IT could be said that at three in the morning on a Saturday night, Glasgow’s Classic Grand is daunting and dark. It may be six o’clock in the evening with a bright tunnel of sunlight beaming down, but on The Black Angels tour bus outside the venue; its mysteriously gloomy as our chat becomes a wealthy discussions of a good Glasgow curry away from their home in Texas.
The Black Angels are anything but phased. They’re not phased by their success as they rise from the depths of the psychedelic underground to Glastonbury festival slots. And as they lounge around their tour bus, their relaxed passion seeps from their pours.
“We have been to Glasgow before. We played ABC and Captains Rest before, we have played all over the place, really. Really different venues too.
“We are looking forward to playing this venue tonight.
“I feel like it’s as if Frank Sinatra would have played here. It’s a club night tonight with it being a Saturday, so they make us play early and then they kick us out.
Its different playing at 8:30, rock n roll at 8:30…..it’s strange.
“We’re going to go for a curry afterwards, a Glasgow curry!”
Watching The Black Angels perform is an experience, it’s back to basics as they evolve their set with their deep dark psychedelic bass and vocals setting an edgy tone: “It’s hard for me to judge how good a show is when I am playing. There may be a spiritual experience that I have during the show that makes it stick out but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best show all-round.
“Things can go wrong, and quick and then you just make up for it or whatever, it’s all about being in the moment and letting the music go through you in the most natural way.”
The band have been involved with Austin Psych Festival since it began in 2008, celebrating the wealth of talent around the scene. And with a stellar line-up every year and growing popularity, The Black Angels kind of have their hands full: “Every year we always think there’s no way we can beat last year.
“I am always impressed with the bands we get. For one thing there are so many amazing bands coming up and its great to show the town what is happening around the world in the psych community.
“Its our chance to educate and throw a party for our friends. It’s a lot of work. Rob Fitzpatrick has helped book the bands, he’s one of our business partners.
“The festival is like having a kid, you’re not really ready for it, but when are you ever ready? And then the kid starts picking its own way with what it wants to do and go.”
“It feels like you have jumped into something and someone has put a pillow under you. So weird. Unbelievable. We have to work in the business side of music now, you see the whole spectrum of the musical field. It’s not easy at all.
We have two festivals and then we are trying to tour and write records and other shit. I don’t know how we get anything done.
With the band’s experience in keeping an eye on emerging talent, Tenement TV get to the root of their inspirations: “Clinics new record Free Reign makes me hallucinate when I listen to it, for real. They seem like they should be the biggest band in the world right now, if you like Joy Division- then you’re going to like them.
“Taking it back to the roots, you can find some really cool stuff.
“We are really into bands like The Night Beats, Ride Into the Sun and The Growlers – there’s a lot of music from that same community that just goes on and on.
“Holy Waves are pretty cool. Charlie Maguria lives in Berlin. He produces some rare pysch rock and he looks like Buddy Holly from the 1960’s. He’s got his hair greased back and it looks like a 1950’s painting.
“He’s a modern guy, I looked him up and sure enough its current. I couldn’t tell that it wasn’t from the 50’s or 60’s.”
The Black Angels have moved their sound around throughout their ten years in the business, going in a completely different direction with recent tracks like Don’t Play with Guns: “Everything inspires you, everything is an input that music defines as the output.
“Whether it be this conversation with you, or a book, a relationship, lack of relationship, a good Glasgow curry- a lot of things go into it.
“It’s not one thing in particular, it’s a collective song writing process too. The next record is probably going to sound completely different, we have a new member and he’s a great songwriter.
We have already been writing and the stuff is sounding heavy and interesting.
“I noticed right from the start that there was a freshness into bringing a new person in. It’s like going on a date for the first time.”