Black Cab is a Melbourne based electronica group that create music influenced by 1970s electronica. The group’s principal songwriters are James Lee (Guitarist) and Andrew Coates (Vocalist) who have been working together since 1999. Black Cab is not a typical band, they create music more like art with all four of their studio albums drawing influence from social or political events through history such as Altamont Diary, their album loosely based on the story of Rolling Stone’s Altamont Free Concert disaster (read about it here).
The group have announced that they have an album due for release August 4, and are showcasing their new music at select venues in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. They have also released two singles off of the forthcoming album titled Akira. The tracks Prelude and Closing Titles are both a dreamy electronic wonderland of sounds. The album in its entirety was inspired by Japanese sci-fi anime movies such as Akira and the two singles incorporate many layers of sound to make you feel like you’re listening to music from some kind of dystopian alternate reality.
The incredible venues that have been selected for Black Cab’s album drop aren’t the typical concert venues; they will have live Taikos (Japanese percussionists) perform on stage with them to create an art exhibition that enhances the atmosphere of their music as they perform it for the first time live.
Vocalist of Black Cab Andrew Coates took the time to have a chat with AMNplify about the album release and upcoming shows – check it out!
Hi, Brianna, it’s Andrew Coates here from the band Black Cab
Hey Andrew, How are you?
Not bad at all, good. You’re my first chat so you get the good stuff.
Is the new album going to be similar to your old material?
It’s actually a bit of a different thing for us. It’s more of a soundtrack album. So it’s very different from our four albums in the past. Early on in our music, we used lots of guitars but we’ve gotten rid of that sound. In January we were asked to do the live soundtrack for this sci-fi animation movie called Akira and so we did that in Melbourne and we performed live with a Taiko drummer to about 1200 people and that went really well. We knew we probably wouldn’t get the chance to do that again so we decided to put out an album that is sort of like a soundtrack inspired by the film Akira. So not really like any of our other albums, but some people have said it still us elements of Black Cab in it.
Did you guys like Japanese anime films before this project?
When we were asked to do the live performance with the Taiko drummer that was what set the direction of the music. These strong Japanese drums, and then other Japanese instruments. So it’s really the big Japanese drums that everything works on top of – hopefully, a Japanese film producer hears it and wants to use it for a future Japanese sci-fi film!
You’ll be performing the album at art venues. Is this more of an art project than just music?
Yeah, well the opportunity to play at GOMA happened coincidentally and they have a MARVEL exhibition at the moment and they actually own the rights to the movie Akira which is interesting. So we thought rather than just perform a Black Cab live show, we will perform the entire album as like a soundtrack. We will be really lucky to perform with Taiko drummers live. That sub-culture of Japanese sci-fi anime is a totally immersive world. We are learning a lot of new stuff.
What is the layout of the album; it being a soundtrack?
We designed it not to be like a typical album. Each track is not really singles they are sort of one part of the whole album. It kind of mirrors a movie with opening titles, closing titles, weird interludes, reflective sad moments. So all of those things you would experience watching a movie, we like writing albums to listen to as a whole rather than just making singles. We like the idea of music you can immerse yourself in, more of an experience.
Where did you come up with the artwork for the album?
We found a guy called Chris Anderson who specialises in doing anime illustrations. He did that as an original image that looks like its out of a Japanese anime but it is all entirely original.
Any surprises in store for the shows?
The Taikos are working very hard rehearsing and there will be lots of electronics incorporated. It should be really cool.
What’s on for Black Cab after the three shows?
We’re recording a new album. It’s been written and that will come out probably early next year; we might drop a single later this year. And we’ve just done a remix to an EP we released called Empire State.
BLACK CAB 明 ALBUM LAUNCH
FRIDAY 4 AUGUST
Brisbane – GOMA Up Late QAGOMA
With special guests TOKO-TON taiko
Part of QAGOMA’s ‘Marvel:
Creating the Cinematic Universe’ exhibition
Buy tickets (includes gallery access)
FRIDAY 18 AUGUST
Melbourne – Howler
with special guests Toshi Sakamoto, Simona
SATURDAY 26 AUGUST
Sydney – Oxford Arts Factory / LTR ON
Connect with Black Cab!
- Brianna Denmeade