THE BLACK RYDER
March 2011. by Black Ryder’s Aimee Nash. Photos www.pixievision.com
The Black Ryder’s Aimee Nash writes of the trials, tribulations and triumphs in trying to crack the US market 14th Jan 2011 marked the first headline show in LA for The Black Ryder. It was a really great turn out and the kind of response you’d hope for at a show. We were playing with a new line up (again) and I’d had some fun working on imagery & visuals for the show, so the night felt like a success in the way that it all came together, starting another journey in a new city.
We relocated from Sydney to Los Angeles in September last year and went straight into a 32 date tour with The Cult across the USA. The shows were incredible and we were humbled by the amazing response of audiences across the country, many who had never heard of The Black Ryder before. This was our first introduction into America and what an introduction it was. Between the shows there was a lot of driving, some beautiful scenery, and did I mention driving? It’s a hell of a way to see a country.
We’ve always had a changing line up. It’s the way we started the project, so even though at times it’s been tricky managing it, that’s how it’s worked out. We play with friends / musicians who have a good energy… Good people. We set our intention that way in the beginning, & it’s always worked out well for us, despite the potential risk of people not being available for shows etc.. On Friday night we played with a drummer by the name of Hayden Scott who we met over here, funnily enough Australian too (you wouldn’t think you’d be meeting up with other fellow Australian musicians when you’re in the USA).. but a friend of a friend passed on his details when we were on the hunt for a drummer to join us on The Cult tour, still a week out from our first show & no drummer.. Lucky for us Hayden came our way, is amazing + was available.. Hayden has been over here for a few years & also plays with Gram Rabbit & another band by the name of AWOL Nation, very different styles of music to what we do. Hayden joined us on the first leg of The Cult tour, then we had to get another drummer (Graham Roby – Gold Rush / Miranda Lee Richards) for the second leg because Hayden had already locked in another tour.
At the Echo we were also joined on bass by Miss Malia James; bass player, photographer, director, host of ‘dirty laundry’ and played bass with Marnie Stern for a while. Again, very different style of music, but we’ve all fit together perfectly, all coming from a shared love for music, tone, atmosphere, drone. Prior to Malia, Archi Read (Doomfoxx / Hell City Glamours) played bass with us throughout the tours with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Raveonettes, Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Charlatans & The Cult on both the Australian + American tours.
Although each players history include very different styles of music, we’ve had ridiculously good fortune in the people we have played with. We didn’t know what to expect when we moved here, who we’d be playing with, but as luck would have it, it’s been wonderful.
One of the first things we did when we moved here was buy a van. We pulled together what little we had on moving here + bought a dodge ram van that we affectionately refer to as the ‘Road Warrior’.. complete with captains chairs, an electric bench seat that doubles as an electric fold down bed, dvd player & mood lighting… all seemingly very important for the choice of comfort.. we came here with the intention of going the distance, so we needed a vehicle that could stand it.. it ain’t glamorous by any means, but the touring lifestyle itself ain’t so glamorous either.. a lot of time in the van together, a lot of miles, finishing one show + feeling exhausted then getting back in the van + getting back on the road hurtling yourself towards the next city.
There’s not a great chance of normality, routine or anything predictable happening in that time. And when you can ease into enjoying all of that it’s great… but sometimes it can be taxing, tiring.. hard to find your feet.
All in all, we’d consider our first USA tour with The Cult a success, and it was a privilege to be playing with a band that we all loved, now it’s all about where we go from here.
Later this month we’re playing at Noisepop which is a festival that’s been running for around 19 years I think.. We’re playing with (Mexican Summer) label mate Tamaryn, which we’re all excited about. There’s a lot of mutual love in that camp, we’ve been sending messages to each other for over a year now after discovering each others music, so it’s perfect that we’ll finally get to play a show together. In April we’re playing at Austin Psych Fest 4, featuring The Black Angels, Roky Ericson (13th Floor Elevators), Spectrum (Spacemen 3 / Sonic Boom), and a whole big old line up of cool artists / bands… and in between that it’s settling in for a bit here in LA, finding our feet, continuing to write & record, and keep writing the story.
Watch this space…