice more or whatever, but it wasn’t until around 2011 that i started trying to make real long term decisions for the band.

What is the origin story of Various Blonde?

VB started around 2008 when i was in between bands looking for people to play with. We were originally called ’68 comeback, but after a few months had to  change our name because there was already a band with that name.

What do you think is unique about being a musician in Kansas City right now?

Being a musician in KC is tight! It’s especially tight because i feel like people under estimate KC in a lot of different ways because we’re in the midwest. If you actually go to shows and are active in the scene you know that there is a lot of talented musicians in KC doing their thing and it’s no surprise people are finally taking notice of that.  

You have been described as a mix between The Weeknd and Rage Against the Machine. We can’t think of anything more precise than that description, but what do you think?

Honestly, I don’t know what to think about that comparison. I’ve heard that and ” you’re the punk rock Michael Jackson” a lot since we’ve been playing new material from “All Bases Covered”. Im not gonna hate on being compared to successful musicians. That just seems silly, but at the same time I will say I’ve made no conscious effort to sound like any of these artists (Michael excluded). I just think we have a lot of the same influences and there’s only so many notes we can play so i think its only natural to find some overlap here and there.

Where did the inspiration for the “All Bases Covered” video come from, and what was the creative process like on the video?

My close friends Bo and Alx Bordages do freelance design, video, etc. and they helped me develop the ideas for the first two videos from the record. We had worked together already on a video for a song on our last album and really liked it. We wanted to incorporate their style into our music again and knew All Bases would be the first single so i asked them to check it out and let me know what they thought. They loved it and came up with a treatment quickly. We filmed like a week later and the rest is history.  

How do you imagine your fans listening to “All Bases Covered”?

I dunno, I ultimately hope they identify with what I’m trying to say or at least dig the beat. But, I do know that we live in a world where listeners today may not even bother learning the band name or even worse, the words to their favorite song. So, I don’t really know. I guess what I’m saying is that it will probably happen in a lot of different ways because there are a lot of different types of people thus a lot of different types of listeners. 

What inspires your music the most?

It really depends. I like a lot of different genres and am down to play a lot of different stuff so it really just depends on what sounds I’m looking to for inspiration. One day its punk another its funk. I would say I’m really just inspired by all of the possibilities  

If you could play with any artist – living or dead – who would you choose, and what would you perform?

I would love to have been able to work with Prince. It  would be rad to play his songs and songs he was helping me develop. 

What can we expect from you during the lead up to your new album?

You can expect some radio appearances, activity on our end via streaming services like, soundcloud, bandcamp, and, a listening party, and possibly an in-store at one of our amazing record stores in town.

“All Bases Covered” is out September 16th.

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