Interview: Black Map talk latest album

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Black Map creates music driven by the pulse of their early genesis as a trio who packed itself into a rehearsal room with pure intentions, a 12-pack and a boundary-smashing lack of prohibitions or rules. Their commitment is to each other, to what feels right; to meditation on big riffs that lurch and churn, dripping with atmosphere, powering bold and evocative statements.
The band is the union of three established Northern California rock musicians, driven by a shared dedication to big riffs, big drums and powerful, straight-ahead, all enveloping rock n’ roll. Black Map consists of the versatile voice and walloping bass groove of Ben Flanagan (Trophy Fire), the wall-ofsound big riff histrionics of guitarist Mark Engles (dredg) and the unstoppable driving force and tasteful skill of drummer Chris Robyn (Far).
Black Map recently released their album In Droves recently, check out No Color below!

We managed to catch up with the band as they talked about the release, upcoming tour and more!

So how pumped are you for the release of In Droves?
Extremely pumped. We are really proud of it.
Tell us a little bit about the album
It’s a pretty ambitious album I think. We go to a lot of different musical places and really didn’t let ourselves be confined by any sound or scene or sonic pallet. The only ‘rule’ was that the songs had to be great, but outside of that we let ourselves follow down some cool paths. A lot of the record, lyrically is about steering away from conventional norms and following your own creative path and spirit and I think that the music is connected to that kind of ideology. Of course at the end of the day it’s a rock record, but we love the different roads that it travels.
What is your favourite song from the record?
It changes for me all the time. Today it’s probably the last track on the album “Coma Phase”. It’s about 7 minutes long and is just a total beast. we haven’t played it live outside of our rehearsal spot or the studio yet and are prepping it for tour. Excited to perform it!
How has ‘No Color’ gone down with fans so far?
Really well I think. We released 3 songs (Run Rabbit Run, Ruin and No Color) to fans before the album came out and all of them have gotten a really positive response. No Color, is probably the ‘oldest’ song on In Droves and we’ve been playing it live for couple years now so It’s one of the couple songs that people had actually heard before the album was released.
Are you looking forward to be supporting Nothing More in April/May?
Yes absolutely. They are a really cool band and it will just be really great to play in front of a lot of their fans and try and win them over. From what I’ve seen they put on an epic live show and it’s always really inspiring and challenging to go on right before a band that crushes it live. We’ve been dealing with that every Chevelle tour and it makes you such a better band when you know such a good band is coming up next.
Will there be a headline tour announced in support of the new album?

We will be doing some headlining dates on days off on the Nothing More tour but we have no proper headlining tour booked at the moment. We will be heading out with Chevelle again in the summer and playing some American festivals as well. We are very much hoping to make it over to Europe in the fall!
If you could work with any band on a new song, who would it be and why?

Probably Guy Garvey and Elbow. I know they are way more mellow than we are but I just love their songwriting and atmosphere so much. We have this ambient side of our music with songs like “white fence” and “dead ringer” that juxtaposes the heavy stuff and they are definitely an influence for that color of the band.
What were each of yours first ever gigs? 
My first show was my 6th grade talent show in Durham North Carolina. We played ‘Lithium’ by Nirvana. It was pretty good considering. I forgot to turn the tone nob on my guitar up and it sounded incredibly muffled. The name of our group was “The Dorkestra”.
Our drummer Chris’s first gig was direct support for NOFX in early 1991 at Davis, CA Veteran’s Hall. Gone Black was the band name. They didn’t have a vocalist and the guitarist’s head blew a fuse during second song. Chris did his first and last ever, drum solo while issue was identified. NOFX didn’t want to loan them a fuse for the head and told them to get the fuck off the stage (one of my favorite bands regardless.)
Chris’s mom was at the show, witnessed stage diving and pits for the first time during their song and a half set. She believed everyone was fighting and would tell him the day after the show over the phone, that he was not allowed to ever play another show.
What has been your proudest moment to date?
It’s not so much a moment but I am just proud that this band actually exists. I know that may sound strange but this group really started off by us admiring each others music and we just got in a room and started playing together. I really did not anticipate we would have a record out all over the world and be touring with big bands have a song on the radio and all that stuff, It’s kind of surreal.


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