The whole of October has been a barnstorming month for Black Peaks, who began it atop a wave of hype surrounding the new project ‘All That Divides‘ which was released early in the month on the 5th to widespread critical acclaim. The album deals with a lot of pressing political and social issues that the band witnessed first hand while touring their debut album ‘Statues‘ and chose as a suitable muse for their sophomore effort. The poignant lyrics are bathed most enticingly in lively instrumentation that for no moment throughout the album is guilty of lacking momentum. Shortly following this release, the Brighton four-piece hit the road around the UK to see for themselves how the fans have received the album – which is ebulliently. Following this they are taking the manifesto of unity overseas to give Europe a sample of ‘All That Divides‘.

Before a performance that brought everyone in the concise room at Birmingham’s Hare & Hounds venue together in a unified celebration of one of the UK’s hottest bands right now, a show that really put them hot on the lips and admiringly thought of in the mind, I sat with Joe Gosney, guitarist and songwriter for Black Peaks to discuss the new album, touring, Will’s moustache & being a bridge for fans into harsher vocals!

 

Hiya Joe! How are you doing today?

Joe: Hey, yeah good thanks! We’re midway through the tour now.. or well it feels like we are (laughs) I don’t think we’re even quite at midway yet but I think everyone’s feeling a bit today haha.

Okay, how has the tour been treating you guys so far?

Joe: Amazing, it’s been so good to have a chance to get out and play these songs off the new record and get a bit of a gauge of how people are feeling towards the album you know, we’ve been sat on the project for what feels like so long now that it’s an awesome release to just get it out to the public. We’re glad to be able to play new songs in the set as we’ve been playing the same stuff for quite a while now.

Yeah of course, I suppose you to a certain degree you might get a little bored of playing the same material every time:

Joe: Yeah, I mean I think we’ve been lucky that we’ve had some amazing responses to our live performances over the past couple of years, but it’s definitely nice to be able to add a new flavour to the set, like whereas before if we were doing a headline set we’d have to play the entirety of the last project however this time we can switch things up a bit and design a set that has a bit more flow to it rather than having to just play every song we have!

Definitely, it’s nice to be able to create a set more in that sense. So, the new record ‘All That Divides’ – firstly I wanna say it’s a fantastic effort and I’ve been really enjoying it – it has been praised as such widely; every review I’ve seen has just been full of saying great things about it, how is the band feeling about the project?

Joe: Really good yeah! We went through a few different phases before it came out where we’d listened to it one too many times and you can get into over-analysing it which can be dangerous, it was actually really nice when we got it mastered because at that point the record is set – you can’t change anything so it eliminates the chance of overthinking aspects. Now having had it out for a couple of weeks, we’ve seen a bunch of awesome reviews which is great but more so than that is just meeting people every day you know chatting and hearing their thoughts which has been really cool. Each night that we’re playing these new songs there’s more and more people singing along as they already know the words which is incredible to us!

That’s a great response and I can imagine it feels great! As the album is centred upon all the division that’s currently inflicting society, what opposingly do you think could be the all that unites?

Joe: Music. I think it can be a big thing and especially for us, music is our platform you know this is the voice that we have to express ourselves and if we can do anything, it is through music so that is exactly what we want to do – use our music and Will’s lyrics to bring people together in whatever capacity that is; whether it’s people sitting together and listening to the album while sharing a common interest in it or coming to the show and simply just feeling welcome.

Totally yeah it works in both cases, it can be a conversation starter and I think music is always a better vessel for getting a message across than through basic dialogue. I’m curious as to who you would accredit with being influences upon the project?

Joe: There’s definitely a lot of bands we all listen to but we also pool from some pretty different places, when I personally was starting to write basic song structures I was listening to a lot of Cult of Luna, some heavier stuff but also some more progressive stuff such as King Gizzard – all sorts really, it’s always changing. Mastodon always, a lot of Tool.

Nice and I think you can hear elements of them definitely in the music. So, November is not far away now and I was wondering if there’s any plan within the band to undergo Movember and try and rival Will’s effort?

Joe: (laughs) That’s impossible! He’s been growing that for soo long. No there isn’t, but it is a good thought maybe we should try do something for Movember including his ‘tache cause it’s become a thing, it’s got a life of it’s own and harbours a lot of food.

It’s become a bit of a signature of the persona definitely! What, if anything, can you tell us about what you have in store for the set tonight?

Joe: Just gonna play a bunch of our favourite songs, a lot of new stuff which we are really excited to play!

Awesome, looking forward to it! On that note do you have a favourite song currently to perform live?

Joe: Hmmmm, at the moment I’d say ‘Midnight Sun‘ as the three singles from the album (‘Can’t Sleep‘, ‘Electric Fires‘ & ‘Home‘) we’ve been playing for a while but the likes of ‘Midnight Sun‘ and ‘Aether‘ which are longer tracks we haven’t played much so they’re still really fresh to us and they require us to concentrate a lot more to ensure we play them properly – that’s exciting, I’m really enjoying those two especially.

Okay sweet yeah it will be good to hear them! What do you predict as being a peak, for Black Peaks?

Joe: It’s funny cause I think that’s always moving, if you want to use the mountain analogy with peaks you know if you were climbing and you reach the summit of a mountain, when you get there you’re gonna see a bigger one! So when we first started, I really wanted to sign a deal with Holy Roar Records and tour the UK & Europe at least once, and we’ve done a bunch of touring now and signed to a really great label as well as managing to play with most of our favourite bands on our first album which was the most insane thing. I think now, at the moment we just want to reach a bigger audience, specifically in different places so we wanna go to the United States, Japan, Australia so we just need to figure out a way of how we do that and draw up a game plan.

That would be a lot different, touring the UK is one thing but being able to go really abroad like that is crazy! Oppositionally, what would you say is the blackest / darkest peak?

Joe: I guess if we just broke up and stopped making music? (laughs)

Yeah that wouldn’t be good! I feel that because of how intricately and tastefully you guys incorporate the harsh and the screaming vocals, you’re a band that has the potential of playing a role in bridging the gap for fans of rock and predominantly clean sung vocals into harsher territories, do you see that happening yourselves?

Joe: It would be really cool if it did! I always say to people that we’ve never made a conscious decision of ‘oh our music needs to sound like this’ with the clean and harsh vocals, basically as long as the music is resonating with us and we’re happy to play it and it’s giving us a buzz just to play the music then that’s what we’ll continue to do – if we get that effect of bridging said gap and end up playing bigger places because of that then sweet!

I think it works both ways because you have a lot of people that get put off if all they hear from a band is screaming as some find it harder to fathom or get their head around, so a band like yourselves that does a bit of both to the degree they can tolerate and align with the more aggressive sections and delve further from that.

Joe: Right one thing I would say on that actually is that we never put a screaming, heavy section in just because that’s what people would expect.. Everything that is happening in our songs, for us needs to serve a purpose, if for example Will’s gonna do this massive long scream it’s because we feel that is what the track in question needs at that point. We also try not to be too formulaic about it.

Absolutely I mean you can certainly gauge that from listening, as most of the tracks if not all contain some screaming but each is quite individual and comes in at vastly different points. Finally, what does the future / 2019 hold for Black Peaks?

Joe: I know we’re gonna tour a load next year, probably throughout the whole year, we wanna just go play this album to as many people who want to hear it and we’ll be doing a lot of festivals in the summer, we will certainly think about starting to write again but yeah at the moment the focus is on just playing!

All sounds good, thanks so much for speaking with us today!

Black Peaks

Black Peaks new album ‘All That Divides‘ is out now everywhere and they are currently touring in Europe. Click here to order the project!

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