If you are into post punk, then you should check the name of Black Nite Crash. With a new album in their baggage (“Washed in the Sound with Black Nite Crash”) and twenty years of successful music making, Black Nite Crash are still productive and manage to surprise and impress us. Myth of Rock came in contact with the band and arranged an interview, which you can enjoy right here below!
by Dimitris Zacharopoulos
Can you tell us the backstory behind Black Nite Crash?
The original line up of Black Nite Crash came toward the end of 2002, playing our first show that December. We played every chance we could get for the year or so, then fell apart. We came back together again pretty quickly and have soldiered on with a rotating cast of characters keeping things fresh for the last twenty years. The current line up has only been together just as it is for 7 or 8 months, but it feels like this is the best version of the band we’ve ever had.
Can you tell us about your discography to date?
Black Nite Crash EP (2004) The sound of a band that didn’t know what we were doing.
Array (2008) The first album. Some of our best work. Some other stuff, too.
Split 7″ with The Tamborines (2009) We did a song called “The Story of Me and You.” It was about my wife. I like it. I think she does, too.
Split 12″ with Sky Parade (2010) I love this EP. The Sky Parade stuff is great and our stuff was amongst our best from the early years. Highlight: “Last Time.” We were trying to out Verve the Verve. I’d like to think we came close…
Drawn Out Days (2012) The sound of a band profoundly breaking. Still some great songs, especially “Baby Its You,” a personal favorite.
Nevergreen (2017) Another “band falling apart” record (that seems to happen to us a lot), but this time kind of in slow motion. Still, some great tunes…
Conflict of Disinterest (2019) Our most cohesive work and the closest we’ve eve come to our original mission statement of “Keep It Simple, Stupid.”
Colony Drive EP (2020) Our most overlooked/underrated work. We made the mistake of releasing this during the pandemic. We’re re-releasing it on vinyl on the flip side of our next EP because it deserves another chance.
Washed in the Sound (2022) See below…
You released a new album (“Washed in the Sound with Black Nite Crash”) some months ago. How do you feel about that? How do you see this new album now?
We feel good! We love this album. It’s the sound of a band growing and trying new things, but still wrapped up in the warm feelings of the familiar. These songs are some of the strongest we’ve ever written. And even as we pull further away from the album temporally speaking, we still feel strongly that it’s some of our best work ever.
There have been a lot of line-up changes in Black Nite Crash. How has this affected the band and its sound?
You would think that it would make a big difference, but it kind of doesn’t. And also, it kind of does. What we do now doesn’t sound a million miles away from what we were doing ten or twenty years ago, but every new member has had an impact on the sound. The style is still the same, more or less, but the songs themselves do change. From “era to era” some things may ebb and flow, with some line ups being a little more ‘rock’ and some a little more ‘pop,’ but, overall, the band has maintained a certain surprising consistency.
How would you define the music style of Black Nite Crash?
Noisy Psychedelic Post-Punky Pop? Did I cover enough ground with that? I don’t have much interest in genres or pigeonholing bands… I always think about it in this way: I have a normal day job. When people I work with find out I’m in a band, they always ask, “who do you sound like?” I start with something like “Spacemen 3″, then they look confused. So I say, ” The Jesus and Mary Chain.” They look even more confused, so i say, “The Cure,” and they raise an eyebrow and nod ‘no,’ so I say, “The Rolling Stones” and they go, “Ah, yes!” So what difference does any of it make, really? We sound like all of that. And none of that.
Who is responsible for the music and the lyrics of Black Nite Crash?
I take the lion’s share, but we all work together. At present there are 4 song-writers in the band. We all bring our own ideas and we all build on each other’s ideas. At the moment, Claire and I write most of the words. Over the years, various other collaborators have contributed to the process.
Where do your lyrics refer to?
I both love and hate this question! I can only speak for myself, but they really come from everywhere and everything. My most common subject matter is from personal experience. I’ve always felt as a writer personal experience is the best well to draw from. That being said, I’ve also tried to branch into other areas. “The Take” from our latest album is very much, in my mind, a fictional murder ballad, I’m telling an American Gothic story of crime and betrayal. Going back an album or two, “The Astronavagatrix” is a little SciFi love story. If you dig in a little bit you’ll find traces of everything from Dostoyevsky to Shakespeare, Camus to Kierkegaard. Also, Peter Murphy, Ian McCulloch, Mark Gardner, Guy Chadwick… I consume media in every form and regurgitate it in songs.
Describe the recording and the production process of the new album.
We started this one pre-pandemic, not knowing what was about to happen. Once the pandemic hit, it took fooooreeeevvveeerrr to get things done, but to be fair, it always seems to take us forever to get things done. Usually because of money and the fact that we have none (so, dear readers, feel free to buy stuff from us so we can have more money!). Our process over the years has essentially been the same, we write a bunch of songs, then go to the studio and bang out as many basic rhythm tracks as we can over 3 or four days, then get to work with the overdubs. This project was no different. It just took a bit longer.
I liked very much the cover artwork of the new album. Can you give us all the info?
Thanks! Me, too! We’ve been working off the same picture set for years from run of Holga photos I took a few years ago…. and I wish there was some great story to tell about the new album, but there really isn’t. It felt like it was time to change our aesthetic a bit and it was really just an image I had in my head, and a friend of our drummer’s named CJ Burton took that concept and made it real. I suppose it’s some kind of commentary on isolation and the pandemic, but I think it was just an interesting idea that a gifted artist (the aforementioned CJ Burton) turned into a really cool visual. I cannot stress how much of the coolness is down to CJ’s work from my half-assed idea. (Seriously, go to CJBURTON.COM, do it now… you will not be disappointed!)
What should we expect from Black Nite Crash in the future? Which are your dreams as a band?
More of the same. and less of the same. We’re always trying to do new stuff, maybe more so now tan ever before. But the heart of it all never really changes. We’re a pop band at heart that likes to make a lot of noise. We’re starting to fool around more with beats and stuff, but it’ll probably still just be noisy pop in the end. What you can expect, neigh, count on, is a lot more music. We’ve never been more motivated or driven to create new music than we are right now. We intend to have a new EP and at least one, maybe two albums done before the end of the year.
How do you sound live in concert? How much important are live shows for you? Which are your tour plans?
Live we are electric. Except when we’re not. I’ve long referred to us as “The Replacements of Shoegaze.” Some nights we’re the best band in the world, others slightly less so, but we are always guaranteed to be a spectacle, and we always give it everything we have. It’s just that occasionally all we have is a lot of whiskey and/or beer. Live shows mean everything, though. Why else make music unless you mean to share it with the world, preferably in person. As to touring, we’ll see. There are still some pandemic issues to resolve. In the near term we intend to play up and down the US west coast as much as we can.
How did the pandemic affect you?
It really just slowed us down a bit. We all kept in touch and tried as much as we could to keep working, but it was definitely hard. It impacts us now as it can still be difficult to get folks to come to shows and support live music, but we certainly don’t blame folks for their caution and concern. we definitely share their nervousness.
Nowadays internet and technology has changed the way music business works. What do you think about internet and its effects?
It’s given smaller and independent artists a stage that they didn’t have historically speaking, but it’s also created a situation where it can be difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff, or maybe not just to separate, but to find a way to find the wheat. With so much noise, it can be hard to find a way to `get folks to listen to your signal. Add to that the fact that some folks can get zeroed in on some specific style or sound and become blinkered to other things they might find interesting. On the whole I think it’s all a net positive, but there are definitely new challenges for indie bands to overcome.
Is there something else you’d like to share?
First, to those who already follow us: THANK YOU!!! We sincerely appreciate your attention. We know it’s a crowded media world out there, so any time you give to us is greatly appreciated! Next, to those who don’t know us or are just learning about us here and now: dig in, please. We’ve got a lot going on and a lot to say, not the least of which is ‘thank you’ to Myth of Rock and also Shameless Promotion PR for arranging this interview (and everything else)!!!!