(At Capital Pridefest 2013, our very own Miss Jaye was busy doing “charitable work” (i.e., giving head to married construction workers) while there were any number of great performers gracing the Pridefest stage. Luckily, one intrepid young man managed to track her down later and make sure she was aware of his music. In the spirit of Pride, Janessa decided to spend a little time getting to know this musician and his work, and share him with all of our readers at the World of Champagne. Enjoy!)
Janessa Jaye Champagne: Welcome to the World of Champagne, thanks for sitting down with us.
Cody Blotter: Thanks for having me!
JJC: So tell our readers a little more about who you are and where you come from?
CB: I’m just a small town boy with big dreams. I grew up in Turtle Lake, ND where I became interested in music and theatre. After I graduated in 2006, I moved to Minot to pursue a degree in Music Education, only to change my mind and pick up a Theatre Arts major. That degree is “in progress.”
JJC:I met you at the Bismarck Pride drag show when I was very drunk and you gave me a CD. When I sobered up, I popped it in the car, and I really liked it!
JJC: What happens in Bismarck stays in Bismarck, but the soundtrack comes with me! Tell us more about how you became interested in music. Did you make music while growing up?
CB: I started getting hands on with music in the 2nd grade. My parents acquired a piano, and I started taking lessons. I hated it. There were whole lessons dedicated to me sitting on the bench crying because I was so frustrated. In 5th grade, we got to pick an instrument to play in band. I picked the flute and I loved it. Still do. When I was 16, I realized there were ways to make my own music instead of just playing someone else’s work. I started writing pop music. I was listening to a lot of ABBA around that time, so all of my early music was very heavily influenced by them.
JJC: Do you write all of your own songs? What is your inspiration?
CB: The music and lyrics are all me! If you half ass listen, it sounds like I go to the bar too much. But, they say write what you know! Really, though, my songs have underlying themes of “live for the day,” “love each other,” and “love yourself.” Some of my songs are actually pretty dark. “Gimme Gimme Gimme” is about wanting to die, while “Kill Me” is about being incredibly happy. My best music tends to come from the hardest times.
JJC: Have you ever wanted to write a song about a celebrity? Maybe a large and in charge drag diva? Just sayin…
CB: I’m open to suggestions. Maybe we could work something out!
JJC: Terrific! I’ll have my people call your people. And by “my people,” I mean me. Anyway, back to the interview. The music on your CD is quite good…do you have someone who does mixing and producing for you, or do you do that yourself as well?
CB: Every note you hear was played or sung by me. I call myself a DIY Pop Artist, which means I beg, borrow and steal to make my music happen. I use a program by Apple called GarageBand. It is really user friendly but the quality is far from professional. Mixing it to sound its best is definitely a learning process, but I love it because I’m always learning something new.
JJC: Do you have a studio you record at?
CB: Yes! My living room. Actually, that’s a lie. I have started using the practice rooms at the college. I get self conscious if I think my neighbors can hear me. There was a really dark time where I would record in my car.
JJC: How long have you been performing your own original music? Besides performing at this year’s Pridefest in Bismarck, where else have you performed?
CB: I’ve been performing for 4 years, mostly in Minot. There is a local organization called the Pangea House. They gave me my first show. I’ve played in back rooms, basements, a community theatre venue. I also played a set at Capital City Pridefest 2012 and an autism awareness walk in Minot.
JJC: How did you get involved in Bismarck’s Pride Event?
CB: I was a little ballsy and possibly a little drunk when I saw it in my Facebook news feed in 2012. I scrolled through, wondering if there was going to be any entertainment. I didn’t see anything, so I sent a message and asked, basically, “Hey! Can I play?” And after listening to my music, they said yes! I was thrilled! It was my first show outside of Minot. So I went down and performed. They must have liked me, because they asked to come back this year, and I was thrilled to.
JJC: Is there much of a local music scene in Minot? I’m from that area originally, and there wasn’t much when I was growing up besides country bands and street dances!
CB: I mentioned the Pangea House earlier. They dabble in pretty much all of the arts. Music, theatre, writing, visual art, crochet… All of it! There are so many little bands in this town, I know I couldn’t name them all, and they cover pretty much all genres. Grunge and rock, pop and indie. Screamo and acoustic. Pangea House caters to them and they have regular shows, and often bring in artists from across the country. I think they had a band from the UK. Pangea House is the driving force behind Why Not!? Music festival, which is a weekend of music and theatre and awesome that I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of. There are also several mid-level bands who play bars and bigger shows. Another music event in Minot is Rock the Leaves, which I haven’t been involved with, but I hear great things.
CB: I think it’s important for artists to have an outlet. By performing and sharing our art with the community, we are offering an intimate part of ourselves to them. By supporting local artists, communities are exposed to different ideas that maybe they haven’t thought about before.
JJC: What are your future plans with your music? Where would you like to play?
CB: I’m going to keep writing and keep working to find shows to play. In my head, I’d love an arena tour. In reality, I’d be happy to open for a similar artist. Or maybe open for a drag show.
JJC: Simmer down Mister Sister, I said my people would call! But since we’re flirting with the idea of working together, any plans for a music video, maybe featuring a mildly famous drag queen with ambitions as big as the ass of a Kardashian?
CB: Well, I am writing that one song about a large and in charge drag diva!
JJC: I like the way you think! Now, if you could play a concert with any band or musician, who would it be?
CB: Lady Gaga. The end.
JJC: Duh. That would be stupid fabulous! Well, we’re running out of time, but before we go, is there anything else you’d like our readers to know about you and your music?
CB: Listen to it. Really listen. Don’t stop at the whiskey. Go deep. Always, always love who you are. I can’t stress how important that is. After all, we only get one chance. If you want to keep tabs on me, you can find me on Facebook by searching: “Cody Blotter (Music)” and you can follow me on the Twitter @CodyBlotter. Both are updated frequently by my ReverbNation account (www.reverbnation.com/codyblotter). Why Not!? Music and Arts Festival happens August 9-11th. http://whynot.pangeahouse.org
JJC: “Go deep” – two of my favorite words in the English language. I think I need a napkin! Well Cody, thanks so much for sitting down with us here at the World of Champagne.
CB: It was fun! Glad I could make it!
(You can find Cody Blotter on Facebook. You can find Miss Jaye down at the bus station, suckin’ dick for a dollar. Hey, a girl’s gotta make a living…)
Tags: Bismarck Pride, Bismarck Pridefest, Capital City Pride, Capital City Pridefest, Cody Blotter, drag queen, Indie Artist, Indie Music, Indie Pop Artist, Janessa, Janessa J, Janessa J Champagne, Janessa Jaye, Janessa Jaye Champagne, music video, Pangea House, Pop Artist, Pop Music, video ho, Why Not Minot, Why Not?! Minot Arts and Music Festival