Black Tape for a Blue Girl

 •  Posted in: Kogaionon Interviews

1. Hi Sam. Are you ready for the European trip? How do you feel about the shows? You are going to play at WGT, in front of thousands of people...

Hi Doru. I feel good about the European shows. Athan and I have performed 24 shows in the last two years with this version of Black Tape For A Blue Girl. Valerie joined 7 shows ago. So we are in great shape to play these songs, we are comfortable together, we have fun together, the band sounds good! So yes, I am ready to bring these songs to Europe.

2. What is the difference between BLACK TAPE in studio and on stage?

For me, the studio is the exploration. Discovering new things that have never existed before. Finding a way to capture them and bring them into existence. The stage is the place to act them out before an audience. Studio and stage each have a different feeling and a different purpose, though both are fun and interesting.

3. Are you satisfied with the members you have now? What did they add to your musical concept?

Yes, I enjoy having Athan and Valerie in the band. Athan is a really powerful and engaging front man. He is a visual focus for the band, performing new and old songs in his distinct style. Valerie is young and full of energy, with a happy, positive, and thriving sort of way. They are two different people, but work very well together within Black Tape For A Blue Girl. What they add to the band is excitement! They are performers. In the past, I think I had talented musicians in the band, but that was the era when the band was more ethereal & heavenly, and it was less about stage-presence. So now the band has personality. Which is very exciting for me. I like having that energy on the stage.

4. Do you have fans in Europe? What about the USA?

Oh yes, certainly, we have fans everywhere. These days -- with all the digital files circling the world so quickly -- there are so many fans!

5. What sort of reactions have you received about the last album? Cabaret influences seem to be trending these days...

The album was well received. You see, Blacktape is 25 years old this year. And for me, that does nutmeat we have heavy weights chained to our ankles…. I feel a lot of freedom to do what is interesting to me in the moment. There is no obligation, in my mind. We perform the older songs, of course, but if I want it to sound new and different, that is the way we perform it. Why not? Having a band should be fun!

6. You came to Romania and attended DBE, first edition. What sort of memories do you have from that experience?

My main memory is all the really wonderful people I met. The bands (Spiritual Front, Rome, Ordo Equilibrio) and also all the fans who came from so many different countries to enjoy what you created. It was such a good thing! There was spirit and energy and excitement. I like that!

7. What about Bucharest? What impression did you get about Romania?

Well, I walked from the hotel to the center of town and then to the venue. I saw a lot of ugly ex-communist architecture and also some really lovely collapsing buildings. People were really nice. I have no idea why there are so many banks and pharmacies in Bucharest, though (laughs). And I loved that you could get an espresso at the venue! That was good, too.

8. Regarding the concert: what will it be like? How long will it be, what tracks are you going to play?

We play a lot of songs from 10 Neurotics, the newest album. We perform more than half of the album, in fact. "Sailor Boy," "Love Song," "Tell Me You've Taken Another," etc. We also play older favorites like "All my Lovers," "Remnants of a deeper purity," "Knock Three Times," "Halo Star" and more. And, we also perform one song from the very first album, for the truly dedicated fans, "Memory, Uncaring Friend."

9. Before your show will start DonisArt will play the footage of the gig Rome had over here back in 2008. Do you think Jeromes music fits with BLACK TAPE?

I am actually very excited to see this video! Rome was fabulous when I saw them perform for us at DBE. This will be great. Do our bands fit together? Sure, why not! We're both doing something in the same general end of the spectrum. Something that was considered "dark" music, but with certain pop elements in there.

10. Thank you for this short interview. See you soon and I would like to know if you consider BLACK TAPE a cult band within this scene... 25 years of activity is qite a lot. For me is more than a cult band, it’s real history!

Thank you, thank you very much. Yes. 25 years is a lot of history. 10 studio albums in that time. Lots of songs. For me, it is all about the songs. Writing new songs, as a way to say the things I want to say. It is very fortunate that there are people excited and interested in what I have to say, the stories that I want to tell. This is what I enjoy. Creating these songs, and having them experienced by the listener. And it is really nice to be able to bring them so far away from my home, to people who have never had the chance to hear us perform. Leipzig, Prague, Bucharest! That is very exciting to us, coming all the way from Brooklyn, New York. See everyone very soon.