Monarchs of anarchy

You wouldn’t think that a band which has been banned from various venues in the US for urinating,vomiting,kissing and burning guitars —all on stage— would choose to come to a country which isn’t any more tolerant of such acts.

Written by Pooja Pillai | Published:January 19, 2009 2:15 am

The Black Lips hit Mumbai tomorrow,but minus the wild antics

You wouldn’t think that a band which has been banned from various venues in the US for urinating,vomiting,kissing and burning guitars —all on stage— would choose to come to a country which isn’t any more tolerant of such acts. But that’s exactly what indie rockers Black Lips have done by coming to participate in the Mumbai festival by playing a gig in support of Climate Solutions Road Show.

When asked why India,guitarist/vocalist Cole Alexander replies succinctly,“Because we wanted to see India.”

The punk-rock band — including bassist Jared Swilley,drummer Joe Bradley and another guitarist Ian St Pe — performs at the Bandra Amphitheatre tomorrow. The band,which has been hailed for playing anarchic rock-n-roll,got together in 1999 when the members were still in high school. “We got kicked out of school,so it was easy to go touring,” says Alexander. When asked why,he matter-of-factly says,“for breaking the rules”. Since he doesn’t elaborate,we move on to another question. How did they come up with the band’s name? “I had a girlfriend who had beautiful,dark lips,” he says,still laconic.

Alexander really opens up when he discusses why the band lets loose its wild side on the stage. “That’s a bit of a hype,” he says at first,but then he continues,“There’s an animal inside all of us,” he explains,“We call it the ‘manimal’. And it’s important for everyone to break the chains of civilisation and let that animal run free. That’s what we do when we’re performing on stage.” He says that the India visit is just the first stage,where the band will introduce their music to the Indian audience. As for the future commercial release plans,he says,“we’re still looking for the right label to release our music here. It’s something we’re very interested in.”

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