Posts Tagged ‘ Hard Rock ’


Origin- San Francisco, California

Genre- Alternative Hard Rock

Active Since- 1998

Labels- Abstract Dragon, Vagrant, Co-Op, RCA/BMG, Island, Echo, Virgin

BRMC’s official website

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club is a rather muddled band, not in the sense that their music isn’t good, just that they’re not easy to research. I couldn’t find good history anywhere but Wikipedia, and even there it was confusing. I’ll do my best to explain the origins of this band, which is one of the best groups (musically) that I’ve heard in the last few years.

The band was formed in 1998 when lead singer Peter Hayes and guitarist Robert Levon Been met in high school. Hayes had recently left ‘The Brian Jonestown Massacre’, another local band. While looking for a drummer, the duo found Nick Jago, an Iranian from Devon, England, who had moved to California with his parents. They named themselves ‘The Elements’, but upon finding another band had already taken the name, Hayes, Been and Jago came up with the name, “Black Rebel Motorcycle Club” from the movie, “The Wild One”.

The group’s first two albums where considered Modern Hard Rock, with classic rock influences. The second of the records contained tracks which were critical of the United States Government. Robert Been used the pseudonym ‘Robert Turner’ on theses albums to avoid being linked to his father, Michael Been from the band ‘The Call’.

During the recording of Howl, due to problems with Nick Jago and the band, Jago quit the band for rehab attempts in 2004. He returned near the end of recording, but Jago didn’t really contribute much to Howl. During the European tours for Howl, the band employed a temporary fourth member, guitarist Spike Keating. The sound of this album was very different from the basic BRMC sound (the first two albums were apparently called BRMC), and had more of a folk/acoustic feel to it.

On April 30, 2007, Baby 81 was released. This album had a much more solid BRMC sound, with the basically Hard Rock sound with angst themes. Some more in-band drama occurred, and Jago left the band again in June of 2008, so he didn’t have anything to do with the band’s fifth album, The Effects of 333. Peter Hayes issued a statement about Jago’s leaving; “Nick won’t be joining us for the upcoming European tour, but it’s not true that he is fired. We just feel Nick needs time to sort out exactly what he wants right now. His heart and all his energy and attention is on his own solo project and he needs to see that through.” Nick Jago was replaced by drummer Leah Shapiro. The Effects of 333 is completely instrumental.

On November 10, 2009 BRMC released a live DVD through Vagrant Records. It was recorded in Glasgow, Berlin, and Dublin during the Baby 81 world tour. A song by BRMC,  “Done All Wrong”, appeared on the soundtrack to the 2009 film New Moon.

BRMC’s sixth studio album, Beat The Devil’s Tattoo was released March 8, 2010 in the UK & Europe and March 9, 2010 in North America.

Well, BRMC makes some awesome music, and from Baby 81 I heard some of the best tracks in my life. Haye’s vocals aren’t bad, although his occasional off-key-on-purpose does get annoying. The thing I like most about this band is it’s beautifully full and rocking sound, which I didn’t hear in Howl, but I heard it loud and clear in Baby 81 and Beat the Devil’s Tattoo.

The only few things I don’t like about the band is it’s internal drama. I think they’ve finally fixed that, but I think you should be sure to get a group of people you’re very good friends with before you go about making a band. Jago obviously did something to slow BRMC down in its early history.

Other than that, I think BRMC is actually a little out of this time. It’s not old-fashioned, it’s not modern, and it’s certainly not ahead of our time. I suppose BRMC is one of those bands that we can learn something from, because they are revolutionizing the lower grunged-over Hard Rock areas of music. They’re trying new things and profiting by it, and for their ingenuity I salute them.

Any real music lover would know that there’s something about this band that’s different. Stock up on some of this music, because it’s some of history’s best. You won’t regret it.

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