Last week, Black Rooster Black Shag released their debut album As Far As My Lead Will Take Me. We were out of town for their launch gig at the Bees Mouth on thursday, but we caught up with Mirika, JJ and Dan last Sunday afternoon when they played a another gig at the Ranelagh.
Brighton Music Blog: So the album’s called…
JJ: As Far as My Lead Will Take Me
BMB: And where did the title come from?
JJ: Between us we came up with the title. I think it really reflected the journey of the record. We met in the Southern Hemisphere, moved to the UK and eventually settled in Brighton and I think it was that sort of journey that by the time we got to Brighton that really made up the record. That whole trajectory that we took and it kind of sums up the spirit of the record in terms of going a great distance and getting to a particular point and the fact that you can still go a little bit further.
BMB: So are some of the songs quite old and have taken this journey or are they all quite new?
JJ: Some of the songs I suppose were composed a while ago but we’ve got Dan into the band and come together as a three piece and the sound has changed, and every time we play we play it slightly differently, we never try and play the song the same way the same time twice. So in that way the songs always evolve and are always fresh and there’s always something different every time we play. The skeletons of the songs were written quite a while ago but every time we play them they’re a little bit different.
Mirika: The band club we sort of had to hold back to really be able to play in this band. J and I were touring other projects when we met so we wrote all these songs cross continentally for a little while we were touring the other projects then once we finished those records we could make this band happen. So we really willed it to happen, although we’ve only been playing shows now for nine months.
BMB: So you launched the album at the Bees Mouth last thursday. How did that go?
M: Oh man, so much fun.
BMB: Did you play in that little sweaty room downstairs?
Dan: I think we made it worse. It probably still stinks of us now.
JJ: Our audience have got a very good aroma! It was just a great night There was a lot of people that came down, a lot of friends. We had a really good time and everyone walked away having celebrated the fact that the album’s finally out really, because a lot of them were friends who played on the record and we did have a lot of people around us that helped so it was just really really nice to have everybody in the same room and celebrating not just the end of one journey but the start of another one.
M: We’ve already been demoing new stuff, so it was quite exciting.
BMB: You first visit to Brighton was to visit the Great Escape?
M: We just came to visit, we weren’t playing. SO many great venues and people were really friendly which was really nice.
BMB: Are you around for the Great Escape this year?
JJ: We’re actually playing the Alternative Escape at Marwoods Cafe, on the saturday afternoon about half past five so we’ll definitely be around.
R: Any tips of bands to go and see at the Great Escape?
JJ: I would just tip to go and check out the Brighton bands. I think there’s such a vibrant scene going on with bands here. Compared to what you see on the surface from other cities it’s unique. There’s a lot of exciting guitar bands happening. For me it’s more about seeing my friends and seeing those bands play in front of a bigger audience of people that wouldn’t normally come and see them play. Anything from Brighton go and check it out.
BMB: Where’s next for the album? You’ve played launches in Brighton, London and Barnsley.
JJ: We’re playing Eastbourne, then Nottingham, then London again, and then Manchester, Doncaster as well. We’d like to play a few smaller towns and some of the bigger cities as well. Our idea is not to have one huge tour, but to keep going out and visiting places. It’s a slower run with an independent band, you can’t throw all your eggs into one basket, you’ve got to work it a bit longer. So we just want to go out and see as much of the country as possible.
BMB: Are you doing any festivals this summer?
JJ: We’re playing Coalfields, up in Barnsley again, but that’s about it really. We’re a relatively new band, so we haven’t really hit the festivals hard at this point. We’re more into playing smaller venues for now, getting the intimate atmosphere going really. That’s where people are responding best to the music so we’re happy cultivating that at the moment.
M: It’s nice when you go to a town and you see people who saw you at your last show. That’s the best. I don’t need to play anywhere extravagant, I just want a good vibe, and to be able to relax a bit and have a bit of fun.
Black Rooster Black Shag’s album is out now, available from EOI productions. You can catch the band on Saturday at Marwoods Cafe around 5.30 as part of the Alternative Great Escape (so you won’t need a wristband).