WORDS: AMY ALBINSON | PHOTOS: BEN GIBSON
“Small underground festivals are a really good thing” starts Dave Larkin, bassist of Brighton-based post-rock band Black Peaks. He’s just played one of their wildest shows to date in a fully packed out tent at Arctangent festival to a crowd of fans screaming along with the band. “Not everyone needs an amusement park” he continues with a laugh, “sometimes people just want to watch some good music and that’s a really good thing and something we should cherish and hold on to”.
Having worked at Arctangent and 2000trees for a long time he’s been behind the scenes of what really goes into making a great festival. “Headlining the Trees set this year was a very special thing” he admits. “I’d been coming to that festival for ten years and celebrated my tenth year by headlining The Cave stage which is amazing. 20 year old me would have been very excited about that”.
“Not everyone needs an amusement park” – DAVE LARKIN
Since signing with Sony for the release of their debut album ‘Statues’ in 2016 the band have supported the likes of giants System of a Down and Deftones. They have spent the summer on an enviable run of festival dates with their second full-length, ‘All That Divides’, due early October. “All ten songs from the album are things coming relatively easy” Dave muses. “It’s things that will get us hyped and get us passionate, that’s what ends up being on the record”. The visceral energy that comes across in their music is in itself just that – passion for what they’re creating.
When it comes to writing new music he described it as a diplomatic process. “We write collectively” he explains. “Myself and Joe will mess around with ideas on guitar and bass respectively and Will usually writes to things that we put together so we might send him an arrangement and he’ll go ‘cool, let’s try this’. Liam will get in the room and beat the tubs like a man on fire until he finds the thing that suits the song the best. It’s really enjoyable because it’s not someone coming in and saying ‘this is what we’re going to do’, everyone has their stand”.
“Things can go wrong, things can break, things can fall apart…”
The band have been incredibly busy recently, what with playing Reading & Leeds, doing another festival with Annie Mac AND playing at the recent Heavy Music Awards. They’re now set to do “a month and a half on the road for the album tour”. On what makes a good live show Dave pauses, “a lot of different things really. I think you know from an audience’s point of view it needs to be clear that the band is having fun and enjoying themselves and is into it. For me personally, there are other things to bear in mind like how it sounds on stage. Things can go wrong, things can break, things can fall apart but as long as the people who are listening are enjoying it and getting excited that’s always the most important thing”.
Following their Arctangent set you can really tell that this is a band that feeds off their crowd. You’d think they’d have a warm up before they play but as Dave explains they just want to have fun. “We make each other laugh and mess around. We’re not the kind of guys who would spend half an hour doing a rehearsal routine”.
With so much behind them and everything on the horizon including a tour through Europe it really feels like this is a band that’s only just getting started.
ALL THAT DIVIDES IS OUT FRIDAY VIA RISE RECORDS.