Episode 137: the black watch
Air date: 6.17.2015
The longevity of the band the black watch is a testament to tenacity and persistence. Originally from Santa Barbara, California, singer, guitarist and songwriter John Andrew Fredrick developed a strong case of musical anglophilia, but in addition to the standard issue Beatles influence, he incorporated bits and pieces from a wide range of British artists into the sound of the band. As the primary songwriter, Fredrick has been the only constant member in the 20-plus-year career of the black watch, and it his artistic vision that has kept the band moving forward through multiple lineup changes. More recent black watch material has a sound that is reminiscent of the best of 80s British pop, and the band provides a classic example as for why American bands so often look to their counterparts in Britain to see how it’s done. Fredrick’s vocals sneer, guitars grind with a driving jangle and his lyrics illustrate an ability to walk the line between the inherent elegant simplicity of pop music and a command of the language indicative of his PhD in English. Fredrick and the black watch are set to play a national tour in the summer of 2015 and they’re finishing up a brand new record called Highs & Lows that is slated for an early 2016 release.