Hailing from Belgium, Black Mirrors are a rock band on a mission, a mission to spread their mixture of high energy and hypnotising rock n roll with garage and blues influences across the globe. With the release of their new EP Funky Queen they intend to do just that. We talked to the bands vocalist Marcella Di Troia and guitarist Pierre Lateur who told us all about Funky Queen, the bands influences, what they are up to for the rest of the year and how the band got their name from Charlie Brookers sublime TV show.
Can you give us a but of info about how the band got together?
Marcella: At the very first, I wanted to form a female band. During summer 2013, I was playing with a drummer and a bass player but I could not find a good female guitar player. I was looking for someone who could play like Pierre. I was fond of his sound. I couldn’t find a girl who could do that. So, I asked Pierre to join the band. After some jamming, we wanted to start to write our own songs and go further with the band but the girls didn’t have time to invest in the project. So we ask two old friends, Gino and Edouard, to join the band as our rhythm section. We recorded our first EP and did our first gigs with this line up late 2013
Who are some of your main influences?
Pierre: Our main influences are Janis Joplin, Led Zeppelin, Queens Of The Stone Age, Jimi Hendrix, Jack White, Kyuss, Colour Haze.
Your debut EP Funky Queen is out now, can you tell us a bit about the album and its sound?
Marcella: We recorded our EP at Pyramid studio, which is situated in the south of Brussels, with our sound ingeneer Ulysse Wautier. We really wanted the sound of our EP to be close to the sound we have live. Ulysse really managed to fulfill our expectations. This guy is young and so talented, it was a pleasure to work with him.
What inspired the songs on the EP?
Pierre: Music that we listen to and daily life.
How did the recording of Funky Queen go?
Pierre: As all of our EP songs, we recorded Funky Queen live to keep it wild and alive. After, we put additionnal guitars and recorded the voice. Initially the song Funky Queen, from a musical point of view, was far more complicated than how it is today. There were many different parts that have been revised to eventually come to the current version. We composed the final version on a folk guitar which helped us getting more into the essence and feeling of the song and what needed to represent.
Can you tell us a bit about the artwork for the EP and why you chose it?
Marcella: We found out about Sebastian as he had already worked with quite a lot of other bands. We got in touch with him and he appeared to have several great ideas for the artwork. We told the story about the band and the songs and he came up with the current artwork. It represents a queen that provides a gift, a Black Mirror that confronts everyone with one’s own demons. We love it!
Have you got any plans for a full length follow up album?
Pierre: Yes, for sure! We hope to record it during this summer. We are looking for the right producer to do the record.
How are things going with your new label Napalm Records?
Marcella: It goes very well! Working with a big label such as Napalm really helps in term of visibility. Napalm has such a big network!
Have you got any live dates lined up in support of the EP?
Marcella: Yes, we’ll tour in Europe as opening act for Horisont and ‘77. The tour will start in Hamburg the 16th of March and will end in Copenhagen the 1st of april. It will be our very first tour. We can’t wait to take the road. Before and after that, we’ll be playing some gigs in Belgium.
When you play, will you be debuting much new material?
Pierre: Yes, we are working on new songs at the moment. Hopefully, we can share it with the audience as soon as possible.
How did your show at Desertfest in Belgium go last year?
Pierre: Really well. It was such a great moment to live as a band. Three years ago we’ve been there in the public and we’ve enjoyed it so much. We wanted to play there and three years later, our wish came true!
You played with some great bands like Pentagram, Red Fang, Torche and Yob. Did you check any other bands out?
Marcella: Yes, we stayed there for the whole festival, checking bands like Colour Haze, Red Fang, 10.000 Mods, Moaning Cities, Uncle Acid and Goat to name but a few.
Would you play the festival again?
Pierre: We hope so! Actually, going to the London or Berlin edition would be great too.
Have you got any festival dates lined up for the summer?
Marcella: A few in Belgium, but as said before we’ll probably record a full LP during the summer, so we won’t play too many festivals. But, if we have cool opportunities, we’ll look after it for sure.
How would you describe a Black Mirrors live show to someone who had never seen you live before?
Pierre: It’s a mix of a lot of energy, distortion, mysticism, a bit of psychedelic music and fun.
What has been the best gig you have ever done?
Marcella: Not easy to say. Probably our show at Dour festival last year. This festival is really known here in Belgium and being on that stage before great bands we admire, especially Brant Bjork was incredible. We played really early, like 2 pm but despite that they were a lot of people. The sound on stage was great and we really enjoy it.
Are you a fan of the television show Black Mirror?
Marcella: Yes, definitely. One of the best shows ever. Actually, the name Black Mirrors came up with the tv show. We felt touched about the satirical themes of modern society they showed.
What are some of your favourite films and TV shows?
Pierre: The Red Line and The New World. I’m a huge Terrence Malick fan. Black Mirror, Californication.
Marcella: I’m not really a movie person, I’m more into tv shows like Black Mirror, Westworld and Vikings.
What are the top three albums that you never get tired of listening to?
Pierre: Jimi Hendrix – Electric Ladyland. Queens Of The Stone Age – A Song For The Deaf and Colour Haze – Tempel.
Marcella: The Doors – Strange Days, Janis Joplin – I Got Dem Ol’ Kozmic Blues Again Mama!, The Beatles – Revolver.
What music are you currently listening to?
Pierre: Tinariwen, Wo Fat, Samsara Blues Experiment.
How is the music scene in Belgium at the moment?
Pierre: If we speak particularly about rock music, it’s strange because there’s a lot of good bands but not so many places to play, not a lot of airplays and the audience doesn’t seem to be into rock music so much. At least it’s true for the french-speaking part of the country, it’s seems to be different in Flanders.
Are there any bands that you can recommend to us?
Pierre: From Belgium, you have to listen to Thyself and Moaning Cities, two great bands!
What else have you got planned for the rest of the year?
Marcella: Touring, playing and creating music, becoming better as musician, drinking some Belgian beers and making a full LP!