BLACK MOUNTAIN

Black Mountain doesn't have a creation myth, or not exactly: "Most of us were found standing 'round parties wearing similar T-shirts or shoes and nodding our heads to something cool on the stereo," Stephen McBean explains. "Others were heard from behind walls but never seen 'til years later. You share a smoke, do a shot then end up in a van together for what seems like the rest of your life." In the late 1990s, Vancouver wasn't particularly renowned for its raucous, all-encompassing psych-rock scene. "Just like everywhere else, Vancouver's music scene has had its 'up' years, followed by its 'down' years," Matt Camirand says. "When a city is in a musical honeymoon everyone goes to shows, more places start having shows, more people start bands, etc. Soon it's too much of a good thing, people begin to take it for granted and eventually it all dies out like the dinosaurs. I think when Black Mountain started, Vancouver was near the end of a musical honeymoon." That lack of sonic spirit, however disheartening, led to a certain kind of aesthetic freedom. It helped birth a sound swampy, psychedelic, ecstatic, wild unlike much else in the indie-rock universe. "The complete indifference here to rock music in general at least at the time of our formation, it's a bit different now made us completely unselfconscious about what we were doing," Josh Wells adds. "Nobody gave a shit, so we weren't making music for any people in particular." From those dank basement parties, Black Mountain came together organically vocalist Amber Webber was borrowed from another outfit and recruited for a 2003 tour, Jeremy Schmidt, Wells' downstairs roommate, was assimilated based on the strength of his "solo synth-scape/space rock," which according to Wells, "blew their minds" and churned out a handful of striking lo-fi recordings. In 2005, on the strength of those tracks, Black Mountain signed to Jagjaguwar and released its acclaimed eponymous debut. "The band was really just being born during the making of the first record," Schmidt says. A follow-up, In the Future, arrived to critical adulation and copious Devil-horning in early 2008. A little over a year later, Black Mountain's third LP, Wilderness Heart, was built on the west coast of America, in part at London Bridge Studios in Seattle, but predominantly at Sunset Sound, a former automotive repair shop in Hollywood that began as an outpost for Disney (songs for Bambi, Mary Poppins, and 101 Dalmations were laid to tape there) before it went rock n'roll, capturing tracks from The Doors, Ringo Starr, the Rolling Stones, and more. L.A. with its tacos and sunsets, starlets and hills and post-Deco kitsch was a considerable inspiration. "Just being under the influence of one's surroundings, as we were while recording in L.A., had a tremendous impact on the process and the way we play. Consequently, the LA sessions have a free and summery vibe. The Seattle sessions, made in the grey, rainy environs that we're used to up there, have a chillier, more claustrophobic feeling," Wells explains. "Shacking up in Sunset Sound for a few days put a smile on everyone's face," McBean says. "We were definitely spoiled more this time 'round as far being able to plug into a lot of pretty historical gear. There's something about playing an old Martin or Gibson and thinking 'bout how many hands have strummed it and all the songs written on 'em," he continues. "You can't put 'em down you want to continue the lineage." The new record is packed with succinct rock songs that pulse and pound with startling precision: it pummels you, you ask for more. Wilderness Heart is arguably Black Mountain's tightest, most concentrated outing, but there's still plenty of raw rock energy at work. "It's our most metal and most folk oriented record so far," McBean says. "I'm not gonna say it's our best record or the album that we always dreamt of making 'cause that's what everyone says. It's all about where we were at the time the machines were rolling. You can't control the electricity or how your limbs were moving that day. You have to erase the visions and just go along for the ride." "It's a Black Mountain pop record, which is to say it's nothing like pop at all," Wells says. "This was the fastest record we've ever made. We're used to spending a lot of time deliberating over the songs and spacing out recording sessions over years. Start to finish, this album was made in four months, which is something like a miracle for us. We've never worked with producers before and that was a challenge; for us to let go and let two outsiders into the process, D. Sardy and Randall Dunn it took some growing for us to be truly open, but this album is all the better for it." The band cites a slew of disparate influences New Order, King Crimson, Studio 54, Alex Chilton, sunshine, Janis Joplin, Please Kill Me, Shirley Collins, Mickey Newbury, jalapeno salsa, Night of The Hunter, Cactus Taqueria, Funky16Corners podcasts, Dennis Wilson, the house blowing up in the desert at the end of Zabriskie Point but, as Schmidt points out, "Who knows how these things connect with the holistic mix of often dissonant forces that become Black Mountain?" Indeed: Listen and find out.

ALBUM RELEASE // Pink Mountaintops’ ‘Get Back’ Out Now, US Tour Starts Wednesday

Today we are excited to announce the worldwide release of Pink Mountaintops’ new album, Get Back. Stephen McBean cites influences for his latest release as “Alleys, curbs, walls, and cigarette-stained gig flyers. An island on the Pacific coast. Fake British towns. Slayer posters. The beauty of youth. It’s about listening to ‘Driver’s Seat’ and ‘Guns of Brixton’ and hotboxing The Duster.”

Joe Cardomone, known for his work with The Icarus Line, produced the new release. Get Back includes a wealth of talented Los Angeles musicians including J Mascis, Gregg Foreman, Daniel Allaire, Stephen Kille, and Rob Barbato. To finish up the record, Stephen called upon Randal Dunn who mixed it at Avast! Studios in Seattle and Howie Weinburg who mastered it in Laurel Canyon.

Listen to a preview of the new record above or on our Soundcloud here.

Read Interview Magazine‘s piece on Stephen where they interview him about leaving Vancouver for LA, the new album, and his early musical influences.

Get Back is available now via iTunes, SC Distribution, Amazon, and your local record store.

See what critics are saying about the new album:

“The record once again proves that rock is hard to define and often is whatever one wants it to be, at least as long as there’s a guitar, youthful spirit, and maybe a stage dive involved.”
- Popstache

“The Pink Mountaintops’ fourth long-player is dense, difficult, intoxicating, and bereft of a single dull moment.”
- AllMusic

“Stephen McBean is just one of those dudes, one of the many guys who inspires equal amounts of applause and jealousy because his projects always, in the truest sense of the word, rock.”
- Music OMH

Click read more to see tour dates for the band starting Wednesday night in Dallas.
Read the rest of this entry »

LISTEN // Hear “Flagrant Soul”, New Song From Joshua Wells of Lightning Dust


Joshua Wells (of Lightning Dust and Black Mountain) teamed up with singer and fellow Vancouver resident musician Colin McKill to form Sur Une Plage. The minimalistic new EP from the duo is being released as a series of singles coupled with cover art from their favorite local painters, illustrators and photographers.

They’ve been releasing a new song every Wednesday for the past 4 weeks including last week’s release of “Flagrant Soul” which you can listen to above, with 2 more yet to come. Catch all the past and future singles on their Bandcamp page here: suruneplage.bandcamp.com

For more information check out their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/suruneplage.

LISTEN // Pink Mountaintops Shares “The Second Summer Of Love”, Stream Entire New Album ‘Get Back’ Now On Pitchfork Advance

The third released track from new album Get Back by Pink Mountaintops called “Second Summer Of Love” premiered yesterday on Stereogum and you can hear it above or on our Soundcloud here.

As of today you can stream the entire new album over at Pitchfork Advance.

Pre-order Get Back on iTunes, Amazon, SCD Bundle, and your local record store.

See the band on tour starting at the end of the month at Gas Monkey Bar & Grill in Dallas. Joining Stephen McBean on guitar/vocals, the band will consist of Gregg Foreman [Cat Power] on guitar, Steve Kille on bass [Dead Meadow] and Will Scott on drums [Wolf Mother, Mooney Suzuki].



TOUR DATES:


[All dates + tickets here: jagjaguwar.com/tour]

4/30 | Gas Monkey Bar & Grill – Dallas, TX
5/01 | Fitzgerald’s – Houston, TX
5/02 | Austin Pysch Festival – Austin, TX
5/03 | Austin Pysch Festival – Austin, TX
5/04 | Austin Pysch Festival – Austin, TX
5/06 | Low Spirits – Albuquerque, NM
5/07 | Club Congress – Tucson, AZ
5/08 | The Western – Scottsdale, AZ
5/19 | The Crepe Place – Santa Cruz, CA
5/22 | Harpo’s Upstairs Cabaret – Victoria, BC
5/23 | The Fox – Vancouver, BC
5/25 | Sasquatch Music Festival – George, WA
5/26 | Bunk Bar – Portland, OR
5/28 | The Chapel – San Francisco, CA
5/29 | Casbah – San Diego, CA
5/30 | The Echo – Los Angeles, CA
6/06 | Ghent, BE – DOK
6/07 | Eindhoven, NL – Eindhoven Psychlab
6/08 | Beverungen, DE – Orange Blossom Special
6/09 | Hamburg, DE – Knust
6/10 | Berlin, DE – Privatclub
6/11 | Schorndorf, DE – Manufaktur
6/12 | Geneve, CH – PTR Usine
6/13 | Luzern, CH – B-Sides Festival
6/14 | Brescia, IT – No Silenz Preview
6/17 | Paris, FR – La Fleche d’Or
6/18 | London, UK – Corsica Studios
6/20 | Charleroi, BE – Fete de la Musique Festival
6/21 | Hilvarenbeek, NL – Best Kept Secret Festival
7/13 | Ottawa, ON – Ottawa Blues Fest
8/29 | Dorset, UK – End of the Road Festival
8/30 | Manchester, UK – Roadhouse
8/31 | Glasgow, UK – Broadcast
9/01 | Leeds, UK – Brudenell Social Club
9/02 | Brighton, UK – Green Dore Store

WATCH // Pink Mountaintops Shares “North Hollywood Microwaves” Video Dir. By Annie Hardy Via A.V. Club Premiere, New North American Tour Dates Start 4/30

You had the chance to hear the new (beautifully filthy) track “North Hollywood Microwaves” when Stephen McBean [Black Mountain] announced a new Pink Mountaintops album Get Back will be out April 29th. Today, A.V. Club has premiered the new video for the track directed by Annie Hardy [Giant Drag] the explicit rapping maestro also featured in the song. Watch it above or here on our YouTube.

On the trippy new video Hardy says,

“I’d like to imagine I supplied at least some of the inspiration for “North Hollywood Microwaves.” I met Stephen McBean through my good friend Joe Cardamone (who produced the Pink Mountaintops LP) who always knows who to introduce to who. Joe, Stephen, Travis Keller and I met for lunch, first at my house in North Hollywood (clue 1) and on the way to Mrs Peaches Soul Food I told the car a story of a not-so-distant past that found my house (Full Psycho HQ) rocking 4 microwaves (clue 2). A few weeks later Joe told me Stephen had heard my side project PnP (a “free jizz” band of all improv music that Joe was lucky enough to record: a 51 minute freestyle musical odyssey that I’ve yet to outdo (clue 3)) and Stephen wanted me to come rap on a song. Wouldn’t you know it, I went down and threw down two mere freestyles and forgot about it until Stereogum told me they were debuting it. I asked Stephen if I could make a music video for the song and he said yes. Stephen sent me an amazing video of himself dancing which really legitimized my video. I came down with a vicious kidney infection that ended with me in the ER, which couldn’t have worked out better for the “me and Rod Stewart at the hospital” part of my freestyle. All in all I’d say this video and the experience was a great one and is just more proof that the universe is a magical place for anyone that dares to adventure… And that North Hollywood rules.”

Pre-order Get Back on iTunes, Amazon, SCD Bundle, and your local record store.



TOUR DATES:


[All dates + tickets here: jagjaguwar.com/tour]

4/30 | Gas Monkey Bar & Grill – Dallas, TX
5/01 | Fitzgerald’s – Houston, TX
5/02 | Austin Pysch Festival – Austin, TX
5/03 | Austin Pysch Festival – Austin, TX
5/04 | Austin Pysch Festival – Austin, TX
5/06 | Low Spirits – Albuquerque, NM
5/07 | Club Congress – Tucson, AZ
5/08 | The Western – Scottsdale, AZ
5/19 | The Crepe Place – Santa Cruz, CA
5/22 | Harpo’s Upstairs Cabaret – Victoria, BC
5/23 | The Fox – Vancouver, BC
5/25 | Sasquatch Music Festival – George, WA
5/26 | Bunk Bar – Portland, OR
5/28 | The Chapel – San Francisco, CA
5/29 | Casbah – San Diego, CA
5/30 | The Echo – Los Angeles, CA

6/06 | Ghent, BE – DOK
6/07 | Eindhoven, NL – Eindhoven Psychlab
6/08 | Beverungen, DE – Orange Blossom Special
6/09 | Hamburg, DE – Knust
6/10 | Berlin, DE – Privatclub
6/11 | Schorndorf, DE – Manufaktur
6/12 | Geneve, CH – PTR Usine
6/13 | Luzern, CH – B-Sides Festival
6/14 | Brescia, IT – No Silenz Preview
6/17 | Paris, FR – La Fleche d’Or
6/18 | London, UK – Corsica Studios
6/20 | Charleroi, BE – Fete de la Musique Festival
6/21 | Hilvarenbeek, NL – Best Kept Secret Festival
7/13 | Ottawa, ON – Ottawa Blues Fest
8/29 | Dorset, UK – End of the Road Festival
8/30 | Manchester, UK – Roadhouse
8/31 | Glasgow, UK – Broadcast
9/01 | Leeds, UK – Brudenell Social Club
9/02 | Brighton, UK – Green Dore Store

The Hair Song by Black Mountain

Old Fangs by Black Mountain

Druganaut by Black Mountain

Mary Lou by Black Mountain
Druganaut by Black Mountain
Tyrants by Black Mountain
The Hair Song by Black Mountain
Old Fangs by Black Mountain

06/10/15
London, UK - 100 Club

06/11/15
Paris, FR - Maroquinerie

06/12/15
Brussels, BE - Botanique

06/13/15
Luzern, CH - B-Sides Festival

06/14/15
Vienna, AT - Arena

06/15/15
Zagreb, HR - KSET

06/16/15
Ljubljana, SI - Menzi Pri Koritu

See all upcoming shows

U.S.:
BILLIONS - Adam Voith
3522 W. Armitage Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647
p: (312) 997-9999 x8236
www.billions.com
e: adam@billions.com

Europe/UK:
Belmont Bookings
Bob van Heur
bob@belmontbookings.nl

© 2015 Jagjaguwar. All rights reserved.