Q & A with Black Nite Crash
Interview by Matt Ashworth
Black Nite Crash are a band from Seattle. They play fuzzy, melodic rock songs that we like very much. In fact, we like their songs so much we went ahead and booked them as the headliners for our first monthly “NadaMucho.com Presents” show at the EMP Liquid Lounge.
The show is Saturday, May 8th at 10 p.m., and not only is it fucking FREE, it also features Tennis Pro and Portland’s Jolenes. In preparation of this historic event, we asked the members of Black Nite Crash some questions.
Black Nite Crash are:
Jim Biggs: Vocals / Guitar
Joel Bergstrom : Guitar / Vocals
Marcel Feldmar : Drums
Larry Brady : Bass
NadaMucho.com: Hey kids. So tell me, what the heck is a Black Nite Crash?
Larry: I have no idea, I just joined the band.
Jim: A song, A chapter, A sound, A phrase… hell, I don’t know. Sounds cool, though, doesn’t it?
NM: Yeah, I guess it kinda does.
Marcel: I kinda think it’s like when you’re sleeping some late summer night, it’s like 3 a.m. and suddenly you’re woken up by a huge crash and you don’t know what the hell happened, but it’s kinda exciting. It’s kinda like that.
NM: Why should anyone listen to your music?
Jim: Because it Rocks!
Larry: Because we are far better than other choices they have, and we are fuckin’ hotties too. In short, we have the looks and the lixx.
Marcel: I don’t know about that. I mean, we rock, and we’re hot, sure. But we also give you that warm special feeling inside…
Everybody Else: (groan)
NM: How long has BNC been together?
Jim: Me and (original bassist) Don got together in July 2002. A few other people were involved in various capacities for a bit, but things didn’t start to take shape (or a name, for that matter) until October 2002 when Marcel signed on. Joel joined in February of 2003, and that was what really gave us our identity. That’s when we really became a “band.”
Marcel: We’ve played with a couple of keyboard players too. The first was Jen Hill, and then more recently Erin McBride, but we keep feeling like as much as we love having the female vocals coming in, and the keyboard sound, we tend to gravitate towards a much more guitar based mood. I’m sure we’ll bring in both keyboards and female vocals again, especially with recording, but right now we’re just concentrating on that good ol’ guitar noise.
NM: I certainly adore the “good ol’ guitar noise,” but allow me to briefly mention that the keyboardist you had with you at your CD release at the Hideaway was absolutely enchanting, and she probably increases the sellable visual aspect of your product by at least triple, no offense. Moving along, you’ve just released your debut EP. Tell us about that.
Jim: This is America, right? You’ve gotta have something to sell…. No, but seriously, the EP is actually a bit of a reflection on our beginnings; the material consists mostly of our oldest songs. It was the stuff with which we were most familiar and comfortible, and we did it as much “live” in studio as possible in an effort to get away from the extremely layered and processed sound we had on our demos. It’s a bit more straight-ahead rock than our reputation as “shoegazers” might imply, but we LOVE rock music, so it’s pretty true to our ears.
NM: Press about the band definitely supports that classification as “shoegazers,” citing pioneers like Ride and Swervedriver as reference points. Would you say those are accurate comparisons? What other bands would you list as influences?
Larry: I don’t know…Swervedriver is pretty good at times. I like Richard Marx, but I don’t think that makes any difference since I don’t write anything for this band.
NM: Richard Marx ALWAYS matters Larry.
Jim: Those elements certainly exist in our music, more influential on some members of the band than others, but we’re all huge record collector scum types, so we all feed off of a lot of different sounds. For me, the 80’s were huge – the Church, the Bunnymen, andJ oy Division were the bands I cut my teeth on, and that stuff leaks into the music as well. But you’re just as likely to hear some goth noise, garage rock hooks straight from the Nuggets box sets, and even the drive of classic Krautrock or modern classical minimalism (think Steve Reich or Phillip Glass).
Marcel: We all came into this band with some of the same reference points, like BRMC (Black Rebel Motorcycle Club) and JAMC (Jesus and Mary Chain), but we all have a very diverse direction beyond that. I love all the britpop/shoegaze stuff, but I’m personally influenced in a huge way by bands like the Gun Club, The Birthday Party, and even “emo” bands like Braid, Karate, and Rainer Maria.
NM: Many of these artists took flak for being boring live bands. Do you guys really look at your shoes when you play?
Jim: Only if I’m wearing my wingtips… God I love those wingtips. It seems to me most people remember shoegazer music as very mellow, ambient, spacey stuff. I remember listening more to the Swervedrivers of the world – the mind-blowingly rockin’ stuff. My Bloody Valentine’s “Feed Me with Your Kiss” and “You Made Me Realise”, the earliest Jesus and Mary Chain records, Spacemen 3 – it’s all kind of heavy stuff, which made in most cases for pretty awesome live shows. That’s the approach we take in general – louder sounds, upbeat tempos. It’s hard to stand motionless staring straight down when the music itself is so energetic. (Though connecting toes with tiny little buttons on footswitch whilst drunk can make some lengthy downward glances necessary.)
Marcel: We don’t gaze at our shoes, we kick your sonic ass with them.
Larry: I usually just keep a mirror on stage so I can look at myself and appreciate how cool I am and how great I look.
NM: Right now I’m very much liking you Larry. NadaMucho.com Recommendation: get yourself an apprentice (preferrably named Jerome) to carry the mirror around and tell you how cool you are if you ever forget. But enough about The Time, please name some other Seattle bands you’re fond of.
Jim: I miss Juno. I love Infomatik, Hello from Waveland, Sushirobo, Kinski, The Turn-Ons, the Jeunes… too many to mention. There’s an awful lot of good music going on in this town right now.
Larry: The Cripples, The Gloryholes, A-Frames, Midnight Thunder Express, and other jazz fusion bands.
NM: Jazz fusion, Larry?
Marcel: Yeah, I pretty much agree with all of the above, not sure about Larry’s Jazz Fusion kick, and yes – Infomatik RULE! I don’t want to repeat Jim’s picks, so I’ll just add that I goddamn LOVE the Lights. Cobra High are great, and then there’s Fey Ray, Ripley, Hint Hint, Tourist, and on and on I could go…
NM: Careful Nada readers will recall that The Lights’ Beautiful Bird was our highest rated local CD of 2003. That said, we’re gonna have to check out Infomatik cause you kids seem like you know what you’re talking about. Before we let you go, I must ask – what is the Black Nite Crash message?
Jim: “Live the life you love, give to the god you trust, and don’t take it all too seriously.” Or possibly, “lock up your daughters and liquor cabinets.” Or maybe, “eat drink and be merry.” Or, perhaps most of all… come see our shows, buy our CDs and T-shirts. Give until it hurts.
Marcel: I think Jack Kerouac said it best when he wrote: “The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploring like spiders across the stars.
Larry: Uhm, …… Jim left a message on my machine last week, it was something about practice.