Last updated on November 2nd, 2023 at 07:27 pm
This past August the trio of Eliza, Lukaz, and Julia Wheaton released their sophomore album Moments. The siblings front the apropos-named band Bloodline. Moments provides fans with another level of development and artistic intention with a new collection of songs. That advancement is heard in the authenticity and emotional depth that each moment brings in listening through the album.
We caught up with Bloodline inside their home to explore the contrast of personalities and comfort in having a recording studio and rehearsal space readily available.
Music in Minnesota: Congrats on your sophomore release Moments. The album dropped at the end of August, and the celebration is coming up on November 3rd at KJ’s Hideaway in Saint Paul. I know that venue is extra special for you three.
Lukaz: KJ’s part was one of the first venues that gave us a chance to display our art for people to listen to. It’s really special to have it there, but also it’s just a celebration of how much work we put into it. It was a year and a half of making demos, refining ideas, recording, throwing them away, and coming back to them a couple of months later. The fact that people are tuning in makes it a cool thing as well.
Eliza: It’s like breathing life into the album. That’s going to be that moment on November 3rd when everybody’s listening to it live, together in the same space.
MIM: You’ve played there in the past as the band, and Julia with your Whitney Houston tribute show. Is there a favorite moment that stands out to each of you?
Lukaz: My favorite moment is anytime I get to sit down and play that Yamaha Grand piano. I feel like every time we’ve been there, I’ve felt really special and taken care of. The owners are just the sweetest people, so I feel like they do a lot for the artists that come through. We’ve been to some great shows there as well.
Julia: I’d say my favorite moment was the last Whitney tribute show because that was the first time that we filled the room and sold it out. It was just cool to get to do that both for us and for them as well.
Eliza: I think one of my favorite moments is in our pre-show tradition for Bloodline and Whitney Houston shows: we get into a circle and do this little drama exercise where we shake it out, do a pep talk, pray, and then head out through the little tunnel.
MIM: The unique dynamic of Bloodline is obviously in the name of a band with three siblings. I want to focus on pre-2018 and your lives growing up together. When did music start to weave its way into your lives, and did you all have different dreams on what you wanted to be when you were growing up?
Lukaz: My dream as a young kid was to do video. I absolutely fell in love with that. I’d make trailers in iMovie all the time. Me and Julia would make funny videos whenever we had an extra chance. When Julia got the opportunity to go and record in Sao Paulo, I saw these people recording audio and manipulating sound. Seeing that whole process and the people doing it on a professional level who could take emotion and capture it. I just fell in love with that process of taking something that’s a thought or a feeling and putting it into a medium…it just blew my mind.
Julia: As you know, the movie Frozen was my inauguration to the music world, but I guess before then, I always loved the ocean. I really wanted to be a marine biologist. I wouldn’t do that now because of all the science, but that’s okay. When I started falling in love with music after Frozen, I would watch videos of Whitney Houston or Ariana Grande, and I wanted to perform. My heart would yearn for it. And then in 2018 when I went to Brazil to record, that’s when it clicked.
Eliza: Growing up, we would always have music around the house, and I’ll always remember me being very little and my mom always playing Brazilian gospel music. I always danced to it even though I was not really a good dancer. I wanted to be a dancer for a little bit. But then going through high school, since I’m the oldest, I had a passion for biology, and so that was the route that I wanted to go up until 2018. It’s then when my other passion for writing music really solidified. Knowing that I was able to not only put out the feelings I had but also the feelings that Julia or Lukaz had in a magical and beautiful way.
MIM: Then in 2018 the decision came to start Bloodline. What played into that choice?
Lukaz: I think there were two big things. One, our piano teacher Russ King realized that we all were kind of gifted in different areas of music and really encouraged us to work together on something. Then after that experience in Brazil was over for me, I was like, how do we keep doing this? I want this feeling to stay alive.
Eliza: I think it just ignited a spark within all of us. Also for my portion of the 2018 experience was that the producers were asking me if I could write both in Portuguese and in English. And so that was a new challenge because one of the songs I had written for Julia called “Affliction” was about her going through a rough time in school. They put me on the spot and just gave me that project to see if I could do it. Half of the chorus came from being at a restaurant and seeing a painting. Inspiration can come from anywhere. That was the point where I really believed in myself and knew I could do it with my siblings.
MIM: Let’s talk about sibling dynamics, because you all live in the same house, recording and rehearsing here as well. How do you navigate disputes and conflict?
Julia: I would love to say we don’t fight, but that would not be true. I feel like there are definitely times, especially when we’re really critically working on something, that things can arise in disagreements. I think that’s when we try to take time to just breathe, because, in the end, we want what we’re feeling to transpose into the music. We know that it won’t work if it’s spent bickering. I think as we’ve matured, it’s gotten better.
Lukaz: I think at the beginning it was because our styles are different. We’re clashing. But as we keep making music, especially on Moments, we realize that’s more of a strength.
MIM: I would think being related, you have the ability to be more heartfelt, more honest, and transparent with each other.
Lukaz: I like using the term “brutally honest” cause that’s the way it is. The first album we didn’t really know what we were doing, so it led to a lot more bumps in the road, but working on Moments and having those two years to grow as artists and together as siblings, we just already had those avenues to deal with conflict and how to resolve those things.
MIM: How has having a studio space in the comfort of your home seeped into the production of Moments?
Lukaz: It can lead to very interesting working hours. It’s really cool to have the ability to get inspired at family dinner and then just race down here and record an idea really fast. Just be able to capture initial reactions or ideas at their inception versus having to wait and book time to go somewhere.
Julia: I would say I’m definitely one of those people where I bring all my feelings home with me, so I feel like this is the place where I feel the safest and where my most intimate feelings come out.
Eliza: We can be our authentic selves all the way without any of those barriers. It touches you on a different level sometimes at home.
MIM: There’s certainly a progression from your first album to now. Is there a song on Moments that, when you look back you think, “We couldn’t have done this song back then?”
Julia: I’d say “Anymore” for me because that was the first time that I was completely honest when singing a song. That one was also very raw because it was a freestyle. Lukaz had made a beat, and then I freestyled over it, and we tweaked some of the lyrics, but melody-wise, we kept it all the same. That one is the one that’s very connected to my heart.
Lukaz: Being able to capture Julia’s initial reaction and just her having the skills to develop a melody right away that really fit with the song, I think was something we weren’t at the skill level to do before. But also, Moments tells a story about a good thing turning into a bad thing, but from all three of our perspectives. So whatever that meant to us and being able to just put that into a project and having the strategy of, “this is the story you want to tell, these are the kinds of songs we want to make.”
Eliza: For me, I think the biggest change from Daze to Moments was I was more free in my writing in the sense of, I’m just going to directly say what I am thinking and feeling instead of trying to make it always poetic. One of the songs that I probably couldn’t have done back then is “Pass Me By.” I just had experience, and then I wrote that within 10 minutes. I didn’t really tweak too much. With Daze I would go back and try to be more cryptic to add more metaphors. I learned with this album sometimes it’s better to just say how you’re feeling to be more authentic.
MIM: I’ve seen how your individual bedrooms show the differences in your styles and tastes. If you had to switch rooms with another, give me something you would change and something you really like about that person’s room.
Eliza: I really like Lukaz’s minimalistic intention because that’s really hard for me to do. It’s very nice and clean. I think one thing I would change would probably bring just a little bit of personality, maybe a couple of photos here or there. For Julia, I love her photos there, so I wouldn’t change that. She also has a big closet, which I would enjoy. We have a lot of similar tastes, so many times I would just change the color because purple is my favorite.
Julia: I’d say if I moved into Eliza’s room, I actually like how homey her room feels. It’s not cluttered and has the perfect amount of stuff. I would just get a bigger bed because her bed is really small. And then for Lukaz’s room, I would add more stuffed animals to make it cozy.
Lukaz: I just need to feel like I’m not bothered by anything, which is where the minimalistic comes in my room. I just want to rest and recuperate so I can come down here to the studio and make some great ideas. But if I were going to move into rooms, I think my first pick would be Julia’s room because the acoustics in her closet are very nice. It would be good for ideas. Honestly, if I was going to either of the rooms, I would still strip it down and kind of just have nothing for me. It really allows my mind to relax and just have no distractions.
Tickets are still available to help celebrate Moments with Bloodline at KJ’s Hideaway on November 3rd.