Black Tape for a Blue Girl
By Jett Black
Black Tape for a Blue Girl
toured three Texas cities during the month of February 1998. Jett Black
(JettBlack@sprynet.com), a Promotional Consultant in Lubbock, Texas asks a few
burning questions of Sam Rosenthal concerning Black Tape and the then upcoming
Texas performances. Behind the ethereal net of electronic communications, Sam
Rosenthal shares the following visions of February's tour through Texas
Black Tape For a Blue Girl will be performing in Austin
on Tuesday, February 16th, at Atomic Cafe, in Dallas the following evening, at
Trees in Deep Ellum and then performing again on February 18th, at Instant
Karma, in Houston, Texas. What expectations do you have about performing in
front of Texas audiences?
I don't really have "expectations." I think playing live is
fun and it's great to meet the fans! There was a girl in Houston, last time we
played who kissed the window of the van and for the rest of the tour there were
these black lipstick marks on the window! That's the sort of stuff that you
remember about a tour so it's not like I "expect" a certain number of people,
or cheering to be at a certain volume level. *smirk* I just hope to have a good
time and meet the people who like my music.
Please describe how the set-list will reflect Black
Tape's current and former CD releases.
Ok. Here is the line-up of songs we are currently rehearsing
(the * ones are off "Aflame"): given*, as one aflame laid bare by desire*,
overwhelmed, beneath me, for you will burn your wings upon the sun, a good
omen, the turbulence & the torment, could I stay the honest one?, gravity's
angel, your one wish*, ent'racre [the garden awaits us]*, decomposed by the
fire of the firmament, denoument/denouncement*, I have no more answers, you
will be as majestic as a king.
That last song is the track we recorded for the Projekt
cat-cd, "A cat-shaped hole in my heart." It is still unreleased!
I have read in the past about how Black Tape members
often rehearse separately in their respective home locations prior to entering
your studio for intense rehearsals and recordings. And that often you work with
each member individually during the recordings, rather than recording all at
once as a group.
That is correct. Oscar and Vicki live in Miami and Julianna
live in Tucson. So for recording I send them cassettes of the songs in
progress, with guide-vocals (me singing the melodies) so they can learn their
parts. Each person is in separately to record so that we can pay specific
attention to their parts, rather than feeling like an assembly line with the
next person waiting to go. That is different for live, however, because
Elysabeth, Lisa and I all live in Chicago. So we get together twice a week and
rehearse the set. Elysabeth is singing and also playing viola. This will be her
first tour, so it should be a lot of fun!
How were you able to manage this last year with Projekt
festival touring heavily in North America?
When Julianna was in the live band (last year), I flew her
out to Chicago to rehearse. That got rather expensive. But Julianna felt, after
we did that tour in the summer, that the road wasn't really the place she
wanted to be. So I asked Elysabeth to join the band. It's very cool having a
string player on stage!
Describe how Chicago influences you as a backdrop for
your writings and recordings these days, and how do you feel about that as you
enter your third year of residency in Chicago.
I don't think it really influences me that much. I like
Chicago, but Lisa and I are planning to move to New York City in the middle of
Describe how you feel about your "precious jewel" now as
Black Tape enters its 13th year of maturity.
I don't think of it that way. It's just sorta "that thing I
do." Although I appreciate everyone's respect for what I create, I don't feel
I'm "gifted" or something like that. I just happen to make this music.
What can you tell us now about Black Tape performing at
the German Leizpig Festival later in May of this year?
We look forward to that! Apocalyptic Visions is releasing
"As one aflame..." in Germany next month and this will be our first opportunity
to play in Europe. Leipzig gets about 30,000 people, though they aren't all
there for every show. There is talk that we will play at a church with Stoa and
Ataraxia. It sounds very fun!
How is Black Tape
developing this year? What is next on the agenda for Black Tape
I would like to begin working on new music in the fall,
after we move to New York. Hopefully a new album in the year 2000. Lisa and I
have been toying with the idea of creating some sort of multi-media performance
piece-thingie that would sort of "replace" touring. It would be part live, part
video, part performance. It is still just an idea at this point, but it would
be cool to be able to perform the whole new album as some sort of live
experience. Somewhat like what Laurie Anderson does.
Any thoughts of bringing ProjektFest onto a Southern
United States tour in the future?
I don't really think so. The Festivals are a *lot* of work
and I really would rather concentrate on black tape, then throw all my energy
into another festival.
How might Projekt's new relationship with ADA alter how
Projekt is presented to and received by Projekt fans?
ADA only adds positive things to Projekt and it's fans
because it makes our releases available nationwide. The last person who
interviewed me was trying to insinuate that we would need to change in order to
satisfy ADA...which is absurd. They are our distributor! They picked us up,
because they respect what the artists do. They don't see a Whitney Houston or
Korn lurking in the shadows here, they aren't expecting mainstream success. So
it is a positive thing because it gets the records out to the fans!!!
Do you feel like you might be reaching a plateau with
Black Tape anytime soon?
No. I think that each album is a development from the last
one. A plateau would imply (to me) some sort of stagnation and I don't expect
What "revelations" are characters depicted through the
music of "Aflame..." seeking, and perhaps finding?
I think that it is different for each of them. I see that
they are looking to uncover some truth about who they are or why they do the
things they do. And with that understanding in hand, they will be ready to move
forward into living their lives according to that which they understand is