Adjusted I by The Black Black is a fresh, edgy take on post-punk and garage rock. Guitar riffs snake and snarl over heavy bass, but the serious topics the EP explores are balanced out by dancey drums. Their three songs acknowledge the strangeness of existing and growing up in the modern age without being dragged down by it. The culmination of this sound is “Personal Pronoun,” the EP’s standout track.
“Thematically, it’s kind of a break-up song, a song about the replaceable nature of relationships,” the band’s singer/songwriter/guitarist, Jonathan, told us. “Sometimes, you’re replacing the relationship but not the person, and the people blur together.”
Adjusted I is out now. Read the rest of our interview with Jonathan and check out “Personal Pronoun” below.
AudioFemme: Let’s start with your band name. What inspired The Black Black?
Jonathan: It’s actually a name I thought of before I had the band. There were all these bands that used “black” as the first word of their name, and it was kind of a reaction to that. Like The Black Keys, or The Black Eyed Peas, or Black Rebel Motorcycle Club or The Black Eyes. I felt like it was used to make a band sound tough. So I was just like, “Oh, we’re the Black Black.”
It turned out to be a really bad name. It was a bad idea because there’s no words in it- there’s just “the” and “black” and “the” doesn’t count. In an internet age, you can’t search for it at all. I wouldn’t use it again. (laughs)
It definitely wasn’t hard to find you on Facebook, if that helps.
It’s better now, but for the first two years, it was impossible.
So, Adjusted I is a t-shirt!
Our EP is a t-shirt. I love saying that: Our record is a t-shirt.
How did that idea come about?
Our last record came out in 2014 and was on vinyl, and it just… it takes a lot of time to get vinyl. Pressing plants get backed up and it’s very expensive. I have no interest in CD’s because I feel like CD’s are garbage- and often times you’re at shows and kids are like, “Oh I want to get something… but I don’t have a record player.” Well, I don’t want to sell them this record that they’re never going to play. That just wore on me awhile and we had the idea, we can put the record out sooner if we don’t do vinyl. It’s cheaper, it’s quicker, and everybody wears t-shirts. You’d buy a t-shirt for that price anyway, and you get a record too.
My favorite song was “Personal Pronoun.” Can you expound on its theme?
That’s actually my favorite song too… Sonically, that song got the idea of what I wanted this band to sound like closer than any other song we’ve ever had. Thematically, it’s kind of a break-up song, a song about the replaceable nature of relationships. As you’re getting older, and had various numbers of different relationships, sometimes, you’re replacing the relationship but not the person, and the people blur together. And the whole thing can blur together as you get older. It’s not just one or two, it’s three or four. Or more.
Is your song “Territorial Trappings” a Nirvana reference?
It is a Nirvana reference; it’s a reference to “Territorial Pissings.” I guess the primary reason for that was there’s a line it that’s “You gotta figure it out, you found a better way.” That’s a reference to the lyric “Gotta find a way, gotta find a better way.” And thematically, the title just works for it. It’s about getting trapped by your surroundings.
Now Adjusted I is out, do you have any upcoming plans or projects?
We actually recorded two EPs at the same time, so there’s another that’s already finished called Adjusted II. That’s a sequel to this one, kind of. It’ll have similar themes and artwork.