At first glance, Black Lips may come off as revolutionary pioneers who play only to shock and paralyze. The Georgia-based quartet who classify themselves as “flower-punk” gained immense global attention and criticism for their ludicrous,off-base shows that cross the avant garde line.With an unconventionally intricate garage sounds and iron-handed attitude, Black Lips are anything but orthodox. We talked to the guitarist Cole Alexander about the band’s current tour and an upcoming record.
GSL: Is there a style under which you would classify your music?
Cole Alexander: I would definitely classify it as rock and roll. I guess more specifically you can call a garage-punk music.
MM: : How do you feel when you hear your favorite bands music in a commercial or a movie that you hated?
The thing with movies is you can’t tell the outcome until it’s released. Judging from experience, someone will come along and say “Hey’ we’ve got this great movie”, and we say “Okay, cool”, but it sucks when it ends up being lame. It’s just hard to tell.
MM: It has been heard that you’re currently recording your sixth studio record, how is it progressing?
Yeah, we’re working on it. It’s kind of in the beginning stages still.
We don’t really have a deadline, we’re planning to take our time and chill. We’re pretty wrapped up this year, so the album should come out in 2011.
MM: When do you mostly write your material?
To be honest, whenever. Usually when I hear a good song, I’ll get an idea and I’ll record it on my phone, so I can go back and expand on it later.
MM: You and the Bradford Cox of Deerhunter have a project called Ghetto Cross. How would you say this project differs from the Black Lips?
It’s kind of a combination. A little more punk but with a taste of Deerhunter’s indie sounds. I would say it’s definitely more experimental. It’s a laboratory creation, we don’t want to put out anything until we’re satisfied, but we do have one song!
MM: What are your favorite tunes to listen to while you tour?
Lately it’s been this guy Reverend Jackson from the 70’s, the guitars on the record are amazing.
MM: You are known to play at a lot of places where most bands usually wouldn’t, why is that?
We’re kind of punk-rock explorers, we like to explore land through the ways of art. We’re trying to mobilize punk music around the world. We were actually talking about Palestine and playing there. Before it was an idea and now we’re actually trying to gain a connection.
MM: It’s been heard that you’re interest in touring third world countries South America, India, what are your goals for this type of tour and how does it differ from the western tour?
I’m not a 100 percent sure, it’s almost like an image. (in my head) To take other cultures and to bring them to a place that’s common with music. I don’t want us to be another typical mainstream rock band.
MM: Do you think that people misconstrue the whole image of your band, after seeing all of the bizarre acts?
People probably think that we come off as bratty, just trying to shock the audience. If you listen to our music, it will give you a better understanding of our personalities.
I hope that they would expect a return of many forms. High-fi and low-fi, definitely meshing up the sounds to please both audiences. Just to have such a variety of people enjoy it, for me it’s just fun to bring.
By Viktorsha Uliyanova