Levitation Magazine were delighted to interview Christian Bland and Stephanie Bailey from The Black Angels when they played Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia 2017. The talented pair were a joy to spend time with and our appreciation goes their way!!
With regards to Death Song how long did you wait until you decided to go with the title given the Velvet Underground reference?
Christian - At first the idea was that we were going to call it Paracusia which means auditory hallucination but it just didn't have a nice ring to it and I was working on the design for the album cover, and our publishing company is Death Song Publishing Company, so I just thought what if the album title was Black Angels Death Song Publishing Company then the idea was to just drop off Publishing Company and it became The Black Angels Death Song not that that worked on a bunch of different levels but the main level being that now people know where we got our name from.
The synths, pedals, guitars on Death Song were tones created because of your influence? You sound as though you are going in a new direction. There's a lot more mellotron on this record than any of the others so that applies to the different sounds that you hear.
Question for Stephanie. Who are your top 5 drummers?
Oh man I don't really have a favourite drummer at all really. But I do like Mo Tucker, Stewart Copeland, Leah from A Place To Bury Strangers is really good. She's one of my favourite drummers of all time. Yeah there's a lot, there's too many, but I hate to do a top 5 as there are so many good drummers out there and they all have their special talents.
Having watched Science Killer recently we love the way you just put your head down and get on with it. What are you thinking about when you are drumming? I'm thinking getting on with it!!
Ok. Not your shopping? No, no, no... I am probably thinking... it's a very sexual song so it's probably a very sexual thought that's happening.
Christian, this is from Denise in Lancaster she wants to know will you marry her?
Christian - Well ok. (There were lots of giggles at this part of the interview) .
The fuzz that you create is that with looping? No, it's effects pedals. I do a lot of research into fuzz pedals and I have a lot of fuzz pedals probably over fifty.
What is your favourite fuzz pedal?
My favourite is probably my Analog Man it's one of my favourite brands right now with Peppermint Fuzz being one of my favourites.
Stephanie what was your first drum kit?
It was a mix 'n' match drum set from a garage sale for $100 and it was like the old 50's liquid snare and a cocktail set kick drum that went up, the kick pedal went up, and two rototoms and then random cymbals but the snare drum was the most valuable.
Was music your first passion?
Christian - No. I think baseball was my first passion. I wanted to be a baseball player when I was growing up and then that changed into high jump which I went to college and did. Then after I broke my ankle I picked up the guitar and started playing music.
Stephanie - For me it was my first passion. I always wanted to be a musician ever since I was little. However, recently I had a high school reunion and we had to uncover a time capsule from my 3rd grade and I realised being a musician was my second choice my first was to be a vet. So I guess after 3rd grade it became my number one choice.
What is your pre-gig routine?
Christian - Whipping Stephanie....on the behind.
Stephanie - I like pain.
Other than VU what are your influences?
Stephanie - Bob Dylan, Beach Boys. Suicide
Christian - The Beatles, 13th Floor Elevators, Clinic
The artwork that is created by yourself Christian do you let other people in the band have a go?
Christian - Nope.(laughs) If they wanted to have a go I wouldn't mind and Alex does some drawings sometimes.
Stephanie - I draw 'stick' figures so I definitely not my department.
Finally, what about the future if The Black Angels no longer exist what would you do?
Christian - I think I would pursue my dream of being a professional baseball player.
Stephanie - I guess I would have to go and be a vet.
And if you want proof of Christian's high jump abilities follow this link!!