With so many cool bands out there to check out I offer you some minor guidance by introducing you to BLACK RIVER SONS. Anders Ekdahl ©2020
We all come into music with our own baggage. We want different things from the music. How does the vision you had for the band when you started compare to the vision you have for the band today? What is this band really all about? What do you want with your music?
-First of all, we want to thank you for showing us some interest.
At the beginning, Emeric (lead singer/guitar player/main composer) made about ten songs for himself and called mates to play with him. Then he saw the potential those songs had. So it became more serious. To answer your question, I’d say it was all about friends playing original songs together in little places (bar, hall….) and it evolved in a band with some recognition, making LP, EP and playing in bigger place. Having a label (Music Records) was a trigger for our evolution. It allowed us to have more exposure and gigs. However, we know we can’t live with our music and it’s hard to consider national or international tour due to our jobs. Finally, deep inside, we want to keep on having fun, playing music together in good places, compose new stuff and hope our music will be discovered by many people.
Is there a difference in people’s attitude towards you if you don’t come from a cool place like LA or NY or London?
-I think it’s really different! The audience in France doesn’t have the same relationship with music as the English or American one. Especially for us who make american southern music in the north of France! We’ve been told it’s a little bit weird to do that. First, it’s the kind of music we love, secondly it’s pretty cool to be the only ones in the area to do that. To be honest, we try to be as “american” as we can.
When you release an album that get pretty good feedback, how do you follow up on that? How important is that I as a fan can identify album to album?
-We’re very glad and we continue to work hard to have more feedbacks.
I think what can be identified the most is the atmosphere of the songs. We try to make you feel like you’re driving on a long highway in Texas with dobro, twins guitar, female choirs…
What is the biggest challenge in the creation of an album? How do you write the really cool songs?
-Everything can be a challenge! As told previously, Emeric composed almost all songs (except two titles written by Baptiste (guitar player/choir)). Our goal is to pay tribute to the greatest bands of southern music (Lynyrd Skynyrd, Molly Hatchet…). Then, we called songwriters for the lyrics. It’s not easy for french people to write in english. We played those songs live a lot, to be able to feel the reaction of the audience. An other thing is not to over product too much, we have to be able to play songs live. But the harder choice to make was the sequence of the titles, to be consistent.
I saw Dave Grohl’s documentary about Sound City and it made me wonder what it is about analogue recording that you don’t get with digital? Have you ever recorded analogue?
-Good question and good thing to detate. We, in the band, all agree that analogue sound is better and warmer than digital one. Nevertheless, we made the choice to record with digital stuff using Kemper amps for the guitars and bass. Only the drum and voice parts were recorded in studio. Guitars and bass parts were recorded at home with our digital amps. It’s a very convinient choice and we also play it live. You have all the sounds and effects you want. Frankly, it’s to save money and my back thanks me to have anything heavy to carry.
What is it like to sit there with a finished album? Do you think much what people will think of it?
-We’re very proud and happy! It’s an accomplishment. We worked hard on this opus. We rehearsed a lot, played many gigs so this album can be released. When you’re a child, you buy an album of your favourite band and you can’t wait to go home to listen to it. It’s the same thing here!
It’s important for us to hear or read what people have to say about us, about our music. That’s why we like to answer interviews or go to local radios. We think we have made a pretty good album, but in hindsight, it’s the people who listen to it who are more likely to judge.
How important are the lyrics and what message do you want to purvey?
-To be more than honest, and as we said upper, we don’t write our own lyrics. Our songwriters are free to talk about whatever they want. There’s a song about a dirty woman, another, more serious about dad issues, drugs, alcohol, break up…
Ever since I first got into metal the art work has been a main motivator in buying a record. What part does art work for album covers play in the world of the band
-It’s really important for us! You see the opus before earing it so you have to attract people. We wanted an authentic american looking pic. Our logo design is an important part of our art works.
For the EP, we chose barbed wire because it’s a wild and rough album (we made it quick to have something to propose to bar owner, festival organizer…). On Poison Stuff, our LP, we chose a real and authentic whiskey barrel (on which Vince (drummer) engrave the band logo) because the band evolved and matured a lot.
When you play live do you notice a degree of greater recognition from the fans with each new time you pass through town?
-I think so! More and more people come to see us and appreciate our music. We had to prove something when we started, we had to call people to play to convince them. Now, we are called to play in festival or great hall.
What do you see in the future?
-Music, fun, new stuff! We’re about to begin to compose a new album and above all, after this crisis, we’re very happy to rehearse and play live again!