The Black Moods: We're Trying to Get a Grip on the Business Side

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When opportunity knocks, local rock and rollers The Black Moods are usually the first ones to answer. On Saturday, December 14, at the True Music Festival, the Black Moods will be part of a group of artists ranging from the psychedelic sound of the Flaming Lips all the way to Wiz Khalifa.

TMF founder Jarid Dietrich has said that one of his favorite moments in bringing his dream festival to life was being able to call singer/guitarist Josh Kennedy, bassist Ryan Prier and drummer Danny "Chico" Diaz and personally invite them to be part of the event.

Prior to their opening set at True Music Festival, Up on the Sun spoke with Kennedy about the opportunities that the True Music Festival provides for them and their city, their new album, and what's next for the Black Moods.

Recently, the band has done work with rock producer Eddie Kramer, who has helped along icons such as Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, and the Beatles. Are the Black Moods next on the list? Time will tell, but every step counts and the trio knows it.

Being one of the few local bands playing at True Music Fest, what does the opportunity mean to the Black Moods? Well, there are two things about it. We're getting to play on the main stage with some high-profile groups, and also getting great press from it. Jarid Dietrich called us about the concert and he is a good friend and a nice guy. It was a great show that we could do close to home, because we're only back here for the month of December.

Getting to play with the bigger bands and stuff makes us a lot better. You get to see what everyone else is doing. We're always trying to grow, and when you get to play with bands that are where we want to be it's a double time learning experience. It's a huge step.

Jarid Dietrich told me that one of his top five moments of the True Music Festival was getting to call you and the Black Moods and asking you to play. That's so nice. Wow! Well like I said, we're lucky that we get to be on it. We're used to being an underdog, which is fine with us, because we still get to tour and have that luxury, but getting to do this festival here is really an honor. It's awesome to get picked to do that, because we're always last to find out about any of these festivals [laughs]. We're really grateful for the opportunity. I mean, the Flaming Lips, what else do you need to say? They are awesome.

How does a festival like this benefit the entire local music scene? I guess it depends on the turn-out. That will gauge everything. There's a lot of great talent around here, but they don't really get a lot of opportunities to do stuff like this. Hopefully, it brings more of these types of shows in and they can be exposed to a larger crowd. Everybody goes out and plays the small shows for thirty people or one hundred people, but these kinds of things allow local bands to gain a bigger draw in Phoenix. This is where you really can get your chops up. There's a big difference in playing a small stage and then playing a forty foot rock stage at a festival. I think it's great, and it's good for everybody.

What do you have planned after the True Music Fest? We're doing the Scottsdale Block Party, and then to the studio because we're working on our next record. Then it's back on the road. We'll be all over the states in this next year.

How is the new record going? We're going back in January to finish the record, hopefully, and try to have it out in April in time to support our tour. We're bringing on a PR firm and we're getting a lot of stuff behind us this year and we're pushing hard. We're going to keep going and we've gotten this far. We're a national touring band now. Not a lot of bands are fortunate enough to be able to leave in the van and not come back for a month. We've worked hard for it too. You can do all that you can and play music and be the best guitar player or songwriter in the world, but you have to have business sense on the side. It's not just playing in bars, there's definitely a business side to it, and we're trying to get a grip on that.

I always like your videos, are you working on any new ones? Yeah, we're doing two videos right now. We're doing one for "Don't Let 'Em Get You Down", and then we did a cover for Genesis' song "I Can't Dance". It's a cover for a movie and we got to pick it from a list of songs. We listened to the song our whole way to L.A. and then went in the studio and knocked it out in like ten minutes. So, we decided to do a little video for it, too.

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