Meet the Black Lips – the self-proclaimed “flower punk” band from Georgia. It’s been just over a year ago since, Arabia Mountain, their sixth full-length hit the stands – but its not like this four-piece is at a loss of things to talk about.
MVRemix.com got down and dirty with Jared and Cole of the Black Lips when they passed through Montreal to play Osheaga Music & Arts Festival. Crazy tour stories, fish sticks and plans for the next album are all on tap in this interview.
How are you enjoying the festival so far?
Jared: So far so good. It’s been great.
Cole: Pretty awesome.
Have you seen any acts so far?
Cole: We’re watching Garbage right now from the backstage screen.
Are you going to some tonight? Snoop Lion?
Jared: Well I have to DJ after this. Most of the times we play festivals we don’t see anyone.
What’s unique about Osheaga compared to other festivals?
Cole: The food is the best food I’ve ever had!
Jared: Top-notch catering!
I heard there’s a crazy chef…
Jared: the Iron Chef!
The Iron Chef?!
Jared: Yeah, he beat Bobby Flay.
Cole: Oysters, lobsters, payaya.
What’s your favourite meal so far?
So how do you chose what gets played in a festival like this and what gets cut?
Cole: Best of the best.
Do you do anything special on stage… compared to other festivals?
Cole: I vomited all over the stage. If that’s not special I gay fucked the crowd.
So your latest album was released just over a year ago, how’s the success surrounding that?
Cole: Incredible success.
Jared: We all bought houses, I’m building a bathroom right now. It ain’t cheap you know? You gotta get contractors and stuff. We can buy food. We go to markets…
Cole: It’s helping us survive.
Jared: Yeah, hotel rooms, jet planes sometimes.
No private jets though?
Jared: No, no.
Cole: We’re gonna try to work on that.
Jared: All custom made shit too.
But is there one inspiration that came to the table when you were making your album?
Cole: Science, technology…
Jared: Mine was more nature and sociology, just figuring out how people work.
Cole: We always study psychology because as a band, you know, you’re dealing with people.
Jared: I’m the only male in my family who’s not a preacher, so I grew up seeing – and these are evangelicals, so they’re like screaming on the stage, speaking talk, slapping people off… so I’m like hmmm how do I use that to my advantage and be in a band and use that. You will never be able to recreate that because we are not eternal.
Cole: We are so unique. Like me I’m in such a niche demographic being a homosexual, Satanist, scientologist. I’m the only one in the world. It’s a new perspective.
Jared: People get really mad at us because we don’t really have politics but we can agree with anyone. We like independent businesses. But like Chick-Fil-A was really bad the other day. Me and Cole started dating and we made out in the Chick-Fil-A. It’s been a hard kinda few days because not only are we Christians, and like the gay community was. His girlfriend – he got pregnant with his girlfriend when he started dating me and we live next door to each other and we’re in the same band! They say always not to mix business with pleasure.
Cole: It’s okay man.
If you had to sell your album on one track which one would it be?
Jared: Oh one track… I guess…
Cole: That’s hard. We love all our children.
Jared: On this last one? They’re all our children, we can’t pick one of them.
Fair, fair. So from the recording process, how many songs did you record and how many did you scrap?
Jared: We usually track about 30 and put about half on the record.
Cole: There’s a lot of scraps, lot of editing.
Jared: When you got four writers you got a lot of songs.
Are you gonna release any of those?
Cole: Yeah we’ve released a couple.
Jared: And now with like our thing we write songs about each other, I admit they’re kinda gay.
Do you think you’ve grown both musically and personally since your last release?
Cole: Yeah sonically, psychologically…
Jared: We’ve seen more places, for sure, we’ve been around the world about four or five times.
Cole: We live every day like all hell is about to break loose.
Jared: If you don’t think like that everyday like all this shit is about to hit the fan then why would you wake up?
Cole: That giddy feeling that the General gets when he had his finger on the nuclear button.
Jared: I like to picture myself in 1962 with Castro with his finger on the bomb like should I do it? And just like… Lets go!
Cole: That’s the feeling we like.
Jared: That’s that rush! That’s like divers get that feeling when they do a triple back flip.
Cole: Some people live for that. They call them daredevils. I consider us one of them.
Jared: They call them adrenaline junkies
Cole: Yeah, adrenaline junkies.
So what is one of your greatest challenges so far?
Cole: Going to Iraq, that’s one of our greatest challenges.
Jared: Yeah the borders are closing soon, we have to go September 13th, we have to keep watching Aljazeera every day.
Cole: We’re not kidding.
Jared: We’re not lying.
You have to go by then or you’re not in?
Jared: No that’s when our plane tickets are for.
Cole: We cant just like go to Iraq, it’s not a tourist destination.
Jared: Do you think we’re going to Sandestin Florida or something? C’mon now.
Cole: It’s gonna be awesome.
Is there one thing you bring on tour, like a special item?
Jared: Guitars, voices.
Cole: Guitars, drums.
Tell me about one of the craziest stories you’ve had, past and present on tour.
Cole: Oh man, there’s so many…
I want a good one
Cole: Ah me and Jared we got basically removed by a police officer off a flight in Australia because we smart off to the flight attendants.
Jared: Ok! Here’s the story I was sitting in an exit row and I had a light windbreaker on my lap and they’re like ‘Oh I’m sorry you have to either wear that or stow it’. I was like ‘Okay’. So I wrap the light windbreaker around my neck like a scarf. He’s like ‘I’m sorry you have to either wear that or stow it’ and I was like ‘I’m wearing it as a scarf’. He’s like [Australian accent] ‘I’m sorry mate that’s not a scarf’. I was like ‘Oh yes that is a scarf. I’m from L.A. and I know way more about fashion then you and this is a scarf I’m wearing.’ Then he left and then five minutes later eight federal agents come aboard and escort me off and then he got escorted off later.
Cole: I told the flight attendants to stop harassing me. She said my bag was too big so I went out and made sure it fit the specifications there before the flight. It met the specifications of size. You didn’t have to shove it through this rectangle and then she’s still like ‘C’mon’. I said ‘Can you please get out of my face you’re harassing me.’ And then she said ‘You calm down’ and I was like ‘No you calm down’. Then I shut up ‘cause I knew I was gonna get in trouble. And then next thing I know, I wake up and there’s police coming on the plane. Go figure they let a guy from Jordi3 on because he was trying to get a seat and we didn’t get the last seat so we got kicked off…
Jared: But the best was they moved us to a Virgin and we went with Virgin and they wouldn’t charge us for any of the drinks, we’re like ‘Why?!’. In the end all the stewardesses we’re like ‘We want to go to your show!’. And the pilots came out they’re like ‘Oh you’re the Black Lips?’ So we took both pilots and all the stewardesses to our show that night and we got wasted…
Cole: And at the end the flight attendant invited Ian back to her hotel room but he was too tired, which like never happens.
Jared: And I’m scared of airplanes, like really really bad and I had the pilot coaching me like ‘Are you seriously never scared when you take off? Cause I always feel like I’m going to die’.
Well what’s one word you would use to describe each other?
Cole: My boyfriend.
Jared: Yeah, my boyfriend.
Cole: Sometimes I think its hard dating Jared but then when we snuggle at night all the pain melts away.
Jared: Well its kinda cool because its not like I have to bring my girlfriend on tour anymore because we have to share hotel rooms anyways at night so it works out perfectly. And we get to share the same funds we make exactly the same amount of money. So it’s always a Dutch Date.
If they had to make a movie about your band who would you chose to play each other?
Jared: I wanna be Denzel.
Cole: George Costanza… what’s his name… Jason Alexander. He shares my last name.
Jared: Yeah I wanna be Denzel Washington.
So what’s one thing die-hard fans do not know about you?
Jared: We’re pretty open, like we don’t really have any secrets.
Just wrapping up, what’s coming up in your future?
Cole: Going to Iraq! Hopefully we can get in.
Jared: Going to Iraq and then we’re going to record our seventh album.
Do you have any songs written or recorded?
Jared: Oh yeah, a ton of them a bunch of them, we already started going in the studio.
Name for a title yet?
Jared: Ass Dogs.
Cole: Ass Dogs, yeah.
What’s the album cover gonna look like?
Jared: Just gonna be a dogs butt. Hey! Do you like fish sticks?
Yeah for sure.
Jared: Do you like them in your mouth?
Cole: Have you seen South Park?
[Cole & Jared laughing]
Setting me up here!
Cole: He’s been trying to set people up. He always tells girls the joke, it doesn’t sound as good.
Are there any fish sticks here?
[Cole & Jared laughing]
Cole: I would have them in my mouth
You didn’t have any in your mouth yet?
Cole: No I will ‘cause I like fish sticks and I like them in my mouth
They have some outside if you wanna go pick ‘em up!
Cole: Really? Really?
Yeah, around here, downtown!
Cole: You serious?!
Jared: I’m not going downtown!
Cole: He doesn’t like fish sticks, I like them.
Jared: I’m waiting for a girl that I like
Cole: What?! We’re dating!
Jared: Oh yeah
Cole: See what I have to deal with! We’re gonna go get some fish sticks