Bleeker is an alternative band from Orillia,Canada. The band consists of Taylor Perkins (Vocals), Dan Steinke (Guitars), Cole Perkins (Guitars), and Mike Van Dyk (Bass). They have a refreshing sounds of alternative rock infused with garage pop. Self-titled EP is available now, be sure to check it out. Along with their music video for Highway.
Check out our interview with the lovely humans; Cole, Mike, and Taylor. We missed you, Dan!
Music Existence: Going to the origins of Bleeker which was previously known as Bleeker Ridge. How did you guys form?
Taylor: We started a long ago, almost thirteen years ago. We started in these little blues clubs in our hometown. We all took lessons from these different guitar stores and then we all met at one through this blues jam. We got along really well and nine weeks later we recorded a CD in a basement with a great guy called Steve Henry. From there, we just keep going.
Music Existence: Interesting fact about the other members in the band? Taylor Perkins (Vocals), Dan Steinke (Guitars), Cole Perkins (Guitars), Mike Van Dyk (Bass)
Taylor: I’ll say one about Cole. That’s a tough question though because he’s my brother he just seems normal to me now. An interesting quirky fact about Cole is that he is extremely into computers and video games. He’s very nerdy and he is trying to open my eyes to the world of gaming and how big it’s become. That’s definitely Cole’s thing, super quirky.
Cole: Mike. Mike doesn’t wear his show clothes or anything around because he sweats a lot.
Mike: I just burn it off.
Music Existence: He leaks!
Cole: He leaks haha! That’s all I got and he’s DUTCH.
Mike: For Taylor, he’s definitely just the quirkiest out of all of us. The weirdest thing he does is, with tape or anything sticky you’ll see him going around the room peeling off something and then touches to his face or his lips. He really likes doing that. He’s been doing it for so long that he doesn’t even realize he’s doing it.
Taylor: I just peel things and sticky. If there was something to peel or that was sticky I would have it already. Oh and for Dan, he isn’t here but he is a licensed extreme skydiver.
Mike: He’s actually working on getting his wing suit.
Music Existence: What. Amazing.
Mike: Also, Dan has never drunk or done drugs or anything like that. He did smoke but he quit.
Tyler: He’s an adrenaline seeker.
Music Existence: Going off of Dan’s skydiving job and hobby besides music. Is there an other hobby you guys have besides music?
Taylor: Yeah, I play a lot of sports. So I’m usually playing basketball and sports like that.
Cole: I like to play video games, build computers and like nerdy stuff like that and music production. I spend most of my time with music production, just learning about recording, mixing, and all about EQ, etc.
Mike: I do a lot of music. I manage a music store and play a lot of bands so music is still present as a job and a hobby. But I also into disc golf, it sounds weird or lame but it’s super cool.
Music Existence: Really interesting, I’ve never heard of disc golf.
Mike: Yeah, it’s really fun, it’s like golf but you use frisbees instead. There’s this basket with chains and you try to get it inside. It’s not physically draining just super fun. I’m actually good at it. I’ve always loved sports, like soccer and basketball growing up. Like darts, bowling those sort of games are so great. Also, with those you can play with a beer in your hand.
Music Existence: That’s so hard though. So impressive to see how people manage to multitask drinking and playing a sport at the same time.
Mike: That’s how I play, love playing like that so like it’s cheating if you play with a beer. If it was possible to play guitar with a beer, I probably would.
Music Existence: A solution n can be to have a huge pint with a straw in front of you so when you need a beer break, the pint that is the height of you is there and you can drink without letting go of the guitar.
Cole: Like a big bird! Pecks down on and off for a sip.
Music Existence: Congratulations on the new EP release. It’s a refreshing unique sound of alternative garage rock infused with pop. What was it like filming the music video for highway?
Taylor: We went down to California for a couple of days. It was really quick. We got to this huge white room in this gigantic building I don’t know where exactly. And we met the stunt driver for the very first time. She was amazing, she’s done really cool stuff. We played for a little bit and then they bought in the car. They showed footage of what they were doing before with the car driving and going around and it stank like burning rubber. The whole video process took about 10 hours and it was such a fun experience.
Mike: Yeah, it was super fun. There were a lot of people working and it was all really busy. Everyone was so nice, so cool, so professional, just really doing their thing. It was a painless experience because we were at times just standing there. And people would come up and ask if we needed anything and it was more like “No, do you need anything?” because they were running around and doing so much. It’s like what can we do to help you. Everyone was just so sweet and nice.
Music Existence: How does the songwriting process go about for you guys?
Mike: So these guys, (Cole and Tyler) usually bring the original idea, the melody of it.
Taylor: Yeah, it usually starts with Cole or me where we have a main song idea then we’ll show it to each other and kind of refine it. We both have our strengths and weak points. Cole is really good at taking this clump of good and craving it into something amazing and then there’s times where it can be very intricate and then I go, “I can’t take this”, which means so many others won’t understand it so we together make it more simple. We show the guys what we have, they put their own stamp on it and that’s how our songs are made.
Music Existence: They are a lot of bands that have a trademark aesthetic they want to present themselves in or try to achieve whether it’d be in their image, style, music videos, photography, social media, etc. Is an aesthetic significant to Bleeker?
Taylor: I mean it’s becoming important. It’s never been a huge thing for us. It’s really weird because we come from a little small town where there’s no fashion, there’s nothing like that. You look weird even if you’re not really dressed up. It’s starting to become a little more fun as we travel more and notice that things are not really conservative you can just do what you want. For us, it’s always about the music and always will be. I guess, we are just new and coming around to the idea of your image or aesthetic of a band.
Music Existence: You guys went on tour with The Struts.
Music Existence: A-level, top notch fashion.
Taylor: For sure. We don’t have much space to hold that much clothes. We need a thing to hold all of it like all the show clothes.
Mike: Yeah, a wardrobe.
Taylor: Yeah, we need someone to get on that! Hahaha.
Music Existence: So you guys went on tour with them and traveled around the States. Can you tell a bit about what that experience?
Taylor: The Struts are amazing and they’re super nice guys. Traveling in the States is great. Nice to travel within two hours and not run into snow. We also often tour with bands a lot older than us and The Struts are around the same as age so that was nice.
Music Existence: While on tour, is there a venue or place that really you liked?
Cole: House of Boston in San Diego was really cool the venue and the crowd, awesome show!
Mike: Yeah, for sure! Even Luke from The Struts was telling us it’s his favorite venue in North America to play. Also, The Marketplace in Phoenix is just super cool. It’s beautiful there.
Taylor: It’s great because it’s an open space and anyone can just walk up there and a whole range of people.
Music Existence: Dream tour lineup?
Taylor: With Chris Cornell whenever he’s doing at the time. everything else is whatever, he’s the man haha.
Music Existence: He’s the only one for you.
Taylor: He’s the only one for me, I have a man crush and I met him but then chickened out. I was picking gear for a studio thing and he comes walking in and the light was right behind him like “AHHHH”. I never saw him again but I just had the biggest fangirl moment.
Cole: Queen of the Stone Age, because I love them.
Mike: I’m in agreement with the lads, anything that Chris does and Queens because I’m a huge fan. I’m pretty stoked with the Dirty Heads and Sublime tour. I’m really forward to that, it’ll be a blast. I believe we start on June 30th in Atlanta and it’s around a four month tour across the U.S.
Music Existence: When you’re not playing shows or touring? Do you go see shows often? If so, do you have a favorite show you’ve gone to this year?
Cole: I don’t go to too many shows. I do like going to jazz shows and just different stuff because we go on tour with rock bands. I like to go to shows that are of different styles of music.
Mike: I really don’t like going to big shows such as stadium or arena shows, not because of the artist but more of the environment. You get treated like cattle so I like seeing a lot of underground hard rock groups. Older and local bands too.
Music Existence: Songs, artists, or band you’re into or have been listening to recently?
Taylor: I was listening to the new Weezer record recently, super good.
Cole: Attica Riots.
Taylor: I don’t know, there is a lot great stuff out there right now.
Music Existence: Your tour with Dirty Heads and Sublime is coming up in July.Any more future plans you can tell us about?
Taylor: We are planning on heading over to Europe. We are also going to try to do a big Canadian tour hopefully in the fall as well.
Music Existence: Awesome! Going back to shows, what was the first show you ever saw individually?
Mike: Ooo, Aerosmith in 2003 with Kid Rock. I was around twelve or thirteen. It was this really cool hip amphitheater, I remember my mom taking me.
Taylor: Oh my gosh, amazing.
Music Existence: Epic first show.
Taylor: Cole and I saw Kansas, hahahaha. And we got to meet them and it was awesome.
Music Existence: If music didn’t exist – what would you do to be creative?
Mike: I don’t know, drugs hahah. Kidding.
Taylor: I would probably sketch. I do a lot of sketch but not really, I do like binge sketching. For two days, I’ll fill pages and pages. And then for a while not do it.
Mike: He does a lot of portraits.
Taylor: Mike likes to cook. He loves to come over and bring a case of beer and all these ingredients we have never heard of and just make something for us. He does a lot of slow roasting like pork. He always just get all this food and makes a picnic of it. Maybe thats what you should do, drop the bass.
Mike: Hahahaha. Making food is so relaxing.
Music Existence: While on tour, is food a top thing to go on the hunt for?
Mike: Yeah, for sure. If we have time to scout good places to eat, we will. But if it’s really late or not time we do resort to McDonald’s or Domino’s Pizza.
Taylor: I think while on this tour we’ll soon be going on with Sublime and Dirty Heads, we’ll have more time to pick out some great food places.
Mike: More places, definitely and time.
Taylor: Hahah, Mike is going to get us all fat and fired.
Music Existence: Going back to the music and a closing to our interview, what is your favorite track on the new EP?
Mike: I’m Not Laughing Now or Everytime I Call, really ends with a BAM. Where’s Your Money is the rocking favorite though.
Cole: Yeah, I ‘d say the same, Where’s Your Money?.
Taylor: I’m Not Laughing Now. It’s my favorite we’ve done. And it’s one we did a long time ago, that just stuck around now its finally out.
Music Existence: What about live?
Taylor: Where’s Your Money?
Cole: For sure.