“It’s been absolutely crazy but we’re so wrapped up in the middle of this, in this little bubble, it’s so hard to have an outside perspective.”
Even though it is only July, it has already been a monumental year for Brighton four-piece Black Peaks. Having been tipped for great things at the turn of the year, they’ve made good on their potential with a record of the year contender in ‘Statues’ and a series of outstanding live outings with appearances alongside Deftones and at the Download Festival being the latest in a growing list of memorable showings. However, despite their success so far, they rarely sit back and embrace it.
“It’s been absolutely crazy but we’re so wrapped up in the middle of this, in this little bubble, it’s so hard to have an outside perspective” explains guitarist Joe Gosney as we caught up with the band shortly following their Download slot alongside drummer Liam Kearley and bassist Andrew Gosden. “Like today, you walk out on stage and there are thousands of people and that’s real confirmation of what we’re doing. But most of the time we’d be sat at home worrying about merch orders. We’re just trying to make things work.”
Whilst some might see it as a negative trait to always be thinking ahead, others might see it as admirable. From speaking to three-fourths of the band, it is clear they strive to continually improve as a band, no matter what they’ve achieved so far. “That’s our one curse as a band. We always try to be not one step but two steps ahead of ourselves” states Gosney before Kearley adds “We question the future so much we don’t realise the present. We’re getting prepared because we don’t want to be stressing and have as much time to play music as we can.”
Although they’re constantly wearing the burden of the future, moments like playing with Deftones and Download have allowed the quartet to step back and live in the moment. “Today was a really big one for us. It was a personal goal, as was Deftones too, but that came out of the blue,” states bassist Gosden. “I took a step back today and really bloody enjoyed it. Everyone was in the moment with us. It was one of those occasions where it all aligned and it all flowed.” Whilst Joe confirms “It’s the one thing we know how to do. When we’re on stage, that is one time we have fun and enjoy yourself.”
It is a credit to Black Peaks that despite all the praise and “hype” that they have received for the best part of a year, they realise that the most important aspect of being in a band is playing. Gosney continues “to sum it up, we stress about everything until we get to play the music and be like “this is fun”. The rest of the time we’re thinking “shit! what’s the next record going to sound like?” Playing music is the core of it.”
“‘Statues’ was a perfect representation of where we are at as a band. We poured our heart and soul into that record.”
The past 18 months has seen Black Peaks stature grow following a string of impressive festival appearances and tours alongside names such as Lonely The Brave. All of which was leading to the release of their debut album – ‘Statues’. Arriving in April following a slight delay, it was due in February, the LP is a blistering onslaught of well-constructed rock that is built around Will Garner’s unbelievable vocal range, whilst his bandmates paint a thrilling musical picture that twists and turns throughout.
On the album, Joe said “‘Statues’ was a perfect representation of where we are at as a band. We poured our heart and soul into that record. It’s nice to get out there and people know the songs now. Finally, we get to live that moment of our lives that happened two years ago.”
Now with the album firmly out in the open, Black Peaks are reaping up the rewards from its brilliance. Having already conquered Donington and Wembley Arena this summer, they’re now looking towards making strides in Europe. “We’re doing a lot of European festivals. It’s going to be fantastic” says Liam with Joe adding “we’re super excited for that. Most, if not all, of these places we’ve never been to. It’s the first seed in a new territory.” Whilst Gosden earmarks Copenhagen on his wish list; “We’re playing with Converge. They’re the whole reason I play bass. That’s going to be fantastic.”
Nevertheless, the band aren’t abandoning the UK just yet. They’re returning to the 2000 Trees Festival this weekend before embarking on a UK tour with noise rock specialists Heck in the Autumn. On the tour, Liam said “that’s going to be a test of all our strengths in life because they are incredible. They live show is crazy. It’s going to push us. We’re two completely different bands. We work together well but we’re not the same band.” Whereas Joe focuses not the potential the tour has for both bands; “the aim is to bring both of them together and give something the UK is quite excited about. We do completely different things, but we’ll have two crowds come down to these shows and everyone will have a good time.”
Despite giving the impression that they don’t have the opportunity to live in the moment, Black Peaks are a band embracing the present and simply enjoying themselves. Living the dream of four friends in a band and playing music together.
‘Statues’ by Black Peaks is out now Easy Life / Sony Red.
You can catch Black Peaks touring with Heck this September.
04 Parish, Huddersfield
06 Fleece, Bristol
07 Boston Music Room, London
08 Boston Music Room, London
09 Plug, Sheffield
10 Electric Circus, Edinburgh
11 Cafe Drummonds, Aberdeen
13 Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton
15 Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff
16 Sin City, Swansea
17 Cavern, Exeter
18 Talking Heads, Southampton
View more of Already Heard’s coverage of Download Festival 2016 here.
Words by Sêan Reid (@SeanReid86)