Band Interview + First Video (Dr. Stein): Black Emerald

Based in Reading, England, metal Black Emerald will release their debut album later this year. They released their first video Dr. Stein on Monday the 8th May which was made by Very Metal Art. The album will deal with topics surrounding life, death, addiction and mental health problems.

You can watch the excellent video for Dr. Stein below:

Black Emerald Interview

1. How did you get started as a band?

All told, Black Emerald has been going for close to 12 years. The band was started by our guitarist during the summer of 2005. After many line up changes and changes in sound we landed on the three piece that is our current form. We’ve shifted from being a hard rock band to something heavy with every iteration of the band, with new members adding something different as they passed through. The current line up of Edd Higgs on guitar, Connor Shortt on drums and myself as bassist and lead vocalist has been the most stable incarnation of Black Emerald, having been in this form since the summer of 2014.

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2. How would you describe your sound?

We like to call ourselves ‘stoner/accidental prog’, but, really pinning down our sound is hard for even ourselves to do. We’ve landed in a sort of artistic no-mans-land, where we have left ourselves completely free to explore which ever musical directions we can think of. We like to play against the larger perceptions of what certain genres sound like, mixing stoner rock, hard rock, prog metal and thrash to create our own broth of metal madness.

3. What bands/artists would you say have influenced your style of music?

The three of us are very much individuals, and in fact the few bands that we have a shared love for (Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Foo Fighters, Alice in Chains and Paramore) are all groups that we sound absolutely nothing like. Connor likes a lot of contemporary music, such as pop rock, hip hop and some old school RnB, Edd is a steadfast fan of all things cheesy and stadium rock, but he also enjoys singer songwriters, and I am definitely a fan of heavier genres like; sludge, doom and death metal, but I also love country, ambient and blues rock.

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4. Has the rise of YouTube & music streaming helped or hindered you as a band?

We’ve found that since we are a band that is hard to place musically, that we have been building a fan base quite slowly, so having videos on YouTube and tracks on Bandcamp is a commodity that can’t be understated.

5. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not making music?

Connor’s life is pretty much centred around music, so logically he is in another band called InAir, plus he seems to really love sleep. Edd is an avid cyclist and Rick & Morty fanatic. And I have my own podcast where I review movies and talk about underground music (Simon Hall’s Various Artists) and I have also started writing a novel and a short story.

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(You can listen to the podcast on Soundcloud, find out more about it on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram!)

6. What are your future plans musically? Tours?

We went on our first tour at the end of last year with our friends in The Freudian Session and Mercury’s Well, so there will definitely be more tours on the horizon. We’ll also be shooting a couple of music videos to accompany songs on our upcoming debut album. Plus, we will be releasing a limited number of hard copy only singles for our song Dr. Stein in a few weeks time.

We’d like to thank Black Emerald for taking the time to speak with us. You can find out more about the band over on their website, on Facebook & Twitter as well as pick up their earlier music on Bandcamp. Pop over to YouTube to watch the Dr. Stein video & live performances!

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