The Black Moods: "The Cover Band Thing Is Almost Like An Epidemic"
Somewhere outside of Phoenix, in the blistering desert, towering rock and roll legends of the past buried a time capsule containing the key to a long lost sound. Through perseverance, talent and brilliance, The Black Moods from Tempe, AZ seem to have uncovered that capsule and tapped into the secrets of stripped down, in-your-face rock and roll excellence.
Coming off their self-titled debut album, The Black Moods--Joshua Kennedy on guitar and vocals, Ryan Prier on bass and backing vocals, and Danny "Chico" Diaz on drums--are proving their worth to the musical community by injecting their style into the vein of rock and roll. Their influences are clear, from their groovy logo, Kennedy's Robert Plant-esque hairdo, their name--derived from the legend of Jim Morrison--and their infectious guitar work and catching lyrics.
Up on the Sun was able to step inside the mind of singer Kennedy before The Black Moods perform this Saturday at Rockbar in Old Town Scottsdale to get his perspective on the local music scene in Phoenix, his ultimate guitar god, and the story of The Black Moods.
How are you doing?
Great. Our record is out, we're working on our third video and I just got done doing the Circus Mexicus thing with Roger and the guys in Mexico, which was cool.
Yeah, you killed it up on stage there in Mexico.
Thanks. It was the first time not playing with just Chico, Ryan and I. It was neat to hear the song played back with Roger singing harmony and all those guys. It's nice to get that kind of feedback from a guy you look up to.
Where does the name The Black Moods come from?
I was reading a Jim Morrison biography and they referred to his melancholy moods as black moods and I thought that was an interesting way of phrasing that kind of a vibe. We wrote a song called The Black Moods first and once we started tossing that around it kept coming [back] so we just ended up going for it.
Wow, I was not expecting that. That's cool.
Yeah, and then later on I sat down and watched all eight hours of The Beatles anthology and Paul McCartney used the phrase the black moods as well.
I want you to just tell me about The Black Moods. Anything you would want a new listener to know about yourself and the band?
We just have a good time playing music, and that's the thing--we're friends, and we've been through a lot of stuff together, so it's about having a good time for us, and being able to play the songs we feel good about. We would do it even if nobody was there to listen [laughs]. We hang out with each other and do this anyway; it's about having the good times and the good vibes that come along with what we do.
What can an audience expect to experience and see at one of your live performances?
It's just high energy rock and roll. It's definitely a spectacle and it's a good time. I'm lucky enough to get to play with Chico and Ryan who are two of the best musicians I know. If nothing else, you can come out and watch me have a good time, because I always have fun [laughs].
Let's dive into the record. You recently released your debut album, correct?
Yeah, that's been a work in progress since 2010. We really just started buckling down and writing; it was a good two years in the making, and we're really proud of it.
I have to say, I listened all the way through it today and really enjoyed it.
We haven't had any bad feedback on it. Really, if there is negative stuff, I don't think it would hurt me that bad, because I'm very proud of it. Everybody involved with it gave it their best. It's only like 35 minutes long, and I'm okay with that. It's our first record and I want it to be a punch-to-the-face type of thing where you're like, "What the hell?" and want to play it again [laughs].
I was intrigued by the song and the music video for "Hey You."
We wanted to make a video for one of the tunes, and we felt like "Hey You" would be a good first single. It's about dealing with feeling like you've let somebody down or you just can't cope. I definitely want it to be a positive thing.
Our good friend, who is actually in the video, was in Iraq, and he had to deal with all that stuff. The song was already written about a different friend of mine who I missed and I feel kind of let me down a bit and then we started tossing video ideas around.
After the jump, see the video. "We all support the troops... it's sad what happens after the fact, sometimes."