Strange tastes from the Black Lips - Metro US

Strange tastes from the Black Lips

The first tastes of the Black Lips’ “Arabia Mountain’ couldn’t be more different.

Last month they released a video for “Go Out and Get It,” a clip as sunny and funny as its Monkees-on-Banana Splits ear candy. The video was filmed on the Bruise Cruise, where about 400 fans boarded a ship off the coast of Florida, and the Lips played with eight other acts, including Vivian Girls, Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees and Quintron and Miss Pussycat. After you watch the clip you may wonder what really happened to that cool-looking bass guitar.

“Its down under with Poseidon right now,” says singer and guitarist Cole Alexander.

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And last week the Black Lips released a video for “Modern Art,” a dark and freaky piece of psychedelia that’s a real trip, literally. Check it out below.

“We took Special K at the Dali Museum in Spain,” Alexander shares about the latter song. His polite tone and raspy Georgia accent are rife with an innocence that one wouldn’t immediately associate with combining modern art and horse tranquilizers.

“I don’t like to endorse the use of drugs,” says Alexander. “But I do like to feel disassociated from my own mind, and that’s one of the drugs you can achieve that with.”

So what happens when you’re under such a spell like and looking at art that already feels surreal?

“Well, surrealism already kind of gets you out of your headspace, so when I took the ketamine, it was almost a double-negative, like the surreality was taken away,” says Alexander. “It was like everything didn’t make sense, so it all kind of did.”

What may be more unique about the single for “Modern Art,” is that it is the first the world has heard of the Black Lips’ collaboration with super producer Mark Ronson, who made his name making Amy Winehouse’s name. Ronson produced nine of the 16 tracks on “Arabia Montain,” which comes out in June. Alexander says Ronson didn’t tinker too much with the Lips’ classic flower punk sound.

“I’m definitely into classic America-like things,” he says. “Marlboro cigarettes, Levis blue jeans, you know, James Dean-kind of aesthetic. I like adding to that, but to me, if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.”

You may have read that the Black Lips have toned down their unpredictable live shows.

not true,” says Alexander. “The thing is, every
show’s not the same. People expect the same show every time. Sometimes I
don’t feel like throwing up on the audience. Maybe I don’t need to
throw up, and so it’s not going to happen. If I don’t have to pee, I’m
not going to pee. We’re not puppets. There are no strings attached. It
depends on what the audience catches. And the more we play, the harder
it is to do every night — like we’re not trying to do the same schtick
every night — we just do it how we feel it. Originally though, press
started writing about these couple shows that we had like that was an
everyday occurrence, but it wasn’t. i have to feel it.”

So, in other words you may or may not get peed on. No refunds!

To listen to Cole Alexander ask Kurt Vile a question, download the latest edition of the Metro Monthly Music Podcast by clicking right here!

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