Crippled Black Phoenix is the brainchild of frontman Justin Greaves (Electric Wizard / Iron Monkey / Teeth Of Lions Rule Devine).
The group's latest offering, 200 Tons of Bad Luck is a collection of songs that were crafted at Geoff Barrow of Portishead's studio, and released via Barrow's Invada Records imprint. The band for this go-around is made up of Joe Volk, Dominic Aitchison (Mogwai), Kostas Panagiotou (Pantheist) & Charlotte Nicholls. Joining the group on all live dates will be Joe Allen and John Langley of Saturation Point.
Chad Radford: Tell me about the line-up that youre bringing with you on the road for this tour.
Justin Greaves: Well, we have the usual line-up we take on tour. It'll be consisting of guitars, bass, cello, drums, moog/synths etc, we got a couple of new players for this one also, Mark Ophidian and Baz Barrett, Baz just jumped on at the last minute so the tour has been one long rehearsal for him! Amazing really.
Can you tell me about some of the ideas that went into 200 Tons of Bad Luck? I dont think of it as a concept album per say, but are some recurring, though vague themes, as well as some very evocative imagery running through the record.
Thats right, its not a concept album in the usual way, but the themes run throughout and theres very definite reasons why the songs are on there, but the 200 Tons album is a compilation of songs from the two (2) full albums, its a record business compromise and it just dont make sense to me. To get the full effect I think people need to hear The Resurrecionists & Night Raider albums. It may take some patience but the effect will be worth it. So, all the imagery will make so much more sense too, theres things that are quite subliminal and some things that are blatantly obvious, it's really up to the listener to take what they will from the prompts.
Crippled Black Phoenix and Ascent Everest play 529 tonight (Sat., April 18). $8. 9 p.m.
Is it a hard album to pull off live?
Yep, the albums are so layered, its difficult without taking a full orchestra and two drummers out on the road with us. So we try to take the essence of the songs and interpret them in a live situation. We tend to play louder and put on a rock show, its a case of playing to our strengths.
Do you get tired of the Pink Floyd Reference?
We cant help it if Pink Floyd sound like us... Its always a bit frustrating to get tagged with references or whatever, but to be honest, the PF comparison is a lot better than some of the things Ive heard, like the whole post-rock label. It keeps haunting us and it just doesnt apply to the whole thing. The thing is, we like to pay homage to our influences and as long as its self aware then I have no problem with that, but after all we stand alone and follow our own minds so comparisons are always different and interesting.
Do you have a favorite song or couple of songs on the record, or do any of them resonate with you more strongly than the others?
Song For The Loved is one of my favourites, its because it was one of those songs that flowed real easy and turned into something that I wanted to hear, so I have a certain feeling of accomplishment with it. Also, Whissendine means a lot to me, but for more personal reasons. Its hard to choose favourites because everything on the albums are there because they mean something to me, just all for different reasons.
How did you hook-up with Invada Records for 200 Tons?
Our first album was on Invada and we have a great relationship with them, so it just made sense to release this one with them too. The whole thing started off as a bit of an accident, just a chance meeting with Geoff and an invitation to record an album at a time when I didnt have any aspirations of making a recording or touring or anything, but Im pleased now Ive done this thing.
(Photo courtesy Motormouth Media)
All 80s movies want you...
Their show with Chris, Lord about 3 years at the Unicorn was the best.
I am a connoisseur of this real soul music like the comment above I'm glad…
You've got a few of my faves listed here, plus a bunch I've never heard…
This is such a cool idea and the performance is great (I've been twice) but…