Mood’s Sam Radliff got the chance to talk with Jan Paternoster and Dries Van Dijck, from Belgium’s Black Box Revelation, about what it was like to tour The States, how they felt about the Pittsburgh Pirates using their single as their team song, making news as the first Belgium band to appear on Late Show with David Letterman, and more.
Sam Radliff: First off, I’ve heard that your new tour is amazing. Are you having fun with it?
Black Box Revelation: Sheepdogs tour was fun, yes. We spent most of 2012 touring the States, having both great and bad tours. Jane’s Addiction was a great experience – big theatre halls and lots of people. Great way to travel across the country. After our shows we always spent the night at local people’s houses, which made it extra exciting for us since we got more in touch with the American culture and lifestyle. We even went fishing in Colorado.
SR: Now back to your first album, Set Your Head On Fire. This record was constructed with some experienced producers and engineers. In a time of do-it-yourself recording, do you think having such a pro team when recording your albums is important to the overall feeling of the music?
BBR: The most important thing for us was being surrounded by great people who believe in our music. Our producer, Mario Goossens, was the key person in the making of this record. He introduced us into the studio and the way of working on your own sound without sounding too produced. You could call him our mentor for this record, as well as the second album, Silver Threats, since he produced that one as well.
SR: Do you find the studio or touring more enjoyable, or both equally?
BBR: Hmm.. that’s a really hard question. I guess a good mix of both is always a winner. Studio is amazing, there’s nothing better than creating your own music and hearing how it is developing. The moment you play those new tunes live for the first time is extraordinary as well. So exciting to see how people react on your music .
SR: In what seems like an exciting moment, your single for “I Think I Like You” was such a chart gainer that the MLB’s Pittsburgh Pirates later picked up the rights to the song. How does that make you feel?
BBR: Great, of course! I wish we had the opportunity to go to one of those games where they used “I Think I Like You “as their team song.
SR: That’s not the only time your music was chosen; the television series Sons of Anarchy used a few of your songs for the show. How did this come about?
BBR: That’s great work of our publicist haha. I guess the kind of music we play just works very well in those series. Last time we played in LA we played at the Troubadour, and guess who was there.. Kim Coates!
SR: Continuing with the television theme, in June of this year you had a chance to play on Late Show with David Letterman. Good times?
BBR: Absolutely amazing. You cannot believe how proud we were to play the Letterman’s late night show. We even made the national news with it in Belgium, since we were the first Belgian band ever playing that famous show.
SR: I often hear references to your sound as 1960’s garage rock. Do you agree? And if so, do you feel it’s important to carry on this genre so newer generations may embrace it?
BBR: There’s definitely a lot of influences from the 60s and 70s. It’s not that we do that on purpose so that kids of our generation would be reintroduced to that genre of music. It’s just the kind of music we love most and that we enjoy most while playing it. It’s all about the live feeling, and the way of playing your instrument, just to make it sound and feel like it’s coming straight from the heart.
SR: Since we’re talking ‘retro’; recently there has been a drive upward in vinyl record sales. Do you plan any future releases on vinyl, and how do you feel about it’s resurgence and/or importance in music?
BBR: I can understand the success of vinyl. Nowadays with the MP3s, people are literally losing touch with music , and vinyl is just the opposite. The artwork is bigger, the weight of the vinyl is playing a part as well and then just the act of putting on a record and turning it to listen to the B side. You just spend more attention listening to the music and it gets you closer to it.
SR: Can you name some of your favorite all-time records?
BBR: Neil Young – On The Beach, The Rolling Stones – Some Girls and Johnny Winter – The First Album.
SR: Are there any new acts coming out that you find particularly exciting?
BBR: Nick Cave’s Push The Sky Away is one of the records I’m really looking forward to.
SR: Since BBR has such a guitar-driven sound, I wonder if you wouldn’t mind mentioning some of your favorite guitars to perform with.
BBR: Every guitar has its own beauty and great sound. For me personally, I love playing on James Trussart’s guitars. They feel amazing to play and they sound as a wall of sound in the studio.
SR: I’m sure I’m not the only one, but every time I listen to “High on a Wire” it gets stuck in my head all day! Good job.
BBR: Thank you! It definitely is one of our favorite tunes as well!
– Submitted by Sam Radliff, Music Video Progammer