Interviews: Black Pyramid

On this new occasion, we have had the opportunity to interview the Doom Metal/Stoner Metal band, Black Pyramid from the USA. Check out the interview and follow the band on their FACEBOOK PAGE.

1.Where did you get the idea for the band name, you planned it or came out just like that?

Originally I’d wanted to call the band Wintermute actually, and there was already a modern band with that name. Clay wanted to call the band Burning North, and I wanted to call it The Eye In The Pyramid. Clay proposed just Pyramid, and of course there was a band named that. It was actually when Eric Beaudry who said, “What about Black Pyramid”, and that just clicked right away, we all liked that and agreed.

2.Why did you want to play this genre?

Well, it was originally something that I wanted to do more as a side project. I was playing in Palace In Thunderland at the time, and we were a heavy band that incorporated a lot of more progressive elements and were always trying to mix things up. We didn’t tour though, and there were a lot of tensions within the band. So I wanted to do something a little more straight forward, a super heavy three piece in the vein of High On Fire, Sleep, Electric Wizard and Acid King. Soon after, Palace split up, we went our separate ways, and I ended up writing some songs and joining up with Clay on drums to do the three piece idea. We both had a huge range of influences though, so it wasn’t long before more and more of them began creeping into our sound. I think that’s a good thing.

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed?

No, we did not. Clay and I actually both responded to an someone else looking to form a band in nearby Connecticut, at which point we figured out that we lived close to each other, so we ended up just meeting up, talking, and jamming together. Eric Beaudry was suggested as a bassist who lived in the area as well and was interested in heavy music, so he ended up being a fit initially. Gein, who played bass on the album, was actually friends with Clay and knew him from other bands, and I knew him a bit at that point too.

4. Each band member favourite band?

Jeez, I don’t even know. It changes so much. At the time? Clay and I both looked to High On Fire as our favorite modern band when we formed the band, I remember that distinctively. But we were both really into Hawkwind, we both loved The Who, Black Flag, etc. Right now, my favorite band is probably Motorpsycho, though that’ll change by next month. Gein was really into Iron Maiden and Danzig/The Misfits when he joined up.

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

I’m not really sure who or what. Something inside me, I guess, something that doesn’t know how to express itself in any other way. It’s almost like a side of myself trying to communicate with me, a side deep within me that I’m otherwise blind to and unaware of. When I write, these emotions, images and words churn up from deep within my mind and body, and the music captures them so that I can see them more clearly. It doesn’t all come directly from me though, I feel like it’s also the spirit of the age moving through me and using me as a vessel, giving voice to a moment in time, and my deepest experience of that moment. I’ve thought about this for years and years now, really reflected on it, and this is the best explanation that I can give you.

6. Where was your last gig?

That’s a really good question, I honestly don’t even remember. It’s been awhile with the pandemic going on all around us. I looked through our records, and it looks like the last show that we played was on February 1st of 2020, at The Flywheel in Easthampton. It was a great billing to celebrate our friend’s birthday, a lot of local and regional heavy acts at an all ages venue. We had an awesome time. It’s a shame that the space has had to close since then, it was one of my favorites, though the Flywheel has changed spaces before. Hopefully they’ll come back even better once this is all behind us.

7. Where would you like to act?

Act? Like in a movie? I’d like to act in a full fledged live action Elric of Melnibone movie. I think that would be totally radical. I’m not much of an actor, so I guess I’d just want to play a small part, though if a director wanted my input on some of the artistic vision and such, I’d so be down with that. Maybe I could be Dyvim Tvar, the dragon master? That would work, I’ve talked to dragons since I was a young boy, so it wouldn’t be much of a stretch there on my limited acting ability. I’d also love to write the soundtrack and have Black Pyramid play it! It would be a cool mixtures of epic metal and atmospheric synth parts and such.

8. Whom would you like to feature with?

Christopher Lee, if he wasn’t dead. I’d want Michael Moorcock to be in the movie too, in a small role. I don’t know who could play Elric, maybe the guy who played Viserys in Game Of Thrones. He looks good with the white hair, and he’s got the sort of build for the part. Trying to think who could play Cymoril….maybe Natalie Portman? Get Jason Momoa to play Yrkoon, bring those two back squaring off, that would be a hit for sure!

9. Whom not?

Again, I guess not Christopher Lee because he’s dead. I guess not Peter Cushing either, because he’s dead too. Kevin Spacey I’m also guessing would be out.

10. Any of you has ever suffered from stage fright? Any tip for beginners on how to beat that?

Oh yeah, actually I used to take stage fright drugs prescribed by my doctor. I definitely wouldn’t suggest that for beginners, that wasn’t a great idea in the long run. Before I took the pill, I used to drink too much before gigs because of stage fright. I wouldn’t suggest that to beginners either, again, not a very good long term strategy. I think that it’s different for everyone, and we all just have to learn what works for us. So if you’re a beginner, try different things to relax before you play. Eventually we learn to sit with the discomfort, that’s the first step. Lots and lots of meditation was really what it took for me to overcome the stage fright - I don’t get it anymore, though I’ve been doing regular meditation for nearly ten years.

11. What bands have inspired you the most?

Hawkwind, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Blue Cheer, Pink Floyd, Judas Priest, Soundgarden, Monster Magnet, Black Flag, The Melvins, Neurosis, Spirit Caravan, High On Fire

12. What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you for?

Someone had me sign a poster or flyer at a show, and used his back as a flat surface for me to write on.

13. What do you think of your fans?

Our fans have been super supportive and cool, and I really like it when people write to us letting us know how much this album impacted them. It still blows me away, that after all these years since we released this album, that it continues to inspire people. There’s a lot of current musicians who write to us saying how much of an influence this album was for them, how it inspired them to play this kind of music. That means a lot, that’s everything an artist could ever hope for, and it means the most to me, to have left such a lasting and enduring impression. 

14. What do you think of our site?

It’s pretty friggin’ cool. I like how you have the “behind the artwork” and “track by track” features for albums, that’s really cool and different. Glad that we were able to contribute!

15. Something add?

Just wanted to put it out there that we’re working on new material for another album. It’s going to be really heavy and really out there, much different than anything that we’ve ever done before, though I think that it’ll still be familiar and relatable to old fans.

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