02 Oct 2007 // An interview by CEOMong
- Lead Gat/Vox
- Rhythm Gat
I rocked up to the band’s rehearsal venue to discover only Jimmy knew about the interview … that didn’t stop the band warmly welcoming me into their space to have a beer or two, and some solid yarns over the state of the Palmy music scene, NZ music in general and how we are taught to listen to the same old engineered tunes by fat A&R cats. Love of the music motivates Black Chrome, collectively the members have literally decades of riffs and countless gigs under their belts – a history that has provided them with a sound that is uniquely theirs.
In the last interview you guys did for Muzic.net (21 May 06) you said you’d be pretty disappointed if you hadn’t expanded in 5 years – how are you going against that benchmark? Any particular things you’d like to try next, people to do, places to see? What’s next for BC in the next 12 months?
Not too sure, probably go to ground a little bit and try and get the album done. It’s easy to lose yourselves doing booking after booking. Certainly keeping communication channels open and talking about everything, it’s too easy for something small to get blown out of proportion, and we have spent too much time together to keep quiet about the things that piss us off, or that we appreciate, about each other.
Speaking of getting the album done, how’s it coming?
The biggest obstacle to getting the album done is the dollar – it costs thousands to produce an album, and its one way to piss off your girlfriend. We are working on it though, finding as much time as we can to practice. A lot of the songs are already prepared, so we are getting there.
What rumour would you like to start/deny/elaborate about yourselves?
Phil Rudd will be producing our new album, and he’s already paid for our flights to Tauranga.
What is the strangest/stupidest thing that you’ve done or has happened to you while on tour/on stage? Ever been arrested?
There’s too much! And we cant plead the 5th in NZ.
You’ve played some pretty sweet venues, where’s your fave? Anything that tops J Street or the Valve yet?
Bar Mode (Palmy) is pretty cool, pity the acoustics are shit, and 40 people don’t make it look full. It has to be packed to look full, and then its too many people. Valve (Wellington) still rocks, excellent venue. White Hart (New Plymouth) is a very cool, old school venue, amazing its still standing and has power running through it. Last time played was a bit of a downer for personal reasons, but memorable otherwise. King Calavera (St. Pauli, Hamburg, Germany) right in the middle of the red-light district. The rented van was looked after by three pimps during the gig, said to be the safest place in the country. The highlight was when a merc pulled up and tried to buy some blow.
What were the highlights of your “Self-Destruction” European conquest?
The sheer generosity and professionalism of the scene over there is amazing, a gig wasn’t just a poster on the wall and a hundred bucks, it was come on in, have some beers, they’d feed you and give you a place to crash. Everything was taken seriously unlike in NZ where often times if you had no friends in the town you’d be standing outside when the venue closed wondering what to do next. Due to the larger population base there were a lot of fans at the shows, no matter where you were there was a large segment of the population that would be into your music, and come along. The culture is different over there too, in NZ everyone parties in the back yard, stays home and puts on some tunes and gets pissed. In Europe everyone lives all crammed together, so to party you have to go out, so it’s a lot more social in that way, and supportive.
Ever consider getting a whole bunch of PN bands together and doing a mobile swamp-style fest?
It’s been done, but honestly it’s far too unwieldy. Too many personalities & left-handed drummers and it would take too much money to do it. It would be easy if someone gave us $10K and said go tour with these people, but there also needs to be good publicity and media support, which is sorely lacking.
There’s no porn ring, is there. Where’s the link for the porn ring (as in the song “My Band”)?
No, there’s no porn ring - that song is really all about how fake the whole scene is, how everything is marketed and mainstream, how everyone’s in a rock band, and it’s so accepted to rock and roll now. It used to be so very underground. You can even go to school now and get a degree in rock. There’s no soul. If you’re doing it for a living, go get a job. As Keith Richards said “Everyone talks about rock these days; the problem is they forget about the roll.”
What inspires you guys? I know I’ve woken up in the gutter a few times – is it all real life experience or stuff you’ve found on the intertubes?
We’ve got lives, wives, kids. We do it for the love of the music, not for the fame. We play so we can see bands, otherwise we just wouldn’t have the time. With regards to the songs - most of the time Wolfgang comes with some lyrics and a guitar, a few times we have come up with something through a jam session. Most of the songs are based in real-life, they’re all about Dorothy, romanticised misery and self-mythology. Wolfgang hears Chuck Berry in his head, when the band makes it their own it comes out different and unique.
I’ve got to agree with Punkas.com who said "Like a cross between Motorhead and The Ramones, with the ability to absolutely soar on big choruses" – what’s your take on labels, is that what you guys wanted, or have you just evolved into the shit-kickers you are today?
A huge response here – the whole band feels really strongly that they just go out and rock, they try to be the best they can, and they feel the band as a whole grows tighter when they are at their best. But no; no labels. They just rock out to the very best of their ability and amaze themselves more often than not.
What’s the best thing about being The Chrome?
Being able to hang out together and rock out, Rehearsal is by far the biggest highlight. Charlie Blow is the definition. Oh, and Nutbush City Limits. That is the riff.
The timeless desert island question – 2 things you couldn’t live without if you were stranded on an island? Collectively or individually.
An assorted collection, although they doubt if they would survive as they’d kill each other eventually through vice and pillaging each others items … in no particular order: buds, a towel, a webcam, two chicks (who may or may not be lesbians), tobacco, coke, lots of booze, one pair of pants, a laptop, and the solid gold radio station – NOT classic hits, as they play too much Elton John.
Black Chrome play next with Hellborne & 8ft. Sativa, Oct 6, 2007 @ Bar Mode, Palmy North. Get your arse along and buy them a beer or three to show your appreciation.
From the gutter, this is CEO Mong.