Posted On 03 Jun 2015
Tag: All Access, All Access Music Group, Artist Interview, Big Bear, Black English, Echo Park, Echoplex, El Prado, Go Outside, Interpol, Johnny Cash, La Olympia, Mohawk Bend, NO, Origami Vinyl, Sage, Settlers of Catan, Shot A Man In Reno, TAIX, The Echo, The National, The Psychadelic Furs, White Russian, Woodcat Coffee, Yann Tiersen
The indie-rock band, Black English just wrapped a tour with the Psychadelic Furs.
This Echo Park based group recently sat down to answer a few questions for All Access.
Can you remember the exact moment that you realized that you wanted to be in this band?
Bradley: For me I do, I was just sorta at a pretty lost place in life and this was the only thing I felt like doing. I needed a way to create my own hope, and slowly I met some other people on that similar page.
While its definitely true for us, I think that any band sorta just ‘becomes’.Perhaps its an outpouring from a group of people collectively searching for that same something… whether its satisfaction, or happiness, or even just answers to all those
many questions life is constantly piling on us.
Why did you guys recently decide to change the name of the group from NO to Black English? And then why change the name of the album to NO instead of El Prado?
It was rather heartbreaking… and something we didn’t want to do. But quite simply, it was getting rather confusing out there, and not just for us. There were too many other bands called NO so people trying to find us would get lost in the mire. Even shows and tours for us were being booked with other bands called NO, but with promoters and people buying tickets thinking that we would show up. There was no legal way to protect our name and we were spending too much time trying to deal with it all… so we just one day decided to find a name of our own.
What does Black English mean to you guys?
I think its the opposite of a White Russian? I’m not sure…
How has being from Echo Park influenced your music?
Being in this neighborhood means we each see a lot of shows every week, so that sorta environment is super positive for making us want to go back to the house and work hard on our own stuff. Its really cool when we are out at a bar or a show and you realize that between you and all your friends you represent at least twenty
It’s fun but bring sunscreen! ☺ Yes i have gone out on that lake, its nice! I live right by there and walk around it most days. Its a special place for us now, and nice now that they have completely renovated it. Favorite Echo Park hangs would include Woodcat Coffee and TAIX bar also Mohawk Bend has some really good food, and I’m not vegan but I love getting a vege bowl at Sage. Origami Vinyl is our local record store and Sean works there some days.
What was your month-long residency like at The Echo? Would you do it again?
Wow that was so long ago… We loved it! It was a special time as we had just begun! We’d definitely play the Echo again, we also love the Echoplex downstairs.
What do you think of the comparisons some of made to you guys and to The National and Interpol? Would you agree?
Well, its a flattering comparison, they are both really good bands. We are a new band and its only natural for people to compare you when they share you.
I have read that you guys recorded NO at home in Echo Park and in a cabin in Big Bear. How did being in those two very different spaces help the recording process along?
We did most of the drums at Big Bear and the rest of it at about three different houses in LA and a couple of houses in New Zealand. We were going to call the album ‘Five Houses’ for a minute there.
Post Hymnal Anthematic is the best description I have heard, but essentially we play indie rock with a bunch of melodies thrown in.
What are your favorite songs to perform on your album, NO ?
Probably “Go Outside”. It became my favorite on our tour last year, something nice about when everyone at the show is performing it with you…
What have been some of your favorite venues to perform at? Any favorite crowds so far?
Our last show probably, it was in Paris supporting Yann Tiersen at La Olympia. It’s a really special venue in France and there was around three thousand people singing with us… that was so much fun. Yann is an amazing performer, and his band is now like family to us… we played over fifty shows with him in the USA and Europe last year and it was a real honor not only to watch him every night, but to meet his crowd and to share what we were doing with them.
If you could collaborate with any musician, living or dead, who would it be and why?
I would’ve loved to have sung a duet with Johnny Cash. I am really sad that he passed before I could see him perform. My uncle saw him perform in Reno once and said that when he sang “Shot A Man in Reno” that the crowd went mental.
When you aren’t performing or working on new material, what do you guys like to do for fun?
I am a nerd and I play Settlers of Catan with my friends or I practice making coffee. I would like to be a barista one day.