Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Christian Bland: An Interview

Austin Psych Fest was, as predicted, absolutely unreal. Click
here to read my review of the festival on Oliver Kupper's blog, Pas Un Autre!

Christian Bland (pictured above), lead guitarist of headlining band The Black Angels, was kind enough to answer some questions I posed about his fourth year curating and participating in the growing festival. Read the interview below:

ANNABEL GRAHAM: The Black Angels curated Psych Fest. It seems like you guys had a significant impact on the aesthetics of the festival. Can you tell me a little bit about your involvement? What was your experience in curating the show this year and in forming such an environment for your music?

CHRISTIAN BLAND: We started the festival in 2008. After touring the US, Canada, Europe and the UK since 2005, we've met hundreds of like-minded bands. We figured what better place to bring all our friends bands to town for a psychedelic weekend than the place where psychedelic rock was born. The first 3 years I did most of the booking, but this past year we've been so busy touring that Rob Fitzpatrick (one of 4 members of the Reverberation Appreciation Society) did 90% of the booking for APF 4.

GRAHAM: As demonstrated by the festival, the genre of psych-rock is undergoing a major reemergence. Psych Fest is one of the only modern-day festivals dedicated purely to the genre of psychedelic music. What are your views on the manner in which the genre is reemerging in relation to its past (similarities/differences)? What are your predictions on the future of the genre?

BLAND: It seems like psych rocks gaining more popularity than it has since the late 60's. Hopefully it'll take over the radio waves; then we can start the revolution. I honestly don't think the masses are ready for psych rock to hit the mainstream. It almost seems psychedelic rock is meant to live underground. Maybe one day it'll boil over and take over the world, but I think it'll take a re-awakening of some sort.

GRAHAM: How did this year’s Psych Fest compare to previous years? It’s definitely grown in size and notoriety since its founding in 2008.

BLAND: This was the biggest year yet. Every year its grown more and more. It seems to be a testament to the rising popularity of modern psych rock.

GRAHAM: I’d love to know a bit more about your solo endeavor, Christian Bland and The Revelators. How is that developing, and how is it different from your work with The Black Angels? What new avenues or directions has it allowed you as an individual musician?

BLAND: If the Black Angels could put out an album every year, then I probably wouldn't have a side project. It's really an outlet for me to put out as much music as I possibly can. I'm constantly writing new songs, so I need different avenues to release my music other than The Black Angels. I've got another project called The UFO Club with Lee Blackwell from The Night Beats as well.

GRAHAM: The city of Austin has a rich history in the realm of psychedelic rock. In your opinion, in what ways is Austin a prime environment for the reemergence of the genre? Do you think that Psych Fest’s location has contributed to its success?

BLAND: Yes, for sure. Its the reason we have Psych Fest in Austin, and the reason The Black Angels started there. We owe it all to the 13th Floor Elevators.

GRAHAM: I’m sure you’re still cooling off from this year’s Psych Fest, but any ideas brewing for next year?

BLAND: The 5th anniversarys gonna be the best year yet. Hopefully we can get all the bands we've wanted over the past 5 years, but haven't been able to get.... Clinic, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Zombies...

May 2011

I was secretly hoping he'd say The Brian Jonestown Massacre!! We spotted Joel Gion (of BJM) at the show which clued us in...

Have a listen to a short & sweet song by Christian Bland and the Revelators (definitely falls into the psych-rock category):

Photos from Psych Fest coming soon!

1 comment:

  1. Great interview. I love the picture of Christian and his record. I have that album on black but that red one is so beautiful I think I have to buy it again.