Follow us | OXHC Magazine On Pintrest Follow OXHC Magazine On Facebook Tweet OXHC Magazine On Twitter OXHC On Instagram OXHC Club
Whats On
Courtesy of Red House Records

An interview with the Cactus Blossoms

The Cactus Blossoms, formed of brothers Jack Torrey & Page Burkum, come to the Bullingdon on 18th January. Here Jack talks song writing and JD McPherson
Courtesy of Red House Records

"Queen is a little love poem for my sweetheart."

For you has it just been a case of playing the type of music you like and it catching on, or have you been more calculating than that – as in thinking about the market, and spotting a gap?

Calculated is probably the last word I would use to describe us… we’re too lazy for that! Years of learning how to play and sing old folk, blues and country songs definitely had a huge impact on our musical path. We also just do what we do. Sometimes a song I come up with won’t be like anything I’ve ever played before, and I think that’s the exciting part of making music. I know we’ve subconsciously sponged some things from some of our musical heroes and it bleeds into the our music too. Sometimes on purpose.

Is your process of writing a song always the same?

I don’t really think I have any specific songwriting process. I mostly write scattered bits of phrases, ideas and rhymes that sit around like flour in a bowl until I find some water and other ingredients to make some dough out of it. Other times a whole song will be on paper in five or ten minutes.

Courtesy of Red House Records


You’ve got the album, You’re Dreaming, out; is there a running theme?

It wasn’t written to be a thematic concept album, but I’m sure there are some threads that run through it. Love is probably the most prominent theme.

You’re very complimentary of JD McPherson who produced your album, do you see yourself working with him for a long time?

I have a good feeling we’re going to be knowing JD for a long, long time. Who knows what we might do down the road… I look forward to it!

One of the tracks on the album is ‘Queen Of Them All’. Is it about anyone in particular?

Queen is a little love poem for my sweetheart. It’s been a couple of years since I wrote that song for her and I think it’s about time for a new one.

Have you ever come off stage where one of you has said the gig was great and the other has said the complete opposite? And do you spent a lot of time assessing shows once they’re over?

We are usually on the same page or close when it comes to what the vibe of a night is like. Sometimes it’s easy and great, sometimes it’s not as easy. It’s always different. One of the great things about playing every day on tour is that after a show you leave whatever happened that night on that stage, in that venue, in that city. Then it’s off to the next town to try and not make the same mistakes twice. There’s almost not enough time to dwell on a gig for too long.

Do you have any expectations from your gig in Oxford and what can we expect from the show?

We’re all going to have a great time!


The Cactus Blossoms are at the Bullingdon on 18th January, doors 7pm


Related Articles: The Rocky Horror Show: OX meets Riff Raff | Gig Guru