Black Rebel Motorcycle Club is a band of survivors. They have endured 15 years of turbulence and a devastating loss, but still know how to Rock ‘n’ roll. BRMC has just released their seventh studio album, Specter at the Feast, which is considered by many, to be their best work yet. Joonbug had the chance to speak with guitarist Peter Hayes (formerly of Brian Jonestown Massacre,) about their music, the loss of a father, producer and mentor, as well as the direction and future plans of his band:
This is your seventh studio album after a three year break from recording. How did it feel to be back in the studio after so long?
There were mixed emotions with this one. This is the first one that Michael Been [frontman Robert Been’s father] hadn’t been fully involved with, as far as supporting it, so that was…it was hard to work through that. The writing process was definitely different, depending on how far you want to delve into it as far as personal emotions go, you know? But it’s all kind of hard dealing with that stuff. Sometimes – at least from my point of view – some things are better left…well, personal [laughs] you don’t need to write a song about everything.
Were you trying to do something different with this record?
I’m not really looking to be different, really. Of course, we’re trying to get better at writing the songs, which is a constant battle. But yeah, we’re not going about it in any certain way or trying to do something spectacular or different, it’s just rock ‘n’ roll. It’s pretty simple – sometimes it’s just an acoustic guitar, sometimes it’s loud. We did go about the drums a little differently than usual, though. Most records we tend to use two tracks, but this time we used more of a full drum setup to give a bit more depth to the drums than usual, but that’s about the only difference.
There’s some definite literary influence with both the album title and cover art. How did the story of McBeth inspire this record?
We weren’t necessarily trying to tie it in for any specific reason, it just made sense to do so and turned out that way. It’s all part of the creative process, just to spark the imagination, you know? We kind of wanted to let people form their own opinions, which is probably the most important part of it, for it to become personal to the listener.
Do you have a personal favorite song off of the album?
I guess if we’re talking about playing live, Sell It is fun to play. You get to really let loose and not give a shit about how many wrong notes you play during the crazy part of it [laughs].
With the exception of touring, do you guys have any big projects set for the future?
We’re trying to do some music for a movie. A friend of Robert’s is putting one together, so we’re seeing if we can come up with the music for him. So that’s going on right now, we’re actually trying to do that while we’re out on the road, but we like that kind of thing, it’s a lot of fun. Other than that, no real big plans. We’re out touring til next year – we’re going to Australia, Japan, China, Bali, Milasia, Vietnam. A bunch of cool offers came through to play some music, so that’s about it as far as big plans go. I’m not too helpful on making big plans [laughs] but whatever happens, we just kind of take it as it comes. We just love to play music and hopefully are able to keep doing it.