Champions of smash-and-grab, meet Black Peaks

Neu Champions of smash-and-grab, meet Black Peaks

This Brighton band had their world turned upside-down at the very beginning of 2015. Now they’re taking the year head-on.

Brighton’s Black Peaks had a plan. Building up excitement under the name Shrine, they huddled into a studio in late 2014 to put together a debut full-length. As the year began, complete with a moniker change, it was pretty much mastered, ready to launch. Things dramatically shifted when their (as the time unfinished) ‘Glass Built Castles’ found its way into the hands of Radio 1’s now-departed, Apple-bound Zane Lowe. This began a bonkers 24 hours where a humble, self-starting bunch ended up being tipped as 2015’s answer to Royal Blood, a rock crossover success in waiting. Even Fearne Cotton was on their tails, dishing out daytime plays for fun.

“I got a personal phone call from Zane Lowe, being like ‘Hey man, how’s it going? Dude, I absolutely love the track so much,’” remembers frontman Will Gardner. “He was asking about labels, I told him we were unsigned. He thought that was hilarious. Stuff like that. And he told us he was going to plug the hell out of it.”

Once the hype went into overdrive for ‘Glass Built Castles’, they had just a couple of days to film a music video and plan a season’s worth of tours. “They wanted to play this now, now, NOW. We hurried up, jammed everything into overdrive,” says Gardner. “ Me and two of the guys are able to take our music with us and drop our jobs,” he says. “Our bass player [Andrew Gosden] works at Gibson, repairing guitars and building guitars. So he’s also able to do things very last-minute. In our game, you kind of need to be able to do that.”

Is Brighton generally a good place to be around other musicians?

The scene’s going crazy at the moment. We did have a thing about five years ago where it trailed off a little bit. But that was in the heart of the depression. At the moment it’s kicking. There’s so many great gigs all the time. It’s a great place to meet players and other good bands.

Is there a bunch of bands you specifically hang out with?

Demob Happy - we love them. And Tigercub. It’s a difficult one. We don’t really get to hang out, because everyone’s so busy. We know them all really well and we see a lot of people as friends outside of band situations. We’ve played with Tigercub once, ages ago. Do you know Polymath? You should check them out. Another great up-and-coming Brighton band. They just recorded their EP with And So I Watch You From Afar.

That’s the thing with a scene - it splinters off before it gets going.

That’s very true. Unless you’re playing in Brighton all the time… You come out of there but you get a bigger fanbase in other places. And you spend so much time playing in your hometown - we haven’t been around for a hell of a long time - but you end up not playing Brighton so much. It’s different. You get better vibes from other places sometimes.

And you’re doing Great Escape this year?

That’s going to be awesome. It’s totally different to your average Brighton show. I worked for them years ago, which was quite fun - on the ticket stall.

How has ‘Glass Built Castles” success helped you this year? And what’s next?

The album's got a lot of variety. We take you on a journey. That’s the punch in the face, opening track. And then we go pretty dark, into very heavy, Converge, Dillinger-type aggressive stuff. There’s stuff that sounds a lot more like Muse. I don’t wanna say pop, it’s just anthemic rock. And then there’s quite a few tracks that a lot of our fans really, really loved, and that’s a more progressive, Mastodon-sounding time signatures. It’s progressive.

Black Peaks will play Live At Leeds (1st-4th May) and The Great Escape (14th-16th May), where DIY is an official media partner. Tickets are on sale now. Visit diymag.com/presents for more information.

Tags: Black Peaks, Features, Interviews, Neu

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