Vancouver five piece Black Mountain are heading to New Zealand for the first time, touring with their fourth proper album, IV.
Drawing on blues, psychedelia, acid rock, Led Zeppelin, and the Velvet Underground, the band will play The Tuning Fork in Auckland tomorrow (Friday September 30), before heading to Wellington's Bodega on Saturday (October 1st).
We caught with frontman Stephen McBean ahead of the tour.
Do you remember where the idea for Black Mountain initially came from?
I had a dream that I was in a band called Black Mountain. Things were going pretty well and it made sense to use that name and make records and play concerts.
You've recently released your latest album 'IV'. Where did you record the album?
We recorded it in Seattle at Avast Studios with Randall Dunn producing. It's a cool classic studio with kinda old gear. It's got a history of producing a lot of good rock n roll, grunge and weirdo music. Randall kind of works there and he suggested it, so we thought 'Yeah, let's got there!'.
How long do you think the process took you guys?
It was pretty quick. Maybe like a couple of months... not every day, but maybe like 5 days of recording here & there. Then we'd do a little bit of overdubs, then another 5 days of recording some vocals and it took about a week to mix or so. So yeah, a couple of months... but not every day (laughs).
You had a six year gap between the release of 'Wilderness Heart' and 'IV'. What was the band up to during that time?
We did a few tours, but not too much. I did some stuff with my other band which is called Pink Mountain Tops. We came to New Zealand and Australia like about 4 years ago.
But after about three records we had to mentally regroup our brain, heart and collective spirit. And of course try to write some songs. Sometimes with music you've just gotta wait till it happens. It comes in waves. Sometimes you've just got to sit around and watch Happy Days.
Is the band still based in Vancouver?
Everyone else is, but I live in Los Angeles. I guess that makes it a little bit more difficult. I moved to LA about six years ago. I love it here! Like anywhere, you can get sick of it, fall in love with it, hate it, you know? But yeah, it's a great city. The desert is near, the ocean is near, and it has a really long history of art, music, writers and freaks. So yeah, it's a cool place.
You're heading to New Zealand very shortly.
Yeah, two shows in New Zealand where we have never played before as Black Mountain. With Pink Mountain Tops we played Wellington and Auckland I believe.
What can we expect to experience from the Black Mountain show?
It will probably be of epic concert proportions. It will be loud... there will be some softer parts. There will be some hair being flopped around, a lot of sweat, dry ice, and hopefully a fun loose audience all getting along. It's always good when the audience and the band try to connect with each other.
And following the New Zealand tour, what is the plan for Black Mountain then?
We go to Australia for I think 5 shows there. Then we go back home for a couple of weeks and then we go to Europe for three weeks. And that's pretty much us for the rest of year.
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