Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Black Black plays Cake Shop (twice), will release a new album (eventually), and loves Les Pauls

  I hope you're all enjoying the summer so far (all 5 days of it). I'm still recovering from a booze filled Northside weekend followed by a full week of band practice, recording, and gigs. We're slowing down with the booking thing (more on that later), and we're trying to focus more on covering some sweet local bands. Honestly, I felt a little bad about how mean I was to Gibson lovers in the article on guitars that I wrote two weeks ago, so I thought I'd do a quick Gchat with Jon Daily from The Black Black; a well known Gibson-a-phile.

Here's the transcript:

Hearts Bleed Radio: Start off by giving me a little history of The Black Black...

Jon: I started the black black in the fall of 2011. I was frustrated with my band at the time in every way possible, so I tried to create the antithesis band to it. I recorded three demos in my bedroom with my electronic drum kit. I sent the demos to my long time friend Chris and asked if he'd be interested in playing the bass (he was), and then Craigslist turned up our first drummer Johnny. It was super easy, and the band was just fun and easy for the first year with the three of us. We recorded twice, played a bunch of shows and it was just... fun.
  Johnny moved to CA, and then we spent a year looking for a new drummer. We had six guys do it in a year. It was pretty awful. Then Tomo came on board, and we finally got moving again... fast forward another year and we just finished recording our first LP. It'll be out on Money Fire Records in September (probably). The band was created as a cross between Big Black, McLusky, and LCD Soundsystem. I don't know if those influences are still obvious, but that was the initial idea.

L.E.S. Les Paul action at Pianos

HBR: You're playing a lot these days, you have a record coming out... But I want to talk about guitars for a second... I'm a Fender guy, you're a Gibson guy... I don't want you have to defend Gibson, but what do you like about Les Pauls? What do they do for your sound that no other axe will do?

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

If you could have any three guitars...

  You make art with a guitar in a way that is rather unique; it's not unlike the way you make art with a classic car, if such a thing were possible (in my book, it is). In and of themselves, guitars are art. Playing a song with a guitar is kinda like carving David with the Venus di Milo. Anyway, it's almost Northside weekend here in Brooklyn, I'm about to see a million bands, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't silently judging the guitar choices of each and every last one. Don't think I'm a snob though, I don't give two shits about how much an instrument costs. That being said, there's a legitimate reason to judge bands by their instruments.

  I'm a Fender guy, and every guitar I've ever owned has been a Fender or Fender-knockoff (except for my acoustic, but that was a gift). This is because as a teenager, I was obsessed with Sonic Youth. Gibsons, to me, stood for dick-head frat boy jock metal/grunge crap. Bands show their influences by the guitars they choose, almost as much as notes they play. I hate to divide the world into two camps based on gear, because it's more complicated than that... but if you can find me a decent band that includes a guy playing a Les Paul through a digital multi-effects processor into a Mesa Boogie full stack, I'll buy you a beer. Hell, I'll buy you a case.

I only had time to grab one pic for this article and this is it. Scrawny punk, Mustang, Hendrix hands. Deal.

  There are clubs/DIY spots in this city where the sound is so bad, it actually makes more sense to judge a band buy it's gear. At least you'll know where they came from.

  I asked a bunch of local guitarists what they're playing, and what their three dream guitars would be. I'll start it off:

Stephen from The Planes

  Current Guitar: White Fender Mustang, Japanese made from 1997. Bridge pickup switched out for a 90's stock American standard Strat pickup. Pickup switching rigged up like a Les Paul.

  Dream Guitars:
    #1. Jazzmaster with a stock neck pickup and a super high output humbucker in the bridge.
    #2. Squire Strat from the 80's with the giant headstock (surf green or sonic blue).
    #3. Mustang with Jmaster style tremolo; an actual Fender version of this.

Micah from The Teen Age

  Current Guitar: Sunburst and cherry red Mexican Telecasters.

  Dream Guitars:
      #1. Gretsch G5810  (note. that's the rectangular Bo Diddley guitar)
      #2. Music Man Albert Lee HH
      #3. Fender Pawn Shop Jaguarillo