Volume 93, Issue 98

Tuesday, April 4, 2000


Fidelity lost in transmission

Even for teen fare, Skulls just a bit too thick

Halos ready to lunge for brass ring

Ellington sends jazz fans Home

Halos ready to lunge for brass ring

Gazette file photo

By Shawn Despres
Gazette Staff

Relentless touring of their new self-titled album has begun to garner the Black Halos some well-deserved attention.

Their recent sold out show in Los Angeles turned into somewhat of a star-studded affair, as the Flaming Lips, Danzig, and Michael Stipe were among the club's attendees. "We signed an autograph for Michael Stipe the other night," states drummer Rob Zgaljic. "It turns out that he's a total fan of ours."

Originally called the Black Market Babies, the band formed on Halloween of 1993. After a lot of playing and a few personnel changes, including a name change, the Black Halos signed in 1998 with Die Young, Stay Pretty Records, a subsidiary of Sub Pop Records. The band's explosive debut album was subsequently released in May 1999.

"Die Young, Stay Pretty was started [for] rock n' roll bands. It was originally started to sign the Murder City Devils because they didn't want to put them on Sub Pop right away," Zgaljic relates. "They wanted to sign a couple of rock bands and see how things would go and it took off for them. A couple of months after we put out our record on Die Young we renegotiated our contract and signed directly to Sub Pop."

After touring for most of the last year and playing the same songs, Zgaljic said he is looking forward to entering the studio this summer to record the next Black Halos record. If everything goes according to plan, the album will be released in early 2001.

Unlike the last effort, the new album will be released worldwide – a move which will hopefully help boost the band's profile. Zgaljic believes the new songs are indicative of the band's developing sound.

"With our new material we are definitely finding our own style," he says. "Some of the songs on the first record were written like three years ago, so you can kind of tell where the influences were coming from. But now that we've been playing live for awhile we've found our niche and it seems to be working for us," he continues. "The music is still in the same vein, but it's a little poppier. It's more rocking than the older stuff."

A recent publishing deal with Nettwerk Records should help ensure that the music on the new album gets exposed to a much larger audience.

"Nettwerk is trying to license our songs to different countries,' he said. "They are also going to try and get some of our songs on soundtracks and television," Zgaljic explains. "We want to be on Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Dawson's Creek."

As for the band's very bright future, Zgaljic said the guys will be finishing their current tour before embarking on a month-long North American tour with L7 in May. At some point along the way they plan to shoot a video for their song "Retro World" and will also be contributing a couple of tracks to a Triple X Records compilation.

Included in the band's busy schedule is a stop at Call the Office tonight. When asked what Londoners can expect from the show, Zgaljic issues the following warning – "It's going to be dirty."

He also promises the band will go all out, no matter what happens. "It doesn't matter if we play in front of five people or five hundred people, we still put on the same high energy rock show. You can never predict what Billy [Hopeless, lead singer] is going to do. It is pretty over the top and its a lot of fun."

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Copyright The Gazette 2000