Wednesday 1 February 2017

An Interview with BLACK PRISM

Psychedelic doom outfit Black Prism was formed back in 2010 in Los Angeles. The guys confess that they all have been in bands since a pretty young age, but none of them have played doom music before though. A lot of them grew up listening to the obvious influences of Black Prism and it was just the right amount of timing, booze and psychedelics for this to occur…

However the band had released self-titled full-length in December 2016, and it’s a killer album!

They resurrect the spirit of old and good Black Sabbaths but oh how good they are at doing this do this. I’ve listened this album in one breath, and this is something that stays in my play-list for a long time.

Let’s learn how Black Prism get these catchy doom rocking tunes, Joshua (vocals) is here to help.

Hail Joshua! I'm not going to be original, so the first question to start our conversation is pretty simple: who and how was Black Prism created?

Black Prism was formed back in 2010. It was just a few friends that got together that were into similar music at the time. We would watch old cult movies and try to make music that we thought fit the visuals. I actually started out playing drums and Anthony (guitar) was singing. It was a lot heavier back then. We switched around instruments and formed what is now our current line up. At our first show before going on stage I said I’m going to try to sing the songs instead of yelling/screaming into the mic. That’s where and when our sound became what it is.

What drove you to choose this musical direction? What attracted your attention to this slow and low sort of heavy rock?

We have all been in bands since we were pretty young. None of us have played music like this before though. A lot of us grew up listening to the obvious influences of Black Prism and it was just the right amount of timing, booze and psychedelics for this to occur.

Yes, yes… What’s about the psychedelic aspect of Black Prism? Is it necessary component of understanding your stuff?

Psychedelics are a big component and necessary in most things in life. Our music is definitely influenced by mushroom trips or DMT experiences we or I’ve had. A lot of the lyrics have to do with these experiences. I’ve learned a lot through those types of medicine and hope other people find the same light.

Do you and other band's members have some musical background besides Black Prism?

Matt (bass) and myself have been in bands together since we were 13. Anthony (guitar) has also been in bands since the same age and we actually grew up playing shows in our town together. Most of us have other projects we currently work on as well. I play solo as Desure , Anthony has a solo project called Winona Forever. We’re always working on different things. Black Prism has always been our baby we come back to refine every so often.

Your debut self-titled album sounds truly remarkable and refreshing; it's pleasure to listen these songs, though I wouldn't say that they're original. What are your requirements to Black Prism sound?

First off thank you! This album was made in our friends tiny studio in a garage. I wouldn’t say we have requirements but we have certain taste and feel for music. We wanted something heavy but also attainable to different types of listeners.

I saw that your debut was released only digitally, what's about physical release?

We’ve been doing everything ourselves for some years. It took us almost three years to release this album just digitally. Soon we will have vinyl available. Again we’re doing this all ourselves so it takes a bit longer without label support.

Black Prism – Satan’s Country

Really? I believe that you wasted a damned lot of money recording the album and now releasing it in vinyl! What’s about promotion? Do you deal with it by yourself too?

I wouldn't call it wasting money if we came out of the whole thing with an album to show. People seem to dig it. We haven't done any promo really. We decided on New Years we would put it out and didn't tell anyone and released it.

It’s not a secret that gigs are the only chance for bands to sell their merch, how active are you as a live band? How often do you play? How many opportunities does Los Angeles offer to you?

I think our live shows are the real way to hear our music. We play every so often, mostly around the Los Angeles or surrounding area. We have a heavy fog machine we use and you can barely see your hand in front of your face let alone order a drink at the bar. It makes the whole experience different and you take in the music much differently. When we have time we play. A lot of us are focusing and doing other projects and things as well so when we find time we get together.

How did you record these songs? What was your main goal during the recording session?

We recorded these in Southern California at our friends little studio. We paid for the sessions ourselves. They are as live as can be with what we had to work with. I’d be in a booth singing next to a half built motorcycle and woodworking tools everywhere. The studio was mostly used for that sort of stuff. It was fun recording this album. We are all close friends so it’s always amazing making music with each other.

There’s just one photo of Black Prism and band’s members aren’t mentioned in band’s FB page. What’s the reason for this secrecy?

Maybe we believe we don't need much of a face for Black Prism. The sense of mystery behind a band always fascinates me. I know I always want to search for more and learn more about a band when they are a bit more closed off. We're not shy though, come say hello at a show and we'll buy you a drink!

I like to explore songs' lyrics, and I really wonder what did inspire you to write the song "Alaska"? By the way, did you ever visit it?

I don’t think any of us have been to Alaska. That’s the name I gave this being I met when I was younger. I was about ten or so in my room late at night. I woke up to hearing noise down the hall but I knew my brothers and sister weren’t at home. It got closer and closer until it got to my door. My bed faced the door so my feet were closest. I was staring right at my bedroom door as it slowly opened. Peeking its head in what this really long white haired and pure white faced being. I was paralyzed in fear. After what seemed to be a lifetime it slowly crept back and closed the door. Its something that could never be unseen. Alaska is her name.

Cool story bro! What’s about other songs? Do you have some general theme for Black Prism songs?

I'm speaking for myself as far as the theme for the songs go but the lyrics have a lot to do with what I've learned through psychedelics and life experiences. No matter how bad or dark things may be everything outside of us is perfect. Life may be a struggle but in the end everything is love. You can take the lyrics as you may but for me this is what a lot of them mean. Open your mind and just be a good person

How far do your ambitions spread and consider for Black Prism?

We’re going to continue making music until we can’t. People seem to dig the songs and the shows are the most fun I have. So in so many words we wanna take over the fucking world.

Thanks for the interview Joshua! I hope that it helps to spread the word about Black Prism arrival! By the way, when do you plan the second coming? What’s about stuff for the next album?

I'm actually headed to Los Angeles right now coming off tour with another band so we can record a new single for Black Prism. We plan to release this on 7" vinyl! Check back with us for show updates and releases. Thanks again for the support!

Words by Aleks Evdokimov and Joshua from Black Prism


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