BLAK last spoke with us 5 years ago, where at the time, they had some content out and about, with other things going on in the mix as well. Now that some time has passed so has the band, having gone on to disband, then reform, creating all new content altogether with changes made through and through. Several members of the band took some time to discuss how much the time has flown since our last chat discussion sometime ago.
1. It's been 5 years since we last and first spoke, what has the band been up too?
Juan: Oh wow, it has been a while! A lot has happened since then. We did one more EP after the last interview, then the group disbanded in 2016 & I moved back to Indianapolis cause things got real rough living in Los Angeles, & I just couldn't afford it. So after I moved and got settled in, I reformed the band, and this may be the best line up yet! Been really busy making a presence on YouTube as well.
Jennifer: I joined the band last April, when Juan posted that his band was looking for a keyboard player on Facebook and we had recently become Facebook Fiends. I also auditioned as a guitarist for another band, which didn't work out logistically. This is my first time playing keyboards full time for a band, and I am so ecstatic to be playing with some great musicians.
Jacob: I would say we've spent the past few years working to develop the band's musical style. We've written new songs (Double Suicide, Inside You) or developed songs Juan had worked on in the past (Ghost), and started playing some new covers (Down In The Park, Goodbye Horses, Transmission) that have a more dynamic sound than some of the older songs in our set. Jen joining the band was a key part of that too.
2. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?
Juan: Well we are based out of Indianapolis now. There is actually a really decent music scene out here. Unlike Los Angeles, live music is still a big deal out here and people will come out and see new bands instead of just their friend's bands, so that's a huge plus.
I'm still getting to know the bands out here, the ones I'm familiar with so far are Black Cat Rebellion, Gay Black Republican, Metric Units, there's a really good Iggy Pop tribute band out here called Jesus Loves The Stooges, there's a lot more, my bandmates can give you better examples lol!
Jennifer: We are based out of Indianapolis, Indiana. We have a small but really creative, diverse, supportive, and vibrant music scene. Indianapolis is a growing city and is very affordable for artists. Historically, Indianapolis used to be home to RCA records, and David Bowie's official fan club was based here during the early 1970's. There are so many awesome bands here! My favorites are the Dockers, S.E.R.V.I.C.E, the Lickers, Never Come Downs, Black Cat Rebellion, 9th Circle Symphony, and There Are Ghosts.
Jacob: Indianapolis is growing very fast at the moment. Back in the 90's I remember a lot of the bands I liked would tour through Columbus, Detroit, Chicago, completely circling Indy and never coming here, but that happens less these days. There's a growing awareness of Indy's scene now, as well as its history. For instance many would argue that Vicious Circle by Zero Boys is the best ever punk album. We have a lot of great bands and great people here.
Jennifer: "Vicious Circle" by the Zero Boys is a great album! One if the best nationally recognized hardcore records ever recorded. What makes me happy about being in this band is that we have similar tastes in music.
3. What about the band's line-up, have there been any changes since last time? Can you introduce yourselfs and tell me the roles each one plays part in?
Juan: Obviously there has been line up changes since last time lol, I do vocals still, I pretty much reverted back to my real name, last time we did this interview, I was going by "gypsy" but to be honest, that's not a word I should be using as a nickname so out of respect I stopped going by that. Jacob joined first, who I met the last time I lived out here when he was in another band. Then we got Ron Anderson on bass, who wasn't able to join us for this interview, we had a guy named Brandon for a while who was doing synth and drum machine, who then switched to drums, but he actually quit the band back in August cause he was doing a ton of other projects, Jen joined us before then. At the moment, we don't have a drummer, we are using a drum machine programmed by my friend Joel Adams, which I kinda prefer over a real drummer now a days. Lol!
Jennifer: My name is Jen, and I play and operate the synthesizers.
Jacob: I'm Jacob and I play guitar. We all bring our own ideas to the band and develop them as a unit. Juan has a large body of work and will occasionally suggest old BLAK songs that he wants to play with this lineup. We go through the same process and, in some cases, make it our own. We create an updated version of an older tune.
4. When we last spoke you mentioned releasing several pieces of material, "Gypsy Blak: The Blak Devil Anthology", 2 EP's "Blak" and "Set the Dead Free", as well as another EP "Blak: Staring at the Sky". So tell me what else has Blak released since?
Juan: "Staring at the Sky" was actually a single at the time. After that we made the "Graveyard Love Songs EP, which was on former horrorpunk label, Dr. Cyclops Records but we had problems with them, so that EP is only available on our bandcamp page now. We are currently working on new stuff
5. What about singles and videos, what is out and about for us to hear and see?
Band: Just recently we released our first new single, "Midnight", then we released a couple of our demos, "On the Boulevard & Chaos Lover", on bandcamp. We released two music videos, one for "On the Boulevard" and the most recent one for "Midnight".
6. Do you have any other new music that is currently a work in progress?
Juan: Oh yes, lots of new stuff, there's a few BLAK songs that never got recorded or even played live that we are re-doing and making better now, like "Midnight", we are going to be recording a new single and hopefully have a full length release soon.
Jacob: We have a new song, "Inside You", that is based on a drum beat and bass part that Ron came up with. We've got a handful of parts and we're working on structuring the song. This one in particular has been a lot of fun.
7. What are the plans that you have for this year?
Juan: Getting a single done and then an album, playing more shows and having a bigger presence via YouTube and Facebook. Since we really can't afford to do big tours at the moment, we will be doing a lot of live stream shows. We also have a Patreon now, where will be doing exclusive content, like shows, q&a videos, etc.
8. Thanks a lot for your time! It’s really nice to know more about you. Would you like to say anything to your fans and our readers?
Juan: For all the people that been there with us since the beginning, thank you, stick around there's bigger and better things coming! To the new people just now hearing about us please check us out at the following links:
Become a Patron and get exclusive content, join our Patreon!
And get merch at our store
And to our haters, stay mad & enjoy the ride!
Jacob: I would personally like to thank anybody who has taken the time to check out our band, and especially anyone who has come to one of our shows! We appreciate you!