The Black Moods: A Journey of Collaboration, Inspiration, and Perseverance

Interview by Rebecca Clark

In the world of rock music, collaborations can often lead to extraordinary experiences and unexpected opportunities. Such was the case for The Black Moods, a band that recently found themselves collaborating with legendary guitarist Robby Krieger of The Doors. In an exclusive interview with Josh Kennedy, lead vocalist and guitarist of The Black Moods, shared insights into their collaboration with Robby Krieger and their journey in the music industry.

The collaboration with Krieger originated from a sequence of encounters and mutual connections, cascading into a powerful collaboration. It all started during The Doors’ 50th-anniversary celebrations when The Black Moods opened for the Robby Krieger Band. During this time, Robby Krieger’s son, Waylon, vocalist for the band, fell ill on tour, leading Kennedy to step in and sing.

Later, Kennedy reconnected with Krieger at a show in Phoenix, where discussions about potential collaborations arose. Their manager proposed the idea of covering “Roadhouse Blues” with Krieger, which was eagerly embraced by all parties involved. The band spent a few days in Krieger’s studio tracking the song, and with the addition of Diamante for vocals, the collaboration came to fruition.

The excitement and gratitude Kennedy expressed about this experience was heartfelt and a true dream come true for Kennedy. “I’ve been a doors fan since I was born and I’ve always been obsessed with the whole vibe of the band,” Kennedy explained.

“I remember when The Doors’ movie came out and I was a little kid, and I probably wasn’t supposed to watch it, but I snuck it anyway. I was just obsessed at that point. They’re just one of those groups that are so iconic you just think you’re never even going to be in the same vicinity of. It was one thing to be on stage with Krieger and getting to sing the single live, that was a rush. But getting to be standing next to him in the studio and we’re talking about guitars and laughing our asses off and, you know, that’s what was life changing.”

As Kennedy reflected more on the collaboration, the vocalist expressed, “I grew up in a town of 600 people in the Ozarks. So, they’re ‘Hollywood and New Yorker,’ that might as well be never, never land, you could never get to do it. So, what was what really life changing about this experience, is to know that it doesn’t matter where you’re from shit can happen, you know?”

This collaboration marked a significant milestone for the entire band, but for Kennedy, it held profound personal significance. The moment was monumental for him, representing a genuine connection forged through music. Reflecting on the experience, Kennedy emphasized the surreal opportunity to bond with one of his childhood heroes. “I think it is a little more special for me,” Kennedy said. “I know the guys had a blast and it was something, but for me and Robbie to get to play guitar and go back and forth and have our own little conversation during recording, we got to bond that way, which was great.”

Transitioning to their upcoming projects, Kennedy shared insights into their studio recordings in LA and spoke about their new single “Heaven” which will be released on March 22nd. The band boldly ventured beyond their comfort zone, introducing a dynamic mix of elements during the recording of “Heaven.”

Kenndey explained, “The process was a little different for us with ‘Heaven.’  I had never met Seth or Niko (our producers) before. I went to LA and walked in the studio, and we just went at it. We wrote and recorded most of the song on the first day. It actually came pretty easy considering we had never met in person prior (to working together), and I had never been to their studio before.”

Seth and Niko are known for their work with pop and hip-hop artists. “I remember walking in and seeing the Bruno Mars records on the walls,” Kennedy recalled. “The whole facility is really structured for pop and hip hop, so I wasn’t really sure how I was going to fit into this new realm I was stepping into.”

“For the most part, the album has all been written in Los Angeles and I feel like you can hear that in there. It’s hopefully that’s a good thing,” Kennedy said.

The Black Moods embarked on an exciting journey with their latest video for “Heaven,” pushing them yet again beyond their comfort zone. Reflecting on the filming process, Kennedy humorously recounted his pivotal role, enduring being knocked over while tied to a chair numerous times to achieve the perfect take, much to the amusement of his bandmates.

The band flawlessly executed the video’s aesthetic, crafting a visually striking and enthralling video that sets the perfect tone for the song’s vibe. “We just wanted to come across as a ‘things aren’t always what they seem’ type of vibe,” Kennedy said. “I think we pulled that off pretty well.”

The Black Moods has been working hard in the studio to complete their forthcoming album which is due to come out in fall of 2024. Kennedy describes their recording process as more “old school” because as artists they still see albums as a collective of songs verses putting singles out.

“We’re still trying to figure out our path on the way we’re going to release this because we’ve always done it the old school way since we started,” Kennedy explained. “Where you put a record out and you go tour on it. Now a lot of people are just single driven. So, all our friends and other artists are just putting singles out and singles out, but we’re still old school at heart, so we will definitely have an album. It’s not just going to be a bunch of singles.”

Discussing the band’s creative process, Kennedy revealed a collaborative approach that blends individual songwriting with collective experimentation in the studio. He emphasized the band’s diverse influences and their penchant for incorporating unconventional elements into their music, such as using a frying pan as a makeshift instrument during recording sessions.

“On our first record we made, our self-titled one, I went up with our producer he had a cabin in Sedona, AZ,” Kennedy said. “And we were just kind of up there and it’s a beautiful countryside and we’re just working on vocals, and we didn’t have a cowbell, but he had all these pots and pans. So instead of a cowbell on one of our tracks, it’s like a frying pan that we just found that was in key and beat it with a drumstick.”

The Black Moods share a connection that extends beyond music; they possess a profound bond and strong friendship, akin to a family within the band. “I’m in a band with my best friends,” Kennedy said. “We get along, we live together for the most part all the time. We’ll be together months and months and we’ll take a couple weeks, and we go back to see our families and all that kind of thing. And then we’re right back out at it in the studio or on the road. We’re brothers.”

Navigating the music industry comes with its share of hurdles, and in today’s digital age, maintaining an active online presence and engaging with social media adds another layer of complexity for artists. This additional responsibility can often feel burdensome for bands and musicians alike because social media is a constantly evolving platform.

“We’re not social media influencers,” Kennedy said. “So I think a lot of our challenges runs into the fact of how ‘hey, you got a lot of people now that are social media, huge, but have never played a show in their lives.’”

“So that kind of thing is that we’re the opposite of,” Kennedy said. “It’s frustrating for us because we work so hard on the music aspect of things and the touring and the radio, and going places and talking to people and writing songs that our faces aren’t stuffed in our phones.”

Kennedy acknowledges the necessity to adapt to the evolving industry landscape but struggles with the emphasis on online content creation. Kennedy expressed their desire to focus on creating music and connecting with fans authentically.

Demonstrating his dedication to his craft, Kennedy prioritizes music above digital distractions. “I’m just different that way,” Kennedy said. “It’s hard for me to have my face in my phone or stare at a computer for that long when there’s a guitar sitting by me.”

Reflecting on their journey thus far, the vocalist shared poignant moments of achievement, from charting on Billboard to witnessing the dedication of their fans, exemplified by the permanent ink of their logo adorning the skin of loyal fans. “People started sending their (tattoo) pictures that were either lyrics that I wrote or the band’s name, or a cover of a record that we made,” Kennedy said. “It’s the first time that happened and it was a shocker.”

As the band continues to carve their path in the industry, one thing remains certain: The Black Moods are a force to be reckoned with, driven by a love for music and a profound connection with their fans.

THE BLACK MOODS 2024 Tour Dates:

4/5     Tucson, AZ – Club Congress
4/24   Prescott Valley, AZ – Findlay Toyota Center (w/ ZZ TOP)
5/10   Hildale, UT – Colorado City Music Festival 2024
5/21   Dallas, TX – Cheapsteaks
5/22   Tulsa, OK – Vanguard
5/23   St. Peters, MO – Diamond Music Hall
5/24   Joliet, IL – The Forge
5/25   Janesville, WI – The Back Bar
5/26   Madison, WI – Brat Fest
5/28   Des Moines, IA – Lefty’s Live Music
5/29   Sioux City, IA – The Marquee
6/1     Kansas City, MO – Knuckleheads
6/6-8  Puerto Penasco, MX – Circus Mexicus
7/12   Knoxville, TN – Open Chord Music
7/13   Greenville, SC – Radio Room

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