The Black Moods

An interview with The Black Moods
by Tommy Rage
June 2019

Arizona's The Black Moods

Arizona's The Black Moods

Music goes through trends. Through the decades of various musical tempos, artistic nuances, and cultural popularity, music continues to evolve. Now, an energetic and young collection of musicians have taken the classic rock sound and have pushed it to a new genre. Daring to topple the sounds of the 80’s and 90’s, bands like The Rival Sons, Greta Van Fleet, and The Black Moods are creating a new sound which is poised to be the next big genre in music: “Modern Classic Rock”. An Arizona based trio known as The Black Moods are a part of this ‘yet-to-be’ genre. While not yet receiving the recognition they deserve, lead singer/guitarist Josh Kennedy, bassist Jordan Hoffman, and drummer Chico Diaz are on the cusp of stardom. Releasing their self-titled album in 2012, the newbies got their foot in the door and never looked back. 2016’s Medicine garnished several radio hits, including ‘Someone To Save Us’ and ‘Say It For the Last Time’ and once again caught the attention of fans everywhere; including those who saw the band at last year’s Taste Of Madison. “We played the Taste Of Madison last September, which was awesome”, shares singer/guitarist Josh Kennedy, “Man, what a cool town, but every time we have played there, we have had to catch a flight the next morning or we have to leave immediately. But, this time, it’s going to be cool, we get to hang out for a day or two.”  (The Black Moods play the 94.1 JJO Boob Tube @ Sweet Minihaha Campground, Brodhead WI on 6/30/19).

Having struggled to gain initial success, the trio persevered and were overjoyed with the success of their 2016 album Medicine. “We had confidence in ourselves,” declared bassist Jordan Hoffman, “Medicine was recorded while we were touring, it was recorded in spurts. We would go out to L.A. and record about four songs, and hit the road again. The label didn’t know what to do with us. They told us that we weren’t a radio band - we heard that a lot. We knew we were radio band and that the songs would sound good on the radio; but the people we were with didn’t see that. It’s very vindicating to be with our new label and have our record come out and to have two singles already in the Top 40. It feels really good!”

The two Top 40 singles, ‘Bad News’ and ‘Bella Donna’, were both instant hits, and each has its own story, explains Hoffman. “‘Bad News’ came really quickly in the studio. It’s like a modern-day stalker song, it has to do with all the information you can find out about somebody, without even knowing them and then when you meet them, it’s completely different. The song is really built around that. Knowing everything about someone without really knowing them. It’s really kind of creepy.” The band’s 2018 single ‘Bella Donna’ also received credit as a Top 40 hit, and has its own unique origin, explains Kennedy. “That [song] came from our producer (Johnny “K” Karkazis), who gave us some food for thought when it came to writing new material. I was sitting around with my acoustic [guitar] and came up with the riff. I came back and played it for the fellas, and it all happened within a couple hours and a couple of 30 packs [laughter]! That song has a groove kind of like ‘Love Me Two Times’, by the Doors.”

That classic-rock sound on both of the band’s latest singles, as well as 2016’s Medicine, isn’t by accident. “It just happened that way because of our influences”, explains Kennedy. “We are heavily influenced from the late 60’s and 70’s rock, and we all grew up in the 90’s with Pearl Jam, Nirvana, the Gin Blossoms and that kind of thing. It’s a blend of the 70’s and 90’s and what we like. There are a lot of bands bringing rock and roll back with the sound of what their influences were. For us, it’s ‘New Classic Rock’. We don’t really talk about it, it just happens.”
 
Taking the success of their two singles in stride, Kennedy shares what’s next for The Black Moods. “We have an EP coming out in July and then we’ll keep touring. It’s an active-rock push with another single coming out at the end of summer. The album should be done and out by October. It’s a good record and we are proud of it.”

With their growing success and a new album coming out this fall, The Black Moods jumped at the opportunity to celebrate the release of their own wine, named after their 2018 hit song ‘Bella Donna’. “A friend of ours brought the idea to us. Here in Scottsdale there is a winery called Su Vino Winery; and it’s a red blend wine. We are avid connoisseurs of EVERYTHING boozy [laughter]! It fell in our lap and we said ‘Yeah’. We will definitely bring some bottles for the JJO Boob Tube. Back home in Arizona, there’s this salt-water tubing thing that they do every year. It gets wild, so I imagine yours is going to be pretty wild too [laughter].”  (94.1 JJO Boob Tube @ Sweet Minihaha Campground, Brodhead WI on 6/30/19 )

As we wrapped up our interview, the trio shared their enthusiasm for coming back to Wisconsin and to be returning home to Arizona after being out on tour. “We love being able to play new places every night”, shares drummer Chico Diaz, “We turn into tourists, and look for the local spots [laughter], and we like playing music together. Even if we aren’t playing music together, we still like hanging out, and just doing our thing across the US.” Kennedy chimes in, “and we’ve been driving for over 27 hours now to get home. Driving straight from St. Louis back to Arizona. It’s Chico’s birthday today! We have a party bus, and we are going to go see Bad Company tonight. It fell in our lap through a friend. I got to talk to Paul Rodgers before our tour, and now we are hauling ass to get back home [laughter]!”

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CD: Medicine Record Label: Independent
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