Taking garage rock to its most extreme edges, Black Lips are the band of choice for those that love their music dark, dirty and dangerous!
Formed as teenagers in 2000, the self-described “flower punks” made an immediate impact with an off-the-wall self-titled debut album, and quickly earned a wild reputation for tearing it up onstage with ever more outlandish behaviour. They have gone on to release a further nine full-length records, including their widely acclaimed fourth album Good Bad Not Evil songs from which featured on the hit movies (500) Days of Summer, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and Angel Camouflaged.
Last year saw the release of their latest LP Apocalypse Love which saw the quintet go further than ever before, experimenting with everything from C86-sounding jangly indie pop to lo-fi hip-hop and mind-blowing psyche-infused jazz, resulting in a gleefully unhinged record which many consider their best yet!
Currently in the midst of a world tour, Black Lips arrive in the U.K. this month to play headline shows including an unmissable date at Patterns in Brighton on Wednesday 26th of April in support of Apocalypse Love. CLICK HERE to book tickets for all available gigs with Gigantic!
We caught up with Black Lips on the road to ask about their wildest times, how the world tour is treating them and the music that inspires them.
You’re renowned for your crazy onstage antics. Have you ever done something that you felt went too far, even by your standards?
One time we were playing a show in Baltimore...this was many years ago, we were teenagers, and Jack was in the band. We could barely afford food back then. Jack had a really nice 1963 Gibson that his uncle gave him. It was worth more than the van we were touring in, and probably worth more than any of us made in a year at that time. Well, things got a little out of hand and we started breaking all of our stuff on stage. I can't really remember why...but in the process Jacks uncles Gibson guitar got smashed to pieces. I think that went too far. Still feel bad about it.
Did music save your life?
I think music did save my life. I was in a lot of trouble as a teenager, and it gave me a good outlet for all my energy. I got a lot of bumps and bruises along the way, and it's definitely been an unconventional way to live, but I'm very happy with where I'm at now, so I'd say it's been a success.
Which other bands/artists do you love?
I love Link Wray and the Germs...Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, the Mighty Hannibal, Gene Vincent and Bo Diddley. Tons of others too, but those are the first that came to mind.
And who do you hate?
I don't really hate anyone. Music’s pretty subjective. Someone somewhere digs it, and that's cool. If I don't dig it I don't listen.
Last year saw the release of your latest record Apocalypse Love which was a massive change in style for you. What’s the reaction been like? Did it bring in new listeners or alienate old fans?
I'm not really sure if we alienated any fans or not. Honestly, I was kinda surprised people thought it was so stylistically different. I guess that's a good thing. I thought we were just doing our thing.
This year will see you headlining shows all over the world, including playing Australia for the first time in eight years, returning to New Zealand after a thirteen-year absence – and hitting the U.K. of course! What are you looking forward to most about this international tour?
I love traveling. Australia is always great, and we even just got back from shows in Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand, and holy smokes, was that awesome. That's one of my favourite things about being able to tour... getting to go to all these places so far from where I was born. It's so cool. Meeting all these new people and eating all the food. two thumbs way up for that. It's been a really long time since we went to the UK, and I'm really excited to see all y’all.
What are your favourite memories of playing Brighton in the past?
I have some fun memories of playing the Great Escape Festival... eating fish and chips on the pier, I recall playing a really cool record store a bunch of years ago. Brighton is really pretty. I love the way the buildings and the streets look.
And what are your greatest ambitions for the future of Black Lips?
I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I'd really like to play the Super Bowl. I keep trying to put that out there into the universe and see if it manifests. Also, I'd really like to do a full tour of South America.
24/04 Black Lips – Heaven, London
26/04 Black Lips – Patterns, Brighton