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We are not a d-beat band: BLACK SHIPS interview

11 novembre 2008


So you’re now in the middle of a really long tour. When a band decides to go on tour for so long, is it just a question of «promoting» or «pushing» his new record or it’s also a lifestyle the band as chosen? A way to escape the 9 to 5 lifestyle?
We have always wanted to do a long tour. We were supposed to do one a couple of years ago but we blew up two vans before leaving. This time around, we got a good working van and decided that we were going to do all of North America. Obviously, it’s great to do a tour like this when you have a new record coming out, but we probably would have done something like this regardless. The 9 to 5 lifestyle is mundane, and touring offers a way of life devoid of having to follow any sort of set schedule every day.

What have been the coolest and most frightening states so far in the US? Can you feel the actual campaign being something very important for most of the people there?
Any city around the Great Lakes is definitely different than what we are used to in Montreal. The people from around that area refer to it as The Rust Belt. We went to Gary, Indiana and it is like hell on earth. Apparently they film post apocalyptic movie scenes there because there is so much decay. It was the only place in the very religious State of Indiana where they are letting the churches crumble. Florida was a pretty cool State as was Texas. Campaigning isn’t the same here. The american legislating system is different than in Canada so it is a lot different. There aren’t a million fucking campaign signs everywhere cluttering the skyline with smiling faces promising a better future for all of us. The politicians do a lot more live rallies and it seems like citizens do a lot of promotion for the political parties as well. You can definitely feel a difference here. People want change. Obviously, in the scene that we play in, people normally don’t even bother to vote because every option is the wrong one, but for this election, there is a lot more people getting involved and wanting to actually vote, which is something drastically different than in Canada.

What is a good day and what is a shitty day on tour? Best turnout so far?
Shitty days are when you find out that a show has been cancelled, or when you play a really shitty show and then you can’t find somewhere to sleep. Some of the best turnouts have been in all of the shows in Quebec and Ontario, Boston, Cleveland, Hammond Indiana, Brooklyn and Fort Worth, Texas.

You earned the reputation of being the loudest band in Montreal. Your music is heavy that’s for sure but do you make sure that things are really fucking loud at your show or it’s just something that happen?
It seems like these days, everybody that plays in a heavy band feels like they need to have the most amps they can fit into a van. We decided that instead of doing that, we might as well buy really good amps and get rid of the 4 other shitty ones. We are still a loud band, but it is a good sounding loud, not an abrasive «I want to stuff as many earplugs as I can into my ears» type of loud.

OMENS. What’s the meaning behind this title? What should we get from the artwork of your record? Is it your perception of where the world is going or a way to show how the human race is a destructive one?
We came up with the title because of all the bad luck we had been experiencing during past tours, etc. It just seemed like an omen that something would fuck up during or even before leaving for a tour. The artwork was done by Ryan Patterson, who fronts the band Coliseum from Louisville, Kentucky. It is more to show how something that was once beautiful can quickly turn into ruins. It just so happened that the imagery was that of a war torn city.

Do you feel this record is definitely a step forward compared to your Low EP?
Definitely! We took more time to record it and didn’t feel like we were racing against the clock to finish it. We recorded it with our good friend Julien Brousseau and he did a great job. He knew exactly what we were trying to do and really listened to what we had to say and added in little things here and there that we completely agreed on as well. Everything came together really nicely in the end. We also took a longer time writing the songs since last winter was so shitty in Montreal and we had nothing else to do.

Favourite TRAGEDY song?
This is probably the oddest question we’ve ever been asked. I like all of them, but I like His Hero Is Gone more…

Does playing in a D-Beat punk/hardcore band necessarily equals being a negative person in life?
I’m glad you asked this question. I’ll answer it in tow parts. First, just to clarify things since we’ve been asked it a bunch of times; we are not a d-beat band. We don’t play one d-beat on any of our songs. D-beat is a certain type of drum pattern which you would find in any Tragedy song. I can see how people could make the mistake but I would like to think that we shouldn’t be classified as a d-beat band. Being in a band like this doesn’t necessarily equal being a negative person in life. The world is a fucked up place and pisses all of us off to a huge degree but what the fuck are we going to do about it? So instead of sitting at home and feeling sorry for ourselves we sit in a van for hours on end and let out all the negative energy we accumulate in a 25 minute set every night.

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