INTERVIEW: Black Peaks | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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If ever there was a testament to the British heavy music scene being in a very exciting place right now, it’s Black Peaks’ second album. With All That Divides, the Brighton four-piece have created a blistering powerhouse of a record that will no doubt top multiple end of year lists.

For most bands, the touring cycle doesn’t begin until an album has been released, but Black Peaks have hit the ground running with a relentless touring schedule over the summer. “Last year we finished playing shows around July so we could work on the new record,” explains guitarist Joe Gosney. “Our first shows back were the ones with Marmozets, and since then it’s been non-stop. It’s a heavy schedule but it’s what we love to do, as a relatively young band it’s the natural thing to do, to spread our music to as many people as possible.”

During this intense summer, teasers were dropped in the form of singles Can’t Sleep, Home and Electric Fires. While Black Peaks are no strangers to the epic – their 2016 debut album Statues marked them as a sheer force to be reckoned with – these singles hinted that the band were about to embrace the colossal. As a body of work, All That Divides is so much more than was hinted at; a masterfully ambitious record from the opening rumblings of the explosive Can’t Sleep, through sonically expansive tracks such as Aether to carefully nuanced closer Fate I & II. Every single idea is meticulously fleshed out and Will Gardner’s vocals are nothing short of astonishing, going from soulful croon to impassioned growl in a matter of seconds. This beast of a record also has something to say, in the form of commentary on the sorry state of UK political affairs.

“It’s an outlook on what’s been going on over the last couple of years and what’s happened with Brexit, taken from our experiences with it, but this record wants to give a message of optimism as to what’s going on, it’s not completely bleak,” says Gosney. “It’s more of a message that there’s a lot of bad, but a lot of good people, and if we all come together we can make good things happen as well. There’s also a lot of light and dark in the record, musically there are some of the most delicate parts alongside the heaviest stuff we’ve ever written, so there’s that sense of two conflicting sides of a story.”

this record wants to give a message of optimism as to what’s going on, it’s not completely bleak

There’s a sense of personal upheaval too; towards the end of their last touring cycle, exhaustion and uncertainty weighed heavy on the band. To come out of the other side with an album like All That Divides is a triumph.

“We’d spent six weeks in a van in Europe and played some incredible shows, but it took its toll mentally on some of us. There were unknowns within the band in terms of what we wanted to do next, and it transpired that Andrew [Gosden, previous bass player] just didn’t want to go through it again, which is understandable. Since Dave [Larkin, bass] came on board, it’s created a different dynamic. With Statues, there was a lot of guess work as to what we wanted to sound like, but this time around we were a lot more certain. By no means is this the definitive version of Black Peaks, we’re still evolving, but certainly at the time of recording, All That Divides is the best thing we could have ever done.”

Black Peaks play The Cluny, Newcastle on Saturday 13th October.

 


 

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