|Pictured Above: Black Birds of Paradise|
Black Birds of Paradise seeminlgy came out of nowhere, at least for me. There haven’t been too many “psyche-rock” bands out of Louisville that have managed to hold my attention over the years. I’ve never been particularly drawn to the genre, but holy shit I can’t stop listening to their debut record B.B.o.P. from last year. Maybe it’s the decorative vibraphone that turns me on, or perhaps its the infectious toe-tapping grooves. Whatever it is, this album hasn’t left my rotation since it’s release. Get a load of my personal favorite track titled “Exotica”:
I wanted to learn a little bit more about these weirdos, so I reached out via e-mail and sent a few questions their way. The band collectively answered each inquiry, and this is what happened:
Never Nervous: How would you describe your band to someone that hasn’t heard you?
Black Birds of Paradise: That’s the question, isn’t it? Well, we’re around man. An adventure through the jungle? I’d say the pop rock section? It sounds as if we listen to old stuff, but it’s not as if we sound old, you’ve heard it before but you haven’t heard it before, and we all listen to metal. I guess post-modern works.
NN: Does Black Birds of Paradise draw any from any particular influences or inspirations?
BBOP: In the past we’ve said Esquivel, Nilsson, and Velvet Underground. I would like to say Creedence Clearwater Revival, Curtis Mayfield, LOVE, fucking Love. The big four? Mercyful Fate. Should we explain why? We’re somewhere between Mercyful Fate and The Bee Gees.
NN: We really liked your debut full-length B.B.o.P. that was released last year. Are there plans for another record in the future?
BBOP: Nah. That’s an easy one. We’re halfway there! Done! So shut up about it.
NN: What about touring? Do you plan to go on the road?
BBOP: Sure. It’s how we plan to take it to the next click. We’ve met bands, we’ve been talking with Cher Von who is connected all around here. We’re going to all the states. Katy knows some people in Canada.
NN: One of the things that sets Black Birds of Paradise apart from other psyche rock bands is your wonderful and abundant use of the vibraphone. How is it used in the song-writing process? Do you write the song first and then decorate it with vibraphone?
BBOP: These all begin as John Lewis tape machine demos, written in isolation. Everyonel istens to them and adds their own part, the vibraphone is an invaluable part of black birds’ sound. We don’t look at it as a foreign instrument. It’s organic.
NN: Tell us about a few current bands in Louisville that you’ve been into lately.
NN: Tell us about the best show you attended in 2014.
NN: What about your favorite movie from 2014?
BBOP: We’re still watching Point Break.
NN: Let’s say, you and me are going out to eat, drink and be merry. Where are we going? What are we doing?
BBOP: Is this anywhere? The Backdoor. No wait, space! Is this anywhere? The Backdoor. What if the answer was international waters? No court in international waters.
NN: Lastly, what did you think of the trailer for Star Wars VII? Are you excited, or are you some sort of jerk?
BBOP: We might be divided. Some might be teary eyed, some of us are jerks, some of us have plans to go with our grampa’s.