It’s been quite a year for The Black Hotels! Their single, “No Sign of Science” has achieved extensive radio airplay, their second studio album, Honey Badger, has received critical acclaim (even seeing the guys (and gal) being likened to Arcade Fire, Interpol and Bowie) and most recently they opened for Kings of Leon on their South African tour. Undoubtedly the band has cemented their place in SA rock with their catchy indie-pop rock. Now, for that SAMA…
Band: Black Hotels
Members: John Boyd, Matthew Fink, Neil White, Lisa Campbell, Warrick Poultney.
Genre: Alternative rock
Years performing: Six
Best known for: You tell us
So – congrats to you guys for being chosen as one of the opening acts for Kings of Leon! What did you guys do to celebrate?
Thank you. We went to the pub and had a few beers.
Did you go partying with the band when they arrived in SA?
We had an interesting chat with Caleb at the press conference and hung out at the after party in Cape Town. We also shared a beer back stage in Joburg.
How do you guys decide which songs to rehearse and perform?
We play a combination of our hits and the songs we like. Sometimes we ask the crowd what they want to hear and we’ll play that.
Give us a little glimpse as to what happens backstage at a Black Hotels gig or concert?
It all depends on what the back stage areas are like. Usually we sit around, have a few beers, smoke, talk, have the odd argument. If there’s a pub nearby we’ll hang out there. We start getting ready about an hour before the show and if there’s a spare shower we’ll use it.
You’ve received some critical acclaim for your latest album – again being likened to bands such as Arcade Empire and Interpol. Tell us a bit about the process of this album – how much pressure did you feel to top Films for the Next Century?
There was no pressure, we do this for fun so we just went ahead and wrote some more songs.
How bad would you guys like that SAMA?
It would be nice.
Which new song off your Honey Badger have your fans responded to the most?
What does it mean to be an indie band these days?
We’re essentially an alternative rock band. For us indie is about being independent, handling all our own writing, recording, artwork, marketing, promo, bookings etc. We work with an independent label called Sovereign who help us out with some of the business aspects. Indie I guess is also about a sound and an attitude, doing things the way we feel most comfortable with and not compromising our beliefs and values. The word indie means different things to different people these days.
What CD in which band member’s collection do you have the urge to set alight?
None, we all have good taste in music, but Matthew does have a Fall album that’s on the edge.
The best time you’ve ever had at a local festival?
The last Oppikoppi was excellent. We played a good show and had fantastic support. Apart from almost being punched by the little dwarf owner of the Kreef Hotel – what a twat – we had a good party. Having our own bungalow amidst a sea of dust and chaos is always a bonus.
Lisa – what’s the best and worst part of being on the road/tour with the guys?
The best part is that we’re all good friends and know each other so well now, so we have a lot of fun and joke around. The worst part is when Warrick takes his shoes off in the tour van.
At 4am on a Sunday morning you’re all most likely to be found…
…Sleeping; it’s the new rock n’ roll.