Black Mountain (band)

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Black Mountain
Blackmountain-2007-NYC.jpg
Black Mountain performing at the Mercury Lounge, New York City on October 10, 2007.
Background information
Origin Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Genres Psychedelic rock,[1] stoner rock[2]
Years active 2004–present
Labels Jagjaguwar, Outside Music
Associated acts Pink Mountaintops, Grim Tower, Blood Meridian, Ex-Dead Teenager, Jerk With a Bomb, Lightning Dust, Sinoia Caves, Obliterations
Website www.blackmountainarmy.com
Members Stephen McBean
Jeremy Schmidt
Brad Truax
Amber Webber
Joshua Wells
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.[3]

Overview[edit]

Early career[edit]

Stephen Gordon McBean (b. 1969),[4] was born in Vancouver and grew up in Kleinburg and Sidney (BC).[4] As a teenager he became interested in music and became part of the local punk-rock scene in Victoria.[5][6] He formed his first band, Jerk Ward, in 1981.[4] in 1984, the band recorded a demo that was re-released in 2009 as Too Young To Thrash.[7] The band evolved into Mission of Christ (MOC) who recorded a split 7" in 1987.[8] Two years later the band broke up and McBean moved to Vancouver where he started the band Gus.[4] They released two singles, a split EP and an album The Progressive Science Of Breeding Idiots For A Dumber Society (1995).[9][10] 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".[4]

In 1996 McBean asked drummer Joshua Wells (Radio Berlin)[11] to join his band Ex Dead Teenager.[4] By 1999 it had morphed into a duo of Wells and McBean as Jerk With a Bomb.[12] They signed with Scratch Records and Jagjaguwar in the US,[4] and released three albums: Death To False Metal (1999),[13] The Old Noise (2001) and Pyrokinesis (2003).[14] The latter featured Amber Webber of Dream on Dreary on vocals.[15]

Black Mountain[edit]

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".[16][17] 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.[18] They recorded the eight track, self-titled debut album during the first half of the year.[19] 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".[20]

The first release under the new name was a split 7" with Destroyer that featured the song "Bicycle Man".[21] The album was released in through Scratch Records in Canada in December 2004, while Jagjaguwar put it out a month later.[22] The band toured around North America and Europe,[23] while in June the 12" single "Druganaut" b/w "Buffalo Swan" was released in the US.[24][25] In August 2005 the band opened for Coldplay on their Twisted Logic Tour for three weeks, with their final opening in San Diego.[26][27] In the same month the album was released in Germany through City Slang Records.[28]

A vinyl single was released in April 2007 named "Surrender Sound Session: Unkle vs. Autolux/Black Mountain" with a remix of "No Hits" on the B side.

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.

In September 2010 Black Mountain performed in an amphitheater located in the woods of Oisterwijk at the Incubate (festival) in Tilburg, Netherlands.

Leader Stephen McBean also heads another similarly named band, Pink Mountaintops,[29] while Webber performs with the band Kodiak Deathbeds and Lightning Dust.[30]

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.[31][32] 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."[33]

In 2010 McBean moved to Los Angeles.[34] The band released their third album Wilderness Heart in September 2011, [35] which was produced by Randall Dunn and Dave Sardy.[36] It was named as a longlisted nominee for the 2011 Polaris Music Prize.[37]

On April 1, 2016, they released their fourth studio album, IV.[38]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Soundtrack[edit]

  • Year Zero: The Original Soundtrack (2012)[40]

EPs[edit]

  • 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)

Singles[edit]

  • 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[edit]

"Druganaut" is featured in a 2014 Father's Day commercial for J.C. Penney.[41]

"Don't Run Our Hearts Around" was used in the trailer for the fourth season of MTV's Teen Wolf.[42]

"Stormy high" was used in the soundtrack of the game Spec Ops: The Line.[43]

"Angels" was featured in the 2014 movie Good Kill.[44]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

Sam Sutherland, Perfect Youth: The Birth of Canadian Punk (ECW Press, 2012).

References[edit]

  1. ^ Michael D. Ayers (November 3, 2010). "Q&A: Black Mountain's Stephen McBean on the Evolution of His "Psychedelic" Band". Village Voice. 
  2. ^ Corey Tate (June 17, 2010). "Black Mountain Move To the Front of Stoner Rock". spacelab. 
  3. ^ "Black Mountain". Discogs. Retrieved 2016-02-12. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Tabata, Susanne (May 7, 2014). "Terminal City Confidential: Stephen McBean". BeatRoute Magazine. Retrieved 2016-04-15. 
  5. ^ Schreurs, Jason (September 12, 2014). "DIY YYJ: A look at Victoria, BC's perpetually weirdo underground punk scene". NOISEY. Retrieved 2016-04-16. 
  6. ^ Devlin, Mike. "Stephen McBean's love letter to Victoria". Times Colonist. Retrieved 2016-04-16. 
  7. ^ "Jerk Ward - Too Young To Thrash". Discogs. Retrieved 2016-04-15. 
  8. ^ "Mission Of Christ / Fratricide - Mission Of Christ / Fratricide". Discogs. Retrieved 2016-04-15. 
  9. ^ "Gus (5)". Discogs. Retrieved 2016-04-15. 
  10. ^ Harvey, J. "G – Garbage Society label, Goat Boy, Grasp, Gus, etc.". Generation Gap. Retrieved 2016-04-15. 
  11. ^ "A Bit Of Information - Radio Berlin". Radio Berlin. Retrieved 2016-04-16. 
  12. ^ "Lost Classics: Jerk With A Bomb "Pyrokinesis"". www.magnetmagazine.com. Retrieved 2016-04-16. 
  13. ^ "Jerk With a Bomb Death to False Metal (Seven Segment)". exclaim.ca. Retrieved 2016-04-16. 
  14. ^ "Black Mountain: Black Mountain Album Review". pitchfork.com. Retrieved 2016-04-15. 
  15. ^ "Jerk With A Bomb - Pyrokinesis". Discogs. Retrieved 2016-04-16. 
  16. ^ "Black Mountain – "Black Mountain (Demo)" (Stereogum Premiere)". Stereogum. Retrieved 2016-04-16. 
  17. ^ Pascal, Brian (January 19, 2005). "Black Mountain Add A Little Darkness To Vancouver's Pop Landscape". Chart Attack. Retrieved 2016-04-17. 
  18. ^ Barclay, Michael (January 22, 2008). "Black Mountain: Let's Get Lost". Magnet Magzine. 
  19. ^ "Black Mountain - Black Mountain". Discogs. Retrieved 2016-04-16. 
  20. ^ Thiessen, Brock (January 26, 2008). "Black Mountain Retrofit". exclaim.ca. Retrieved 2016-04-16. 
  21. ^ "Destroyer (4) / Black Mountain - Quiet Weather Singles Series". Discogs. Retrieved 2016-04-17. 
  22. ^ "Black Mountain - Black Mountain (2005)". Discogs. Retrieved 2016-04-17. 
  23. ^ "Black Mountain Gigography, Tour History & Past Concerts (2005)". songkick.com. Retrieved 2016-04-17. 
  24. ^ "Black Mountain - Druganaut". Discogs. Retrieved 2016-04-17. 
  25. ^ Howe, Brian (September 18, 2005). "Black Mountain: Druganaut EP Album Review". pitchfork.com. Retrieved 2016-04-17. 
  26. ^ Farah, Troy. "Black Mountain's Stephen McBean Fronts a Lot of Bands, Is Influenced by Even More". Phoenix New Times. Retrieved 2016-04-16. 
  27. ^ Ray, Austin L. (September 13, 2005). "Band of the Week: Black Mountain". pastemagazine.com. Retrieved 2016-04-17. 
  28. ^ "Black Mountain: Black Mountain". City Slang. Retrieved 2016-04-17. 
  29. ^ "Black Mountain". www.billboard.com. Retrieved 2016-04-15. 
  30. ^ "Amber Webber Talks New Kodiak Deathbeds Project, Black Mountain Plans". exclaim.ca. Retrieved 2016-04-15. 
  31. ^ Berman, Sarah (January 13, 2009). "Local rockers support Insite in more ways than one". The Thunderbird. Retrieved December 4, 2010. 
  32. ^ "BrightestYoungThings: Black Mountain Interview". Retrieved December 4, 2010. 
  33. ^ "Articles". Pitchfork. 
  34. ^ Marchand, ,Francois. "Exile on Sunset Boulevard: Pink Mountaintops get back to rock ’n’ roll with new album". www.vancouversun.com. Retrieved 2016-04-15. 
  35. ^ "Black Mountain | 01 Magazine". zero1magazine.com. Retrieved 2016-07-18. 
  36. ^ "Black Mountain's Stephen McBean Talks New Album Wilderness Heart". pitchfork.com. Retrieved 2016-04-15. 
  37. ^ "2011 Polaris Music Prize Long List announced". aux.tv, June 16, 2011.
  38. ^ Handley, Gen (May 21, 2015). "Black Mountain Write Better Songs When They Drink". NOISEY. Retrieved 2016-04-15. 
  39. ^ "IV - Black Mountain". Black Mountain. April 1, 2016. 
  40. ^ "Black Mountain - Year Zero (The Original Soundtrack)". Discogs. Retrieved 2016-04-15. 
  41. ^ "JCPENNEY LOVE DAD SALE COMMERCIAL". MarketMeNot. JC Penny. Retrieved 19 January 2015. 
  42. ^ "Teen Wolf - 'Can't Go Back' Official Promo (Season 4) - MTV". 
  43. ^ "Spec Ops: The Line". www.2kgames.com. Retrieved 2016-04-15. 
  44. ^ "Good Kill (2015) - Soundtrack.Net". 

External links[edit]