Rachel Bloom, 26, and Dan Gregor and Jack Dolgen, both 31, have just released their first Chanukah album, "Suck it, Christmas"--an adult-themed comedic ode to the standard holiday music released en masse this time of year. The Jewish Journal was able to interview the trio of talented East-siders about how the project came to fruition in only two months.
Dan Gregor and Rachel Bloom holding their new album "Suck it, Christmas."
JJ: Could you describe your respective jobs?
Bloom: On this album, we were all the writers and performers to varying degrees.
Outside of the album, I'm a writer for the show "Robot Chicken" and I specialize in musical comedy. My videos have been featured all over the internet and I'm currently developing a musical show for Showtime called "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend."
Dan is a writer-producer for "How I Met Your Mother" and is currently developing a pilot for NBC.
Jack is a writer and musician whose songs have been featured all over film and TV. He's also the frequent music producer and collaborator on my videos.
JJ: What inspired you to make "Suck it, Christmas"?
Bloom: Every year, there are so many Christmas albums being released (comedy and non-comedy alike) but rarely any Chanukah albums. So, we decided to make a Chanukah/Jewish- themed album as a subversive twist on the usual 'warm and toasty' Christmas album.
JJ: How would you describe the album in three words?
Bloom: Jews 'love/hate' themselves...we're counting love/hate as one.
JJ: How long did it take to make it?
Bloom: We cranked this sucker out in a little under two months. We realized we wanted to do it in September, so from writing to music production to making the videos it was a ton of work!
We have two more music videos coming out within the next month to promote the album. 'Chanukah Honey' was just the first.
JJ: What's your favorite track on the album? Or at least the one you had the most fun writing?
Bloom: We all really love Judaica. It just brings me such utter joy to hear it.
The inspiration for Judaica: Dan and I were in Paris last December [note: Dan is Bloom's boyfriend], and we were staying in The Marais (the Jewish section of Paris). We were passing all of these Judaica shops and agreeing that, if our parents came here, these shops are where they'd buy their souvenirs because Jews manage to buy Jewish stuff no matter where they go. I had just heard the Britney Spears/Will.i.am song "Scream and Shout" earlier that day (the one where she does that fake British accent) so I started chanting in this techno British monotone "London, Paris, or Milan. Shopping for Judaica." When we came back from Paris and pitched the idea to Jack, he lost his mind.
JJ: Can we expect any live performances in the LA area?
Bloom: Yes! Among some awesome indie comedy shows in the next few weeks, our big album concert is Saturday, December 7th at 8pm. It's at the Nerdmelt Theater at Meltdown Comics. We'll be performing all the songs live and featuring stories from some Jewish special guests!
JJ: Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Bloom: Look out for our music video of "Happy Epic Chanukah" that will be released around December 3rd (done with the YouTube channel Nacho Punch) and the music video of "Lonely Night" will be released in mid/late December (done with the YouTube channel Above Average). We hope to do music videos of "Judaica" and "Foreskin Heaven" next year!
Also, our album cover was designed by the amazing Jewish artist ,Will Deutsch. He's just phenomenal.
JJ: And just for the sake of the season, what's your favorite Chanukah food?
Bloom: I love good old fashioned latkes with sour cream and applesauce. Hipster version--the other night, we made some sweet potato latkes with greek yogurt and those were similarly delicious.
You can check out the video for 'Chanukah Honey' here.