Music News

Back in Black

During its brief existence, Black Black Ocean was many things to many people. The soundtrack to a night of shaking ass and puking Schlitz. The rock band most obsessed with chess since Yes. And, hands down, the most spastically captivating live act Denver had seen in forever.

But the flame burned as quickly as it did brightly; the quartet of drummer Jared Black, bassist Quintin Schermerhorn, guitarist Stephen Till and singer/guitarist Ryan dissolved last year after releasing its haywire post-punk opus, Eaglemaniac. On August 13, though, the hi-dive hosted a resurrection of apocryphal proportions. Under the name Hott Knights, the group assaulted the stage during the first of two rabidly anticipated comeback shows. Till and Black took a break from searching for Bobby Fischer to discuss the strategy behind Black Black Ocean's endgame.

Westword: What's with the whole reincarnation as Hott Knights?

Till: Black Black Ocean is dead. We have a tendency to lie a lot, and this is one of our many lies. But that makes you think: How true is anything you read or hear?

So you're trying to subvert people's fundamental understanding of reality?

Till: Yeah, yeah. Through our music. And our lies. That way, no one's ever fully attached to us. So when we break their hearts, they're not that hurt.

And what will you guys be doing after all this?

Black: Playing chess. Tooting our jugs. Me and Quintin got our old jug band back together, the Whiskey River Riders. We're going to play the Colorado State Fair this year.

What's the title of the upcoming Black Black Ocean movie?

Black: "I've Got Hoes in Different Area Codes: The Black Black Ocean Story."

Who will be playing the band?

Black: Sean Penn as Spicoli as Ryan. Steve Buscemi as Quintin. Jared Leto as Stephen.

What about you?

Black: Someone fat. No, Brad Pitt.

Would you say that this reunion is more like a renewal of your marriage vows, or hot, sloppy ex sex?

Black: Ex sex. But I wouldn't really call it hot. I just drank too much the night before and couldn't remember what these guys looked like. And it's not sloppy, either. More like moist.

What did you guys do to prepare for your reunion shows? Was it like Rocky training to fight Clubber Lang?

Till: Actually, I did nothing. I sat at home and tried to remember the songs. I'd forgotten every single one of them.

Was there any kind of sacred ritual involved with your rehearsals?

Black: Circle jerks.

Listening to, or participating in?

Black: Oh, we participated.

Paint a picture of a typical Black Black Ocean circle jerk.

Black: Candles -- cucumber-melon scented. Smooth jazz. Or System of a Down. Four guys, cross-legged in a circle, masturbating.

What kind of energy is unleashed?

Black: Take a bite of the soggy cookie to find out.

Does it amaze you how much impact you had in Denver before you went belly-up?

Till: Yeah, we were only around for like two years. We really did die young. For the last show, we're doing the funeral theme. Death. You have to wear black. We're pulling out the theatrics, dude. There may or may not be face paint.

Fake blood?

Till: Maybe.


Till: We haven't decided.


Till: Who knows? All I know is, everyone is going to leave dead.

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Jason Heller
Contact: Jason Heller