Black Asteroid Shares His Favorite Musical Moments

Black Asteroid Bryan Black Interview

Bryan Black – the techno producer who cut his teeth as a sound designer and keyboard tech for Prince at Paisley Park Studios and who formed one half of acclaimed duo MOTOR is ramping up to release his debut artist album. Featuring contributions from Zola Jesus and Cold Cave, the dark and textured take on electronica is set to stimulate fans of genre this summer.

While working for Prince, Black Asteroid created his own music – some of the most alien techno records released on labels such as Mute and Kompakt (which is no mean feat). Those records caught the ear of Mr. Martin Gore of Depeche Mode. Soon after, Black was on tour with Depeche Mode with MOTOR, and also recording songs with Martin Gore at his home in Santa Barbara, CA.

With high praise from critics, fans and peers the eclectic taste of Bryan Black has secured his name as an artist to watch, and a highly desirable producer to work with. On the verge of the release of Black Asteroid’s new album Thrust, the time seemed right for ARTISTdirect to invite Bryan to share a few of his musical memories…

First single I bought…

Queen, “Another One Bites the Dust- 7″ I heard it at the roller rink and eventually bought the album Queen- The Game on vinyl.

First live show I attended…

KISS at the Met Center in Bloomington, Minnesota. I was in the KISS ARMY at the time. My older brother was a budding rock star, so I ended up going to all these concerts when i was like 8 years old. I will never forget the girls throwing their sweaty bras at the stage. It took me some years to get that image out of my head.

First song I learned to play…

“Never Let Me Down” by Depeche Mode I was in High School in the suburbs of Minneapolis and we had this album on cassette. The synth sounds were so foreign. We would drive to the local mall and sit in the parking lot in a car and blast the album, staring at the stars in the sky.

The song that encouraged me to learn my instrument of choice…

“The Beautiful Ones” by Prince. I saw Purple Rain so many times, and this song made the biggest impression on me at the time. To this day, it gives me chills. Musically the biggest “instrument” in the song is the LINN DRUM (drum machine). machines never sounded so sexy, robotic and emotive.

The song that reminds me of home…

U2- “With or Without U” This was the soundtrack of one of my summers when I was a kid in the suburbs of Minneapolis.

My guilty secret track…

OMD- “If You Leave” Made famous from The Breakfast Club film, I became a big fan of OMD after that. My friends were into Metallica and Pink Floyd, so I had to be careful when I listened to OMD or risk being kicked out of the cool group.

The song I wish I wrote…

Laurant Guarnier- “Crispy Bacon” This song sums up everything I love about techno. even people who hate techno love this song. Its raw, stripped down and with that element of danger. If I need to get inspired in the studio, I put this on— or LFO- “We are Back”.

The finest song from my all time hero…

Prince- “Purple Rain”. Its obvious I know. But the Purple Rain film inspired me to become a musician. I eventually got my first job in the music industry at Paisley Park studios working for Prince, so it all came full circle.

The song I’ve written of which I’m most proud…

“Motor- Man Made Machine”. We were on tour opening for Depeche Mode and Dave Gahan got sick and cancelled a bunch of shows. We retreated to Berlin and recorded an album. I asked Martin Gore to sing on a track. For my own use, I wrote a vocal track and lyrics as a guide. I was assuming he would write his own vocals, but he copied mine— the first time Martin Gore sang someone else’s words on an original song – that wasn’t his own. It was a big thing for me as a songwriter.

The song that should be played at my funeral…

Beethoven- Piano Quartet in E-Major, Op.16. His work has proven to be timeless and he’s arguably the greatest composer of all time.

My favorite track from my most recent project…

I am most proud of ENGINE 1. the first Black Asteroid single. I wrote it in my head before going to the studio- I knew exactly what I wanted. it as an attempt to re-enter the techno world with a bang. I wanted to make a bold statement- as I thought techno at the time wasn’t as inspired as I had hoped, and my debut single ended up on the hottest techno label.Black Asteroid Thrust Album CoverDownload Black Asteroid music on iTunes
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