Ryan Walter Wagner A cursory look at Vancouver's Black Mountain would have you…
- Posted on Sep 14th 2010 11:00AM by Jenny Charlesworth
"When we were recording at London Bridge Studio someone would be doing their guitar part and the rest of the band would be in the other room with all the lights off watching 'Lord of the Rings,'" vocalist Amber Webber tells Spinner. "It was kind of fun, you're in this weird world of 'Lord of the Rings,' and then you go do your vocal take and it feels very epic. Especially when you're doing the more dark, heavy psych-type of songs. You can see the orcs and all that stuff kind of going on."
"It was weirdly inspiring," she admits.
Watching Gandalf parade around the Shire wasn't the only thing that set the mood for Black Mountain's sessions with producer Randall Dunn in Seattle. "It's kind of a hippie studio," the singer says. "They had velvety curtains everywhere and tons of candles and incense. There was definitely a mellow vibe going on."
According to Webber, listeners might even be able to pick up on which songs were laid down at London Bridge Studio versus those done with Dave Sardy (Oasis, Band of Horses) at Sunset Sound, the famed Los Angeles studio where the Vancouver quartet recorded the bulk of the tracks for their third LP.
"You can probably hear it on the album, the ones we did in California," she says. "They're probably more upbeat."
"L.A. has a feeling to it," Webber continues. "We were there in January when Vancouver is so bleak weather-wise, and it just felt very fresh and fun, and you have instant energy because the sun is out. For us to start in L.A. [before heading to London Bridge Studio] was a really good move because it kind of woke us up. It was like, 'OK, let's record an album!'"
While the idea of bouncing between droney otherworldly jams and sun-baked pop might seem a little daring, especially from a band that reigns supreme in the realm of stoner-rock, judging from the reaction to their first two singles, the latter of which premiered on Spinner, there shouldn't be any complaints when it comes to Black Mountain's evolving sound.