16 May 2011

Fresh Meat Monday - Black International

Would you care to introduce yourself?

Hallo! My name is Stewart, I’m the singer and guitarist with an Edinburgh-based group named Black International.

How would you describe the music you make?

I’d describe it as pop music, although I’m not sure anyone else does. It’s pop music viewed through a grubby window, or buried under a few layers of dirt perhaps. Generally you can dance to it.

How did you start out making music?

Ah, it happened so long ago… as individuals we’ve all been playing instruments since we were about 14 or 15, and have dabbled in different things. It’s chance more than anything else that’s led us to our current roles, I actually consider myself a keyboard player first and foremost, Gavin prefers the guitar to bass, Craig likes playing guitar and piano as well as drums… We all had inquisitive natures and the desire to mildly annoy our parents I suppose.

What process goes into the way you write songs?

When we first started I’d come in with fully written songs, but these days it tends to be much more of a collaborative process. There’s often a fairly vague initial idea, usually just a little guitar doodle, then it’ll get twisted and pulled and beaten out between the three of us until it resembles something tangible, and I’ll start thinking about lyrics and the like towards the end. Sometimes it takes a few hours, sometimes it takes months. The first song on the album took about two years to finish, it was pretty excruciating.

We’re keen to try out new ways of writing though, if it got to the stage where we had a definite process or formula it’d get pretty dull. We’ve had some fairly outlandish ideas about how to write our next record, perhaps we’ll implement some of them when the time comes.

What can people expect from your live shows?

Our shows can be quite intense, but we try to avoid rockist clichés and macho nonsense where possible. You can expect a lollipop though, be sure to ask for one next time you see us play!

What are you all listening to at the moment?

Craig seems to be tapping his foot to Le Tigre a lot, he’s also playing the first Aberfeldy album a fair bit along with an old McCarthy compilation (a tour van favourite). Gavin is currently conkers deep in stuff like Elliot Smith and Kings of Convenience, while I’m enjoying some 70’s Afro Funk, Bobby Beausoleil’s Lucifer Rising soundtrack and some bands from down south we’ve been introduced to recently: Rumour Cubes, Colonics, Orders of the British Empire, Alright The Captain and a few others.

What can we expect to see/hear from you in 2011?

We’re about to start work on a new batch of songs, there’s an album’s worth on the boil but I suspect we’ll pick a few to record and release an EP later in the year, and possibly a split single at some point too. Apart from that we’ll be out gigging as far afield as we can; we’ll most likely do another full UK tour around September time if everything goes to plan. The group has achieved a fair bit so far this year, we’re just looking to build on that and see where we end up, really. Hopefully not in prison!

Black International - Know You Exist


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