“We couldn’t imagine a Black Baptista live show without our audience being a little rowdy and causing a ruckus… We dig it.” -Black Baptista

January 22, 2012

Entertainment, Interviews

DarkMedia Interviews Black Baptista:

Very few bands in the music industry today are as raw, and as exciting, as Black Baptista.  With their latest album, “Thread the Needle”, the trio of guitarist Bryan Baker, drummer Andy Sanesi, and bassist Peter Boskovich have, as reviewed by, “unload(ed) some of the most searing and primal rock music this side of Led Zeppelin.”

DarkMedia had the privilege of sitting down with the band to discuss their take on the music scene, Black Baptista’s residency at one of music’s most legendary venues, The Viper Room, and  their writing/recording process that’s already put them right back in the studio — doing what they do best.

You’re a three piece band, which is rare in the music scene, especially today. What inspired you to fore go having a lead singer?

BLACK BAPTISTA: For us, having a lead singer always seemed sort of unnecessary and awkward on stage — There’s always this guy just dancing around or standing and looking at the band members, which, even in its best incarnations, still seemed weird to us.  And, from a musical standpoint, the overwhelming majority of bands with lead singers are just three piece bands anyway, so it just made sense to eliminate the forth member and have Bryan do both, mainly because he can and because it just makes things leaner and meaner.

Your music has been called rock and blues with a touch of psychedelic. Who would you say have been your greatest musical influences over the years?

BLACK BAPTISTA: Our influences are intensely, almost unbelievably expansive, ranging anywhere from rock, metal, punk, and blues, to jazz, 20th century classical, and modern improvisational music.  Our iPods look like a schizophrenic went shopping on iTunes.  But really we just love everything, and spend a lot of time checking anything and everything out.  Our individual influences are varied; Bryan is heavily influenced by blues, American traditional sounds, folk, and country, while Andy is much more influenced by jazz and more modern sorts of sounds, and Pete is way into anything and everything weird and out there, from Tomahawk to Battles, etc.

Photograph by Julian Fuhrmann

BRYAN: I just do what I do you know? If people want to compare me to other artists from the past or present, that’s cool and fine with me, and of course I’m flattered when I’m spoken in the same breath as Clapton and Page, but I’m not trying to be like those guys; I’m just doing my thing.  The recognition is not something I think about… I just play.

“Thread The Needle” is the title of your debut album. Can you tell DarkMedia’s readers why you named it that?

BLACK BAPTISTA: For a variety of reasons, but the main one would be that, from a musical standpoint, and especially on this debut album of ours, we were really striving to find the balance between traditional and classic rock and blues sounds, and the combination and juxtaposition of more modern and creative sounds, in effect sort of “threading the needle” inside of that space where both of those sounds can live… Plus, it’s just a cool fuckin’ name.

Black Baptista is already in the studio recording a new album. What inspired you to go back in so soon, and how will it differ from “Thread The Needle”?

BLACK BAPTISTA: As far as the inspiration, we’re basically always inspired, so we’re always recording demos of songs and thinking of new things constantly. We record about an album’s worth of material every month, then sort of sift through this material and find the best stuff, then head into the studio to record these songs for album-ready versions.  We have no real idea how the next record’s gonna sound because of this process.  We just kind of let it flow, then sit back and organize everything.  So now we couldn’t tell you… But, we can tell you it’s gonna rock!

You had a month long residency at The Viper Room in Los Angeles on the infamous Sunset Strip. What was that experience like? Do you think it affected not only your music, but your fan base since it’s a 21+ venue?

BLACK BAPTISTA: The experience was incredible… It’s a legendary, world class venue, with a reputation that goes without saying, and an awesome staff of super cool and talented people.  It definitely affected our music from the standpoint of notoriety, because the club and its reputation sort of vouched for us and our music, which gave credibility to what we to, and caused our fan base to increase in a big way.

The 21+ thing hasn’t ever really been a problem for us.  I mean, we kind of feel like you need booze to really dig deep into our sound in a live show.  We couldn’t imagine a Black Baptista live show without our audience being a little rowdy and causing a ruckus… We dig it.

It’s widely known that Black Baptista isn’t in the business for the money, but for the love of the art. It’s a shame that bands with “gimmicks” are rich when bands with real substance are still having a hard time getting noticed and signed. What do you think can be done to turn the tide?

BLACK BAPTISTA: No fuckin’ idea.  We just do what we do, pound the
pavement, crush with no mercy every day, and see where the cards

You’re doing a video for “Get Up”, a song from your debut album. What made you choose that song, and what do you think will make it different from all of the videos competing for air time?

BLACK BAPTISTA: We all sort of agreed it’s the obvious “single” from the album, so it wasn’t a hard choice to make the video for that track. In terms of it differing from other videos around, once again, we’re not really concerned with that.  We’re just concerned with making a fucking cool video that we like and are proud of.  If we concern ourselves too much with how it’s going to be received and how it’s going to differentiate itself from the herd of videos on the market, we’ll end up making a shit video… There’s already plenty of those around.  Maybe that’s how ours will be different… Ours won’t be shit.  Haha.

A director from Ireland is doing your video. How did you get involved with him, and what made you choose him over someone local?

BLACK BAPTISTA: The director’s name is Diarmaid Odhran, and we’ve all been a big fan of his work for ages, especially his use of lighting, so choosing to work with him, or having him agree to work with us rather, was and is a huge honor and something we’re very stoked about.

What bands would you like to tour with?

BLACK BAPTISTA: Hmmmmm…. Tom Waits, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Battles, The Dead Weather, and plenty of others.

How did it feel to be featured in Guitar World Magazine?

BRYAN: Awesome.  I read that magazine religiously as a kid, so it was cool to complete the cycle.

Since our readers like it Dark, can you tell us what your favorite horror movies are?

BRYAN: The original Dracula with Bela Lugosi for sure.  I was Dracula something like 8 or 9 Halloween’s in a row as a kid, and that movie still totally kills me it’s so good — I always bring it with me on tour for the bus.  I actually really like all of the old Universal horror movies: Wolfman, Frankenstein, etc… All awesome.

ANDY: TCM for sure.  It’s a classic, and we all know why…

PETE: Poltergiest.  I saw that movie at the right age, and it scarred
the shit out of me.

Have you ever had a paranormal experience?

BLACK BAPTISTA: No, but we haven’t really had a normal experience either…

What can we expect from Black Baptista in the future, and how can our readers find out more about you on the web?

Expect everything… Tune in at


Black Baptista is currently featured on  DarkMediaCity, a free social network for those who like it Dark.  Whether it be literature or film, music or art, horror or sci-fi, paranormal romance or paranormal investigation, we’ve got something for you.

They can also be found on their website and on Twitter at @BlackBaptista.

Many thanks to our contributing music interviewers, Annie & Kelly.

Featured photograph courtesy of cc101 Productions.

(All interviews are the exclusive property of DarkMedia, and may not be reproduced or shared without permission, excepting links to the interview.)

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  1. From the Dark Media City blog off Tumblr… « Bryan's Blog - February 2, 2012

    […] here for the full interview] (Source: […]

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