BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB INTERVIEW

August 22, 2016 2:22 PM

TWELV Magazine had the opportunity to interview Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, an American rock band based in California. The group consists of Peter Hayes, Robert Levon Been, and Leah Shapiro. We started the interview by asking about their roots, goals, and inspirations. Throughout the interview, we got to know the band better and we even got a little political. We hope you enjoy the interview here and recommend that you listen to their songs! 

 

 

1. How did you all come together as a band?

ROBERT BEEN: Well originally Peter and i met in high school, so kind of like an episode of Glee except instead of people dancing around & singing everything was just shit, and so you needed to make music.

 

2. How would you describe your band in one word and why?

ROBERT BEEN: Um, i think if you try to inhale a volcano and find yourself a feeling messed up, they call that ‘Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosi’ so that kind of sums us up. It’s also an obnoxiously long title, like our band name.

 

3. What inspires you when writing songs? 

ROBERT BEEN: I never like this question, because it’s nearly anything that makes you feel something, even when your completely numb just actually banging away on an instrument makes you kind of shake yourself out of the stench of your own head. But it’s really just the imagination that tends to spark and weave itself around a feeling. And you don't need much more than that to start humming and tapping your foot.

 

4. What are your goals as a band?

ROBERT BEEN: Well there comes a point when you have to put away childish things, so we’re just trying to delay that as much as possible.

 

5. What makes you different from other rock bands?

ROBERT BEEN: I don’t know i guess the ego wants to say a long list of things, but i also think artistically everything has been said before and we’re all just recycling the same basic truths and stories that we’ve been re-iterpreting pretty much since we were all huddled together making drawings with rocks in caves. The truly original rockers, Ha.

 

6. What would you like to accomplish through music?

ROBERT BEEN: Being one of the great cavemen of my time.

 

7. What were your dreams as children?

ROBERT BEEN: I dreamt about it being the end of the world, and it was all my fault. 

 

8. You have released critical songs such as "Generation" and "US government" that have a strong message to the US, what made you create those songs? How do you feel about US politics nowadays?

ROBERT BEEN: In a strange way this intense almost nightmarish divide between american people right now is possibly a good thing, because it’s creating counterpoint. And all political/banner waving music thrives on urgency and counterpoint.

 

9. Have you ever had an issue when creating music together? How do you work together?

ROBERT BEEN: All the time. It’s incredibly difficult at times, but who knows maybe that’s why we’re still better than most other bands who sometimes make music that’s much easier to swallow, and also much easier to produce.

 

10. How was the "LOST HIGHWAY" festival in San Bernardino on July 23rd?

ROBERT BEEN: I like motorcycle rally festivals. They aren’t everybody’s cup of tea, but there are so many more things to walk around and explore than at most typical festivals, which usually the only unique thing is some corporate piece of art, that’s posing as a hipster piece of art in the middle of a field somewhere, while 60 people stand in line to get a picture of them posing next to it. I don’t know, i’d rather take a picture with some toothless old lady wearing daisy dukes and drinking Budlight over all that stuff.

 

 

INTERVIEWED & WRITTEN BY AKINA KOSHIBA

EDITED BY SUSAN SCHELL, MAKIKO ASADA

 

PHOTO CREDIT: MICHELLE SHIERS PHOTOGRAPHY

 

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