The Black Lips tap Sean Lennon for new album

  • The Black Lips
Photo by Lance Lawrence

The Black Lips enlisted none other than Sean Ono Lennon to produce their new album Satan’s Graffiti Or God’s Art? Sean even got dear old mom Yoko Ono to supply background vocals and Saul Adamczewski of Fat White Family to lend a hand.

The Black Lips have always been ahead of the curve in the realm of the psychedelic garage-punk ethos. It might have something to do with the southern gospel influence that permeates the outer edges of their songs. That tinge of spiritual rebel independence sets them apart from their peers and prevents the band from falling into the limitations of the genre constantly pushing new boundaries. Yes, it might seem like a religious stretch for a band that has been known to vomit on stage and expose themselves, literally strumming guitars with their male appendages in the vein of punk musician GG Allin. Bassist Jared Swilley’s father, Jim, is a fire and brimstone pastor in Atlanta who came out to his congregation, and his relatives were in the Swilley Family Singers, a soulful ’60s gospel group that developed quite a following.

The band is on the road in support of their new album sporting a five-piece lineup including new members Oakley Munson on drums and Zumi Rosow on saxophone. Returning to the fold with founding members Cole Alexander and Jared Swilley is former guitarist Jack Hines. The Black Lips have played sparingly in the Madison area over the last 7 years and the drought continues on the current tour. Head down to Chicago to see the band this weekend for the Empty Bottle's 25th anniversary celebration. There are still tickets available (as of Tuesday) for the second of two shows. Certified road dogs and always unpredictable live, no two Black Lips shows are alike and that's the way we like it! The video for Can't Hold On looks like it could have fit in with Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dog tendencies.

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