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  • Break It Down: The Black Angels

    Fri, 02 Nov 2007 16:15:26

    Break It Down: The Black Angels - These kids are bringing the psych straight outta Austin

    The Black Angels Videos

    • The Black Angels - Diamond Eyes
    • Black Angels, The - HAUNTING AT 1300 MCKINLEY

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    Psychedelic rock is not exactly the easiest genre for a burgeoning band to make a name in today. If you're going to stay true to the roots of a scene that's already seen generations of legends, you need air-tight song writing and that intangible something that sets you apart, and that's just what The Black Angels have.

    Hailing from Austin, Texas, this neo-psych sextet isn't afraid of comparisons to their intimidating influences and even culled their name from a Velvet Underground track. Rife with driving fuzz bass and jammin' riffs, their first full-length, Passover, has garnered them a growing fan base and landed their songs in trailers for two new movies, including the Coen Brother's No Country for Old Men.

    We caught up with The Black Angels' Christian Bland (guitarist/bassist/vocalist) via email as the band were touring across the country with modern rock greats Queens of the Stone Age. The mentions of space rockers Pink Floyd and 13th Floor Elevators didn't surprise us much, but the 7' 2 ¼" high jump and Daryl Strawberry sure did.

    What have you been listening to lately?

    I've been over-obsessed with the 13th Floor Elevators lately.

    Where are you currently living, and what's the best place to hang out in your neighborhood?

    We live in South Austin. My favorite place to hang is the Vulcan Gas Too....our screenprint studio...(soon to be psychedelic venue).

    When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

    A professional baseball player for the New York Mets. I thought Daryl Strawberry was a badass, so I wanted to be just like him!

    What's the most dramatic thing you ever did to save money as a starving musician?

    Sell my beloved 1967 Vox Super Lynx guitar.

    Tell us one of your favorite song lyrics in the whole wide world?

    After you trip, life opens up,
    You start doing what you want to do
    And you find out that the world that you once feared,
    Gets what it has from you
    No one can ever hurt you
    But you know more than you thought you knew
    And you're looking at the world
    With brand new eyes,
    And no one can ever spoil the view

    Come on, and let it happen to you
    Hey, hey, hey come on, and let it happen to you
    You gotta open up your mind
    And let everything come through...

    [from "Rollercoaster" from The Pyschedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators]

    What's your most cherished musical instrument, paraphernalia, or accessory?

    My 1966 compact duo Farfisa (just like Rick Wright's from the early Pink Floyd era) w/ Binson Echorec.

    If you could change one thing about the music industry today what would it be?

    I'd wipe Clear Channel off the face of the earth.

    What's the craziest thing you¹ve seen a fan do at one of your shows?

    Take a piss in the middle of the audience (it was Detroit though, so it seemed kinda normal at the time).

    What never goes out of style?

    Rock 'n roll. Do you have secret skills we should know about?

    I high jumped for Florida State University & University of Texas (1999-2002). My highest was 7' 2 1/4" (2.21meters).....I was ranked 15th in the nation at one point.

    What's your favorite drink?

    Coca-Cola or Dr. Pepper.

    What was the first song you would play for your newborn child?

    Anything by Syd Barrett - maybe "The Gnome" would be first.

    What has been your sweetest victory to date?

    Opening for BRMC in the UK & Europe.

    —The ARTISTdirect Staff

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