HV: Please introduce yourselves to our readers.
BBR: Dear readers, this is Black Box Revelation. We are Jan Paternoster (22 years old, guitar player and singer) and Dries Van Dijck (21 years old, drummer). We’re a duo, both born in Brussels, now living in Brussels and Antwerp, Belgium. We’ve been playing music together since our childhood and have always been fascinated by older artists, or bands like the Stones, Neil Young, and all the great bluesmen from ’round the Mississippi and many others. We released an introductory EP in the States in October, named ‘Shiver Of Joy’, consisting 6 tracks of stuff we’ve been playing over the 6 years. Our first US full-length, ‘My Perception’, will be out in the States early 2012 on Merovee Records!
HV: Perfect intro. So, you guys began playing together when you were just teenagers; how or when did you ‘know’ that you were going to be a dynamic duo?
BBR: Before Black Box Revelation, we were both playing in a four piece band called ‘The Mighty Generators’ with Jan’s younger brother and another good friend. After a while Jan wrote a song (Love In Your Head) which didn’t really match the other Mighty Generator tunes, so we tried to perform it as a two piece. One song became two, and after a while we had quite a playlist already. From that moment we decided to move on as a duo and started a new band: Black Box Revelation. The funny thing is that we promised ourselves on the first BBR rehearsal not to stay in Belgium to play or perform music. That’s why we’re so excited now to tour all over the States. It’s an amazing country to tour and drive through. I think we’re pretty lucky to see so much of the world while playing music. It’s not just a way to bring people together, it’s definitely a good way to see a lot of mother nature.
HV: Sold out shows, killing the festival scene… you’ve had great success overseas and now it’s time to conquer this side of the pond. Will there be any bloodshed?
BBR: Well, we know it’s not easy to conquer the States, and maybe that’s the main reason why we like it so much. The country is so big you could just keep on playing and playing gigs everywhere. There are thousands of great bands, but we believe Black Box Revelation is what the Americans are looking for. Inspired by a lot of music, especially older stuff, we create our own sound and give great live performances. Americans LOVE live music, a band rockin’ out right in front of them on stage. We know that’s one of the favorite moments for everyone. It’s releasing a certain adrenaline boost. On the previous tours we did here, all the people who saw us were really into it. We were actually amazed by that enthusiasm. And it’s not just the crowds who love it. We’ve been touring with Meat Puppets and they were so excited that they asked us to join them again on a new tour. They even wanna play with us in England, or go on a tour together in Europe. Exciting, isn’t it? We also got a lot of synchs already in series’ like Entourage, Vampire Diaries, a couple of ’em in Sons Of Anarchy. It’s great that such a big TV series wants to use your music in their programs. We love Americans. In the meanwhile, we have released 3 records in Europe so we do wanna play a lot in Europe as well. I guess we’ll just have to play double as many gigs as before, haha. It’s super busy, but that’s a good thing!
HV: What do you like about touring around the U.S.? Our food? Our strange accents? “The Jersey Shore”?
BBR: Touring the U.S. is a lot of fun for us ’cause it’s a new experience; new culture, new people every day who are really friendly and happy! It’s interesting ’cause all the old blues music which is our favorite was born here. Every single person here in this country loves music, amazing! Although the drives are way longer then in europe, the country is beautiful. It’s good to have the variation of all those cities, and then again the wild nature.
HV: How did you manage to land THE Alain Johannes as producer for My Perception?
BBR: A couple of years ago we did a tour in Europe with Eagles Of Death Metal. They recorded their first two albums with Alain. So that was the first connection we made. After all the touring we did in Europe, we started making new songs for our next album. Our management proposed us to ask Alain to produce and record our new album with him. We were very excited! We asked Alain, he listened to our music, checked us out on youtube, and really wanted to do it! We had an amazing time making the album with Alain!
HV: That’s amazing. So, Rolling Stones or the Beatles?
BBR: We like both of them, but in the end our preference might go to the Stones. They both have the greatest qualities a rock band could have so it’s a tough decision anyway. All of them are great musician and songwriters, and they both knew how to make their albums sound so interesting. It’s great how they both were so improvisational and that they were releasing records in the same era. It’s even too hard to choose our favorite Beatles or Stones records, but if you want some of our favorite tracks.. Beatles would be Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, Yellow Submarine, Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band … Stones would be Under My Thumb, Miss You, Gimme Shelter, Brown Sugar… endless right.
HV: Fair enough. “Shiver of Joy”: for a collection of old tracks and b-sides, it’s a nice, tight package and representation of BBR. a) Where’d the EP title come from and, b) Why were those songs selected? (“Sealed With Thorns” is ridiculous in a good way)
BBR: Thank you! The title comes from one of our songs which is called, “Shiver of Joy”. A brand new track which won’t be on the new record that talks about trying to get a hold of good moments. You wish for them to last forever, but things keep moving on, faster and faster. Perfect title for a 6 track EP we thought.. before you know it, you have to turn your record to hear the next three tracks, and three tracks later you just can’t wait to hear side A again. When selecting tracks for this EP, we started looking for the most varying tunes, those who represent BBR best, in all dynamics and dimensions. It’s great to have 2 songs of each record, cuz they all have their own specific sound from when we recorded those albums. And in that way people immediately get to hear the evolution we made in the last 5 years of playing. Plus, it makes you curious to start digging for our older stuff, doesn’t it?
HV: What band/artist/music is currently blowing your minds?
BBR: Some new bands we really like are Black Mountain, Black Keys, Queens of The Stone Age, Black Angels, Yeah Yeah Yeah’s… But of course also the older bands like Rolling Stones, Neil Young, Led Zeppelin, Iggy Pop… Neil Young was a big influence on the last album we recorded. We really love the long jams, you feel those are coming straight from the heart!
HV: We’re big fans of those around these parts as well. Alright, be the music journalist for a minute: describe Black Box Revelation.
BBR: Black Box Revelation is a duo who’s making Bluesrock inspired by the sixties, seventies with some psychedelic parts in it. When you listen to their albums, you won’t believe it’s only these two guys playing. That’s why you got to see them live! You’ll be blown away by the sound they make. There might be some people who will compare them with Black Keys, but that’s obvious, cause they are a duo too. If you listen to BBR’s music you’ll notice it’s a new, fresh sound.
HV: Meat Puppets, Girl in a Coma, and Beady Eye: this is a strong and potentially epic tour for you. Come the end of this tour, what do you hope to have accomplished?
BBR: It’s an honor for us to be able to go on the road with these bands because we realize if we were to tour on our own right now, we wouldn’t reach the crowds we do with Meat Puppets, Girl In a Coma, and Beady Eye. That’s the most important thing. We want a lot of people are to see us live, and check out our music at home. Hopefully the next time we’re back, those people will be there.
HV: Have either of you had a “rock star” moment? (met a band or artist that left you in awe)
BBR: When we were recording with Alain Johannes, the new Foo Fighters’ album was coming out and they were playing several secret gigs in town. Alain is a good friend of Dave, so we were on the guestlist. We went to the show and met Dave afterwards. Such a friendly guy, it was amazing!
HV: Thanks so much guys!
Black Box Revelation
HV: Please introduce yourselves to our readers.