Performing: Black Lips
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If Black Lips’ bipolarity runs on a touring vs. recording-an-album spectrum, then the previous year was the mother of all manic spells. After a spring and summer running the usual festival circuit in North America and Europe, the Lips embarked on a two-month fall tour of the Middle East. They were tailed by Georgia rock-doc royalty Bill Cody, of Athens, GA – Inside/Out fame, who filmed the band playing for kids in Tunis and Cairo who had just overthrown their government, kids in Iraq who barely have a government, and kids in Dubai whose government is richer than God (and might control a genie).
Recording for new album, Underneath the Rainbow, was split between New York with Thomas Brenneckand Nashville with the the Black Keys’ Patrick Carney. Early internet conjecture, based around on the album’s lead single ‘Boys in the Wood’, Carney’s choice of a country studio in Nashville, and an offhand reference to roots music, pegged Underneath the Rainbow’s sound as a blend of southern rock with throwback C&W and blues. Which is a weird description for a record containing the first Black Lips’ song with a prominent synth (“Funny”), and even less apt for an overall album that owes just as much to the kiwi pop of New Zealand’s South Island and the Chicago South Side’s Crucial Conflict as it does the standard American South. “They got it all wrong,” says Jared, “they were asking ‘Is there a “radical departure” or “new direction” on this album?’ so I said, no it’s still roots music, which is what we’ve been doing from the start and which all rock and pop music derives from.”
“Although is a new direction as far as it having more of a commercial sound,” adds Cole.
“Honestly, that synth getting in there was a fluke.”
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