THE BLACK BULLETS (from l-r): Lance Skybaby (guitar), Carl D (drums), Billy T(vocals/harmonica), Alice E. Atkinson (bass), Skinn Klick (guitar)
INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
Since forming in 2012, Hampshire quintet The Black Bullets have been winning over rock fans across the UK and Europe with a powerful, vibrant and gritty sound, raw vocals, and live sets that are unique and entertaining.
The reaction to their recently released single ‘Mockingbird’ has so far been positive, with both the track and accompanying video getting much exposure on social media.
Telling me about the band’s beginnings, influences, aims and more was their guitarist Lance Skybaby.
How did The Black Bullets come about?
The band was formed by our drummer Carl, after various line-up changes, myself and Skinny Pete joined forces with Billy and Carl about three years ago. The three of us had previously played together in another local band called Junction 13 a few years ago.
Our new bassist Alice, who we knew from her previous band The Featherz, only joined the ranks at the beginning of this year after our previous bass player decided to walk out on us just before a big gig in Paris, Hard Rock Hell Festival (with the likes of LA Guns, Love/Hate and Lita Ford) and a two-week Spanish tour! Nothing like last minute changes to keep everything lively!
From where did the band name originate?
Ah, the name! Well, I believe as the rock n’ roll legends of old would have it, we are actually named after a ‘Female Pleasure Device’ of the same name. To find the truth now would be impossible though, it’s an enigma wrapped in a mystery!
What would you say were your main musical influences?
I’m sure that each member of the band would say something different on this, but the main influences that come through for me are: Guns n’ Roses, Chuck Berry, Dogs D’amour, Sex Pistols, Ramones, Motley Crue, AC/DC, The Wildhearts…….all the good stuff!
How does the band typically put songs together?
Well we normally hold a very formal shirt and tie meeting, plan strategies, present pie charts, take minutes etc……..Ha, ha! Nah, we prefer the old-school rock method of plug in n’ play! It nearly always starts with someone coming up with a spontaneous riff at a rehearsal, followed by someone saying “What’s that? It sounds cool“, then everybody getting involved.
Normally, the band gets the song sounding sweet and in what we think is a working order, then we hand it over to our singer Billy to work his evil magic!
You recently released a new single ‘Mockingbird’. How have you found the reaction to that so far?
Very encouraging, we received over 10,000 hits on the video in one week on YouTube with about 100 people sharing it of their own backs on Facebook, which blew us all away!
We’ve had lots of good responses to both the song and the video from radio stations and the public. It’s such a good feeling to have people dig it as much as we do, that’s what it’s all about, from the point when the band finishes the song in rehearsals and you know you’ve done something really good and you just want everyone to hear it.
How, for the band, is it playing live and touring?
Awesome, it’s real and gritty you know? Just being out there, playing in different towns and even countries, meeting new people, being part of a unique gang that’s working together to make something powerful. It can be hectic, funny, stressful, rewarding.….you never really knows what’s going to happen, it keeps you on your toes! It’s always entertaining.
Our recent Spanish tour was a real eye opener, a county where no-one knew us and from the first gig, people were singing along to the songs that we have videos out for, quite overwhelming, in a good way of course!
What have you got lined up in the near future?
We’ve got a new single ‘Drag the Damned Down’ and video in the making as we speak, with hopefully several more to follow throughout the year. Various gigs already booked (some as far as Christmas) with more being added all the time, including an appearance on the main stage at this year’s very popular Basingstoke Live free festival.
What is the band’s long-term aim?
To keep building this thing up and take it as far as we possibly can. Write bigger and better songs. Get our music and the live shows out to bigger audiences and get this monster really charged up! Once you’ve had a taste, it’s hard to stop.
FOR MORE INFO ON THE BLACK BULLETS, CHECK OUT THESE SITES: