The Black Pacific

Event has passed (Fri Sep 17, 2010 - Fri Sep 17, 2010)
Bottom of the Hill
Show @ 9:00pm
$12 - $14
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When Pennywise vocalist Jim Lindberg left the band last year after 20 years, nine studio albums, almost four million records sold and countless sold-out tour dates, many people in the music world assumed that would be the last they’d hear from Lindberg for a while. They were wrong. Almost immediately after leaving the band, Lindberg recruited drummer Alan Vega and a longtime friend, L.A. musician Davey Latter, and began to flush out a batch of songs that see Lindberg moving in a more sonically varied direction without abandoning any of the energy and aggression of his previous act. The band then teamed up with Far guitarist and producer Shaun Lopez (Deftones, Giant Drag) and headed into his Airport Studios to begin working on their debut. “With this album there was definitely a sense that I had something to prove,” he explains. “I really wanted to show people that I could create a great album on my own. This is the kind of music I’ve been playing my whole life, so why not embrace it?” That last statement couldn’t be any more true and while many punk veterans eventually turn to acoustic music or less aggressive versions of what they’ve done in the past, The Black Pacific is teeming with more vitriol than ever. “Everyone was expecting that I’d slow down and go acoustic , but the thing most people don’t realize is that I wrote a lot of the music for Pennywise,” Lindberg explains. “It’s who I am. So if you have distorted guitars and my voice it’s inevitably going to sound similar, but I think there’s enough variety on the record that if you listen to the whole thing, there are some new, re-energizing influences as well.” Listening to The Black Pacific undoubtedly confirms Lindberg’s statement and the album showcases the full range of his writing style, from aggressive anthems like “Living With Ghosts” and “The System” to the pop-leaning punk sound of “Kill Your Idols” and dynamic range of tracks like “No Purpose.” “Making this album was really liberating because there were no rules about what I could do; if I wanted to add some new guitar effects or alternative tunings I had the ability to do that without worrying about altering some preconceived notion about what the songs had to sound like,” he explains. “I feel like this first record is a transition from what I’ve done in the past; I’ll always play this kind of music but with each record there will be more experimentation.” Lindberg also adds that working with Lopez had a huge sonic impact on The Black Pacific’s end result. “Working with Shaun was incredible,” he explains, “From the minute I heard the guitar sound he came up with, I knew it was going to be something special. I’m tired of the scooped, thin guitar sound I’ve been hearing lately. On this record the guitar has teeth; it has midrange and bite, there’s tons of bass, and everything sits in its right place,” he continues, adding that although he wrote the music for The Black Pacific the recording process itself was collaborative. “I can also say without a doubt this was the most fun I’ve ever had recording—all the guys in the band have great attitudes and are really supportive of each other. For example, Alan tracked all the drums in two days and after that he was in the studio every day just because he wanted to be part of the process,” Lindberg continues, “it was a total team effort.“ Lyrically the album sees Lindberg revisiting familiar themes of self-reliance, however this time around there are additional layers of subtlety that can only be exposed over multiple listens. “On one hand there’s a song like ‘Time Is Not The Reason’ that’s about personal liberation, but then there’s track like “The System” where right after I wrote the riff on guitar, it dictated what that song had to be about.” Lindberg says. “There’s also a song toward the end of the record called ‘Put Down Your Weapons’ that’s about how people use verbal artillery just to tear each other down, and defending their egos instead of really communicating” he continues when asked about the universal themes of the album. “There are a variety of topics on the record that I hope will get people to think a little bit. ” There’s no denying that starting a new band can be daunting, but when asked what has kept Lindberg thriving for the past two decades he doesn’t miss a beat. “I just love playing music,” he says. “Sometimes it’s easy to get jaded, but when I plug in my guitar and we begin playing, it’s like starting all over again,” he summarizes. “This band has reminded me of what I’ve always loved about playing music, and we’re just getting started.”

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