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Interview: Blane Fonda on prom, wiggling hips

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Chicago power-pop quintet Blane Fonda are no stranger to the Indianapolis music scene; they've played several shows and experienced nothing but warm welcomes every time. This weekend, the group will return to Indianapolis for the annual all-ages Punk Rock Prom, where their party rock and crooning slow jams will fit in perfectly with the theme. Frontman Mark Wetzel talks about Blane Fonda's music, defying music labels, and the band's future with the impending release of their latest full-length album, Foolish Croon.

NUVO: What are your songs usually about?<

Mark Wetzel: There are a few recurring themes in Blane songs: love, heartache, partying, overcoming adversity. We try really hard never to take ourselves too seriously. Lyrically, I really look up to artists like Beck, Ween, Flaming Lips, Magnetic Fields, etc, because their songs are artful, thoughtful, abstract and funny all at the same time.

NUVO: Your music video for "Opportunity Rocks" is wonderfully bizarre and looks cool and interesting visually. What was the inspiration for it, and how did it come together?

MW: THANK YOU! I did the art direction, created the sets, masks, costumes, illustrations and concept for the video. So the look/feel comes from my artwork. I worked with Foundation & Director/Editor Matt Egan to make this beast of a music video. Matt helped with the concept, directed and shot the video. Foundation did the post-production.

The song is really about feeling helpless, all the while being the only one who can bring about change. I really don't want to say much more about the narrative. The great thing about art is that the viewer gets to take the lyrics, the mood of the song, and the visuals of the video and make his/her own interpretations.

NUVO: What's the story behind the Giant Squid and the song written about it?

MW:Again, I don't really like to spell out the meanings behind song lyrics. But it is definitely our party song. It's become somewhat of a tradition to end our shows with this song. Our fans always seem to squeeze out any remaining energy to dance their butts out to this tune.

To be honest, the meaning of this song is always changing for me. That's just part of the reason I'll always love this tune.

NUVO: I have once heard your music described as sounding like "a '90s porn haze, but in a good way." What do you think of this? How would you describe your sound?

MW:Haha, woah. Fun, sexy, entertaining? I don't really know what to make of that. Does that mean like '80's porn, but with better production value? Let's be honest, describing music is kind of like trying to chew a fart. Sometimes you feel like you probably could, but it's really not possible. Music is intangible and different for everyone.

If I had to describe our music, I'd just say it's fun and energetic. We don't really stick to a given genre, merely, we try to keep a sound that feels honest and true to the entity that is Blane Fonda. If it puts a smile on your face and a wiggle in your hips then we're happy.

NUVO: What does Blane Fonda have planned for the future?

MW:Blane is constantly practicing, recording, and writing new material. 2012 is a year for growth. We're going to give Foolish Croon a proper release this summer (some of you may have heard a few tracks with our soft-release last winter) and really push to get ultra-max exposure. Spread the good word. Your encouragement means more than you'll ever know. Thanks!

Blane Fonda will be playing the annual all-ages Punk Rock Prom this Saturday with Diarrhea Planet, The Green Room Rockers, and more at the Hoosier Dome.

Blane Fonda performs "Opportunity Rocks!"

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