Thursday, June 18, 2009

Black Dice - Interview (June 18 at MOCAD)

words: milo

There’s always some brute-i-fication,...we can’t help it.

Whenever music journos write about groups widely-implied as “noise” bands, we relish the murky adjectives that explode the spookiness and exploit the quirk – freak out on these bent tones! Listen to these haunting drones! Then we embellish the raw romance of a band like, say, Black Dice, using unconventional recording spaces cluttered with broken equipment and scrawl back-handed descriptors about their “songs,” with strategically suggestive quotes.

“We’re all pretty sensitive dudes,” singer/guitarist Eric Copeland said “so, we’re always bringing all our feelings to the table when it comes to making music.” Indeed – admirable in Black Dice’s case, (having started in 97 out of Rhode Island in the form of a torrential hardcore band – then transforming into a afrobeat/krautrock-psychedelic outfit with jazz sensibilities) – is that after five albums and 12 years, no one can perfectly categorize them, in any sense. What’s certain is they make music (sounds, feedback, pounds, shouts,), music that stretches the senses.

They are currently touring in support of their 5th LP, Repo (on Paw Tracks) – a collection of songs much like prior releases in that it progresses the band towards more structured rhythms yet even more intricately manipulated tones and samples. They are joined by Ann Arbor’s Wolf Eyes – long-time comrades of BD.

“We've known these dudes since about 2000 when we played a basement show at (WE’s) John Olsen's house. Made fast best friends with (WE) and did a record together and have done a boatload of shows together all over the world. They are a true American original and we are proud to know and be friends with these guys, they are the real deal.” And about those adjectives for “noise music,” be it Black Dice or Wolf Eyes. My favorite is always “apocalyptic.”

Asked about the sound of apocalypse, “The last 10 years have been pretty dark for the country and that makes it into the music without having to try too hard. But…it’s more an intuitive process of making sounds we’re interested in and not getting all heavy about commenting on stuff. At the same time, the music we make is totally connected to the way we’re living, without a doubt.”

See Black Dice with Wolf Eyes – June 18 at the MOCAD.

(photo: Jason Frank)

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