Indie band anything but ‘Blah’

By HermineBloom

In January, the Chicago Tribune named local band Blah Blah Blah one of five “bands on the verge of breaking big,” which seems fitting for a polished indie pop band with light, Morrissey-esque vocals, due to play this month at South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas.

Blah Blah Blah comprises Phill Ferguson on keyboards and guitar, Dario Arcos on drums, Byron Hardin on bass and Solomon Moss on guitar and vocals. The band was perhaps named ironically because these guys embody the very opposite of what the word “blah” tends to evoke. Easily described as charmingly sarcastic and easygoing, the members of Blah Blah Blah talked with The Chronicle about their range of musical influences, what to expect from their upcoming release and their initial reaction to the Tribune write-up.

The Chronicle: How did you guys meet?

Phill Ferguson: Well, we were in the middle of the room one day and we were into sucking on helium—that was a pastime we were into at the time—and our voices joined together in harmony.

Solomon Moss: No, for the record, that’s not what happened. My mom will think I’m a helium sucker. It isn’t true.

The Chronicle: Are you making fun of me?

SM: I can take this one. I’ve known Phill for 12 years I think and I’ve seen Dario play many times throughout the years. I saw him play on drums and I was like, “That guy shines on that!” It all kind of revolved around us getting into the same room with instruments to play a tune.

PF: It started to be very consecutive.

SM: We met Byron and he sort of jumped into the group.

The Chronicle: What are your individual musical influences?

SM: My top five influences are Aaron Neville, Boyz II Men, Phill with two Ls, Radiohead and Morrissey. Add Frank Sinatra and take Phill with two ‘L’’s out.

PF: I really am a big fan of David Bowie—early and late. Just the creativity of production. [There’s] The Smashing Pumpkins, Sammy Davis Jr., everybody in love. I would say probably Depeche Mode, probably some—this is a hard question—a group called Blaze [and] of course the greats: Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield and stuff like that. Deftones also.

DA: Rhythm-wise, I like a lot of world music and a lot of hip-hop.

SM: I like songs with drums and songs with voices.

The Chronicle: What does your new music sound like compared to what you’ve worked on in the past?

SM: We haven’t released anything officially. It’s all been demo tracks pushed out. But the stuff we’re doing now is recorded nicely; it’s more confident as far as the way it’s played and recorded. It gets the idea across way better. The last batch we recorded at a place called Third Coast, which I believe is no longer there, and other studios around Chicago. The music is just more real, if that makes sense. The vibe in the studio was very cool as where the other ones sound a little more rigid.

Byron Hardin: It’s more of what we want rather than the producer just recording us. We’re more comfortable in the studio.

The Chronicle: What’s your reaction to being named one of the local bands to break big, according to the Tribune?

DA: The description kind of pinned us as a slower-sounding band, but we’re definitely not. Anyone who has seen a live show was pretty upset about that quote.

PF: It’s not like we’re complaining though. It’s not like we’ve made every avenue available to the Tribune. They’ve only heard a couple of songs, I’m sure.

BH: It’s beautiful that people have their different views. That’s what’s great about music. Whoever says whatever they say won’t say anything bad about it, of course, but their particular input is great. That’s how the group is.

PF: [Asking the rest of the band] How would you define this kind of music?

SM: It’s a smooth intensity. You’re at ease, but it’s intense.

PF: I like that.

For more information about the band, visit Their next show will be on March 11 at Reggie’s Rock Club, 2019 S. State St.