Black Map started 2017 off with a bang, and judging by their plans for the next few months, they intend on ending it that way as well. Not only did the trio kick off the year with tour dates alongside Chevelle and Dinosaur Pile-Up, they also just released their sophomore album, In Droves, which finds them at their strongest – without anything holding their sound or message back. For this new full-length, Black Map found themselves with full creative freedom, resulting in an incredibly honest, diverse and most of all rewarding release. To round out their spring and summer, Black Map will stay busy, continuing to tour in support of In Droves. Read what the band had to say about the new album and their plans for the future below.
Interview by Dom Vigil
Can you tell us a little bit about Black Map for any readers who might not be familiar?
We are three guys that try to play our own brand of heavy/intense/ rock music.
You guys just released your new album, In Droves on March 10th. What are you most excited for listeners to hear on this release?
The deep cuts. We released a couple of our loudest, punkiest songs first (Run Rabbit Run, Ruin, No Color) but I’m really excited for people to hear some of the more layered, ethereal stuff particularly the songs Foxglove, Dead Ringer and White Fence. It was really fun to record those songs and I’m so happy with how they came out. They were a little bit of a departure for us but the feedback on them so far has been really positive.
It being your sophomore album, was there anything you really wanted to accomplish with In Droves?
This album goes down so many more avenues than our first record. We kind of established ourselves as this really heavy, almost metal band at first and the album didn’t have a ton of range (although we are still very proud of it.) In Droves has heavier moments but it also more ethereal and delicate moments. We didn’t have any rules with this record and really don’t care about what genre we are associated with and that gives us a ton of freedom to work how we want to work and create the type of art we want to create.
What was the most rewarding thing about working on the album? Was there anything that you were able to explore lyrically or musically that you haven’t been able to in the past?
I guess like I mentioned before, we just really had zero rules on this album. We did what we want and we all think it turned out great so I guess that is something that is really rewarding, feels really good.
You recently released “No Color” from the album, which touches on the subject of conformity and losing oneself. What initially inspired the song?
It’s essentially just about how bleak of a world we would have if everyone turned away from their passions/ their art/their spirit and just marched down the same path. Being expressive and showing your true self is such an essential and beautiful thing and I believe many people strive for comfort and conformity before their strive to really actualize their humanity and really express themselves.
Mark came up with most of the music for that one. The choppy opening riff is just really grabbing and the song has such a satisfiing groove. It’s a really fun tune to play live.
Especially considering today’s social issues, what sort of impact would you like In Droves to have on those who listen to it? What would you like people to take away from the album?
Be yourself. Respect yourself. Respect others. I guess if there was some sort of mantra it would be close to that. Most of the album is really existential. It’s about the time we have while we are here and what we do with that time. How we choose to be.
You guys kicked off the new year with tour dates alongside Chevelle and Dinosaur Pile-Up. What was the highlight of these shows?
Man, pretty much every show of that tour was great. We already knew how badass Chevelle was from multiple tours but it was a real pleasure to discover DPU and share the stage with them every night. They are a really special band as well and it’s always nice touring with British guys because they always have hot tea ready for ya. The highlight may have been the first show which was at the Fillmore in SF. Incredibly historic venue and it was just so special to start off a tour there and play for so many friends.
Could fans expect to catch you on the road again anytime soon?
We will be out with Nothing More in April/May and then with Chevelle and Dinosaur Pile Up again in July and August.