Cosmic Rock

Tonight on Cosmic we had a chat with Suzi and Tim from popular psych rock band Black Road. Recently holed up in the studio working on seven new songs of swirling bluesy rock, Black Road are about to whip out a new awesome album. To get an inside look we sat down with Suzi and Tim for a conversation about the recording process and get the firsthand news. Check out this interview for the latest from the awesome group Black Road.


1.Hey Suzi and Tim good talking with you today how have you been?


Suzi: Hey G! Nice chatting with you again. I'm doing good! I am feeling relieved to be done recording our upcoming album, excited about shows, and getting pumped for touring this year.


Tim: Hello, Gideon. Nice to meet you. I'm doing well and excited to get these new songs out.


2.Really great guys sounds cool. Hey Suzi, you too Tim. So you guys have been working on a new album, tell us the news.


Suzi: I just finished all vocal recordings on President's Day.. haha! I am glad everyone had the day off and we gained that extra day.


Tim: All tracking and recording is done and now the mixing process begins.



3.Where are you guys recording these days?


Tim: Roosterbat Studios in Antioch, Illinois. We had help from John Becker and Alec Haley.


Suzi:It was basically the border of Wisconsin. It was a bit of a trek for us all but it was worth it.


4.How do you feel about the studio?


Tim: It is hard to not get red light syndrome. This studio had a very comfortable environment so it made it easy to get good takes. There were a lot of cool guitars and pedals to play with. It was great to be able to experiment with them all on this record.


Suzi: The atmosphere was dark and colorful, and felt like home. I had fun trying out different mics, messing with synths, and learning a ton of new things. I felt it was a great experience and I can't wait to go back. John and his family, Alec and friends were very accommodating and cool.



5.Excellent. How many songs this time? A full LP?


Suzi: There are going to be 7 songs on this album. They range in length from less than 3 minutes, to over ten minutes. There are some that have never been heard before.


Tim: We are releasing an LP but we have new songs already in the works.


6.Cool guys.  Tell us a little about the song by song feel of the record.


Tim: The opening song is an instrumental track that we have been opening our live shows with for quite awhile. We wanted to finally lay it down in the studio, and it's taken on a new life.


Suzi: We have always been a band that focuses on guitar, and the next song is all about the riffs. It's got good energy, and it's one I enjoy performing live. I even convinced Tim to do some backing vocals!


Tim: The third song was originally released as a single. It has now made it onto our upcoming album, but we completely re-recorded it. We added some extra texture and had fun trying out new stuff.


Suzi: I am excited for the songs no one has ever heard. Some are heavy and some are more dynamic. The themes are of course dark, occult-based at times, and showing multiple points of view. The fourth song feels almost like a fun secret... There are some cool psychedelic elements to look out for as well.


Tim: Not all the main riffs on this album were written by me. Suzi had a handle in a few, including writing almost the entire fifth song. It will be the first one released along with a music video, coming soon. It's short, fast, and fun to play.


Suzi: It has been really cool watching the guys shredding and creating great music. I love to make up themes and the sixth song is a great example of one that was inspired by Tim himself. It's one of my favorite songs on the album, and it's groovy and heavy. I helped with some parts of this song as well. Casey and Robert have had a much larger hand in helping with arrangement and writing on this album also. It's great to hear it all coming together finally.


Tim: The last song is a riff I've had for years and years. We jammed it for months before it ever became a song. It's the only song without fuzz. When you compare it to all our other songs, I think it sounds the most different from our usual style. 


7.Excellent sounds very cool. Do you feel the new one is similar or different than previous recordings and in what ways?


Tim: I feel it's both. We have songs that are shorter than we've ever done before, and we also have ones that are more progressive. Then again, there are ones that are what you would expect from Black Road, so we are staying true to our sound.


Suzi: The main difference that stands out to me is the quality of the recordings. We had access to much better gear and were more experienced this time around. My vocals have grown and changed a bit. All of this will equate to a better sound I hope.

8.How about the lyrics this time around?


Suzi: I approached the lyrics basically in the same way. There is nothing set in mind whenever an idea hits, and sometimes it is a bit random. I did focus on harmonies and melodies because I have a lot going on in my head all the time, haha! The lyrics are varied and so is the subject matter.


Tim: There are a lot of dark themes, with the exception of one song... there's nothing bad about "that"...


9.How did you feel during the recording process, any stories to share?


Tim: I felt extremely excited and happy to finally lay down our tracks live like I have always been wanting to do. Very excited. I played Les Pauls and other Gibsons, a '73 Strat, acoustic guitar, and a slew of pedals.


Suzi: We now have a lifetime of inside jokes from our recording sessions. It was a fun and laid-back process. We got to take our time. I had a fun time experimenting with analog synths. Tim kept falling asleep super early, as he usually does... hehe. He was basically passed out on the couch and John Becker and I ended up creating an entire song with multiple synth layers and all kinds of funny sounds. We were blasting it super late and Tim was just snoozing away! Whenever we would put on Youtube during a break it seemed like the same Kyuss song would come on. Robert was absolutely hilarious with John's 3 adorable little French Bulldogs. He was calling them little sawed-off's. I was cracking up! Alec and I were making jokes on the talkback mic. We got some killer pictures and made some great memories. Casey got to try out some sweet bass pedals and play with his tone a little on some songs. I think none of us will forget that experience. I think I may have finally done a crash course on warming up and it actually worked... It felt good! I nailed a bunch of takes first try on the last two days of vocals, and then I even nailed all my tambourine takes haha. I am definitely coming out of this experience with much more knowledge and confidence.


10.What are your personal influences lately?


Suzi: I have been listening to a lot of old songs I once loved and songs with good harmonies. Whenever I get into the mindset to record I always analyze harmonies a lot more, so I like to listen so more songs that feature them. I have been playing keys and writing more as well. Ideas always flow when I am playing keys it seems.


Tim: I have a physical job and we work hard. I like to listen to music to get through the day and also to relax. I've been going back to all the artists I was originally influenced by recently. Guitarists like Steve Vai, Zakk Wylde, Yngwie Malmsteen, Jeff Beck, and Gary Moore. I have been listening to a shit ton of Marcus King Band as well. He is amazing.


11.Do you guys have a title for the new record?


Tim: Not yet, but we have many ideas.


Suzi: We can't decide but we have narrowed it down. I think we are waiting for the "right title" to just come to us, much like the band name just popped into Tim's head one day.



12.Any tentative release plans or date?


Suzi: The album will be released on vinyl and cassette by DHU RECORDS (Netherlands), and on digipak CD with BloodRock Records (Italy). We do not have a release date set just yet.


Tim: Mixing just started so hopefully we will have more details about a release date and a release party soon.


13.You're about to film a new video, any details?


Tim: We are heading to Michigan to film our next music video. Don Corthier and Liza Moon will be filming, directing and producing the video. They also were responsible for "Bloody Mary".


Suzi: We don't want to divulge too many details, just like with the specifics of the album. There will definitely be some surprises in store! It will be released on our Youtube channel as well as others once it's ready. Be on the lookout!


14.Really cool can’t wait to see it. Psyched to hear it Suzi and Tim, thanks for the studio update..!


Suzi: Thanks for the chance to chat with you, Gideon. We are eager to share what we've been working on! Subscribe on Youtube and follow us on Facebook for all the latest news.


Tim: Later man. Cheers!


Take care guys, keep us updated on the new record. - G