BLACK MOUNTAIN

It's only a clichť because it's true, but the greatest records are timeless. Black Mountain's self-titled debut album is just such a record, its roots leading twisting paths back into the past, while always sounding like 'now', like a future still to come. The work of a small collective of musicians operating from Vancouver, Canada, far from any industry buzz but firmly in the eye of their own storm of creativity, Black Mountain's debut album was, of course, a beginning, but it also marked an ending for Jerk With A Bomb, the group that preceded Black Mountain. "We came from the punk scene, we were a punk band, sonically," says bandleader Stephen McBean, of the group who, over their three-album lifespan, gathered together three future soldiers in the Black Mountain Army: Joshua Wells, Amber Webber and McBean. "After a while, we didn't know where we fit in. Our music had changed. But then we took the new name, and everything fell into place. It fit the music." Begun as the fourth Jerk With A Bomb album, Black Mountain's debut grew from skeletal sessions cut by McBean and Wells. "We lay down the bed tracks, the guitars and drums," remembers McBean. "Matt [Camirand, bass] joined, and we changed the band name after a dream of how life could be different in the B section between Black Flag and Black Sabbath. Josh's roommate Jeremy [Schmidt, keys] was lurking about. We asked him if he wanted to add some synth bleeps or whatever. He came back with all these orchestrated keyboard parts, and we said, 'Oh, you should probably join the band now.'" McBean had been sending Jerk demos to Chris Swanson of Jagjaguwar since their second album. "They were one of the few labels that got back to us, though they said they weren't looking for new bands," says McBean. But a slow avalanche of further McBean demos changed their mind; the label even signed Black Mountain's sister group, Pink Mountaintops, whose debut album preceded Black Mountain's by six months. "The advance for recording and mastering Black Mountain was a thousand bucks," says McBean. "And Jagjaguwar said if we sold 3,000 records, that would be good. We were, like, 'Awesome!' Because Jerk With A Bomb had sold about twelve records in our whole career." They cut the album at the Hive in Vancouver, recording in "a big cement room with a tall ceiling, nice boomy acoustics, lots of natural reverb," remembers McBean, "on an 8-track reel-to-reel tape recorder." During the sessions, these elemental first Black Mountain tracks found their true shape: the wry, giddy shuffle of "Modern Music," with its Roxy Music sax and Velvets-y chug; the epic, sky-staring riffage of "Don't Run Our Hearts Around;" the hypnotic, gracefully heavy groove of "Druganaut;" the joyful rush of "No Satisfaction;" the dark, powerful blues of "Set Us Free;" the mysterious murk of "No Hits." Here was a new classic rock, its reference points arcane and clear, its sound fresh, unfamiliar and irresistible. The record easily sold more than the 3,000 Jagjaguwar were initially hoping for, aided by early press plaudits and the word-of-mouth buzz the album stirred. "It happened real quick," remembers McBean. "We got a good review in Pitchfork - I was like, 'What's Pitchfork??' - but it was cool, they were really supportive, and the UK was really supportive. I don't know what the album initially shipped, but they had to scurry and repress it real quick." The album's initial success saw the band take to the road, leaving their Vancouver enclave for stages across Canada, America and Europe. "It felt like there was a real explosion of excitement at shows," remembers McBean. "The first couple of tours, we kinda were pretty shambolic. We wouldn't write setlists, we'd just feel the energy in the room and call things out, jamming on songs like 'No Hits' and 'Druganaut.' It was a good time for live rock'n'roll: DJ booths were being transformed back to drum risers, people were digging 20 minute jams and there were bands like Comets On Fire and Oneida out there who we felt kinship with. I was into Faust and Amon Duul but had no idea of the scene of modern bands doing that stuff. And then we met those bands, and it was cool. And then we went on tour with Coldplay...and the adventures continued." Their jaunt across the world as guests of perhaps the biggest band in the world right then is a tale for another time, perhaps: the start of Black Mountain's next chapter, and all that followed. For now, savour the compact, spacey brilliance of that cosmic, heavy and subtle debut album, expanded now with a raft of delicious bonus tracks scavenged from the Black Mountain Army archives. "Usually when you're done making a record and you've toured it a bunch, it's hard to listen to it again for a long time," says McBean. "The funny thing is when you hear your songs in strange contexts and don't recognize them, like the other night I was watching that Kevin Bacon show with the murder cult and there was a surreal orgy scene, with Black Mountain playing on the soundtrack. Listening back to the first album again for the remaster, there were lots of things I dug about it, and it brought back a bunch of memories. When we made it, there were no expectations. We were hoping maybe twenty people would dig it. So everything that happened with it was really, really cool."

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 РHouston, 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 New Video For “Ambulance City”, New Album ‘Get Back’ Out April 29th

A few weeks ago Stephen McBean, of Black Mountain, shared news that a new Pink Mountaintops album Get Back will be out April 29th and you had the chance to hear the new (beautifully filthy) track “North Hollywood Microwaves”.

Today, Pink Mountaintops have shared a new video for “Ambulance City”, the first track from the upcoming album via Noisey premiere.

The new video by Olivia Jaffe features Stephen McBean and band in glorious VHS resolution with more costume changes than you can shake a badass stick at. According to McBean, the video came together after he heard director Jaffe about her still-working 80′s VHS camera. This video marks the first time they’ve worked together since 1431 while serving drinks at Joan of Arc’s execution (no need to check the history books on that one, we can say from being there that it’s true).

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

Click read more for the band’s current and upcoming tour dates with Band of Horses and Marissa Nadler.
Read the rest of this entry »

TOUR ALERT // Black Mountain Announce New Dates

Black Mountain begin their tour this Wednesday at Boise’s Neurolux. Dates include a stop at Austin Psych Fest and Santa Ana’s Psycho de Mayo Fest. You’ll find the full list of shows and ticket links¬†below.

For those of you who need a musical refresher, check out this Youtube playlist featuring Black Mountain videos.

 

TOUR DATES:
04/17/13 Boise, ID - Neurolux
04/18/13 Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge
04/20/13 Boulder, CO - Fox Theatre
04/21/13 Denver , CO - Larimer Lounge
04/23/13 Kansas City, MO - Record Bar
04/24/13 Norman, OK - The Opolis
04/25/13 Dallas, TX - Club DaDa w/ Suuns & The Besnard Lakes
04/26/13 Houston, TX - Austin Psych Fest BUY TICKETS
04/27/13 Austin, TX - Austin Psych Fest BUY TICKETS
04/30/13 Albuquerque, NM - Launchpad
05/01/13 Tucson, AZ - Club Congress
05/02/13 Phoenix, AZ - The Crescent Ballroom
05/03/13 San Diego, CA - Casbah
05/05/13 Santa Ana, CA - Psycho de Mayo Fest BUY TICKETS

LSTN // Stephen McBean Curated Mixtape

Stephen McBean, of Black Mountain and Pink Mountaintops, is rolling into Los Angeles’ Footsies this upcoming Saturday, September 15 for what is sure to be a top notch DJ set. Starting at 10:00 PM, the free LA Record-sponsored, Total Wreck event features fuzz, funk, soul, punk, garage and rock ‘n’ roll. Be there or be sad somewhere –> event details. Get ready for the fun a few days early with a mixtape curated by McBean himself. Click on the link below to download (courtesy of McBean and LA Record).

Stephen McBean’s “Post-Bar and Whiskey Stars” Mixtape

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

05/30/15
Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle

06/04/15
Bellingham, WA - The Shakedown  w/ Elephant Stone

06/06/15
Vancouver, BC - Levitation Vancouver - Malkin Bowl  w/ Elephant Stone

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

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.