There’s something to admire about the bright glam that comes out of Blackstarcids. From Bravado they proudly carry songs like “Britney Beach” an aesthetic composed of neon fabrics and flowing aphrodisiacs, the underlying charisma of the group simply stems from their true nature. The trio, a combination of Tie, The Babe Gabe and Diondre – manages to influence the experimental sounds they create. Their latest album, Puppies forever, Shows blurred confidence which has only increased since last year Anyway. From the Fight Club’s clever boast and shy bar to the pop-punk glow of “I Hate Being in Love”, their latest offer is just as contagious and shiny as theirs.
However, “ACAB” – meaning “all cops and bastards”, is the bravest and most provocative moment on record. The song’s simple but powerful lyric (“I’m counting my life every minute today”). Puppies forever– With the group as a whole – Eliminate the notion that blackness is an exclusive.
Spin: Can you talk a little bit about travel? Puppies forever And Anyway?
Tie: We are definitely inspired by a much clearer, bigger record. You know that wizard’s ‘blue’ [album] There was a huge inspiration AnywayThat was it The oracle is spectacular. There were two really good reference points to start with. In the end, we wanted to create something that just felt bright, happy, poppy, sun … all these things. With Puppies forever, We were more focused on creating something that was a little more splash. It’s still bright but it’s a bit more aggressive, a bit more raw. It has a bit more punch. We saw a Beastie Boys documentary before the album was made and it certainly changed our attitude towards music – so it has some mention of them.
Deiondre: We’ve been making music together for some time and later Anyway We just wanted to perform – but then Kovid did. We had two shows and then it stopped … so it was ‘I think we’ll do more music now.’ We want to make music out of monotony anyway. It wasn’t too different for us to create Anyway. We were accustomed to a kind of covid … even when it was cold and extremely frustrating. Missouri gets the worst weather of the year. It surpassed everyone else’s heat or cold and it was bad for us. We were going through seasonal depression, like towards the end of the tail [Puppies Forever]. But we are proud of it.
What excites me about Blackstarcids is that you are claiming your place in alternative and rock music, a genre where black people are often removed. Have you deliberately shown that blackness itself is diverse enough with your art?
For gabar I don’t think it’s intentional … it comes back to us under the influence of people like Prince and Jimmy Hendrix. The music we make naturally shows how diverse blacks are.
Tie: A big point of Blackstarkids has always been that all black expressions – whatever they are – are valid. Whatever you say – we are not monotonous. So if blacks want to make rock music – or whatever kind of music they want to make – it makes sense to me. If you are a black person making music – it is black music regardless. But sometimes when you listen to certain music or like certain things, you feel like an outcast from the black community, so you rebel against it. With BLACKSTARKIDS we say you can love that community but still be different from them as a black person. You don’t have to have an inferiority complex because you listen to other types of music. Even if there are some people who like to look like us who don’t like our music or think that our shit is weird or it’s weird or whatever, it doesn’t matter because at the end of the day we are really for love and like us in this world For the growth and acceptance of everyone to see. Just the most important part of the band for the free existence of black people.
Let’s jump on the puppy forever’s latest single, “ACAB (All Cops Are Bastards)”, which grabs my attention and takes me to Blackstarcide. How did you know that you wanted to turn such an infamous slogan into a song?
Tie: The themes of the group were always clear to us but it’s easy to say because we know ourselves. Our morals and the things we stand for, the things we talk about are always important to us and it didn’t take too much conversation to make a song like that.
Deiondre: We just knew it had to happen… it was a feeling we all shared, so we knew it made sense to make a song like that.
Tie: It was based on our personal experience. After the assassination of George Floyd, there were a lot of protests in Kansas City where we went … Things we saw, the relationship between KCPD and the people of Kansas City. I read people’s comments saying “I really like this band and I’m surprised you guys did something like that.” As if they are disappointed. This isn’t even a big grand statement: we don’t like the police and that should come as no surprise. Most black people don’t like the police, bro.
And to be honest, social media has only exacerbated this annoying issue.
Deiondre: There is a lot more video evidence of violence between black people and the police. It’s clear and obvious right now and the line about teargas and shit – we had to go through it all. The same exact event was happening in every protest in every city. Everyone knows how to deal with the police on this particular issue, you know? It became rough and for some reason a sensitive issue for the police. And those who are crazy about music – I do not fuck. Brother like the police? Are they killing? Those who are not police themselves are going crazy – but why would anyone be on the side of the police?
When you think of an anti-police song, you think of NWA’s “Fuck Tha Police” or Ice T’s “Cop Killer”. But “ACAB” is sweet and exuberant and pop-punk. Did you try to be sarcastic?
The Babe Gabe: That’s exactly how the song came together. At the time, we were really passionate about the situation. It was really nice to serve that song and sing like that song and we felt really strong.
Do you think the response from it was justifiable? As a black woman that situation must have been difficult to deal with.
That’s why Gabbar is sure. As a black woman, you must feel that you are at the very bottom of the pyramid. Blacks are already at the bottom but just being a black woman means you are completely ignored. I also think that people sometimes forget that artists are real people and not just actors – we go through some serious issues and police brutality is one of them.
Puppies forever There are also mentions of problems plaguing young people such as suicide, depression and social stress. These are universal themes but they get worse when you come from marginalized groups.
Tie: Everyone is heartbreaking … Depression, stress, as you know, school, work, family but even then, not just one person, has this concern to be accepted by the country you are in. It’s a different kind of feeling that applies to people of color. There is violence against people who look just like you, just like you, you know … shit like that. Imagine this is a place in your mind where lots of white people are in power. And every day you have to hope that the whites in power are not racist.
Despite your experience, either Puppies forever A message of hope?
Deiondre: I would say it’s about evaluating your time with your friends now. And also, just live your life – it’s okay to be sad but not too long.
For gabar Takeaway is that you have a lot of problems in the world, but at the end of the day you will overcome them. We weren’t in the best place when we were making this album, but now we feel happier than ever before on the trip. We just want everyone to know that everything goes well, for sure.