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Black Magic Six

Interview von: arne mit J-Tan, am: 02.10.2010 ]

Gitarre, Schlagzeug, Gesang und eine wenigstens halb verrückte Attitüde reichen BLACK MAGIC SIX II, um auf „Doomsday Bound“ eine Bestandsaufnahme der besonderen Art durchzuführen. In ihrem vierten Stück beschäftigen sich die Finnen mit nicht mehr als ,The Past, The Present And The Future Of True Heavy Metal.‘ Allerdings gilt es anzumerken, dass die Band aus Helsinki nur bedingt Heavy Metal ist und ihre Spielwiese eher zwischen Punk’n’Roll und Rockabilly findet. Hinzu gesellen sich ein für die Rezeption der Platte wichtiger Spaßfaktor und hintergründige Absichten der Musiker, die man häufig erst auf den zweiten Blick wahrnimmt.


Musicscan: Where and how did you guys meet and decide to become a band? Did both members have an equal vision about how the band should sound like from the beginning or how did your actual style of playing come to be?

Black Magic Six: Well, as you can probably realize from the band´s name, there was supposed to be a bit larger group than two guys in the beginning. Originally the band was called J-Tan & The Black Magic Six, but other fellas were way too lazy and never came to rehearsals – so finally we two found ourselves doing songs as a duo and it sounded good. Then we kicked out other guys, but kept the name. Black Magic Two didn´t sound good and tough enough… Our sound was an accident as well. I had no plan to play guitar in this band. I was supposed to be a hell-driven frontman. But in two man band only drums and vocals would have been a bit boring, so I went to music store, bought a cheapest distortion pedal and EBS Octabass-pedal. Then I whiped the dust out of my guitar and amplifier. The drummer, Lew Siffer throw the bassdrum and hihat out of the window and build up his special drumset, which he used in his classic ex-band Sweetheart. After two rehearsals the sound was pretty much there. After that we practised how to play. We do have same vision of music 91%; we both like punk, garagerock, rockabilly, grindcore and black metal. The rest 9% is mocking shitty bands what another one likes.

Musicscan: Do you feel limited in any way because of the line-up consisting of “only” two people?

Black Magic Six: In the beginning I personally felt a bit like so, but nowadays not anymore. We can build up pretty massive sound and energy on stage – and in studio you can use as many helping hands as you need. I think duo is more freedom than prison: no fucking solo-guitarists fucking up the songs with endless solos. No drunken bassplayer asking where´s the beer or idiot vocalist fucking everything which moves. And there´s no other people except two of us to decide what kind of music we wanna make. This is perfect.

Musicscan: Do you think it's more important for bands to observe the traditions of a style, or to push the genre's boundaries? Is there a way to achieve a balance between progression and tradition?

Black Magic Six: Sir. You have really interesting questions. This question depends on a band. With Black Magic Six we believe in rhytymn and our good/bad sense of understanding the music. We are not going to be very “artistic” or sounding “trendy” ever. No fucking way. We dig AC/DC, Motörhead, Venom and Ramones: these guys do rock and don´t give a fuck about trends and progress. About tradition: these bands have own sound. Nowadays you don´t hear too many bands, which you can regocnize from the first chord or drum kick. And that´s a shame. We wanna be a band with own sound – don’t´know are we there yet, but in some reviews journalists wanted us to change on our second album. We took it as an honour…hehehehe. Anyway: don´t except us to record anthems or theme-albums. We wanna push all boundaries, our own way. If you dig it, you dig it. If you want something else, we don´t give a shit.

Musicscan: Whether you’re going punk-rock or punk'n'roll - it tends to be a youth oriented movement. How do you stay young in the genre?

Black Magic Six: These genres are just a tool for people to categorize music. Actually they do not mean anything else, except show a bit skin of the band. The rest 99% should come our by hearing the music. Nowadays people are too much listening records with their eyes. Music should be listened with ass. If you ass moves, music is good. That´s our motto. So we don´t give a fuck about categories. We just play what feels good – and we are old fucks anyway, so there´s no need to be young anymore, hehehe…

Musicscan: Punk'n'roll is told to be a somehow fun orientated genre. Would you agree to this or do you think there are topics that are by far more than that? What about Black Magic Six? Are there any aims to change the world?

Black Magic Six: Punkrock is partly having fun, and I dig the attirude, though I´m not so punk. Basicly – and lyrically we have some topics, which a a bit dangerous to talk here. We have made the deal not to talk about it at all. I can give a little peak by saying we are not goths, but we are sure that whole mankind is doomed. And we just dig the thing, not whine or cut our wrists. We are not going to change the world. If the evil is man, so what man can do?

Musicscan: As far as scenes go, the industry’s constantly changing, up and coming bands seem to have a different agenda that some of the veteran bands might. Who do you feel sets out with the same ideology as Black Magic Six; attempting to accomplish the same things that you have?

Black Magic Six: We are on tour constantly, so we haven´t had too much time to get familiar with new bands. And that´s a shame. In Finland we have bands in same “level” like Black Totem and from the another end The Lariots. Abroad we feel brotherhood with bands like Hola Ghost, The Goo Men, Dead Elvis & His One Man Grave, the Untamed – only to mention a few.

Musicscan: Many of todays' bands seem to miss passion. You have lots of it and that's why I enjoy Doomsday Bound. Is it just a question of the right attitude towards music and being a band? In my mind Doomsday Bound is a pretty courageous record. It´s intense and really shows what the band wants to do, no matter what listeners say or expect. What would you retort to that?

Black Magic Six: I think you answered the question with your question. We give no bullshit. We are not real “artists” or “musician”. We don´t know how to compose or make good lyrics. Of course there must be nuances in music, but as I said – earlier: if our music makes our asses shake, that´s good sign. If it shakes someone elses ass – or mind – we truly appreciate it.

Musicscan: How important are compromises in the context of Black Magic Six? Should they play a major role at all? To me it seems that you are not willing to take compromises into consideration at all…

Black Magic Six: You are pretty much right. Full volume and we are ready to go. Compromises are for pussies.

Musicscan: What lessons have you learned from being involved with the punk and rock underground for several years now? What has it done for you? Are there any principles you would never give up to as Black Magic Six?

Black Magic Six: Oh, we have done long-long way. BM6 is pretty young band, but we have done some dirty deeds with other bands for couple of decades. I was almost saying, we have learned nothing, but to be honest that´s not true: like on tour always take a shower, eat and drink when you have a change. There´s no bad gigs, only crappy bands – so that´s why we play almost all the given shows: from weddings to funerals. There´re a lots of principles we would never give up – there´s too many to mention right now. As our drummer Lew Siffer says: “Never worry, never surrender”. It includes the basics: we won´t whine and we don´t give up. Whwn we start to give up and whine, we bury the band.

Musicscan: Can you take one „typical“ Black Magic Six song and explain what you hope people are getting out of it, please.

Black Magic Six: Well. Pick up “typical” song is a bit hard, but maybe the birth one of our oldest songs - from the first album - “Hudaa” explains the psyche of Black Magic Six a bit. Our song name comes from legendary Finnish singer/songwriter Tuomari Nurmio a.k.a. Judge Bone. He had a song called “Huda”, from where we stole the word for our song “Hudaa”. This is freely translated what he says in the song: Play that Guitar Play a bit more hard There´s no other god Except huda-huda

Musicscan: Final thoughts?

Black Magic Six: We hope that people come to see our shows in November, when we do pretty long European tour. On tour the music change; instead of soundwaves, it turns flesh, blood, saliva and bones. No drug can bring you the same power or energy as be on stage – or to see good show. Let there be rock.