Fly High with The Black Angels

When you first hear them, you may think The Black Angels are a ridiculously on-par cover band for The Velvet Underground. They rock the same, psychedelic sound, but even though The Velvet is among their most potent musical influences, with other 1960’s psychedelics like Pink Floyd, The Black Angels are an entity all their own. Its members, Stephanie Bailey, Christian Bland, Kyle Hunt, Alex Maas, Jennifer Raines, and Nate Ryan have room to grow, and are always stoked for another tour in another town.

The Black Angels seem to have channeled the ’60s psychedelic spirit when they titled themselves after The Black Angel’s Death Song, by The Velvet Underground.

“The guys and girls [The Black Angels] thought it was a cool name,” said Kyle Hunt, the band’s keyboard, percussion, guitar, and bassist,

Only three years old, The Black Angels first began in May of 2004, and released two singles and an EP before their first full-length album, Passover. They have been touring with their album for a year, and appeared at Lollapalooza this past August.

“When I joined the band, we were still touring on the EP tracks, but there was a lot of buzz about the full-length album,” said Hunt, “We’ve been touring with Passover for a while, and it’s been awesome. It’s been growing everywhere and getting better every time.”

The success of their current album keeps the fans and the band smiling, and they continually get requests for their old singles and EP’s.

“We get a lot of people who scream for Black Grease. A lot of people scream for Manipulation, which we don’t play that often but we still get requests for,” he said. “We always play Sniper at the Gates of Heaven; that one is a concert staple.”

With word of a second full-length album underway, The Angels are continually honing their skills, and rocking out with their weapons of choice.

“We’re all developing our crafts, and we’ve got a second record that’s already pretty much done,” said Hunt. “Hopefully we’ll have it all wrapped up by the end of this year. Then it’s up to the label to do their magic and get it out because we’re stoked and excited for our second full length album.”

Currently on tour with Queens of the Stone Age, whose hard-rock rhythms resonate well with their psychedelic sound, The Angels love the experience.

“They’re awesome, and they’re pretty heavy,” said Hunt. “It’s a different fan base, but there are enough people that cross over into the genre of the psychedelic type stuff. We attract new fans every night.”

Evolving with every show, and working hard, anticipating their next album, The Black Angels are ready to descend upon Champaign like fallen angels. Come out this Friday, October 26 at Cowboy Monkey. Your prayers have been answered, so be sure to thank The Big Guy upstairs.

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