The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

BLACK FOX LEAD SINGER DANE ROBERSTON

TALKS TO MARK ABOUT THE NEW 'BEATLES PARTY' SINGLE

THE ALBUM 'LINE OF SIGHT' AND A LOVE OF OLD TUNES AND VINYL

 

 

 

 

 

We have three copies of the new album LINE OF SIGHT to give away.

E-mail mark@therockcpit.net with the subject BLACK FOX to enter and we will pick three winners at random on Saturday 24th November.

 

 

Mark: Hi Dane, First of all let me say it's a great album, I just got chance to listen to it over the last couple of days, I just wish your publicist had sent me the vinyl instead!! I guess the big news for you at the moment is the single launch, “Beatles Party”, a fantastic song. I sometimes get in to trouble for telling people what their songs sound like, but, I don’t care, so here goes, a bit of the Cure in there?

 

 

 

Dane: Yeah, I’ve always been a fan of The Cure, Smiths and British indie bands.

 

 

 

Mark: It’s very “catchy”, and a great video to go with it, which we’ll be posting on the site. How did you get the idea for the video?

 

 

 

Dane: We always wanted to put out a video that people would want to watch, rather than a video we want people to watch. We had no budget, and no money, so it was actually an idea we had years ago to walk around and just hand out roses. So, we headed in to Melbourne, armed with a bunch of roses and a video camera, and pretty much walked around town all day doing that. We had the band members set up as buskers in the street. It worked pretty well and heaps of people saw themselves in the video, got in touch with us, and said they liked it, it seemed to put a smile on people’s faces.

 

 

 

Mark: It’s a great idea, and I think one of those that are like the “free hugs” that went around a few years ago, a simple idea, but looks great when you see it. As well as the obvious UK influences on the album, there is probably a bit of The Strokes, on there for me, a good band, especially when they first came out, and I saw  you actually recorded part of the album in New York.

 

 

 

Dane: Yes, one of our friends who is a musician, was living over there at the time, and co-wrote one of the songs on the album, we’ve always loved working with him and wanted him to be part of it. So, I cashed in some of my frequent flyer points and got him to record a few vocal parts on the album. It was great and actually took a few of the songs to another level, we had been working on those songs for about a year, so it was  good  to have someone else come in and listen to them and give us a fresh perspective and give us their opinions.

 

 

 

Mark: There are some great tracks on there, our favourites were “Day in Lieu”, which opens the album, and obviously “Beatles Party”, my particular favourite is “She Said”. Can you tell us a little bit about that song?

 

 

 

Dane: That is one that Callum, actually co-wrote, and we came up with that, we were previously in a band called The Smokes, which was a similar line up, but different musically. We came up with that song and it was always shelved as we never got round to recording it, so we revamped it a bit and played live with Black Fox and it sounded really good. It’s one of the more simple ones.

 

 

 

Mark: The lyrics are interesting too; do you write all the lyrics? Or, is it a joint effort?

 

 

 

Dane: All the lyrics on the album, except for a couple of songs, that one is one of them, I wrote half the lyrics on that one, and a friend of ours wrote the other half. The song ‘Burgle’ Daniel actually came up with when he was living in Japan.

 

 

 

Mark: OK so there’s the Japanese connection then, as I know you also recorded part of the album over there as well as Melbourne and the US.

 

 

 

Dane: Yeah, we were actually over there as Daniel just married a Japanese girl, so we went over for that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mark: One of my favourites on the album, especially lyrically is ‘Suburban Rooms’ where did that one come from.

 

 

 

Dane: For me personally that one is like our mantra. I came up with that one as I just met so many people who spent all their lives watching TV, and when they weren’t watching TV they’d be talking about watching TV. Just living their lives in the suburbs, and not doing anything with them, and just wasting their lives on it!

 

 

 

Mark: I thought that was fantastic, and that really resonated with me, I am constantly telling people to get out there and see live music, and they can’t because Big Brother is on TV.

 

 

 

Dane:  I actually got rid of my TV, and now I listen to music and go out with people.

 

 

 

Mark: That’s great and a fantastic move, and the other thing to get rid of is Facebook, that’s like your de facto TV, we can live without it! New album is out on Friday, “Line of Sight”, you have a launch party on the 24th at The Espy, what’s going on there?

 

 

 

Dane: The support is” The Naysayers”, they are really great, an Indie Melbourne band, it’s just going to be a big party, we have the temporary tattoos, the anchors, we are giving away at the gig. It’s always interesting to see where they end up at the end of the night, as people get more and more drunk!
Dane: Which room are you in at The Espy?

 

 

 

Dane: We are down in the basement, we like the kind of smaller room.

 

 

 

Mark: Yes, it’s a great venue, iconic; everyone should get out there and support it! You mentioned it before; you are releasing the album on 12” vinyl. It is an album that is made for vinyl, everything from the length of it to the sound of it, to the look and feel of it, and a really good job on the CD as well. What are your thoughts on vinyl and will it ever take hold again?

 

 

 

Dane: Well, it’s funny, I’m a huge vinyl fan personally, I have a huge record collection, and I do find it sounds different. When we did the album, one of the things we really wanted to do was release the album on vinyl, so we made that decision, and once you make that decision, it dictates a lot of things, 40 minutes, and  that gets the best quality outcome on vinyl. A lot of thought was put in to it.

 

 

 

Mark: I think that does colour how you think of things, when I was young you’d go out and buy the 12” vinyl and lovingly look at it, and read the lyrics, it was a whole experience, and I think digital media has taken that away from a whole generation of kids out there.

 

 

 

Dane: I couldn’t agree more, when you put one of our records on, it’s a real event, and you take it off the shelf, take it out, put it on and listen to the whole album, instead of one or two tracks. I think for that reason, vinyl, lends itself well to albums, even the artwork is better.

 

 

 

Mark It’s a nice cover, who did the artwork on that for you?

 

 

 

Dane: That was Lee, from the band. We pretty much did everything ourselves, we do all the artwork and all the production.

 

 

 

Mark: So, what are your immediate plans after the launch?

 

 

 

Dane: We are trying to pick up some national dates, we will try and get to WA, but we will definitely do Canberra, and probably Adelaide, and see how it goes!

 

 

 

Mark: Perth is not the easiest place to get people to come out to
 

 

 

Dane: Yeah, it’s been easier to get people in Europe to come out and see bands than it is in this country.

 

 


Mark: Yeah, I always weep, when I hear the tour rosters, and you think if I was in the UK, I could go and see 60 bands this month. I guess we are unique, in that we develop our own styles, but it is hard breaking out of that local scene, in to the international scene unless you’ve got the backing. But, I think you guys have a sound that is capable of doing that, which is great to see. You have a great CD, and we should have the review up in a couple of days. You mentioned before a few influences before, but from a personal point of view your vocals are quite interesting, and your delivery as well, is there anyone you model yourself on?

 

 


Dane: I have a few people that are favourites, I’ve always loved John Lennon, and Liam Gallagher, and David Sylvian of Japan, they’re kind of the main ones, BRMC and Kurt Cobain, but I’ve always liked people who extend themselves vocally, to the top of their range, where they are almost missing their notes but at the same time really nailing it. And that’s kind of what I try to do – write stuff that pushes me to the edge of my range.

 

 


Mark: I always loved David Sylvian from early Japan, right through the solo stuff, even the more experimental stuff like Dali’s Car.

 

 


Dane: I don’t actually have too much of his solo stuff but I am a huge fan of Japan and always loved his vocal delivery. We actually came close to covering one of Japan’s songs on the record – there’s a track on ‘Obscure alternatives’ called ‘Automatic Gun’ we had it recorded and we got in touch with management but we decided not to run with it in the end.

 

 


Mark: Those first two Japan albums are interesting in that they were really a lot more Glam Rock rather than in line with the New Romantic tag they got caught up with.  

 

 


Dane: Yeah they were ahead of their time in many ways and a lot more meaningful than a lot of the New Romantic stuff that came after.

 

 


Mark: I couldn’t agree with you more! Now for a couple of closing questions we try to ask everyone: If you could have been a fly on the wall for the creation of any piece of music at any point in time what would it have been and why?

 

 

 

Dane:  That’s a really good question. For me it would have been watching Abbey Road being recorded, mainly because it’s my favourite Beatles album, but also because it was when the band was coming to the end and they’d agreed to do one last album. It was recorded in a short amount of time and everyone brought in a few songs and there were some unfinished songs and I would have loved to have seen how that went down. I mean the Beatles had a sound that even now people can’t emulate. The care and attention and detail that went into them is amazing.

 

 

 

Mark: And the easy one: what is the meaning of life?

 

 

 

Dane: To me, just to have a good time!

 

 

Mark: Thank you so much and best of luck with the new album. People can even check out your new video below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Mark Diggins