The Black Watch: Surprises, Silliness and Longevity

theblackwatch3Los Angeles based The Black Watch have yet another full CD of songs. The newest album is called The End Of When. The album was release by Pop Culture Press Records. Through their twenty-plus years in the recording industry, the group has affiliated with at least eight different record labels now with Pop Culture Press being the ninth record label. This is an email interview with John Andrew Fredrick original lead vocalist and song writer of the independent band.

The End Of When is a tile that shows and ending of something. What is The Black Watch having an ending with I hope it’s not breaking up or is it?
The Black Watch is not breaking up at all. New record called “Sugarplum Fairy, Sugarplum Fairy” soon. plus we just got back from Santa Barbara where we recorded a single with Craig Costigan at his studio, Garage Majal, in the neighborhood I grew up in. everything’s coming to an end–when it ends, that is. It’s just an expression that sounded paradoxical and poetic. And nice…

Why did you feel this had to be a two disc set and what was the reasoning for the release this way?
The two-disc set because so many of our earlier records are out of print. we feel we have to keep introducing ourselves–to a fickle public suffering from musical amnesia

Your sound on this record a couple of times you used a Horn. What did that do to your sound on a overall?
We love horns–but horn players are expensive. Our chum Andrew Lynch, an engineer, plays about a thousand instruments. He took the track “the spare side” home to his studio and blared on it.  We love Haircut 100 and the Beatles. Hence horns. (sparingly, of course)

theendfowhen1Your art work for this record covers so many pictures and then some interesting art work on the back side. How does this all relate to the album title The End Of When?
We left it to the label, the cover. We don’t care for it at all. We being me, John, speaking in the royal we. it looks very Independent Projects Records, doesn’t it? Other people love it. Just not me. Don’t tell Luann at Pop Culture Press, okay? We love her. She loves that cover–it was what she wanted, and she put so much hard work into the album. And it has done so well–much better than anything, cover-wise, that I designed (i.e, all the other records!!) so what do I know??? Nothing!!!!

Unlistening is one of your song titles.. What are you currently not listening to music wise that you would listen too?
Everything. I don’t listen to music any longer, really. The Beatles, yes, and classical. But I’m either making up new songs or reading. I don’t watch films any more, either. I used to listen to Love, Echo and the Bunnymen, MBV, blah blah religiously. New music by kids these days makes me wretch. It’s wretched, what they do. Have you ever heard Warpaint? Just fucking awful. The XX? Arcade Fire? I haven’t and I don’t want to. I dismiss it utterly, what’s out now. Real Estate have no songs. Atrocious vocals. Go on and have at me, then. I just don’t care. I like to read novels and make tea with madelines.

John Andrew Fredrick of The Black Watch

John Andrew Fredrick of The Black Watch

Of Lovely Surprises. What the most beautiful Surprise that you can remember The Black Watch having over the bands being together to experience it? when and what was the surprise?
Can’t think of any surprises. It’s always a nice surprise to see friends turn up at gigs when we play away from LA. Recent gig in San Francisco–there was my twin brother I never knew I had. That was kind of sur… ah I made that up.

The Spare Side is one of your new songs on the album. If you could spare a side of what would it be and why spare it?

Sum is a new song. The Sum of what are you referring too exactly in this song?
Love relationships as an equation. Mathematical. The sum of nothing at the end of love. How bleak, huh? It’s just a metaphor. Love is a fruit, a globe, a differential equation, an asteroid, an asterisk

Will you be touring for this record if so when can we find the band playing around again anytime soon?
Yes, U2 has picked us to tour the world in 2015. Don’t tell anyone, though, okay, Jonathan? It’s a surprise. A lovely one as well, don’t you think? The Black Watch have arrived. Just 25 years too late!!!!

Opinions, humor and deep thoughts are how John Andrew Fredrick and The Black Watch have always presented themselves. Brave and independent as well so they have to keep re–inventing themselves but also have to let others know of their past works too. After being in the music business for so long (since 1987) this band has never given up on the music art that they love. Watch out for more to come from The Black Watch soon.

The Black Watch is:
John Andrew Fredrick–guitars, vocals;
Rick Woodard–drums;
Chris Rackard–bass;
Tyson Cornell–lead guitar

(Interview by Jonathan D, Wright)

The Black Watch on Facebook


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