Bluphoria take the Oregon music scene by storm with New Release “Set Me Up”


Jena Yannone

From left to right, and members Dakota Landrum, Dani Janae, Reign LaFreniere and Rex Wolf.

Lucas Britt, [email protected], Staff Photographer

Bluphoria, according to the band members, is an alternative southern psychedelic rock group with pop elements based out of Eugene, Oregon. 

The band consists of Reign LaFreniere on lead guitar and vocals, Dk Levee on rhythm guitar, Rex Wolf on bass and Dani Robinette on drums. 

The band got their name from LaFreniere, as he said he “saw it in a dream, as odd as that sounds.” LaFreniere also stated that his last project was also titled Bluphoria, ”so I asked them if I could use the name, and they said yes.” 

The previous Bluphoria also consisted of four members and shared similar musical elements. 

Most of the members of Bluphoria are either graduates of The University of Oregon or are still enrolled there while their drummer, Robinette, went to Arizona State University. According to Levee, who is currently enrolled at UO, “The band basically met at one party at UO.” 

When asked about future goals the band members all had very similar outlooks and goals set.

“Bluphoria recently signed to Edgeout Record Co., so I’d like to see us become financially stable off our music soon.” LaFreniere said.

Wolf agreed and added “I’d like to see us touring, at least countrywide in five years, and eventually start playing internationally.” LaFreniere even mentioned “starting some solo projects outside of Bluphoria.”

When asked if any members play other instruments than the one they play in Bluphoria, three of the four stated they did. LaFreniere (lead guitar, vocals) stated that he “also plays bass and piano,” Wolf (bass) stated that he “also plays guitar” and Robinette (drums) stated that she “also plays guitar..

Bluphoria, according to its members, takes inspiration from many different genres and groups to influence and foster the sound they are striving for.

 According to LaFreniere and Levee, their influences consist of “Bob Marley, The Beatles, James Brown, Sam Cook, Pink Floyd, The Who, The Blur, The Clash, ‘70s British Rock in general, Led Zeppelin, Grunge in general, ‘80s punk, and the list goes on.” 

The influences stated previously are clear and present in their new single “Set Me Up”. The beach rock sound that the song presents is founded by their influence from The Beatles, The Blur and The Clash as well as ‘80s punk.

When questioned about their creation process LaFreniere responded “It really isn’t too complicated, usually DK and I will come up with an idea, bring it to the rest of the band and formulate it, sit on it for a while and see where it goes.” Robinette said that “an important part of creating is knowing that what you’re writing is subject to change at any point.” she also stated “Don’t be afraid to f— up during the writing process, if you do tough it out and keep going”. 

When asked about some challenges that the band has faced in their upcoming projects, Robinette stated that “The ego-check is very challenging. That type of ego as a musician slides when you’re in high-school, but once you start playing professionally, you have to leave it at the door.” 

LaFreniere stated this to the same question. “Sacrifices. Lots of things you don’t know, lots of things change. Relationships change, people change, but it is a give and take. A lot of things you have to give up, gotta know how to find your circle. The music industry is a doggy dog situation”

When the group was asked their favorite and least favorite things about playing music professionally and all of their answers were surprisingly similar. 

LaFreniere stated that his “favorite things so far have been making connections in the industry and getting to travel.” He then stated “But on the flipside of the travel coin, having to travel for work kinda sucks, mostly because of gas.” 

Levee stated that his favorite thing about playing professionally was getting to play music in a professional manner. 

He also stated that his least favorite things were being on the road and “the van being really cramped and frustrating.” 

Robinette stated that she enjoyed making new connections and meeting other musicians but “The pressure of the job can be intense at times.” 

Wolfe stated that his favorite part of being a musician was forming the relationship between the band members. 

“That’s where we have to put the most work in, when we’re all exhausted,” he said.

Most of the members of Bluphoria have taken lessons of some kind in their music careers aside from singer LaFreniere.  

Levee stated that he “only took lessons for about a year”, Robinette stated that she “had lessons, pretty intensely”, LaFreniere was “self-taught”, and Wolf stated “had a jazz bass teacher in my younger years, but I’ve been self-taught for a while.”

When asked about their pre-show ritual the band members mentioned “Cold-brew mixed with Coke™, a group hug, manifesting a good show and trying to disassociate fast enough to make it less scary.” 

The band’s favorite song to play live is either “Columbia” or their new single “Set Me Up,” depending on which member you ask and as of right now, their favorite venue to play in Oregon is Wild Hall also known as WOW Hall, and their following is beginning to grow beyond the state’s borders.