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Inside Steven Alan

A Conversation with The Black Lips

  • September 26th, 2013 | Events

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    The Black Lips will be performing at the Shinola event at our Atlanta shop this Saturday. This fall, the band will be touring as well as screening Kids Like You & Me, a documentary directed by Bill Cody, that follows the band as it tours the Middle East. Bass player Jared Swilley sat down to answer some of our questions.

    Photo courtesy of The Black Lips

    You’re getting ready to hit the road for a different sort of tour: playing several shows while also screening Kids Like You & Me. Did you have any experience making films before, and what motivated you to tell this particular story?
    We’ve made some low budget tour films in the past. Nobody really saw those, and they weren’t really that interesting. This one seemed like something someone would want to watch because no bands ever tour in the Middle East. There’s a lot going on there at the moment with young people, and young people usually dig music so it seemed like it was worth documenting.

    You undoubtedly met a lot of interesting people along the way, and there must have been moments where you experienced some culture shock. Is there an experience that really stuck with you?
    I still have a very vivid memory of the entire trip, and it’s hard to single out a single moment. That being said, our show at a sushi restaurant in Alexandria that seemed like it was gonna really suck, turned out to be amazing. There were a ton of teenagers that showed up with skateboards and danced a lot. We went skating the next morning with some of them and I almost broke my foot. Haven’t really skated since then.

    What was it like to work with Bill Cody?
    Working with Bill was really cool. I had been a fan of his since I saw Athens, GA: Inside/Out, and we worked with him on a movie about Atlanta’s music scene a few years back. He pretty much got this whole project going and is really passionate about the region. He also used to work with John Milius, who is one of my favorite filmmakers.

    One of our favorite things about Atlanta is its rich musical history, from gospel to Southern rock, country to hip-hop. How did growing up there influence your sound?
    I’m the only male in my family who isn’t a preacher, so I grew up in the church. I learned to sing on stage and saw a lot of great performers. In a way I do the same thing as them which is whipping up an audience into a frenzy. Southerners are kind of outsiders in a way, and we like to yell and dance and sing. Music is part of the culture down here.

    How should we spend a weekend in Atlanta?
    I usually just drink beer on my porch. But if you’re a visitor, I would go to the Busy Bee Cafe for soul food, Daddy D’z for BBQ (pulled pork), catch a Braves game at Turner Field if they’re in town, drink alcohol at Southern Comfort, and watch a movie from the comfort of your car at the Starlight Drive-In. The new Beltline is a nice bike ride, and if it’s nice out, Piedmont Park is a pleasant way to spend the  daytime. It’s raining today so I’m just gonna stay on the porch.

    Many thanks to Jared! You can find tour dates and screening info here, and watch the band perform at our Atlanta shop in Westside Provisions (1170 Howell Mill Rd.) this Saturday, September 28th from 6-9PM.

    This entry was posted on Thursday, September 26th, 2013 at 1:34 pm and is filed under Events. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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