Monday, April 29, 2013

Do512 Interview with Peter !

brmc psych fest

Although Black Rebel Motorcycle Club may not be fans of the Texas heat, they are sure to bring a sweltering set to Austin Psych Fest tonight. The core duo of BRMC is bassist Robert Levon Been and guitarist Peter Hayes, who started playing music together as high school friends in their hometown of San Francisco in the late ’90s.

They have produced seven albums in the last 15 years, and have no desire to throw in their sweaty towels after acquiring a new drummer (Leah Shapiro of The Raveonettes / Dead Combo) and releasing a new album in 2013. In advance of their first visit to Austin Psych Fest, we talked with Peter Hayes about the new album, family, inspiration and more.

Do512: What is it about Psych Fest that you admired and made you want to be a part of it?
PH: Festivals are a different animal. There are usually a lot of questions about which one you like better. But, with Psych Fest, we had heard about it since it started and from my understanding it was a couple of the guys from The Black Angels that helped start it. So, a part of it is just supporting them and what they are trying to do. That kind of thing has been floating around our head and I don’t really know any of the festivals in the U.S. that will basically have us play [laughs] or have us slip into the other type of music going on. There have been a few like Lollapalooza, but there is really not too many that have – I guess you call it a genre- or something in the U.S.. Supporting them with that is kind of the point, really. You know? If they keep it going, we have a place for the type of music we play.

Do512: Have you guys had any memorable experiences in Austin?
PH: Yeah, well we have been through there a bunch. I can’t remember if we played SXSW one year—yeah, I think we did. But, we usually try to dodge that one. That’s in Austin right? I think we dodge that about every year because we didn’t want to support the idea of some kind of already-signed band that is doing fine and then coming into a situation where—well, my understanding was it started as a place for new bands to showcase and do what they do and hopefully get signed—but I may be wrong about that. But, I really don’t want to support that, you know? [laughs] It is what it is. But, memorable? Summertime. Summertime in Texas isn’t fun. Played some pretty fucking sweaty gigs. We’ve played Dallas a lot, like Deep Ellum. There’s a place called River Glove, I believe, that was a really cool club. There are a lot of cool places through Texas.

Do512: You and Robert have known each other since high school. Tell me what it’s like growing up together and forming a career with one another.
PH: It turns into family… and all that entails [laughs]. The fights and all of the good and bad. This was just lucky. We’re lucky to have met that early on and to stick with it. You kind of have to make a choice where you kind of trust that it happened for a reason, if you know what I mean? And deal with that and make sure you try not to get self-important. You have to know that other person is needed and that’s always a good thing to hold on to.

Do512: What was it like to bring Leah Shapiro into your family? How did that change the dynamic of your band?
PH: I don’t mean to talk bad about Nick [Jago, former drummer], but we had left already before “Howl” actually and we recorded that album and then he came back into the band at the very end when we were finishing up with that album. Even though he came back, he didn’t like being there. So, when Leah came it was refreshing having someone that wanted to be there and was coming out from another angle. So, that was a good thing. But, like I said, I don’t mean to talk shit about Nick, he just wanted to be doing other things, you know? That came out in the music and the playing.

Do512: Did you see her playing with The Raveonettes or Dead Combo?
PH: It was Dead Combo. None of us even knew she had played with The Raveonettes. We had just been on a tour with Dead Combo through Europe and they were using a drum machine. Then we did a tour with them through the U.S. and brought Leah and we felt like she added a lot to that and a lot of power. I think Rob got her number at the end of that tour because we knew Nick was looking for other things to do. It’s a great thing though, seeing a girl behind the drums and beating the shit out of them. It’s not something you see very often.

Do512: Tell us about the experience of creating your newest album “Specter At The Feast.”
PH: “Specter at the Feast” came from Macbeth. But, writing with Leah… let’s see, where do I start? [laughs] A similar thing to Nick not wanting to be there was he would do the same thing in the studio. And as far as writing went, we tried to bring him into the writing process and we tried to leave the door open for him to write songs and bring in songs. If he wanted to play guitar the idea was I’d play drums and he’d get up there and do a guitar song if he wanted to. But, he didn’t want to do that. So, that also came out, like I said, in the studio. He wasn’t too interested in the writing process, so with Leah coming in and being 100 percent involved is a great thing. It’s a really nice thing to have in the band and have to bounce ideas off of. The way I look at it is it’s just important if she starts off with a groove out of the blue because that sparks a song. That to me is just as important as Rob doing a bass riff or me doing a guitar line because a lot of songs are started that way. She will go off with an idea and it’s just great.


Do512: You paid homage to Robert’s dad with The Call’s “Let the Day Begin.” Why did you choose that song specifically?
PH: It’s kind of a 180 from our usual. It’s kind of a feel-good song and we don’t have too many of those [laughs]. So, it was a challenge in that way and it really kind of came out of the blue too. Rob and Leah had been working on The Call songs because the gigs Robert just did- he did one in San Francisco and one in L.A.- with The Call guys you know, so they had been rehearsing that stuff for a long time. But, it just came out of the blue—we started doing something and then Rob just started singing that song and it just kind of worked. It became our version of it, which I think is something Michael (Been, Rob’s late father) would have been interested in hearing. He respected me and Rob and Leah and respected our playing. It seemed to always be in the back of his head, you know what would it sound like if we were to ever do one of his songs.

Do512: After seven albums, what do you guys do to remain inspired?
PH: It’s just life happening, you know? It’s kind of a constant battle, feeling like you’re not getting your message across or not making the effect you kind of want to have in the world. So that’s why we are always kind of reaching for more. That kind of keeps it going, you know? It always feels like there is still more work to do and there is always still more work to do on writing good songs. I don’t know if we are ever 100 percent satisfied with a song, which I think is every musician, painter, poet, or whatever. You are just never really done or satisfied with it. But, the want of getting closer each time is there. So that keeps it going.

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club headlines the Reverberation Stage at Austin Psych Fest tonight at 11:30pm. Single day tickets are available at the festival for $60. Austin Psych Fest will be held rain or shine.

via Courtney Goforth


Sunday, April 28, 2013

'Hate The Taste' @ The Tonight Show with Jay Leno


Saturday, April 20, 2013

2013 first bootlegs...

and 2 bootlegs got released from ongoing tour, one of them makes me really happy as i was able to see the band for the second time at that great venue called 'The Academy' in Dublin

grab it as it's fresh ;-)


Friday, April 19, 2013

Robert Levon Been Revisits His Father’s Legacy With the Call

Robert Levon Been plays with the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club in Nottingham, Eng., March 2013. Photo: Ollie Millington/WireImage

Robert Levon Been plays with the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club in Nottingham, 
Eng., March 2013. Photo: Ollie Millington/WireImage

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club singer/bassist Robert Levon Been is part of a rock & roll legacy. His father, Michael Been, was the fiery frontman and bass player for ‘80s cult heroes the Call, whose emotion-packed anthems (“The Walls Came Down,” “Let the Day Begin”) should have made them the American U2 (in fact, Bono guested on their 1990 album, Red Moon). When Robert made his own musical path with BRMC in the early 2000s, Papa Been began traveling with the band as their soundman/guru. In August 19, 2010, Michael Been died of a heart attack while on tour with BRMC in Belgium, pulling the emotional rug out from under the band.
Now Robert is paying back a bit of his debt to his father by fronting a reunited Call for two West Coast shows, the first of which happened last night at Slim’s in San Francisco and the second is tonight at the Troubadour in Los Angeles (there are also plans for a live CD/DVD). The elder Been’s passing casts a long shadow over the new BRMC album, Specter at the Feast, which contains a cover of “Let the Day Begin.” As the band prepares for a U.S. tour, Been shares his thoughts about moving forward.

How did your father start working with the band?
It started off around the second album, we went through four or five different front-of-house sound engineers and we couldn’t find anybody that we felt really got our sound. We asked him at first in a panic … he offered his time to come out and help us on a tour, and it just ended up sounding so good and felt so right that we asked him to do the next leg and the next album and it just carried on from there. He was like a father figure to Peter [Hayes, BRMC singer/guitarist] as well, so it was really good to have someone looking out for us out here… he had some good experience and knowledge of some basic things that were good for keeping our heads on straight, from someone who’s been down that road before.

Did going out on the road with your dad ever make you feel awkward or self-conscious?
He definitely wasn’t like a normal father. He’d hold down the fort, but at the same time, [he was] never the judgmental kind of father. He’d let me take my own falls, and that’s maybe why it worked.

Was he the one who first taught you to play?
When I was like 12 or 13 I picked up the guitar for the first time and I really couldn’t play it at all. He tried to teach me things, but I didn’t have a fundamental understanding of music. He didn’t say it to me, but apparently he told my mother in confidence, “You never have to worry about your son following in my footsteps, because he doesn’t have it, he has no understanding of it.” Thankfully he didn’t tell me that to my face. It wasn’t until I was 15 or 16 that I picked up the bass guitar on my own, and I learned how to play. I taught myself how to do that and he overheard me messing around one day and was really surprised.

Where did the idea of you fronting the Call come from?
It felt like a good way to honor not only his passing and what he left behind but also just for the joy of it. When he passed away I connected with those guys again. I really grew up on the road with them. When I was little I would come out on the road, and all of those guys were kind of my first family. I was always daydreaming about playing onstage with them, now I get to [laughs]. We got together over a year ago with no real intention, just for fun to see if the idea would work, because I had no idea if I could pull off those songs. Vocally they’re in a much harder range, and his bass playing was at a level that I’m still trying to get to. We went through 15 or 16 songs and it was pretty powerful, we were all really moved by it, and there was the feeling that we should do something with this. But then I had to go back to recording the BRMC album, so we had to put it on hold.

How did your father’s death affect the making of the new album?
In more ways than would fit on a page. He was a very big sounding board. If there was something we were struggling with, he would often come in and give his opinion, and it was really helpful. We co-produced different albums [with him] to different degrees. So we were kind of walking the plank alone [this time]. Me and Peter were very much like brothers, he would break up fights between us and kind of keep us in line. I think one of the most difficult things about this album was learning how to communicate between the two of us … finding a way to get through without that third person, diplomat, or referee.

How much of Specter at the Feast was written before you went into the studio?
This is the first time we had an unspoken understanding that we wanted to start with a clean slate and see what would come through this period of time. We’d been through so much that it wasn’t realistic to pull from things from the past, because it wasn’t gonna resemble the future. We had to start over in a lot of ways, partly to make sure we were still in one piece. We lost a lot when he passed away, and we needed to prove to ourselves that we still had something to give, and something to offer of worth. It feels true to the time, having to go that way. It’s terrifyingly honest, this record.

How did you come to cover the Call’s “Let the Day Begin?”
We wanted to do a [Call] cover but we didn’t know which one. That one kind of came by surprise. I’m really grateful that song came the way it did, because it feels like it represents both the light and the dark, what he tried to convey with his life as well as the acknowledgement of his passing.

Specter at the Feast is out now on Vagrant.


Thursday, April 18, 2013

'DOWNLOADS' section finally re-linked to !

all the previous Rapidshare/Zippyshare and other links where finally and successfully transfered to new, greater, bigger ( badder ? ) MEGA.CO.NZ service.

people around the world raports that this time famous German-Finnish Internet entrepreneur KimDotCom gave us even faster and larger p2p service and i have to say the download and upload speeds are really great !

i was thinking as well to join all the previous download post into one large 'downloads' post, chronologically sorted with newly released bootlegs marked and dated so You can know what's new that You don't already have !
let me know below or on Facebook what do You think of that ?

hope it will be as good for all of You 

Go(o)d Speed(s) !


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

San Francisco Chronicle with Robert on 'The Call' appearance

Robert Levon Been (second from left) with members of the Call.

Robert Levon Been (second from left) with members of the Call.
Before Black Rebel Motorcycle Club plays its sold-out show at the Fillmore on April 22, the group’s frontman-bassist Robert Levon Been will take part in special performance at Slim’s on Thursday, filling in for his late father, Michael Been, for a reunion of the Santa Cruz ‘80s rock band the Call. “I’ve known those guys forever,” the younger Been said last week from a tour stop in Germany. “What happened after my father passed away is his music was really echoing for all of us — we started thinking back and reflecting on all the great things in his life.” Black Rebel Motorcycle Club covers the band’s signature tune, “Let The Day Begin,” on its latest album, Specter at the Feast.

The way you perform with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club is so different from the way your dad performed with the Call. Can you sing those songs the way he did?
At first it was an incredibly scary thought, trying to step in. Not only is he a better bassist but his vocal range is far superior. I didn’t think there was any chance. But I surprised myself continually with how many songs I was able to retrain my voice how to sing. In doing so it’s actually given me a lot of strength and resonance with Black Rebel songs. I learned a lot from just trying to learn those Call songs. I didn’t think I could do it but I never tried.

It must be in your DNA.
It’s in there. It’s in the DNA and it’s really spooky. One of the reasons I developed my own style in the beginning is because I was fighting against being my father. No one has actually called me out on that. I was always fighting against his thing. You push as hard as you can against. I wouldn’t have thought I could do it at all. But I can do that if I have to.

Your father toured with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club as the sound engineer, which you weren’t exactly happy about at first. Did you eventually come around?
Yeah, thankfully, he didn’t join us until we toured the second album so I got some of the real bad stuff out of my system. Over time I wouldn’t trade any of it. There were so many great years we had that a lot of families don’t get to spend together. I really value it now.

Posted By: Aidin Vaziri ( Email , Twitter ) | Apr 16 at 1:11 am


Monday, April 15, 2013 review

by João Cordeiro on April 12, 2013 
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club's Specter at the Feast

  • Abstract Demon
  • Vagrant
Release date  March 18, 2013
2010 was a bittersweet year for the San Francisco trio Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. While promoting their new album, Beat the Devil's Tattoo (the first one with Leah Shapiro, the former Raveonettes, drumming), the band was haunted by the death of Michael Been, the producer, sound technician of the band, but most importantly, the father of the bassist Robert Levon Been. Specter at the Feast, then shows a band that never really recovered from that lost, and because of that, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club released the most introspective album of their not-so-distinguished-and-acclaimed career.

Specter at the Feast is then, not necessarily the album Black Rebel Motorcycle Club wanted to follow Beat the Devil's Tattoo, but the album that had to happen due to circumstances of life.

Not everything worked out fine on this new effort. Even though the band always brought their fashion sense into music, this all black dressed fuzzy rock and roll; bassy and dark garage rock, being introspective seems a little bit salty water for these river fishes.

Even being a competent opener, "Fire Walker" never explodes as an opening track should. The urgency, the feeling of "here we are again" it is not there. We can only feel that when The Call's cover (the most known song of Michael Been's band) "Let the Day Begin" finally starts. And for all that this song means, it really should be opening Specter at the Feast.

And if "Let the Day Begin" really fits the common and known sound of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, songs like "Returning", "Some Kind of Ghost", "Sometimes the Light" and "Lose Yourself" brings them to a field where they, clearly, don't feel comfortable. While attempting to sound deep and meaningful, the band can only achieve Snow Patrol-Coldplay-esque shallow and meaningless lyrics upon generic music background.

Happily, this sexy, almost badassery soundtrack with songs like "Whatever Happened to My Rock 'n' Roll (Punk Song)", "Six Barrel Shotgun", "US Government", "Weapon of Choice", "War Machine", etc, which made Black Rebel Motorcycle Club loved by so many, is not lost. Even sounding a Beatle-esque ballad, "Lullaby" begins a sequence of some of the best Black Rebel Motorcycle Club songs to date, and definitely, one of the best sequences of songs of the year.

"Hate the Taste" (despite the autopilot drumming by Shapiro), "Rival" and "Teenage Disease" are exactly what we expect from them.  What we expect from a band that gets its name from such a badass movie like Brando's The Wild One. And even if slowed down by "Funny Games" and by the incredibly-not-the-closer-track "Sell It", Specter at the Feast is saved from being a total wreck, especially, if the band went for the initial idea of releasing a double LP – this two songs work as the perfect example of how the band can sound deep, dark, slow, while still maintaining its meaning.

Overall, in the end, there's this feeling of untapped talent. Again, Specter at the Feast is much more about something that had to be done, phantoms that had to be exorcised, rather than a forceful and exciting rock and roll album, from one of the most forceful, exciting and energetic rock and roll bands of our times.

0 comments: review

Posted on April 14th, 2013 by Danny De Maio  music  BRMC Prove Theyve Still Got Gas In The Tank

There was a stretch of time that Black Rebel Motorcycle Club had my full attention, all the way down to my fashion sense. Black leather jackets, moppy hair covering my eyes, ripped jeans, and black Aviators. When you’re in your late teens, I suppose you think you’re invincible and that dangerous is always considered sexy and “in”. If anyone learned a lesson that this thinking isn’t sound, it is BRMC. To be honest, the band hasn’t aged well as of late. Their first two albums are two of my favorite cool, noisy rock’n’roll albums of my youth, while their third, blues album Howl is one of those overlooked albums that will someday get its rightful due. However, the two following albums (Baby 81 and Beat the Devil’s Tattoo) heard the band in a rut. While there were certainly a few great songs on both albums, the “cool” was wearing off. After the death of Michael Been, who acted as sound tech, longtime producer, and father to vocalist/bassist Robert Levon Been the band may have realized that their slower numbers have become their strong suit.

Specter At The Feast is a tribute album to Michael Been and it’s immediately apparent that the band is mourning the loss of him. For the sake of getting to the meat of the album, I want to dismiss most of the more furious numbers here. The band was wise not to put any out-of-nowhere rockers on Howl and they should have followed that album in that sense. Instead, BRMC has inserted a handful of loud rockers that completely break up the mood built (quite nicely I might add) by the more somber ballads here. “Rival” and “Teenage Disease” are screaming to be left off the album, but only “Hate the Taste” borders on mid-tempo stomper and all-out rocker, so I’ll cut it some slack.  music  BRMC Prove Theyve Still Got Gas In The Tank

Had those two generic rock tracks been left off, Feast could be considered the band’s turning point in their career. However, it’s glaringly obvious that BRMC are still infatuated with the long ago exhausted sound of the Jesus and Mary Chain and a million other blues rock bands.

I know I’ve ripped the band to this point, but now I’m going to tell you that the majority of the new album is damn good. Nearly great on some songs. Opener “Fire Walker” sets the tone unlike any BRMC album to this point. It’s eerie, somber, and beautiful, all adjectives not normally associated with this band’s sound. There’s a thoughtfulness in an album that generally prefers to burn slow rather than blow up on every track. Been’s bass is still a focal point in the songwriting, slithering its way through the six-minute “Fire Walker”. “Returning” about as close to a radio-ready ballad as the band has ever got, while “Some Kind of Ghost” is as minimalist and creepy as I’ve ever heard the band. When they take risks they’re handsomely rewarded and I hope the band realizes that. I’d love to hear an album free of pomp and overly distorted guitars from this band because they play the haunted bluesmen so well.

Since as long as I’ve been a fan, (I can’t believe it’s been 12 years) I can always count on BRMC to have an abnormally good album-ender and Feast is no exception. “Lose Yourself” is a mournful ballad that has just the right amount of rhythm section heft to build a head-nodding groove. Historically in rock’n’roll, ballads have been seen as “lame”, but when they’re done right a ballad is one of the secret weapons a band can whip out. It just so happens that BRMC write better ballads these days than they do rockers, and the moment that they accept this the better for them and us.


Thursday, April 11, 2013

'Let The Day Begin' VIDEO PREMIERE !


Tuesday, April 9, 2013 interview


Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

Natural Disasters

Apr 08, 2013 Web Exclusive

Dark, brooding, dangerous, and tortured is the vibe that Black Rebel Motorcycle Club gives off. Robert Levon Been, bassist/vocalist for the trio—who just released its seventh album, Specter At the Feast—shatters this image from his first utterances. Speaking in a disarmingly sleepy tone, he is full of ready witticisms, chuckling at his own jokes before he gets to the punch line. And like all natural comedians, he rounds back to previous jokes at perfectly timed intervals.

Specter At the Feast, with its see-saw of murky noisefests and moody dreamscapes, is at odds with Been's sly humor. The album is, however, a reflection of the acute loss and the accompanying turmoil Been and his bandmates, vocalist/guitarist Peter Hayes and drummer Leah Shapiro, have experienced with the passing of Been's father, Michael Been. Once a member of the '80s group The Call, the elder Been was intertwined with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club as their sound engineer. His sudden passing was due to a heart attack after a Black Rebel Motorcycle Club performance at the Pukkelpop Festival in the summer of 2010.

Most people have the benefit of privacy in which to work the course of their grief. Hayes, Shapiro, and particularly Been have had to turn their insides out to the public since Specter At the Feast is one of the means by which they have been, and are, dealing with the pain.

Speaking from Belfast, where Black Rebel Motorcycle Club has set up camp in the dead of winter, Been quips his way through talk of the many things he worries about: volcanoes, earthquakes, runaway trucks, dinosaurs, finishing an album too soon or taking too long to finish an album. 

Lily Moayeri (Under the Radar): How come you've made Belfast your tour pre-production headquarters?
Robert Levon Been: Our first show is here in a couple of days so we decided to ship everything over early and start rehearsing over here. Last time we tried to ship the gear over, a volcano went off and delayed everything so we're trying to avoid volcanoes. Whenever you can, it's best.

Are erupting volcanoes a prevailing fear in your life?
Even though they're not near you, you should still consider them prevalent dangers because you never know how far they are. I thought the one in Iceland would be far enough away but it disrupted every flight in Europe when we were starting off the tour.
The first shows were in London and our shipped gear was delayed and grounded somewhere else. We were at the venue for our first show. It was 7 or 8 p.m. There was a line of people outside to see us play and we didn't have any equipment. It doesn't feel good when you don't have any equipment and people are expecting to see you in a couple of hours. The gear showed up literally at the last minute. We threw it on, and a half-hour later we played the show. It freaked everybody out. It was a wake-up call. We needed to do something about the possible threat of volcanoes in the future.

What are you doing in Belfast to prepare yourself for the tour?
It doesn't move that fast. It's Belslow. There's not much going on here. We rented out the venue that we're playing. We're mostly locked away in there getting songs ready. There's a lot we don't know and songs we need to relearn. The old ones are indelibly grained in our brains for life, but the new ones are always tricky.
It starts off simple. You go in the studio with sounds and you start playing them then start adding things and adding things and adding things until you paint yourself in a corner. Then you've got to figure out how to make that sound the same live with three people.
I like the challenge though. I like that we have to work really hard to try to figure out how not to rely on MIDI or things on tape or hiring a fourth member. We're really good musicians if we try hard, but it's really easy to avoid trying hard. There are a lot of modern things that make it easy to not have to push yourself. Usually when we do though, it turns out good.

Your most recent album is split between noisy and dreamy sounds. Is one of those styles harder to reproduce live than the other or are they equally difficult?
The more atmospheric, dreamier sounds, the ones that demand more finesse, those are more difficult in a rock 'n' roll club where you've got people drinking and being loud. You want to make the songs kick through the door because a lot of people aren't paying attention. Usually rock n' roll turned up loud is the easiest way to make that happen. It's harder to make people tune into something that has more subtleties. It's more difficult to play that too. You can hammer through a ballad or an atmospheric song and lose the whole point of it. It demands more. You have to listen to it harder, even while you're playing it, or you'll miss it.

How did recording with Dave Grohl at his Studio 606 come about?
He asked us to be interviewed for the documentary he was doing called Sound City [on the studio of the same name, home to the famous Neve 8028 console on which Nirvana's Nevermind and BRMC were recorded]. That turned into, 'Wouldn't it be cool if we recorded a song in the moment and filmed what that's like?' Peter and I went in to record with Grohl. It was nerve-racking because he had an idea for a song then we decided we'll go completely clean slate and see what happens. But when we walked in the room it was Butch Vig and a 10-person camera shoot with everyone asking what are we going to do today and we didn't have any plans. It was pretty scary. You don't want people to waste a whole day on you when you've got nothing. We just jammed out and a couple of hours later we had that song ["Heaven and All" on the Sound City soundtrack] as it sounded. The lyrics I went home and worked on for about a month finishing and then came back and sang the final thing.
That was when Grohl was like, "If you want to come back anytime, we want to keep the place up and running, keep people recording on [the console]." It was a few weeks after that we came back. [Grohl] wasn't there for the album though.
We had a lot of things we wanted to record because there's this ticking clock when you first have a song and there's an energy to it that's important to put on tape and capture because you can lose that spirit if you wait too long. That's why we jumped on that offer. We tracked all the drums and bass and some guitars. We probably did twice as much, two sessions of nine songs a piece—some of which aren't on the record.

Why did you decide to continue working on the record in Santa Cruz?
When we got out of Grohl's studio it was still the bare bones. We had an idea where we wanted to take the rest of it. It was really difficult to focus being in Los Angeles. There are too many distractions and friends and cell phones and emails and noise. We had an offer from an old family friend of ours who lived up there, who said, "Come down, you can stay as long as you need, for free, and take the time you need." She knew we were having a hard time finishing the record. It was a saving grace that we got to go up to this beautiful, remote cabin.
Once we got there, it was really helpful to finish lyrics, but we wanted a place where we could play, record, add all the guitars and layers, the production part really. That's when we found this other guy, Barry Cannon, who had bought out the Boulder Creek Post Office and changed it to a studio. That was the only place within 40 minutes in every direction we found where we could keep our equipment overnight and not have to tear it down every day. We locked ourselves in there and that's where we finished it.

You seem comfortable in Northern California. Why did you move to Los Angeles from San Francisco?
San Francisco is a terrible place to be a band and make your way up because it's a cool city full of cool people so no one shows any emotion and holds their guard close to their chest. You'll be at a show where there'll be a lot of people that like you but you couldn't tell to save your life that they do like you. They might tell you afterwards.
When we moved to L.A. it was partially because people really gave energy back—even when we played locally at small clubs. I think it's because L.A.'s not that cool so no one has that attitude about being from L.A. They have to deal with the Hollywood plastic movie star bullshit people so they never have grounds to have an attitude. I've been out of town too long, maybe it's changed. Making this record was the longest we've been in L.A., almost two years.

Why did it take so long to finish this album?
Mostly we were dealing with the loss of my father who was really dear to all of us. He had been there since the beginning so we needed time for that. Also, we'd been on the cycle of playing/recording/touring. It just got to a place where it felt like if we were going to pull ourselves back up to write and record, we really wanted to have something to say, something to offer. Of all the occupations in the world, you don't want rock 'n' roll to feel like it's just another job, just banging out another record because you're supposed to. We stopped and weren't going to start again unless we had something that was ready.

The involvement of your father in BRMC wasn't that apparent until his passing.
We didn't talk about it much before. It was something we took for granted. I always was of two minds about it. Looking back, I love it that I got to spend so much time with him. But when I was 20 and in a rock band going on the road for the first time I didn't really want my dad around because I want to get into trouble. There were a lot of fights, a lot of arguments and a lot of those years spent with us establishing our independence—both Peter and myself. We were raised like brothers. My father took Peter in when he was in high school. He had a really hard home life so he was living with us from when he was 15 on. It was typical family stuff.
At the end of the day my father was the best guy around at mixing front of house sound and that's why he ended up going on nearly every tour with us. There was some at the beginning that he didn't do. There were some things we needed to do without him witnessing. But after that it was fair play. He would get into more trouble than me most of the time.

Has it been helpful in your grief process to speak about your father when discussing this record?
It's been the least helpful thing possible. But I'm selling a record too and there's a whole context that comes with it. We talked about not doing any interviews at all. We talked about saying to people that subject is off limits. All that seemed like it would be false. It would be better to acknowledge what he gave us over the years and also how the record has been affected by his passing.

Your father's passing has become a central focus of conversation when speaking about the record.
We decided if we're going to talk about it to deal with it head-on. If we danced around it, even halfway, it would be a bigger thing than it actually is. Yeah, it affected the process, but if you listen to the record, it's not autobiographical. "Rival" isn't about that, "Hate the Taste" isn't about that.
Most of the album we were beating the hell out of each other. Even though I say we wanted to take time to really write something of worth, the other half of the time we were thinking, 'This is taking so long, maybe we shouldn't be doing this.' We are really hard on ourselves, so we started having serious writer's block and doubts in ourselves. That was the worst part of that year.
Then I realized if a few weeks after my dad passed away someone told me that we would write nearly a double album (which we'd only use half of), recorded, mixed, and delivered only two years after, it seems incredibly fast. It kind of worries me: either moving too fast or too slow.

You are taking your father's spot with The Call for a few shows. What brought that about?
I got close with those guys after my dad passed away, which is another cool thing that came from that. I grew up with them on the road. I fell in love with hotel rooms before rock 'n' roll. When you're a kid it's the best thing in the world. You can make a mess, someone else will clean it up, watch as many movies as you want, run around. My dad was the reason The Call ended. He didn't want it to keep going but they always did so I told them I'd help them out and see if they can get it back up and running again.

People will like seeing you in his position.
It is intimidating because he was much better than I am. There are a lot of songs where I have to change the keys and transpose to be more in my range or fake it in certain places. I found little ways to cheat where 99% of people won't be able to tell. It's going to be a lot of fun.

What made Black Rebel Motorcycle Club decide to do a cover of "Let the Day Begin," one of The Call's songs?
There is a joy that comes from understanding the love you had for the person more than you ever did before. And there's a joy that comes from all you've been given and the memories of it. At the same time, just as equally on the other end, there's anger and angst and frustration and sorrow. That was the point of covering that celebratory song of my father's. Sometimes I feel bad for feeling so good about it.
The hardest part about the album was showing both light and dark sides. There's the joyful, let the day begin, there's the somber ballad songs, and there's the days that we felt pissed off and did "Teenage Disease." I don't think anyone's going to get that, but that was the hope.
We did start editing ourselves. Like should we make the album all atmospheric and only allow in the more introspective side, but that wouldn't really be true to the moment of these couple of years. Nor would writing from the teenage angst frustration anger side. It's not the whole story. We took a leap of faith that we could give all that on this one record. In the end, we let it all hang out.


unreleased song 'Devil In The Back Seat' appear on 'NCIS:Los Angeles' !

April 8, 2013 10:00 AM ET

NCIS: Los Angeles Soundtrack
NCIS: Los Angeles Soundtrack
Courtesy Artists' Addiction Records

Previously unreleased music from the Gaslight Anthem, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Jakob Dylan and more will appear on the upcoming NCIS: Los Angeles soundtrack, a new compilation that features a wide array of artists whose music has appeared on the hit CBS show.

Due April 16th on Artists' Addiction Records, the compilation pairs the Gaslight Anthem's mournful, heart ravaged "Misery" and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club's grimy, transfixing "Devil in the Backseat" with older offerings like series star LL Cool J's somber, Ne-Yo-assisted "No More"; Ice Cube's thundering "Everythang's Corrupt"; and the seductive spaghetti western neo-soul of Caro Emerald's "Lipstick on His Collar."


Monday, April 8, 2013 review...

Specter at the Feast

Specter at the Feast

By Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

Abstract Dragon
7 / 10
8th April 2013
By Courtney Sanders

Bands rarely exist in a vacuum. Like most creatives, their output – and success – reflects the social and political circumstances of their time. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club released their debut, self titled album in 2001. A myriad Brit pop and new wave imitators (and of course, Nickelback) had - for the most part - left a void of qualitative independent music in their wake, thus the time was ripe for an artist to commandeer the imagination of a generation. Enter a bunch of five, skinny jean-wearing dudes who released an album you may or may not have heard of, Is This It and spurned a worldwide, alt-rock revival that took the likes of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Franz Ferdinand, The Libertines, Bloc Party and – to a lesser extent - Black Rebel Motorcycle Club along for one hell of a ride.

More than a decade on and both bands dropped studio albums in the same month: The Strokes’ awkwardly titled Comedown Machine and B.R.M.C’s Specter at the Feast. The latter was released on the band’s own label imprint – Abstract Dragon – with nary a whisper, undoubtedly finding a home in an audience who have always admired the band but hardly courting a new one, which makes sense: B.R.M.C have always skirted the edge of the garage rock blow-up, wholeheartedly adored by an acceptable-sized audience but never garnering mainstream attention for an album. Their inability to truly break is down to their output: each of their records is a compilation of both excellent songs and duds that collectively fail to ignite the imagination of the masses, and Specter at the Feast is another example of this.

‘Fire Walker’ opens proceedings with watery, atmospheric guitar and synthesizers, dropping into the kind of sexy, stoned ballad the band excel at, and sets things up for typically B.R.M.C single ‘Let the Day Begin’ – think B.R.M.C’s ‘What Ever Happened To My Rock and Roll’ or Baby 81’s ‘Weapon of Choice’. Leah Shapiro’s (previously of The Raveonettes) drumming has been criticized in the past but it’s one of this albums most impressive facets: she subtly accentuates basic tempos while seamlessly fitting into every given melody. Singles like the aforementioned ‘Let The Day Begin’ actually abound across Specter at the Feast. Tracks four, five and six are breathless, energetic affairs but then the eighth track does what most B.R.M.C albums do at some point: replaces any momentum with clunky, philosophizing lyrical sentiments and short-lived sonic experiments.

It feels unfair to criticize a band that consistently deliver excellent singles true to a succinct and ongoing aesthetic, regardless of changes to the sound of the day, but perhaps there’s the rub? There’s something in that title, Specter at the Feast: B.R.M.C create music in a removed, ghost-like fashion. Perhaps if they further engaged with their surroundings they would be able to deliver a definitive album that - like Is This It - captures the imagination of a generation for forty minutes instead of four-and-a-half.


Pitchfork 'Specter At The Feast' review...

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s career hasn’t exactly been distinguished, but it has been long, and at some point you simply can’t argue with longevity. Routinely dismissed as derivative mope rockers subsisting on the least interesting scraps of warmed-over Ride, Stones, and Brian Jonestown Massacre records, BRMC make music as predictable as their look: black shirt, black leather jacket, black shades, pouty lips, downturned heads. What started out as a pose is now baked in; BRMC may lack the pedigree of a legacy rock band, but they certainly have the mileage.

On the group’s sixth studio effort, Specter at the Feast, BRMC make the transition from classic-rock pretenders to full-on classic rock. At this point, grizzled weariness comes naturally to the San Francisco trio. Like fellow trad-rock true believers the Black Crowes, Oasis, and Marah, BRMC have co-opted another era long enough that they actually seem like they’ve been around forever. For better or worse, you know what you’re going to get from a BRMC record, and that sort of brand engenders loyalty, no matter the latest fashion.

The downside of sticking around is that profound loss inevitably rears its head; for BRMC, this sad eventuality occurred in 2010, when the band’s producer and sound technician (and father to bassist Robert Levon Been) Michael Been died from a heart attack in the middle of a tour. Specter at the Feast was made in tribute to Been-- a journeyman rocker himself who fronted 80s AOR band the Call, whose populist anthem “Let the Day Begin” is probably spinning on some classic-rock station this very moment, between “Hot Blooded” and “Twilight Zone”. BRMC’s covers “Let the Day Begin” on Specter, and while it doesn’t quite fit with the band’s usual blacklit gloominess, it does square with their stubborn survivalist instinct. So long as there’s an audience for meat-and-potatoes rock songs like “Let the Day Begin”, there will be bands like BRMC.

If only BRMC’s “rock” songs lived up to their rock attitude. The central weakness of Specter at the Feast is rather inexplicable: Its goodness is inversely proportional to its loudness. Given the record’s somber inspiration, it’s understandable that the best tracks are the ballads. “Lullaby” is all heart-tugging jangle and dreamily descending guitar riffs, sparkling with the mournful beauty of a last encounter. On the haunted-house blues “Some Kind of Ghost”, Robert Been whispers, “Sweet lord, I’m coming home for good” over a funereal church organ. The valedictory vibe is even more pronounced on “Lose Yourself”, an exquisite symphony of sap that evokes the final minute of “With or Without You” as directed by Cameron Crowe.

The obviousness of Specter is forgivable on these songs; even the record’s de rigueur Spiritualized rip-off, “Sometimes the Light”, carries the weight of real grief. Where the record falters is on the rockers, which are composed of clichés and exhausted riffs only. The record’s saggy middle section is absolutely murder in this regard: The rubbery basslines, brassy cock-rock guitars and needlessly repetitive choruses of “Hate the Taste” and “Rival” are autopilot junk that pad what should be an intimate record with cavernous emptiness. (Specter supposedly was a planned double-LP; it really should be an EP.) What hurts Specter ultimately is that this band can’t get out of its own way. The requirements of making another rockin’ BRMC album choke what could’ve been an affecting, low-key detour. BRMC has experience on its side; if only it also had a little wisdom to share.


Friday, April 5, 2013 interview with Robert

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club have been longtime favourites among the DiS community and its writing team ever since the site started in 2001 - the same year BRMC released their self-titled debut. Now, twelve years on, they're back with album number seven, the rather poignant Specter At The Feast. Borne from the tragic loss of vocalist and bass player Robert Levon Been's father Michael, who passed away in August 2010, it's a sombre but fitting tribute to the memory of the band's mentor and sometime producer-cum-sound engineer.

Last weekend, the band played a storming two-hour long set encompassing their entire back catalogue to a packed Nottingham Rock City. Prior to the show, DiS caught up with Levon Been where the conversation turned from the difficulty of choosing setlists to making a guest appearance with his late father's old band The Call in three weeks time.

DiS: This is your first UK tour in two-and-a-half years. How have the shows been so far?
Robert Levon Been: I keep having to remind myself that this is a new record and we're just starting out touring it. It's only been out a week and yet people seem to be well into the songs already. There's been a tremendous amount of energy on this tour so far. Usually we tend to find the first couple of months on tour a battle because people don't know the songs and sometimes it really is like trying to get blood from a stone. This time it feels different. Maybe it's one of the side effects for being around that bit longer? I dunno. Maybe people have more familiarity with us and feel they no longer have to start from scratch? I don't know, I guess our fans are pretty good that way.

DiS: You've been playing quite a varied set on this tour that takes in material from six of your seven albums so far, although one song I've noticed that hasn't made an appearance yet is a personal favourite of mine, 'Half State' from your previous record Beat The Devil's Tattoo.
Robert Levon Been: Funnily enough, Leah (Shapiro, drums) actually talked about playing that one tonight. I think it would take quite a few rehearsals before we'd be able to recall the memory of doing that song justice. I guess there's no way of making everybody happy all the time any more! It's just not mathematically possible. It's against the law of physics. Too many people have favourites all across the board. It's a good problem to have, being able to go to sleep at night knowing you didn't even have a sliver of a chance making everyone happy! Sometimes you have to surrender. We know we're gonna disappoint some people but that's just a small part of it as we'll also make a couple of people happy in the meantime.

DiS: Are there any songs which you're not too keen on playing live any more? For example it would be hard to envisage where any material from The Effects of 333 could fit into the band's current set.
Robert Levon Been: There's a couple of songs we've forgotten the tunings for that we literally couldn't play, unless we make it a completely different version. That does get in the way a little bit, as there are some songs I'd like to bring back into the set. There was one song from Howl that Peter (Hayes, guitar) had and he couldn't for the life of him remember how to play it. Aside from that I'd say most of our songs could be resurrected into the live set at some point.

DiS: Your new album Specter At The Feast came out ten days ago. In light of your father's tragic passing, it became a tribute to his memory. The last time I spoke to you on the Beat The Devil's Tattoo tour you said a lot of the songs for the next record were ready. Did any of those songs make it onto Specter... or did the idea to write an album in memory of your father come later?
Robert Levon Been: We actually ended up scrapping everything. It was the first record where we started with pretty much an entire clean slate. Previously every album has flowed into the next, and that's always given us a blueprint as to where that record will go next. But it was such a huge foundation for us losing Michael at that time. It happened just before we were about to start again, so I think it was important we decided to start afresh for a few reasons. I'm glad we did. It would have been too hard to figure out how to pull from anywhere but the place we were at. We were all experiencing and feeling things differently, for better and for worse. It brought us closer together and was also a lot to carry at the same time. It wasn't really our intention at all for Specter At The Feast to become a tribute to my father. It came about via 'Let The Day Begin'... well, not so much that specifically but we wanted to cover one Call song. We didn't even know if we could write about something that had happened so recently. And we still didn't really come at it directly. There were some songs that kind of deal with it on a slant. Music is a beautiful thing because when everything else falls down around you it can pull you out of that place. Or at least that's what I've always found. We got together without any intention at all. The only plan was no plan. No past, no future, just being present together. And whatever was gonna come was gonna come, so we wrote those songs in that place and it was good to connect in that way. With other records in the past there has been more of a concept or plan that's steered it in certain directions. Covering The Call song allowed us the freedom to write about whatever we felt and not have to make songs about that subject.

DiS: What made you choose that particular Call song? Were there any others you considered covering?
Robert Levon Been: Yeah, I was originally going to do a song called 'You Run'. I slowed it way down; it was a really beautiful version of it; but then Leah started playing this drumbeat that was just cool rhythms. I knew Peter and me could add some really good dynamics to it, and I thought either I can start singing something new or I can start singing something old, and it kind of had a Call thing to it. There was a moment where I thought about not revealing what it actually sounded like so it could have just become a new BRMC song. No one would ever have been the wiser! But then I also thought it would be a really interesting way of redoing that song. We wanted to a cover, but didn't want it to be just a straight copy of the original. 'Let The Day Begin' found us rather than us going out and trying to make something ours.

DiS: You're also doing two shows with the other three remaining members of The Call in San Francisco and LA in April. Will it be quite daunting stepping into your father's shoes and playing with his old band?
Robert Levon Been: Yeah, absolutely! I grew up with those guys. When I was just a little kid my dad would take me out with them and it was such a great time. It was like being raised by a bunch of pirates out on the open sea which is probably why I went back to that. When he passed away we all met up and started talking about things. They always wanted to keep The Call going whereas my dad was ready to move on. I just want to keep those songs alive for people. I fell in love with his music again when he passed away, so we came up with the idea of maybe getting together and playing some of those songs again for fun, which we did one day. And they all said it felt like it had been two weeks since they last played those songs rather twelve years. They're such good musicians. They just locked right into it, and I was trying to keep up - I held my own - and I wanted to do it right then but we had to finish Specter At The Feast. It still feels weird on so many levels. I don't know where to begin so I'm really strongly turning off my mind and only doing the work and learning the technical parts. Anything more would just collapse me into a whole sea of emotions and thoughts that will never end.

DiS: Do you see any of those songs that were scrapped coming back at a later date?
Robert Levon Been: Yeah, everything comes back around for us. There's a few things I've written off recently that I was wrong to.

DiS: 'Evol' off the last record being one that springs to mind, having been around for several years before its release.
Robert Levon Been: 'Evol' got blown away on every record until Beat The Devil's Tattoo. We actually recorded it again for this record then got rid of it at the last minute! But yeah, you can't count anything out. I've done that before and foolishly ate humble pie to bring it back. Once they find their spirit they'll find a way back in.

DiS: Going back to Specter At The Feast, musically it feels like a combination of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club's vast range of sounds all rolled into one. There's the heavy psychedelia of 'Fire Walker', furious punk rock on 'Rival' and 'Lullaby' with its electrified country blues for example. Was it your intention to try and combine as many musical styles as possible into the record, yet still maintain its flow as an album?
Robert Levon Been: Not at all. It was a total accident. Beat The Devil's Tattoo was much more intentional. That was one where we came at it with the thought of marrying as many components as we could onto one record. And in a lot of ways it worked, but maybe this time because we weren't trying meant it worked even more. I think there's something that's more stripped away on this album that lets all those different shapes and colours that are just a part of us naturally play together and come through if you let them. A lot of the time you are your own worst enemy. I think we did a good job standing out of the way of ourselves.

DiS: At the same time when I hear a song like 'Returning' where you sing "A part of you is ending, a part of you holds on" it seems poignantly reflective, harrowing even. Is it difficult to play that song live bearing in mind the lyrical content?
Robert Levon Been: Honestly, the last thing I wanted to do in the world was write about any of it. And for a long time I didn't. These songs are just a fraction of light and sound coming from a place that for the most part was incredibly shut down. Both me and Peter have only recently started to process just a small amount of what's to come . When you have a connection with or love someone like that there's only a few people that will ever come to those places. For example, you can have three hundred Facebook friends but there's probably only a couple of people that really move you in life. In some ways, this record doesn't even feel like it's that literally personal about what we went through in as much as we're just not hiding from anything. And that is hard enough in itself, let alone writing it on your forehead. It's enough just getting up in the morning and looking forwards. That's all this music feels like to me, and that's enough.

DiS: My favourite song on the new record is 'Sometimes The Light', probably because it sounds as if you were venturing towards previously unchartered territories. To me it has a psychedelic gospel feel to it in a similar vein to Spiritualized or Spacemen 3. Was it your intention to create that kind of vibe?
Robert Levon Been: The record was pretty much finished and Peter disappeared for two days...

DiS: Where did he go?
Robert Levon Been: Well, that's the thing. We were wondering and then out of the blue, from this little room he was working in he came out with this song. Me and Leah were just instantly taken with it. It's probably the only song on this record I can listen to as a fan. I know exactly how it feels to hear that for the first time because it sounds exactly as it did when I first heard it!

DiS: Will it be a regular part of the live set?
Robert Levon Been: Not yet, no. We played it for the very first time in Brixton two nights ago, but it's a difficult one to get right. There are some songs that take a year-and-a-half to write and record and that one took just two days of Peter getting lost. There's a huge opposite polarity thing of how we've always worked. Sometimes they come really fast as complete pieces, other times they'll start as individual ideas and we'll spend months adding bits separately until it feels right. That's the great thing about working with Peter. We're both respectful of what each other's doing. So for 'Sometimes The Light' to come the way it did was quite unique.

DiS: Does Leah get involved in the writing process?
Robert Levon Been: Not lyrically but she's essential to what we do. She has this gift - a sensibility even; our old drummer Nick Jago had it too; of just shutting the fuck up and listening! As simple and rudimentary as that sounds, it's also quite crucial. Once someone buys into that place where they know when to add and take away from it they're vital to this band, and she has that ability. It's key for drummers just to know what a certain song is asking for at a particular moment in time. Without that input from Leah Specter At The Feast would be a very sliced up album. The songs were built in a similar way to how those on Howl built. Me and Peter made that record entirely on our own, including the drums. I like that part where the fourth member of the band brings everything together, for example when the three of us are jamming together and then something just clicks from out of nowhere that is impossible to determine exactly how or where or why. It's that moment where everything comes to the forefront as you start playing it live. I guess it can work as well in a studio too but I don't recognise or value it as much.

DiS: Do you think the band would have taken the same path or explored as many musical directions had Nick still been in the band rather than Leah?
Robert Levon Been: Leah's definitely brought a lot of new dimensions to the band, particularly on this record more than the previous one. With Beat The Devil's Tattoo she was being a little polite as she was still the new kid that didn't want to step on anyone's toes. We'd them and she'd throw in her own parts and rhythms that we could never think up but this time she was really ballsy and just pushed back. We built the songs from the ground up and a lot of that was down to Leah. She's really responsible for a lot of this record.

DiS: You're headlining the Austin Psych Fest at the end of April. Are you excited about playing there and which other bands on the bill are you looking forward to seeing?
Robert Levon Been: We've been trying to play that festival for years now. The organisers have asked us several times but it's always either coincided with touring on the other side of the world or recording in the studio. This is the first time our paths have crossed the right way and it just happens to be such an incredible line-up. Line-ups like that are few and far between. I think Europe sometimes does better but then they're often copied and pasted from festival to festival. Austin Psych Fest is really unique in that aspect, and to be honest even if we weren't playing I'd probably go as a fan as it's such a great line-up. There's so many great bands playing it would be quicker to list those I'm not excited about seeing!

DiS: Will you be playing any more festivals over the course of the year?
Robert Levon Been: We try to dodge most festivals whenever we can. We're not too welcoming of them, but I think we're talking of maybe coming back over here in July. We did a lot of them around the time of the first record, which for a new band as we were at the time it can be good as you're getting exposure you wouldn't normally receive.

DiS: Bearing in mind how you've worked in the past, with ideas floating around the studio sometimes carried over to the next record, are there any songs or sketches of songs in place for album number eight?
Robert Levon Been: We recorded eighteen songs in total for this album and only put out twelve of them so there's a lot still lying around. For a long time Specter At The Feast was going to be a double album. The idea in theory was that if the songs kept coming at the rate they were maybe we'd have enough material to put it together, but then we realised just how much detail was involved with the ones we were working on at first so the others have drum takes and bass takes. There's a bit more production to be done on them and some lyrics that we weren't completely happy with. There's always a few drafts, whereas these twelve that made the record felt like the ones that were ready. I don't know if we'll keep all of those that got left over. Sometimes they die in transit. But then they may come back again!

DiS: Finally, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club have been around for a long time now. What's your key to longevity? What advice would you give to new bands that are just starting out?
Robert Levon Been: The less you know the better off you are! If I knew half the shit I know now I probably wouldn't have gone on for so long. You're always kind of hedging your bets, double thinking things over rather than just jumping in. But it's worth it. I think anything is that you love.
The album Specter At The Feast is out now.

2 comments: review...

As many people know, this is the first Black Rebel Motorcycle Club album to be released since bassist Robert Levon Been's Father, Michael Been, died of a heart attack in 2010.

Been's father was the singer of 80s band The Call and what better way to pay a tribute than to record a cover of the band's most prominent hit, Let The Day Begin. It is an ideal way to pay tribute to a father and musician. Been senior was also often referred to as the unofficial fourth member of the band.

Not only is Specter At The Feast a triumph for its content, it is also a triumph that it was made after having suffered such a loss. The album manages to encompass all the sounds BRMC have demonstrated on previous albums since their 2001 self-titled debut. Specter At The Feast begins with the slow burning Fire Walker which sets the mood for the rest of the album.

But that does not mean to say that this album is a sombre listen. The BRMC sound that everyone recognises is still there. One of the highlights on Specter At The Feast is Teenage Disease. It sounds like nothing but unadulterated filth and it's brilliant. There are few bands that have a swagger in their sound like BRMC, and Hate The Taste sums that up with those scuzzy guitars and driving choruses.

In summing up Specter At The Feast, it was made by a band in mourning, but it is a great album to add to the band's body of work. In a similar vein to Feeder's 2002 album, comfort in sound, made after the death of drummer Jon Lee, it is a tragic shame that something so special is born out of sadness.

Black Rebel Motorcycle will always be welcomed by those that want real music with fire in its belly.
Shaun Kelly


Black Rebel Motorcycle Club Added to Benicassim

added 04 April 2013 at 14.16

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club 2013 01 300x225

Beach House are also a new addition to the line up for the Spanish festival...
Black Rebel Motorcylce Club and Beach House have been added to the line up for this summer's Benicàssim.

The Killers, Arctic Monkeys, Queens of the Stone Age, Primal Scream, Miles Kane, Kaiser Chiefs and Jake Bugg are among the acts already confirm.
FIB Benicàssim 2013 will be held at the Benicàssim concert venue in Spain on July 18 - 21.
The Friday headliner has yet to be announced.

Line up so far:
Alba Lua
And So I Watch You From Afar
Arctic Monkeys
Attic Lights
Azealia Banks
Beach House
Benny Benassi
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Le Carousel
The Coronas From Ireland
The Courteeners
The Child of Lov
China Rats
Christian Smith
Deap Vally
Dizzee Rascal
Everything Everything
Echo Lake
El Gran Manel
Grupo Salvaje
Guadalupe Plata
Hanni El Khatib
J Roddy Walston and The Business
Jacco Gardner
Jake Bugg
John Talabot
Kaiser Chiefs
The Killers
La Roux
Little Green Cars
Miles Kane
Palma Violets
Pleasant Dreams
Primal Scream
Queens of the Stone Age
The Riptide Movement
Rizzle Kicks
Soledad Vélez
Swim Deep
Terrence Dixon
Toddla T


Wednesday, April 3, 2013 great review and pics from O2 Academy Brixton

By Thanira Rates

The return of the leather clad trio Black Rebel Motorcycle Club to London for the first time in two years just confirmed that they don’t need more than three musicians in a band to make great music. Robert Levon Been was re-insured of that by the cheering full house at O2 Brixton Academy: ‘Thank you guys very much, it’s real fucking good to be back.’

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club BRMC London March 2013

The enthusiasm and mind-blowing stomping commotion that the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club brought to the audience was unique and remarkable, and it didn’t matter they passed the curfew time, but the fans didn’t left the venue until the lights would not lit and the securities began leading the audience out of the venue. Two hours of pure kinky rock with a set of 25 songs, which 10 of them were from the new album Specter At The Feast, released on March 18.

They’ve kicked off the show with their cover of The Call, Let The Day Begin, which is a tribute to Robert’s father, Michael, who died in Belgium, 2010. His father was very involved with the band’s work, producing and working as a sound engineer. Their set remained with the dirty and sexy vibe, playing Rival, the famous hit Red Eyes and Tears, and the new Hate the Taste, which by the crowd’s reaction, it might be the first hit from their latest album. Hits from their previous albums were also included in their set, such as Whatever Happened to My Rock ‘n’ Roll (Punk Song), Beat the Devil’s Tattoo and Ain’t No Easy Way, and not even a small problem with the Robert pedals in Berlin interfered in the synchronized waves of arms and bodies of the audience. Songs such 666 Conducer and Love Burns gave the crowd the opportunity to chill and appreciate the flirty performance and raspy vocals of Peter Hayes. Before playing Returning, Peter Hayes showed his appreciation to the fans: ‘We spent two years making this album, thank you for being here with us tonight.’

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club BRMC London March 2013

An introspective vibe was created in the middle of the set, when the lights went down and focused on Hayes playing the piano, presenting two solo songs: Feel It Now and Devil’s Waitin. Robert Levon approached the audience several times, swapping guitars and bass throughout the whole concert. Another memorable moment was when Levon with an acoustic guitar and a soft spot light, performed Mercy the entire song on his knees, in the very edge of the stage, saying that he likes to get as close to the crowd as he can.
It was truly an amazing night, let’s hope we don’t need to wait another two years for their return.


Let the Day Begin
Red Eyes And Tears
Hate The Taste
Whatever Happened To My Rock ‘N’ Roll (Punk Song)
Beat the Devil’s Tattoo
Ain’t No Easy Way
666 Conducer
Love Burns
Feel It Now
Devil’s Waitin’
Fire Walker
Teenage Disease
Conscience Killer
Funny Games
In Like The Rose
Six Barrel Shotgun
Spread Your Love

Sometimes The Light
Sell It
Lose Yourself