As a toast to 2017, we’re ending the year with one more free show at Baby’s All Right on December 28th. New York City. Mal Blum & The Blums is headling the show alongside Kino Kimino and Hiccup. Musician and writer, Mal Blum, has a knack for writing first-person narratives with punchy lines that explore topics like mental health and pop culture. Maybe comedian and actor, Chris Gethard, said it best, “the thing about Mal’s songs is that they will rip your heart out of your f**king chest, but will also make you laugh at the same time.”
We spoke to Mal about their songwriting process, what they love about NYC, and their first pair of Doc’s. Catch up with the artist below and if you’re in the city, make sure to see our free show on December 28th.
When did you start writing and composing music? Were you always musically inclined?
When I was a teenager. Honestly, I still don’t even know if I’m musically inclined. I think I probably just needed a creative outlet. Glad I found one.
Do you find songwriting to be a therapeutic process? If so, has it always been that way for you?
Always. Writing is one of the things that I do when it feels intolerable to sit with myself or how I’m feeling. Which is sort of all the time. It’s funny you ask about therapeutic process because my actual therapist will ask me a rhetorical question like, “do you think you could just sit with that feeling for a moment?” and I will say “absolutely not.” But I guess that’s often what writing is for me.
What do you love most about living in New York City?
I like that it contains multitudes. Everybody is working so hard towards their goals, whatever they are, you can feel that, but also people lean on each other. Someone can kind of cry in public without anybody batting an eye for an entire train ride, but people still give up their seats to each other all the time. It’s a unique place.
You’ve made many appearances on The Chris Gethard Show throughout the years. Can you share one of your favorite moments from the show?
There are so many! The writing is so good, but my favorite moments are always when Chris is just improvising, talking to callers. If you want a deep cut though … one time TCGS did a live show at SXSW where Chris just sat in his underwear in a kiddie pool with a bunch of gallons of ice cream and the audience poured toppings all over him and then lined up with plastic spoons and ate from it. It was awesome and also disgusting.
What 3 tracks are you listening to lately?
I’m so bad at this, I literally just looked at my “recently played” on Spotify:
- Motion Sickness by Phoebe Bridgers (read our interview with Phoebe here)
- Comments Disabled by Sammus
- The Legend of Chavo Guerrero by The Mountain Goats
What is your favorite song to perform?
The new one. Whatever the new one is at the time.
Tell us about your first pair of Dr. Martens.
I was 15 years old or so, they were like, bright fire engine red? I bought them secondhand so they were a size too small but I wore them all the time. They were made out of some fabric – my childhood friend convinced me they were vegan – but as an adult, I think they’re probably suede.
What’s next for you?
Solo tour opening for Mary Lambert in January. Band tour opening for Jessica Lea Mayfield in February. SXSW. And we just finished recording a new album !!!!! Almost done with mixing. It sounds great. Just wait.