THE BLACK ANGELS

 

 

The myriad choices of his fate
Set themselves out upon a plate
For him to choose
What had he to lose
Not a ghost bloodied country
All covered with sleep
Where the black angel did weep
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Full feature in FAULT SS/11 Out Now

 

FAULT: How has 2011 been for The Black Angels so far?

Steph: It’s been pretty good, we’ve signed with our new label, it was pretty quiet at the beginning but we’ve been touring all over since August, in Norway, France…
Nate: The last few weeks have really picked up pace, the shows have been awesome.
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FAULT: What do you think of London audiences?
Nate: London is probably one of the best places to play in the UK, The rest of the UK hasn’t been as quick to receive us. France was really quick, especially Paris.
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FAULT: The Black Angels have been together since 2005 now, how do you feel your sound has progressed?
Steph: It’s definitely become more consolidated and more dynamic I guess. We’ve become better musicians if anything. Our songs have progressed as well.
Nate: I would say our song writing has progressed and I think we communicate a lot better. The pace of how we deal with things creatively is a lot quicker. Our first record was very pop and our songs were a lot more concise and shorter and our second record sort of became a jam session even though that wasn’t necessarily the intention and it wasn’t even supposed to become a record. This new record is pretty short, it’s thirty five minutes long.
Steph: With this record we were really able to create a real song structure.
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FAULT: Did you initially set out to create a record that last thirty five minutes or did it just happen?
Nate: I think originally the songs we thought were going to be on the third record were pretty long, drowny and trancy, at least that seemed like the case at first.  We pulled lots of songs from the background and some of those became the focal point which was interesting and from that it all evolved rather quickly. We were always encouraged to take it to more places in a shorter amount of time; it was a lot of fun.
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FAULT: Are you always consciously aware of the music industry and how people perceive you?
Nate: Probably, but I don’t pay too much attention to trends that are popular, I kind of listen to the music that I like, I dig out a lot of old music.
Steph: I don’t know if anyone really listens to a lot of music that comes out now, we just do what we do.
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FAULT: You’ve been on tour with real heavy weight names, who would The Black Angels love to take?
Nate: Hmm, that’s a good question, there are a couple of bands from Austin that I think are really cool; Shapes Have Pains and The OCs and I think Sleepy Sun are great.
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FAULT: Being a band based in Texas, what is the music scene like?
Nate: It’s pretty cool, you’ve got bands like The Strange Boys who we’ve been friends with since a long way back, they came up to me in Dallas and gave me a demo on a cassette tape. I always try and listen to everything that is given to me and occasionally you come across some amazing stuff.
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FAULT: There always seems to be a strong connection between The Black Angels and The Velvet Underground, why did you name your band after one of their songs, what is it about them that you like? Do you like or mind being synonymous with them?
Nate: I think with the name there is no way to avoid it, we are constantly inspired by sixties music and The Velvet Underground always stood for a darker side of the Sixties, they weren’t flowery, pop-y, peace and love and all that kind of thing.
Steph: They created an environment too, they had all these people that surrounded them and created a movement.
Nate: I got into them because of Punk Rock, I was listening to a lot of late Seventies stuff and went back to find out where they got all their material from, be it The Stooges or The Velvet Underground.
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FAULT: Do you have complete creative control with The Black Angels?
Nate: With this last record we did it all of ourselves and got signed after it was finished so we had complete control, and all the artwork is done by Christian who is in the band so we try and keep it pretty free.
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FAULT: You’ve just collaborated with Unkle, is there anyone else you would love to work with?
Steph: Maybe someone completely different from us.
Nate: Hmmm… I’d love to meet Nick Cave; he is one of my heroes, all the way back to The Birthday Party.
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FAULT: Do you have a favourite Black Angels song off the new record?
Nate: Most of the ones that I have written. Snipers is one of my favourites, it shifts around a lot. I’ll really love something and then two months later I’ll hate it.
Steph: I have a lot of parts of songs that are my favourite. I like Bad Vibrations a lot; I just love the creepiness of it.
Nate: I was trying to work this guitar riff on it, trying to channel some Gangster Rap like old Dr Dre.
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FAULT: What is your FAULT?
Steph: I’m too paranoid.
Nate: I’m a pleasure hound; yeah I’m a bit of a pleasure junkie. A lot of times the band will all be going to get food and I’ll be in the back with a hangover and no money.  I guess that’s my FAULT.
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