Photo by Dan Monick
Five years ago it was extremely fashionable to be in a garage rock band. You know how it went. The White Stripes broke into the mainstream and this caused every moron in a jobbing indie guitar band in the world to start kicking out their bass players and doing interviews with the music papers about how Blind Willie Jefferson and the MC5 were always the biggest influences behind their “stripped down sound”. Not a lot of them mentioned that two years previously they were advertising for band members in the back of Melody Maker looking for “Late Jane’s, early Chains, Peppers and Rage” guys.
A few years later, not long after the White Stripes went on hiatus, a whole new scene of young, forward-thinking trendy bands came out and it became totally unacceptable for people in bands to wear flares and cowboy shirts again. Some of the garage rock pretenders attempted to shift into this scene, but they’d become too old and fat to wear skinny jeans so, happily, they shuffled off and died. Cool! That’s what you get when you follow trends too much, you see. You die and nobody cares. And that’s why Atlanta’s Black Lips, who formed when they were 15, will probably be around until they can’t walk anymore. When you live where they do, there’s not that much access to any information that comes from people who live in the fashion centres of Paris, Milan, Tokyo and New York. Basically where all the shitty bands comes from, most of the time.
Vice: It’s the Fashion Issue! Where do you buy your clothes from?
Jared Swilley (bass): For jeans, we go to Western wear shops AKA cowboy joints. Otherwise it's usually thrift stores or hand-me-downs from girlfriends.
How do you keep your clothes clean on tour?
We don’t. We just keep them in this sweaty crevice in between two seats in the van there. We keep them organised according to wetness. So we have beer and commercial products in one and sweat and other bodily fluids in the other.
What’s the worst fashion style?
Brits and Guineas dress pretty bad, but we're from the South so what can we say.
What’s fashionable in Atlanta for kids your age?
I guess we'd have to go to a mall first. But I guess there they wear white tees. We call this ghetto maternity wear.
Do you think models are too skinny?
No, I think they’re too fat! The war on anorexia was like the plague for the fashion industry. We can only hope these horrible pieces of meat can be reduced back to the beautiful old “skin and bone” look.
Black Lips release a double A-side single “Not A Problem”/“Dirty Hands” on Vice in the UK on March 5. www.myspace.com/theblacklips