Cult indie trio, Black Dice have been at the forefront of experimental rock and 'noise art' for over a decade. Currently in Australia as part of the 2011 Melbourne Festival, band member Aaron Warren talks to Australian Stage's Paul Andrew.
Black Dice – dark chance – tell me the story behind the band's name?
Well I was not in the band at the time but legend has it that Hisham, the old drummer from the band, had seen the words grafitti'd on the wall and that it was an old NY street gang. Everyone thought that sounded pretty tough, so that was that. An earlier incarnation of the band was called Spit On Your Corpse, I believe.
For the benefit of Australian readers new to Black Dice, tell me something memorable for you guys about the band's formation?
I joined the band in 1999 in NYC. Post-providence. But the shows were still pretty wild. I had to learn how to play twice as fast as I'd ever played and would as often be beaten down by Eric as I would by the crowd. I once had a footprint on my back after a show!
The question of chance – the Dada noise attack days with Wolf Eyes – tell me a little about this dada time too, and if chance/collage continues to play a vital role?
BD is into writing songs. We have aspects of improv in that we get loose on the songs live and jam out a bit, but any collage aspects are written into the songs at the beginning. We are open to chance and happy accidents, but try to get these elements under control in the practice space when we're making up the songs.
The line up for the Melbourne gig, who, and on what instruments or devices?
Its me and Eric on electronics and microphone, and Bjorn on guitar and electronics
Who do you count as your major influences now – and more importantly who do you count as the minor influences?
Personally I feel most influenced by the DIY hardcore and indy bands of the 90s – Nation Of Ulysses, Unwound, VSS, Bikini Kill, Born Against, Antioch Arrow. Bands that toured and put out great records with grassroots support by kids in small towns nationwide.
The DFA label days, more tribal, more dancey – what remains the most memorable song from this time – why it lingers in your consciousness?
I like Cone Toaster, though the version that made it to vinyl was never as good as the live version. We retired the tune at this huge outdoor festival in France in 2004 – that was the version I wish was on the record!
Who are you listening to now?
These days I am listening to much of what kids across the world are listening to: Kanye West, Black Lips, Kurt Vile, Gang Gang Dance. I love the internet music culture of today – you can literally think of any band and be listening to them within seconds.
Image credit -
Top Right – Aaron Warren, Bjorn Copeland and Eric Copeland