Friday, July 11, 2008

Interview: The Black Pine

To reuse a description, The Black Pine make dark, stormy pop music that's at times reminiscent of some improbable pairing of The Cranes and The Kinks. Shoegaze on the road to classic 60s rock favorites.

They’ve been in hiding out since their residency at The Echo to record a new album, but they’re breaking their year-long moratorium on playing out to perform at our Let’s Independent! event next Tuesday night at Boardner’s of Hollywood with The Black Kites and EXITMUSIC.

We spoke to husband-and-wife bandmates Mitch and Emma Ka Cichocki via the magic of The Interweb earlier this week.

Mitch: Hi.
RFSL: Hey, there. Sorry. I was on AOL Instant Messenger.
RFSL: So I dled Yahoo.
Ema: OK, yeah I don't have AOL installed on this computer and the internet hasn't been so good this morn.
RFSL: How are you two doing today?
Mitch: Good. Some connection problems this morning, but workin now. Hope it holds out.
Ema: Good! How are you?
RFSL: I'm doing well. Had a great time at Bordello last night. There was a show w/ the singers from The Movies, The Happy Hollows, Parson Redheads, Radars to the Sky, and The Airborne Toxic Event.
RFSL: Great music. Good crowd. Alcohol.
RFSL: Rinse and repeat.
Ema: Ha, that sounds fun.
Mitch: Cool. Big show.
RFSL: So, you guys have been hiding out recording a new EP. Is that all done?
Ema: It is a full length album now, 15 songs. We have been recording and mixing for about a year on it and haven't played live since then. The album is mixed and mastered and now we are doing the artwork for it and then it will be pressed and we are expecting to have it by late Summer / early Fall.
Mitch: The single for Goodbye Hollywood Forever from the new album just came out on iTunes
RFSL: Excellent.
RFSL: You recorded the album at The Ship?
RFSL: Or mixed?
Ema: We recorded it all ourselves at our own studio and we had one song, Goodbye Hollywood Forever mixed by Dave Trumfio at his studio. Dave Trumfio owns Kingsize which is next door to The Ship. We mixed some of the songs ourselves and then also mixed with Raymond Richards at his studio, Red Rockets Glare.
Ema: Though we did play on an album by our friend Adam Goldberg and he just finished mixing it at The Ship with Aaron Espinoza.
RFSL: Ah. Thus my confusion.
Ema: Yeah, that is a bit confusing.
RFSL: How did it all go?
Ema: Good, we have always recorded and mixed our own albums so it was a little hard to have others involved but also it's good to have outside opinions. I think it came out very nice.
Mitch: I'm looking forward to playing out again!
Ema: Me, too.
RFSL: Yeah, how long has it been?
Ema: It has been about a year. The last time we played was when we had that resdiency at The Echo which was April 2007.
Ema: So, over a year.
RFSL: I really enjoyed the hell out of your shows there.
Ema: Ahh thanks! We enjoyed it too.
RFSL: Are you planning on playing all new songs or a mix?
Mitch: It'll be a mix. Four or five new songs and also some from the last album. Emma sang a lot on the new album but doesn't like singing live, so we've kind of arranged the set around that.
Mitch: We didn't really consider how we would play the new songs live while we were recording them.
Ema: Yeah, I don't mind doing backup vocals live but I like to just concentrate on the drums when playing live.
RFSL: Too bad! I really like those songs you sing on.
RFSL: Makes sense though.
Mitch: Adeline Fargier is playing with us again. She was on our first two albums but as she's a French citizen she could only stay for three months at a time because of her visa, but now she has legal residency and will be a permanent member of the band. She plays guitar and sings. She toured France with a friend of ours Troy Von Balthazar. We were the band for his new album, not yet released. We may tour Europe with him once that album comes out.
RFSL: I remember you two were planning on moving, but stuck around because she moved out here?
RFSL: She's the pretty faun-like girl who came out to our last show?
Mitch: Yep that's her. That was a big part of us staying. We ended up moving to a nicer place outside of L.A. which made a big difference.
RFSL: So what are some of the new songs about? Like Goodbye Hollywood Forever?
Ema: Goodbye Hollywood Forever is about doing a lot of drugs, being around and with people that you wouldn't be around normally or soberly. Doing things for money, selling yourself for money. Then it's about taking a really nice happy vacation!
Ema: Ha.
Ema: I have a real knack for writing happy pop songs.
RFSL: And that's the song you did the video for.

RFSL: Who did you film that with?
Ema: Yeah, that's why it's kind of dark and takes place in a strip club in Hollywood, to capture that feeling. It was filmed by Seth and Bobby, who are amazing. They also did a video for us for Some Will Come With Flowers off our last album.
Ema: They have done videos for lots of groovy bands.
RFSL: Cool.
Mitch: Near, another song on the album, is about feeling like you've known someone before that you've just met, and missing that person so much, when they're gone, that you feel like they are there with you.
Ema: Diamond is another song about leaving L.A.. Noticing a trend?
RFSL: So you're happier living out of town now, I take it.
RFSL: You two shared the songwriting duties? How did that work out?
Ema: Mitch writes his own songs lyrically and I write my own lyrically. We sometimes write on our own alone with piano or guitar and then bring them to the next band practice. Or we write them all together , starting off as a kind of jam that turns into something.
Ema: Ha, yeah. It was also just a lot of negative things I was doing that weren't completely related to the environment. But leaving the environment helped.
RFSL: What's it like being in a band w/ a significant other?
Ema: It's horrible!
Ema: Just kidding.
RFSL: Ha ha.
Ema: It's great to be in love and be creative together. Some people have children, we have songs.
RFSL: Songs > children.
Mitch: You really have to have a yard to have children, and we're in an apartment.
RFSL: Yeah, a child can really make short work out of an apartment. It's good to put them outside during the day.
Ema: Ha. Yeah, we are both very creative and accepting of each other. The whole band is like that though too. We all have to encourage each other and respect each other and admire each other.
RFSL: What's next for you guys?
Ema: We want to tour the Americas and Europe and beyond.
Ema: I'm writing a book.
RFSL: A book?
Ema: Yeah, I'm writing two different stories actually at the same time.
Mitch: I'm making a video game.
RFSL: What are they about?
Ema: When they are done, I'll bring them to shows to sell. They are kind of loose poetry within a story. It's similar to writing lyrics but the stories can be more detailed of course than a 3 or 4 minute song.
Ema: We keep busy with lots of projects.
RFSL: It sounds like it.
Mitch: The game is about a witch's granddaughter in ancient Europe...
Mitch: That's all I can tell you at this time
Ema: We have two more videos in planning for the new album also, Diamond and Every Night. Diamond involves choreographed dance and Every Night is filmed at many different parties.
RFSL: Cool. Well, I don't want to keep you guys for too long.
RFSL: One last question:
RFSL: What are you listening to these days?
Ema: I am looking at my I-Pod to see what I have played recently: Creator by Santogold, Jigsaw Falling Into Place by Radiohead, Tomorrow by Ladytron, Audience No.2 by Autolux, Gila by Beach House....
Mitch: I've been listening to a lot of 60's psychedelic music lately, the Hollies, the Koobas, I found a really cool song by Pugh Rogefeldt called "love, love, love" great drum sound. Also ran into a strange French fuzz band called Les Goths.
Mitch: Oh. also just found the band Magma last night... Very interesting.
RFSL: Excellent. Well, that's all I've got for you.
RFSL: Thanks so much for your time.
Ema: Thank you. We are looking forward to playing Boardner’s again!
RFSL: Yeah, really looking forward to next Tuesday night.
Mitch: Yeah! Same here.

- Goodbye Hollywood Forever MP3


Blogger amnion said...

Magma Rules!!!

11:22 AM  

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