Q&A: “I hope we still keep it weird” - Black Lips gear up for their Fluffer Pit Party

“I hope we still keep it weird” - Black Lips gear up for their Fluffer Pit Party

The Atlanta group are still the messiest band on the block

What’s black, fluffy and capable of freaking out young kids if witnessed in close range? Why, a night with raucous Atlanta garage punks Black Lips at their Fluffer Pit Party next week, of course!

Yep, with 15 years in the game and a reputation for causing toilet paper-strewn, sweaty havoc wherever they go, the band – who are celebrating the release of eighth LP ‘Satan’s Graffiti or God’s Art?’ - are no strangers to a messy night. And this time they’ll be descending right down into the midst of the action – playing a special 360 stage at Elephant and Castle’s Coronet, right in the centre of the crowd.

The show is the culmination of a season that’s already featured deliciously hedonistic shows from Deap Vally, Pins, Jaws, Japandroids and Spring King. Now, rounding the series off, Black Lips are sure to bring the baton home as only they know how.

Ahead of the show next Friday (November 24), we caught up with guitarist Jared Swilley to see how they’ve been preparing.

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You played a Fluffer Pit Party last year that got shut down – how did
that happen?

I didn’t even know it got shut down! It might have been though, it was crazy. It was one of the hottest shows I’ve ever played – I mean, disgustingly hot. It was fun though. We went to some house party after and did not go to sleep that night.

How does playing in the middle of the crowd compare to normal shows?

It’s a little disorientating; I was the only person on my side of the stage, so it’s basically like everyone in the band is playing their own solo show. It’s cool. It’s weird, but I like weird things. You’re kind of penned in, but I think the crowd that shows up there are ready to go for it no matter what you do.

This time around you’ve got Future of the Left and Warmduscher supporting
– are you fans?

I’m not aware of Future of the Left but Warmduscher [featuring Fat White
Family member Saul Adamsciewski] are our friends. We played a show with the Fat White Family in Texas a few years ago; it’s not often that I see bands that I really like, and I liked them a lot. We’ve played with Saul’s other band Insecure Men on this tour too.

What do you look for in a new band?

Just people who are honest and aren’t faking it, and people who are truly weird and creep me out. I hope we still keep it weird, but I don’t really worry about other people too much. I think we definitely still bring it to the table.

Aside from playing this show, what else are you guys up to?

We’re making our country record right now. We’ve always played country music a little, but we wanted to do a proper country record. I don’t think it’ll be very mature – we have a hard time with that - but it’ll be a good old shit-kicking American record.

You’ve had a load of big time producers work on the last few records – Mark Ronson, Patrick from the Black Keys, Sean Lennon. Any thoughts who you’ll get this time?

I’d like to get like, [country legend] Alan Jackson to produce it, or someone like that. I don’t wanna start at the bottom of the ladder, I wanna go straight to the top. Maybe Garth Brookes… no wait, I don’t like Garth Brookes. Maybe we’ll just shop it around Nashville.

Was the rumour about you trying to get Phil Spector to produce one of your records from prison true?

Yeah kind of, but logistically it would have been a nightmare. That was
[band-mate] Cole’s idea. I think it would have been tacky though – not only would it have been a logistical nightmare because he’s in prison, but the guy’s in prison for murdering someone so… I mean, I love his past work but I don’t think it would have been a good look to try and do that.

A fair point. Any standout London shows from your years visiting so far?

Shit, we’ve done so many thousands of them. Well, not thousands but so many good ones. I look fondly on the days playing the Old Blue Last, doing secret shows there. That’s where I met loads of my friends in London, so I look fondly on that era.

And any exciting plans for this one?

We never make any plans for anything – we’re just gonna show everyone
a good time.

Ace, See you in the pit!

Black Lips play:

NOVEMBER

20 – Hare & Hounds, Birmingham

21 – O2 Ritz, Manchester

22 - Bierkeller, Bristol

23 – Boileroom, Guildford

24 - Coronet, London

Book your tickets for the Fluffer Pit Party here.