Black Mountain is like the Wu-Tang of Canadian rock. Both groups burst on to their respective scenes with a great debut, which generated copious amounts of buzz and hype. Similarly, instead of getting right back into the studio to record their much anticipated follow up releases, each group’s members chose to take a hiatus and pursue their own projects. Then after a couple of years each came together again to record a second album. The only difference (that’s right the only difference) being that Wu-Tang Forever was a good, but bloated and inconsistent follow up, whereas Black Mountain’s latest In the Future is an even tighter, heavier and arguably all around better album than their self-titled debut.
In the almost three years between releases, Black Mountain has received mainstream exposure from some surprising places, such as opening for Coldplay on their 2005 world tour, as well as having their song “Stay Free” appear on the Spiderman 3 soundtrack. But this seems to have had little affect on their sound and their attitudes.
“We just take it in stride,” explains bass player Matt Camirand. “I’m not too cool for school, saying I don’t want to make a million dollars and rock 25,000 people.”
“I’d love to do that, but in terms of good vibes I’d rather play in a bar than open for Coldplay any day. And Spiderman 3, well that was just a horrible movie.”
Though the band’s critical praise continues to increase, these experiences have hardly catapulted the band into pop culture stardom.
“We didn’t do those things for exposure or anything like that, and I really don’t think either of those things really even did anything for the band in terms of popularity,” says Camirand.
“We still play these smaller clubs every night and we have our audience who loves us, and we love them, and that’s good enough for now.” It has been an interesting transition for the band. In the span of less than a year they went from playing small clubs, to giant arenas, back to small clubs again.
“There was a weird vibe being the opening band in a giant amphitheatre,” says Camirand. “Mostly you’re kind of just up there watching people try to get their nachos and cheese and trying to find their seat. It can be kind of depressing, and at times you’ve just got to close your eyes and remember why you’re there.” The band is happy to be back playing in clubs again. “The audience reaction so far for this tour has been amazing,” says Camirand.
“We’re playing a lot of the same venues as we did before, but this time they’re more often than not all sold out, and the vibe in the room is just so much more energetic, it feels great.”
Black Mountain is a busy band, with tour dates already booked until October, including one date this summer opening for Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers.
Maybe Mr. Petty will pass the Super Bowl half-time torch onto Black Mountain.
Black Mountain plays Sala Rossa Friday, Feb. 29