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Black Mountain - Comin' Round The Mountain

Author: Brett Ashley
Thursday, 31 January 2008
Black Mountain opened for Coldplay during the balladeers’ 2006 Canadian tour, picking up a host of new fans – all of which will be pleased to know they’ve a new album in tow. Interview by Brett Ashley.

On their second album, In the Future, the group go further into the stoner abyss, and comes back with the bones of Wolfmother in their teeth.  In the Future is everything a stoner album could be, but almost never is, which is to say, it approaches perfect Black Sabbath-ness without being derivative, and goes off into feedback minimal spaceland without the usual navel-gazing reflex.

Bassist Matthew Camirand says the thing that really makes Black Mountain’s music stand out, though, is tawny-voiced vocalist Amber Webber, who lends a powerfully plaintive lilt to most of the tracks. Formerly in a stage production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Webber was in the neighbourhood when Black Mountain lead singer Stephen McBean saw her and asked her to join the band.

“Thank god we met her,” Camirand says, “because I wouldn’t even be in this band if it wasn’t for Amber. I’ve told people that anybody can fucking slam out a Black Sabbath riff, but when you get Amber’s fragile, beautiful voice over top of it, it totally makes it Black Mountain.”

Camirand attributes the band’s growth between the eponymous first album and their new record to how they were written.

“The first record was recorded two weeks after we started the band, so a lot of the songs Steven had already sorted out,” he says. “And basically me and Jeremy just jumped in there and added our bass parts and added a few arrangement ideas here and there, but it really wasn’t a band until after the record was finished and our label was like ‘Hey people like this, you need to go on tour’. We were like ‘Oh, really people like it- Weird.’ So we went out.

“On this record we didn’t try to do anything different. It was inevitable after being an actual band for three years that everyone was contributing to the writing and that it was going to sound different. We could have made a record and everyone could have hated it because it didn’t sound like the first one, but we didn’t think that would happen. We certainly wouldn’t have hated it because I knew that my contribution would make the band better and that Jeremy’s and Amber’s would as well. It’s just more of a collaboration and a result of us being an actual band that has written together for the last three years.”

WHO: Black Mountain
WHAT: In the Future through Popfrenzy/Stomp
WHEN: Out now