Magnetic reflections: looking into Black Mirrors

We were aware of the buzz building up around Belgian band Black Mirrors so eagerly anticipated checking out their new EP release with Napalm Records. Fair to say that Funky Queen more than lived up to the praise gathering around its release, revelling in the myriad of flavours behind its bluesy rock ‘n’ roll. Offered the chance to find out more about band and release we fired questions at vocalist Marcella Di Troia and guitarist Pierre Lateur.

Hi guys and thanks for talking with us.

Firstly can you give us the background to Black Mirrors; its beginnings and how you all met?

, c Nanna Dis 2016

Marcella: During summer 2013, I wanted to create a female band. I found a drummer and a bass player but found it difficult to find a female guitar player. I was looking for someone who could play like Pierre the actual guitar player. I was fond of his sound. I couldn’t find a girl who could do that. So, I asked Pierre to join the band. After some jamming, we wanted to work harder and to start to write our own songs but the girls didn’t have time to invest in the project. So we forgot the idea to have an (almost) female band and invite two old friends, Gino and Edouard to join the band as bass player and drummer. We used to play with them in other bands before Black Mirrors.

We recorded our first EP and did our first gigs with this line up late 2013.

What inspired the band name?

Marcella: The name Black Mirrors came up with the TV show Black Mirror, a really cool English series which shows how technology is progressively changing our world. People are more distant to one another by being connected to the virtual world. We do not want to judge anybody, it’s just that we are witnesses of that change in our society and it touches us.

You sound is seemingly bred in garage rock but, as your new EP Funky Queen shows, flames with much broader rock ‘n’ roll diversity. What are the kinds of inspirations which have lit your musical imaginations most prominently?

Marcella: All the bands we are listening to were influenced prominently by blues masters such as Bessie Smith, Leadbelly, Robert Johnson, BB King, Muddy Waters, Blind Willie Johnson… So I would say the blues.

Pierre: Apart from the blues, we have a lot of different influences like the stoner scene, the late 60’s and early 70’s rock music like Jimi Hendrix, Led Zep, Janis Joplin and even the early Pink Floyd, the revival scene like The White stripes, Rival Sons and The Black Keys, some elements of soul/funk music and a bit of desert-blues like Tinariwen.

The Funky Queen EP has just been released through Napalm Records; how did that link-up come about?

Marcella: During summer 2015, we were invited to play in Germany at «Out and Loud» festival. Napalm was there as they opened the festival with a Napalm label night. Some of Napalm’s bands played there and they found us a slot to play. That was our first contact. We stayed in touch with them for a year and last summer we sent them our new songs. They liked it and Napalm offered us a deal.

It is being described as the band’s debut EP but am I right in thinking it has a self-titled predecessor released in 2014 which new fans to the band will want to know about?

Marcella: Yes, you’re completely right! Three years ago, we released our very first EP. We recorded it a couple of months after having started the band because we wanted to play live shows as soon as possible. This first EP is now sold out.

How would you say the Black Mirrors’ sound has evolved over its first handful of years?

Pierre: The basic sound didn’t change that much. Since the beginning, we wanted to create a music which will be a mix of all our influences. In 2013, our songs were already a mix of blues/rock, stoner and a bit of psychedelic music with a vintage approach.

But if we speak of the sound more specifically, the guitar sound became wilder with the years and our first drummer left the band. He was replaced by another one who came with his sensibility, approach and specific sound. So these two elements influenced a bit the final result.

With all artists, there is a specific intent fuelling their first steps. What was the driving force for Black Mirrors?

Pierre: Nothing more than being happy and thankful to play together. We are friends for such a long time and we’ve started the band to enjoy creating music together. We never had a big statement like « We want to play this kind of music, like very pure blues or a specific kind of stoner. » It was always about playing anything we had in mind without thinking too much. Maybe it’s the reason why there’re a lot of different influences in our music.

Listening to the EP there feels like there is a strong collaboration between the band in its songs birth and character. How does the band’s songwriting generally work?

c, c Nanna Dis 2016

Pierre: Most of the time I create basic ideas like a riff or two and show it to Marcella. We work together on a first version of the song, she composes her vocal part and we work on a basic structure. We show this draft to the band. With them we give the tune his final form. We often create new parts, remove others; jamming around the sound. Because of all this process, the song’s final version is sometimes totally different than the first idea.

Can you give the readers some insight to the background and themes to Funky Queen?

Funky Queen, which opens our EP, is about addiction. Funky Queen is the queen that confronts everyone with one’s own demons.

The second song is Kick Out The Jams, a MC5 cover. We wanted to put it on our first EP as it’s represent very well the general energy of our music.

The Mess is a song about messy feelings you get after you broke up a very bad love relationship. Sometimes, you’d rather not see things than to be destroyed for your entire life.

And finally, Canard Vengeur Masqué to end up…It is a song who talks about the missing of one of your parents after a divorce, the way you can feel forsaken in this situation as a child.

Funky Queen has a great cover to match its sounds. Who is behind the artwork and indeed the band’s excellent logo?

Pierre: It’s Sebastian Jerke, a German artist who worked with My Sleeping Karma and Colour Haze to name a few. We really like his job. We got in touch with him and he appeared to have several great ideas for the artwork.

Apart from the likes of Front 242, dEUS, Soulwax, Enthroned, Triggerfinger, Steak Number Eight, and the excellent King Hiss, I cannot say we know too much about the Belgian rock scene. It is a healthy place right now, especially in its underground?

Well, it depends if it is in the French speaking part of Belgium or the Flemish part. We think Flanders gives more chance to underground music. Just by seeing bands you named, most of them are from Flanders. We are coming from Wallonia where the rock scene is a bit shy. Unfortunately, you barely see a rock band as highlight on a festival poster in Wallonia.

What is next in the immediate future of Black Mirrors?

Going on tour with Horizont and ’77 and record our full length album.

Once again our big thanks for sharing your time with us.

Check out our review of Funky Queen @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2017/03/03/black-mirrors-funky-queen/

http://www.blackmirrorsmusic.com/   https://www.facebook.com/blackmirrorsmusic   https://twitter.com/BlackMirrorsmus

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Black Mirrors – Funky Queen

 Black Mirrors Pic Nanna Dis 2016

BW, Black Mirrors, Belgium, Music, c Nanna Dis 2016

Every loud acclaim loaded whisper and incessant buzz needs something to back it up and that is exactly what Belgian rockers Black Mirrors do with their debut EP. The Brussels hailing quartet is one of the keenest new names on more and more keenly crowing lips and Funky Queen offers plenty of reasons why.

There is little we can give as background to the band but with their music doing all the talking on their Napalm Records released first EP, additional details can wait. The Black Mirrors sound is a myriad of flavours; at times it is bluesy and punky, in other moments a mix of grungy stoner and psych/heavy rock imagination, more often a blend and varying combination of all and more; a varying web easy to hear in just the four songs within Funky Queen alone. Imagine a boiling pot of essences from the likes of Queens Of The Stone Age, My Baby, Soundgarden, Janis Joplin, Jess and The Ancients Ones, and Led Zeppelin and you get a sense of the fevered sound seducing and rousing ears.

Funky Queen opens with its title track making first contact with gnarly riffs and controlled pounding beats contrasted by fuzz gifted harmonies. Swiftly a driving spine of swinging rhythms and grumbling grooves court the alluring tones of vocalist Marcella Di Troia, her magnetic presence and prowess matched by the infectious throes of the sounds around her. There is nothing to stop hips swerving and feet shuffling in league with the virulence, the track’s fusion of desert and blues rock almost tribal in its catchiness.

707_blackmirrors_cmyk_RingMasterReviewIt is a stunning track awakening ears and appetite with lusty zeal and setting them up for the garage rock and blues punk revelry of Kick Out The Jam. Winding around the dark bait of Gino Caponi’s bassline, the grooves and melodic flames from Pierre Lateur’s guitar sizzle as the sticks of drummer Nicolas Scalliet land with relish. Di Troia again stands vocally astride it all with commanding dexterity and vocal zeal, a union of enterprise in spirit raising rock ‘n’ roll providing a striking cover of the MC5 classic.

Actually it is four such escapades on offer, The Mess just as persuasive as it ventures on a slower more controlled stroll soaked in anthemic temptation and sultry melodic juices. Like a siren, the song draws ears and emotions in but the rewards are invigorating not dangerous, except to swinging hips quickly involved in the fiery seduction.

Canard Vengeur Masqué brings things to a invasively captivating close, the song also reserved in its gait but eager in its sonic and melodic tempting with Di Troia a seductress to sound and listener as rhythms twist and turn around glowing grooves and hooks keen to infest the psyche. There is a touch of the now demised British band Karn8 to the song and of the aforementioned My Baby too, but Black Mirrors for the fourth time in the EP stand individual and irresistible in ears and praise.

The Funky Queen EP is quite superb and will only accentuate the band’s already heady reputation while drawing a horde of newcomers to the bold seduction that is Black Mirrors.

Funky Queen is released March 3rd via Napalm Records across most stores.

Upcoming Live Dates:

07.03.2017 TU – Ankara / ODTÜ

06.04.2017 BE – Antwerp / Trix

w/ Horisont

16.03.17 DE – Hamburg / Logo

17.03.17 DE – Siegen / Vortex

18.03.17 DE – Düsseldorf / Pitcher

23.03.17 DE – Munich / Backstage

25.03.17 CH – Pratteln / Z7

26.03.17 AT – Vienna / Das Bach

27.03.17 AT – Salzburg / Rockhouse

28.03.17 DE – Mörlenbach-Weiher / Live Music Hall

29.03.17 DE – Lichtenfels / Paunchy Cats

30.03.17 DE – Berlin / Privatclub

http://www.blackmirrorsmusic.com/   https://www.facebook.com/blackmirrorsmusic   https://twitter.com/BlackMirrorsmus

Pete RingMaster 03/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright