<center>Christian Bland of The Black Angels</center>

Christian Bland of The Black Angels

I was a preacher’s son who grew up in a Christian family attending Sunday school and church every Sunday. My Dad was a high jumper for the University of Maryland in the 1960’s and he passed along his genes to me. I jumped at Florida State and the University of Texas. I injured myself so many times, 2 knee surgeries and a broken ankle, I eventually decided to pick up the guitar instead of pursuing my original goal of jumping in the Olympics.

At the time, it was devastating to not continue jumping, but it’s the best thing that ever happened to me. It changed the course of my life and eventually The Black Angel were formed.

We've just announced a spring tour to the Eastern US with Black Lips so we’re looking forward to that. We’ll also be heading to Australia for 4 shows March 10—13. Lots of touring the first half of the year, then hopefully we’ll get back to writing the next record this summer and fall. We’re also starting to gear up for the 10th annual Levitation festival happening in Austin April 26—29. We’re excited to be having the festival again after a 2 year break due to the cancellation because of bad weather in 2016.

I recently started working on my 4th Christian Bland & The Revelators album at The Austin Recording Service with Brett Orrison and Bob Mustachio, in hopes of releasing it later this this year or in early 2019. I feel like I always need to be doing something. Who knows how long I’ll be around, so I’d like to create as much as I can while I’m here. I’ve surrounded myself with other people who enjoy creating as much as I do, so together our output is that much more.

We usually always record on tape, it lends to better performances when you can’t constantly perfect what you’re doing. You’ve really got to have the performance down beforehand. We use 2” tape on a 24 track machine and track live all together, then we layer it up. Then, as far as release format is concerned, vinyl always wins. 

Lyric—wise, I think I just call it like it see it. I report back my observations and experiences. All of our songs, both The Black Angels and my solo material, is a catharsis. It’s my outlet so that I stay sane. 

Without music I’d lose my mind. I think its important to realize that you’ve got to learn first in order to unlearn so that you can relearn, if you don’t then you’ll just do and think as you’re told. I believe it’s up to everyone to form their own ideas. Open up your mind and let everything come through, as the 13th Floor Elevators taught us. Anyone that has an outspoken opinion opens themselves to criticism and potential harm. People enjoy bringing other people down to their level. It makes them feel better about themselves. Critiques are pros at tearing things down and artists are pros at creating and buildings things up.

I guess getting signed by a label depends on any band's ultimate goal and what your definition of success is. If it’s just to be able to eat and have a place to live, then yes, I believe you can do that without a major label.

To a certain degree, Rock n Roll is about rebellion, if you’re accepted by the masses into a ‘Hall of Fame’ it almost defeats the purpose. You satisfied the stats quo instead of disrupting it. But at the same time, if you’re an innovator and at the forefront of your craft then I think you should be recognized for that.

I think LOVE should be inducted, but then again, it’s probably better that they aren’t!

Published: In Print Issue Nº 06—2018
Interview by Major Tom Alexopoulos, Thinkbabymusic Collective 
Photography © Ignacio Quintana