Black Mountain (band)
Black Mountain performing at the Mercury Lounge, New York City on October 10, 2007.
|Origin||Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada|
|Genres||Psychedelic rock, stoner rock,space rock (as of IV)|
|Labels||Jagjaguwar, Outside Music|
|Associated acts||Pink Mountaintops, Grim Tower, Blood Meridian, Ex-Dead Teenager, Jerk With a Bomb, Lightning Dust, Sinoia Caves, Obliterations|
|Past members||Matt Camirand|
Black Mountain is a Canadian rock band from Vancouver, British Columbia. The band is composed of Stephen McBean, Amber Webber, Matt Camirand, Jeremy Schmidt and Joshua Wells. Since forming in 2004, Black Mountain has released four LPs, Black Mountain (2005), In the Future (2008), Wilderness Heart (2010), and IV (2016), two EPs and a number of singles, mostly on the Jagjaguwar label.
Stephen Gordon McBean (b. 1969), was born in Vancouver and grew up in Kleinburg and Sidney (BC). As a teenager he became interested in music and became part of the local punk-rock scene in Victoria. He formed his first band, Jerk Ward, in 1981. in 1984, the band recorded a demo that was re-released in 2009 as Too Young To Thrash. The band evolved into Mission of Christ (MOC) who recorded a split 7" in 1987. Two years later the band broke up and McBean moved to Vancouver where he started the band Gus. They released two singles, a split EP and an album The Progressive Science Of Breeding Idiots For A Dumber Society (1995). The band gave McBean his first experience with extensive touring and he later described the experience as a "bit of noise, bit of Melvins, funk, the Amrep stuff that was going on then. Lots of screaming. Lasted four years".
In 1996 McBean asked drummer Joshua Wells (Radio Berlin) to join his band Ex Dead Teenager. By 1999 it had morphed into a duo of Wells and McBean as Jerk With a Bomb. They signed with Scratch Records and Jagjaguwar in the US, and released three albums: Death To False Metal (1999), The Old Noise (2001) and Pyrokinesis (2003). The latter featured Amber Webber of Dream on Dreary on vocals.
While McBean and Wells were still performing as Jerk With a Bomb in 2003, McBean began to demo material that included the song "Black Mountain". At the start of 2004, the two began working on the demos under the same name with contributions from Webber, bassist Matt Camirand and keyboard player Jeremy Schmidt. They recorded the eight track, self-titled debut album during the first half of the year. McBean would later describe the change as "it was almost like a release. I mean, I loved Jerk With A Bomb, but it got to a point where I was done with it, I was through with that part of my life".
The first release under the new name was a split 7" with Destroyer that featured the song "Bicycle Man". The album was released in through Scratch Records in Canada in December 2004, while Jagjaguwar put it out a month later. The band toured around North America and Europe, while in June the 12" single "Druganaut" b/w "Buffalo Swan" was released in the US. In August 2005 the band opened for Coldplay on their Twisted Logic Tour for three weeks, with their final opening in San Diego. In the same month the album was released in Germany through City Slang Records.
Their second album In the Future was a finalist for the 2008 Polaris Music Prize and was also nominated for "Best Alternative Album" in the 2009 Juno Awards. The song "Stay Free" from In the Future was featured on the Spider-Man 3 soundtrack.
Several members of the band have, for as long as a decade, worked for organizations that meet the basic living requirements of the chronically poor, drug addicted and mentally ill in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside neighborhood, such as Insite. In an interview, the band said: "After work we all try not to think too hard about the effect it has on our lives. It keeps us grounded."
In 2010 McBean moved to Los Angeles. The band released their third album Wilderness Heart in September 2011, which was produced by Randall Dunn and Dave Sardy. It was named as a longlisted nominee for the 2011 Polaris Music Prize.
On April 1, 2016, they released their fourth studio album, IV.
- Year Zero: The Original Soundtrack (2012)
- Stormy High (2006, Suicide Squeeze)
- Bastards of Light (2008, Jagjaguwar)
- Lucy Brown (2008, Sub Pop)
- Rollercoaster b/w In the Drones (26/4/2011, Jagjaguwar)
- Quiet Weather Singles Series (2004, Spirit of Orr - split release with Destroyer)
- "Druganaut" (2004, Jagjaguwar)
- "The Hair Song" (2010, Jagjaguwar)
- "Old Fangs" (2010, Jagjaguwar)
- "Rollercoaster" (2011, Jagjaguwar)
Usage in media
"Druganaut" is featured in a 2014 Father's Day commercial for J.C. Penney.
Sam Sutherland, Perfect Youth: The Birth of Canadian Punk (ECW Press, 2012).
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- Black Mountain Official Website