It’s been nearly seven months since The Great Bloomers last took the stage at The Royal, and while the overwhelming feeling in the crowd may have been “Holy shit, who are these guys?” as they opened for Kelowna natives Yukon Blonde, they have since shed the unknown opener title to headline their own tour.
This fall, The Great Bloomers released their album Distant Fires.
Despite lead singer and guitar player Lowell Sostomi’s early roots in heavy rock and punk, the sound conveyed in Distant Fires draws on the folk and classic rock influence of his parents.
Growing up in Toronto, Sostomi went to a lot of concerts.
“My most memorable concert from my childhood was seeing Beck when I was in Grade 5, but that definitely wasn’t my first concert,” he said.
Sostomi went on to say he saw the Smashing Pumpkins in Grade 4 and Green Day in Grade 3.
“I guess I was going to a lot of really big shows s a youngster,” he said.
While The Great Bloomers have yet to take the stage in a major arena dominated by acts like he saw as a child, Sostomi and The Great Bloomers have played with some of Canada’s greatest indie rockers.
“It’s invaluable to share the stage with bands that have the same sort of ideals as us and bands that are super talented and put it all out there on stage,” he said. “It inspires us. We play better when we’re playing with good bands.”
The tracks featured on Distant Fire range from passionate ballads like Sunday Clothes, reminiscent of folk greats like Bob Dylan, to strong roots rock power songs similar to Canadian indie rockers Elliott Brood.
Even though The Great Bloomers have found a way to balance the fast and the slow, it wasn’t always the case. Sostomi remembers a time when they would take the stage rushing through songs as nerves propelled them through the set.
“I remember thinking it was good at the time,” said Sostomi. “Every couple months I would look back and think how terrible we had been. We were making progress really fast and I would think the point we were at was so much better than where we’d been. That continued for a while, but it’s great to look back and see how far you’ve come.”
As the band returns to Nelson on November 16 they will not only be celebrating their new album, but also Sostomi’s birthday.
“I’ve never had a bad time in Nelson, or anything that resembles a bad time,” he said. “It’s always a really great time and this should be even better because the day we play is my birthday. I couldn’t imagine a better place to celebrate.”