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BIG IN 2016

As 2016 opens its doors, we’ll make sure you’re properly briefed on the acts who will dominate the next twelve months. Black Peaks’ buzz has been building over the last year. Now, they’re almost ready to unleash it all.

Words: Emily Pilbeam.

“The competition in Brighton is furious, and to impress people or get them interested, you have to do something really special,” begins frontman Will Gardner. Hailing from the south coast musical hub, in some ways Black Peaks have reaped the rewards from the storm Royal Blood created. With regards to whether they believe being Brighton-born has either helped or hindered the band, Will confesses that it’s been a combination of both.

“At the time we were starting out, we were playing alongside some absolute monster bands like Royal Blood, The Physics House Band, Poly-math and Tigercub. Royal Blood definitely put Brighton on the map and made things happen for the music culture here. The industry eye was definitely on Brighton which gave us a big helping hand… One thing that confuses us is constantly being measured and compared to Royal Blood despite the fact that we are a totally different band and write very different music?”

That they are. The band’s blend of complex prog-rock and intricate melodies screams of something new and innovative, that injects a whole new lease of life into modern rock and with continuous support, it’s given the band the podium to push and break the boundaries of mainstream rock. “We never expected any of our songs to be radio friendly, we definitely didn’t write them that way,” claims Will. “I don’t think we ever will intentionally write a radio ‘friendly’ song, it’ll just happen when it happens I guess.” With no intention to go out and impress, their true-to-themselves, honest rock inadvertently pricks the ears of those in the know.

“I don’t think we will ever intentionally write a radio ‘friendly’ song.”

Looking back on their experiences over the last year, Will reveals his love for their tour buddies. “We definitely learnt a lot from Arcane Roots, what a phenomenal band. They are one of the most professional and hard-working bands in the UK right now. Just watch, Arcane Roots are going skywards for sure. In terms of festivals, I think we learnt a lot this year and really came into our own as a live act by the end of the summer… Watching The Dillinger Escape Plan perform and sharing the stage with them was breathtaking.”

On top of hitting all the big festivals and playing tons of shows, Black Peaks also managed to bag themselves a record deal with Sony imprint, Easy Life Records. “It’s very difficult to make it these days without the support of a label or publishing, and for us, it’s been an integral part of our growth and development into the next phase of our career.”

Black Peaks

And the next phase in Black Peaks’ life cycle relies heavily on the release of their debut, ‘Statues’. “I think we are a healthy mixture of excited and terrified at the same time. It’s our first album, we just want it to be the best it can be. It has been a long time coming, but we think it’s worth the wait.” Speaking about what to expect from the release, Will reveals that the album is darker than their previous material: “I think generally the songs we’ve released have been the lighter and more commercial side of the album because they are the singles and that’s what will catch people’s ears first and get them into our music. We have always been a really dark and heavy band – especially live – so I don’t think anything has changed there. We have always written with as much contrast and shade as we possibly can, it’s just how we write I guess. There’s one rule that we have tried to apply: it needs to have darkness, it needs to have heaviness, but it also needs to be beautiful.”

“It needs to have darkness, it needs to have heaviness, but it also needs to be beautiful.”

“It’s a real rollercoaster of a ride, so it’s difficult to say what we want people to take away from the record,” says Will. “However, if it moves people to feel in any way excited, nostalgic, happy, or just interested, then we have succeeded in our goals.”

“First and foremost, we’re most excited about the record release, then our headline tour in February,” he continues, “and then lots of tours with bigger bands, basically just getting to see the world. Also, the festival season next year is fairly unknown – so watch this space.”

With an undeniably huge year ahead of them, 2016 will see Black Peaks begin their rapid journey to success. Make sure you’re ready for what’s coming. 

Taken from the January issue of Upset. Order a copy here.