Breaking Artist: Black Mountain

January 9, 2008 3:57 PM ET

Who: Vancouver quintet Black Mountain, a band of psychedelic hard rockers who have already garnered buzz on the strength of their 2005 eponymous debut and high-profile gigs like their stint opening for Coldplay.

Sounds Like: A high-voltage mix of Black Sabbath riffs, Pink Floyd's Syd Barrett-era psychedelic sensiblity and the Flaming Lips' eccentricity. On their sophomore album In the Future, the band embraces their lava lamp-worshipping side, balancing stoner-rock opuses with ambient harmonies. "It's heaviness mixed with fragility," says frontman Stephen McBean. Case in point: the eight-minute epic "Tyrants," which bounces from the softer moments of Black Sabbath's Masters of Reality to the crunching guitars of Black Flag's Damaged.

Vital Stats:

• During a show in Oklahoma City in 2005, the band realized the Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne was in the crowd. Impressed by what he saw, Coyne invited the band to crash at his house. "In the morning, we looked outside, and Wayne had all these bubble machines going," says co-vocalist Amber Webber, "He gave us one, and we used it on tour."

• As a thirteen-year-old, a punk band that McBean was in opened for one of Dave Grohl's pre-Nirvana Washington, D.C. hardcore incarnations. McBean's teen years also included frequently cutting class, an affinity for punk rock and a stint living homeless after running away from home.

• Coldplay handpicked Black Mountain to open for them during their 2005 tour. "That was surreal," says McBean, "Gwyneth Paltrow was backstage. I lost to her in ping-pong."

Hear It Now: Black Mountain's In the Future hits shelves January 22nd. In the meantime, you could check out their MySpace page to hear their epic "Tyrants" or watch the above video for "Druganaut" from their first self-titled album.


To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Hungry Like the Wolf”

Duran Duran | 1982

This indulgent New Romantic group generated their first U.S. hit with the help of what was at the time new technology. "Simon [Le Bon] and I, I think, had been out the night before and had this terrible hangover," said keyboardist Nick Rhodes. "For some reason we were feeling guilty about it and decided to go and do some work." Rhodes started playing with his Jupiter-8 synth, and then "Simon had an idea for a lyric, and by lunchtime when everyone else turned up, we pretty much had the song." The Simmons drumbeat was equally important to the sound of "Hungry Like the Wolf," as Duran Duran drummer Roger Taylor stated it "kind of defined the drum sound for the Eighties."

More Song Stories entries »