24 Apr 2006 // An interview by Shade
Black Chrome is a band who have been building their support the old-fashioned way - by quality live shows of stripped-down punk rock 'n' roll songs. The Palmerston North three piece have now (at last) released their debut, self-titled album and answered some questions for me via the magic of email.
To get hold of your own shiny copy of Black Chrome (the CD, not the band), get on over to slave.co.nz, amplifier.co.nz or else from Mango Music in Palmerston North...
Matt Barnes: The debut album is here at long last - why the lengthy wait?
Black Chrome: Because we had no money. Which is a really boring answer, but it's the truth.
MB: To someone who has never heard the 'Chrome, how would you describe the album?
BC: Rock 'n' roll, dancing with misery...It's like a column of Panzers coming down the lane and there's hedgerows on both sides and they're just getting fuckin' squashed!
MB: Lyrically, is there a 'philosophy' within the band?
BC: Vowel sounds, find the vowels and then a girl's name that uses them. Rock 'n' roll is theft so there is a lot of stealing.
MB: Is it true you'd be nothing without the legendary choir?
BC: We'd still be something, probably around a choir smaller! But yeah, they're awesome! They're our mates and they're part of the band, its not us and them its just us. Black motherfuckin' Chrome! Plus they're all getting BC forehead tattoos for Christmas.
MB: If Black Chrome were a porn film, what would it be like?
BC: Lots of moustaches, sweat and no attempt at plot. Chrome helmets, grimy goggles, the smell of diesel oil, chaps and kneehigh fuck-me jackboots. Nipple clamps run off the Sub battery. Lots of sailors.
MB: You've all got long histories in other bands - has that had any impact on operations as Black Chrome?
BC: (Matt) Yeah, a lot of mistakes have been made in the past with other shit - we're trying to learn from those fuckups.
(Jimmy) We have really efficient practices at obscene hours.
(Graeme) I kinda see it as some sort of continuation, I have to be in a band. It's been, like, 9 maybe 10 years since I first approached [Jimmy] Snuff to be in a band with me.
MB: How do you think the scene has changed in that time?
BC: (Matt) It's gotten better, the 90s were dreadful. The end result of all that shit was like Sum 41...
(Graeme) Students stopped going to shows. 11 'clock closing - shows have completely changed and as the pubs opened later it was the death knell of the party. Three bands before 11 then off for a barrel of ethanol...but I've changed as well so who knows? Hang on - the 90s?
There's less art at the moment, but that'll change. Fucking artists. Fucking cycles. Five bucks to watch an amp leaning on a guitar.
MB: Do you think it is easier or harder for a band out of a smaller town than one from a centre like, say, Auckland?
BC: Of course it is, what kinda dumbass question is that? The bullshit industry is centred around Auckland but at the end of the day a good rock band is a good rock band.
MB: So what's with all the tanks?
BC: How else do you get from the submarine to the hotel?
MB: Black Chrome has been a live beast up until this album release - any shows stand out as being particularly memorable?
BC: The old Enemy Dojo shows, we never had a bad one there and the vibe was just huge. Half the choir lived there; "Can we practice at your house? You can be in the band..."
MB: Are there any shows you wouldn't play?
BC: As a band we're a moralistic whore. We'll do just about anything so long as it doesn't really compromise our integrity and the respect that others have for us.
MB: Are there any tour or promo plans in the pipeline for the album release?
BC: Not really but we've been asked to play at WeltJugendTage in Germany next year - and we're looking at an NZ tour with Collapse in April '06...