Black Pope is a rock’n’roll demon child with a taste for all things dark and mysterious. Fueled on the camp energy of the fifties with a sick twist, Black Pope is sure to shake your body and brains until you’re the one asking all the questions. Which it turns out we are….
+++WIN TICKETS: Catch Black Pope together with Soda Can and James Joe Boyle at Basement Bash Vol. XV Thursday 18.1 at URBAN SPREE – SEE BELOW HOW TO WIN +++
indieberlin: Tell us a little bit about your musical background
Black Pope: I started playing drums when I was ten and I feel like I’ve been going down the same rabbit hole ever since. I pretty much eat up any popular music from the last century. I like to say my Holy Trinity is Queens of the Stone Age, Elliott Smith and Goldfrapp.
indieberlin: How did you come up with the name Black Pope?
Black Pope: I was sitting around with friends a few years ago when there was talk of a Black Pope, and I figured “Hey, I could do that”. I’d like to be a gentle, unassuming figurehead for all the dark stuff we don’t talk about. I guess twenty-something years of Catholic repression made it feel very “me”.
indieberlin: How does the songwriting process work for you / in your band?
Black Pope: I pretty much have the stuff completely written and arranged completely by the time I take it into a rehearsal room. I seem to compile random musical and lyrical ideas for a very long time before some massive creative rush gets me to shove it all together, often in one or two sittings. It’s a very inefficient process, but hopefully it keeps things relatively raw and a little bit crazy.
indieberlin: If you had to describe your music to a deaf person, what would you say?
Black Pope: It doesn’t matter what I say if he’s deaf, right?
indieberlin: If your music was a movie, which genre would it be in?
Black Pope: Some of my biggest aesthetic influences are Russ Meyer’s “Beyond the Valley of the Dolls”, “Halloween III: Season of the Witch” and the Bond franchise. Is there a genre that connects those things?
indieberlin: Where do you get your inspiration from?
Black Pope: I try to get inspiration anywhere I can, and not always from other music. I mean, not like a plastic bag flying in the wind either. Music, movies, books are number one. I definitely see myself as a storyteller. Horror movies have definitely informed the project as it stands right now. In terms of real life inspiration: growing up, girls, sex, home, nights out, being different etc.
indieberlin: What was the last concert you went to?
Black Pope: I went to see Wolf Alice a few nights ago and they were badass. They’re so young but it really feels like they know what they’re about. It was energetic, vulnerable and just so sweet to be part of the crowd.
indieberlin: What was the nicest compliment you once got?
Black Pope: My dad once told me that ever since I was a kid, I’ve always done whatever I wanted regardless of what anyone thinks or says. I don’t think he meant it as a compliment but I’ve taken it as one.
indieberlin: Do you see your songs in colour or in black and white?
Black Pope: Good question. A few years ago I made a really conscious effort to strip all my songs back to something very raw, and for some reason it’s made me draw a parallel to taking the colour out of everything and going all black and white. I’ve been championing those colours since I started the project, but I’m also looking forward to bringing some colour back in when it feels right.
indieberlin: Do you want to greet somebody ;-))?
Black Pope: Naomi Watts, if you’re listening.
Write to win (at) indieberlin.de to win tickets to Basement Bash Vol. XV 18.1 @ Urban Spree! (Or write to us on Facebook and say I WANT TICKETS!)
Noel Maurice is one of the founders of indieberlin. Originally from the UK via a childhood in Johannesburg, he has been resident in Berlin since 1991. Describing himself as a ‘recovering musician’, he is the author of The Berlin Diaires, a trilogy detailing the East Berlin art and squat scene of the early 90s, available on Amazon and through this site.