Podcast: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club


Today we’re hanging out with Robert Levon Been, frontman from Black Rebel Motorcycle Club!  Last month they released their eighth studio album Wrong Creatures…he’ll tell us about bringing in producer Nick Launay to work on the project  Plus: learning about the music business from his late father Michael Been and paying tribute to him by covering a classic from his band The Call.  Make sure to subscribe to the ‘2 Hours with Matt Pinfield’ podcast now so you don’t miss any upcoming conversations, we’ve got new episodes every Monday and Thursday morning.

Robert on bringing in producer Nick Launay:

“It was a strange thing where like we weren’t really ready to work with anybody else yet.  We produce our own stuff in theory…we don’t really know what we’re doing but we kind have enough of an ego where it’s hard to fit another person in the room.  So we’d talk about doing something with him but…it’s probably best we didn’t until now haha.  We woulda torn him apart!”

Robert on writing #TRENDINGTRACK “Echo” way back in 2010:

“I think that was around the Beat The Devil’s Tattoo album.  The very first time that bass line and melody…I think we had the chorus, we didn’t really have much words.  We just couldn’t ever figure out how to…I don’t know bring it to life all the way so…like a lot of songs we have, we kinda…we let ‘em be   until they’re speaking back to us.”

Robert on cover late-father’s band The Call classic “Let The Day Begin”:

“That song was our way of kind of saying thank you.  When we were thinking of which one to do as a B.R.M.C. song…there’s some really heart breaking tunes and you’d think that would be the obvious way but it felt more right to do the celebration…because his life was better to be remembered in that way than kind of another dive into the deep end y/k?  We had enough of that.”

Robert on his songwriting philosophy regarding the demo process:

“If you’ve got an idea just put it down and don’t worry about having some great demo…I can barely hear what it is, it’s so distorted cause the room is turned up to…y/k 11.  I can hear it in there and that’s all I need to like recreate it again.  But you gotta not care that it sounds atrocious.”

Robert on old writing process with fellow vocalist Peter Hayes:

“We would kind of see who could beat the other guy to the microphone.  We’d be playing some kinda cool riff for awhile…Pete [Hayes] would have a mic, I’d have a mic and then…it’s kinda this competitive think like, ‘you think you’re gonna sing that whole song?  I’ll beat you with this classic melody that’s just…oh yeah, ok that’s you.’  The writing was like: who could beat the other guy to a melody or some words.”