mercredi 11 février 2009

Black Lips

Black Lips is the best band in my world, their new album 200 Million Thousand is 200 Million Thousand better than any of the shit that's going to be release this year. They did travel possibily more than 200 Million Thousand km around the world. I was expecting and almost agreeing to meet with arrogants guys jumping all around. I don't know if it's fortunate or not but that didn't happen. Instead I met Black Lips singer and guitar player Jared, who lost his moustache that morning but not his kindness.
(I stole that picture on some girl's flick'r, sorry & thank you stranger)
La version française sera dès lundi sur le site

Last time you were in Paris you said that you wanted to become more a recording band than just a live band. Is 200 Million Thousand supposed to convince people of this change ?
a lot of attention was put on the live aspect on our previous albums. Maybe this one is different, I'm not sure. But we spend most of the year touring so it obviously goes that way. Instrumentation was done live, but the process was a little different than previously because we bought our own studio. Now we make our own rules and there is a more relaxed atmosphere. Usually someone else is watching and it's costing a lot money. This time we could just work when we wanted to work so that was kind of nice.

Did you get new influences that makes it different from the others ?
We're always into the same kind of stuff. After the album was done we got really into gospel music so we recorded a gospel album in Berlin, that one might be influenced by different things. A lot of people who heard 200 Million Thousand said it sounds a little weirder and maybe a little darker.

Did you start recording this album in Berlin when you came back from touring in India ?
Yes ! it's a gospel album, we might release it only on vinyl and just put in for free on the Internet. We finished the artwork we just have to have it mastered now. It was a surprise project, we were really bumped out that our trip to India got cut short so we wanted to do something positive and being productive with our time in Berlin. It was very unexpected so it was really spontaneous, very sloppy and lo-fi but I like very slappy and lo-fi music so... I'm very happy with the way it turned out.

Talking about what happened to you in India, is it going to change your way of acting on stage ?
No, not at all ! But we're not gonna go back to India as a band. I'd like to go back there as a tourist. We might have trouble going back but you know, the world is a big place there is a lot of places to go. I was a little bit upset with the way all that got shitted. We didn't know how the reaction was gonna be in India. We had a crazy show and that's the show where kids really got into it. The promoters were happy until.. we kissed each other, because they're very homophobic there. You could go to jail for that, we didn't know that, no one told us.

So it's not because you got naked ?
No no, it was the kissing. People walk around naked on the street there. But you can't kiss in public even if it's a boy or a girl. And it's very bad when it's a boy and a boy but they never told us. They saw the videos before, they should have said : "hey guys don't kiss that's not cool in India" but they never told us that. It's the kiss of artistic repression !

In which places where you haven't played yet would you like to play?
I really want to go to Africa. It's gonna be hard. But Cole's mum lives in Uganda so maybe we can just go visit her and play in some bars. I really want to go to Japan. I want to play in Cuba. We had shows in Argentina and Chile but because the economy is so bad they canceled the shows because they didn't have any money but I'd play there for free.

When you travel like this, do you go to meet an audience or just because you want to travel ?
In places like that I have an audience... but also going there as a musician is like a ticket for tourism. You get free travels, sometimes you get paid, you get to meet people that you'd probably hang out with if you lived there. You don't have to stay in the hotel, you can go with people and see the real stuff. It's possibly selfish reasons to go there but... Yeah, I like to travel.

Is it why Vice likes so much to work with you ?
It helps because they like to travel, we like to travel. It's a good working relationship.

If Black Lips didn't want to have anything to do with Vice Records anymore, which band would you recommend them to replace you ?
(visibly confused) I don't know....

You listen to new bands ?
Yeah but they're all really kind of obscure. My favorite band is the Spits from Seattle but nobody knows who they are.( Sam thing for King Khan & The Barbecue Show from Montreal, I guess some people know about them... or The Carbonas, they're from Atlanta. Oh no they just broke up, damn it ! but they've been around for a long time. I also like The Vivian Girls.

Don't you think you've been a great influence for bands like Strange Boys, Golden Triangle...
Oh maybe, I hope so. I would like kids to listen to us and then listen to the bands we're influenced by, that would be cool. It's a real honor when kids say “I've been really influenced by you”. I think one of the Strange Boys sent me a letter one time saying like thank you for your recordings. I still have the letter... it was kind of... sweet. (smile)

Let's get back to the album, why did you pick this name ?
Oh it's just the biggest number we could think of. In English, people are always making up new words so we decided to make up new numbers. It seems like a big number, it kind of sounds futuristic but kind of sounds stupid too. I like mixing retarded stuff with smart stuff...

Ok so now I'm going to ask you some numbers too.
How many times did you pretend to have fun on stage ?
I never actually pretend to have fun on stage but I almost did it. It almost happened the other night, in Hamburg. It was a tiny club and they had too many people there it was very hot. It was quite the same during our first tour in France. We were playing small places in basements, and that was so much smoke and sweat....

Do you have any expectation from your audience to go as crazy as you do when you're on stage ?
No I don't expect anything out of them because I used to see bands who would tell to the audience “dance”, “come closer”, I hated that, you would lose the magic and it's not natural. If it happens that's great but if it doesn't you can't force it because then it's cheap.

How many days did you spend recording the album ?
I'm not sure because we were touring in between. I would say maybe 23 days.

How many cans of your drink D-Tune did you drink during the recording ?
Oh none!

It's not ready yet ?
It sucks ! The last time I drank it we got so sick on tour because Ian's brother put too much of .. I forget wich chemical was in it. But we're trying to perfect it. The food and drug administration won't approve it because we have ingredients from Russia and Brazil that are not legal in America. We're still working on it. We left all our bottles in Tijuana because we were afraid to bring them back over the US border.

How many countries have banned you ?
Well, Canada, maybe India now, and we can't go to Syria, we can't go to Iran and oh we can't go to Cuba because we have American passports !
So I would say about 7 countries.

How many gigs have you played so far ?
In our life...!! oh Jesus, close to 10 years.... 250 shows a year, sometimes more than one show in one day....

That's a lot ! Is it a hard lifestyle ?
Oh no I feel sick when I'm at home not doing anything, I go crazy after two weeks. I'm very used to this lifestyle. I grew touring you know, so... That's weird to be home because I feel like an old man or I feel like retired. Sometimes you get tired of it but we built a strong resistance, we never get sick of touring.

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