the black angels

The Black Angels play 02 Institute 26th September, 2017

the black angels

The Black Angels have been hailed as one of the leaders in the recent resurgent of psychedelia and with the release of their fifth studio album, Death Song, they are unleashing their unique take on music and visuals upon the O2 Institute on 26th September.

Singer and guitarist, Alex Maas, kindly gave me a few minutes of his time to answer  some questions prior to what will be an awesome gig. When asked about what one can expect from the show, Maas emphasised that the music would be faithful to the albums but on top of that is a mind bending lighting show courtesy of Bob Mustachio.

Considering The Black Angels are renowned for their optically disturbing artwork, I can imagine that the visual element of the performance is going to be something to behold especially in such an ornate venue. As for whether there is a difference between European and American audiences, Alex proposed that it depends on the day but on the whole the European crowd can be wilder.

As for the psych genre,  I questioned whether psych is a genre or more of a quality to which Maas responded “that everyone has their own interpretation, I like your interpretation…it’s good music”. But certainly, if you had to confine psych to a genre, The Black Angels are the epitome of a modern version of the 60s movement with their repetitive yet entrancing rhythms and distorted yet enchanting vocal melodies.

Alex Maas and his band mate Christian Bland are a critical part of the driving force behind what was the Austin Psych Fest which has now become Levitation that put on events globally. We discussed how Levitation was going to develop and the likelihood of future events taking place in London especially after a successful weekend recently in France.

Needless to say, our brief interview included questions surrounding what impact Trump and the present political climate in the US has had on Maas’s artistry. Not only did Alex point out that at least half the population are awaiting Trump’s downfall ideally through impeachment but also the embarrassment that there is for his country.

As for the influence musically, Maas suggests that he is trying to encourage people “to break free and question” whilst pointing out that much of their music has been political prior to the Trump administration, for example the track Don’t Play With Guns taken from the Indigo Meadow album.

After a brief discussion regarding the pronunciation of our fair city and its Sabbath connections, our unfortunately muffled conversation drew to a close but left me in eager anticipation for Tuesday’s show which is sure to be a blinder.

Preview: Toni Woodward

Photograph by Alexandra Valenti courtesy of PR

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