Cracking a rib right before heading on tour might be bad timing, but that is not slowing Danny Lee Blackwell of Night Beats down.
Night Beats hit the road on March 13, a week or so after Blackwell, lead singer and guitarist, injured his rib after a fall. It is the second time he has had to persevere with a broken rib.
“We were on tour with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, which was a really amazing, long, big tour, and, like, the first weekend it was really snowy and wet and I slipped on some black ice and I was in boots and they’re kind of really slick and you can’t really see it coming so I did crack a rib so I’ll just have to pull through the entire tour and just question myself every morning if I can literally get out of bed, because when you have a broken back, literally you can’t move; you can’t do anything. You just have to somehow just deal with the pain. Long sob story short.”
The singer and guitarist may be vulnerable physically, but his emotional vulnerability is constant when he’s writing.
“After a while, people just start to expect something over and over, and that’s not good for the person doing it,” Blackwell said. “It just gets a little cheap, and when you go in a slightly different direction, people don’t understand what risk taking is. When it comes down to having a sort of approach that is unconventional, people will either throw out ‘What happened to the original?’ or something like that, ‘Who is this now?’ and such and such, so, yeah, there’s vulnerability, but that’s the point.”
Blackwell said that when he writes, he aims to do something that expresses “who you are” even if it is a different side of what people are used to. The band’s new album, “Myth of a Man,” explores that sense of soul baring.
“I can say for this one there’s a little more baring of the soul, but earlier records touched on sometimes a lot more complex ideas, but it’s said in a different way,” Blackwell said. “But I mean there’s complexity on both sides, like this record versus the other stuff; there’s complexity but shown in a different way.”
The song “One Thing” is a sarcastic take on the mythos of rock stardom, but the song’s video, filmed at seedy places in Los Angeles, takes on a deeper meaning.
“It was mostly kind of the duality between the song and the video, which is at the end of the day you’re mostly by yourself and it could be very lonely and you could just be going through the most desolate underbelly as far as wherever you are,” Blackwell said.