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Black Mountain
Black Mountain
Black Mountain circa 2019.
Background information
Origin Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Los Angeles, California
Genres Psychedelic Rock, Space Rock, Progressive Rock, Alternative Rock
Years active 2004 - Present
Labels Jagjaguwar, Spirit of Orr, Sub Pop
Associated acts Dream On Dreary, Jerk With A Bomb, Kodiak Deathbeds, Lightning Dust, Sinoia Caves, Blood Meridian, Ex Dead Teenager, Radio Berlin, 30 Second Motion Picture, Okara, The Black Halos, The Highway Kind, The Measure, Pink Mountaintops, Acrid, Grim Tower, Jerk Ward, Mission of Christ, Obliterations, Red Tide, The Bomb, Birds Fled From Me, Anywhere, Only You, Sleepy Sun, The Fresh & Onlys, Pussy Riot
Website Black Mountain Army

Black Mountain are a psychedelic rock quintet based out of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Forming in 2004, Black Mountain have consistently experimented with their own psychedelic sound,[1] having also been referred to as stoner rock,[2] Progressive Rock, Alternative Rock and Space Rock.[3]

Since forming in 2004, Black Mountain have released five studio albums among a wide arrangement of singles, EPs and split releases. The majority of their output has been released via the Jagjaguwar label.


Stephen (Gord) Gordon McBean (b. 1969), was born in Vancouver and grew up in Kleinburg and Sidney (BC).[4] As a teenager he became interested in music and became part of the local punk-rock scene in Victoria.[5][6] He formed his first band, Jerk Ward, in 1981. in 1984, the band recorded a demo that was re-released in 2009 as Too Young To Thrash. The band evolved into Mission of Christ (MOC) who recorded a split 7" in 1987. Two years later the band broke up and McBean moved to Vancouver where he started the band Gus. They released two singles, a split EP and an album The Progressive Science of Breeding Idiots for a Dumber Society (1995).[7] The band gave McBean his first experience with extensive touring and he later described the experience as a "bit of noise, bit of Melvins, funk, the Amrep stuff that was going on then. Lots of screaming. Lasted four years".[8]

In 1996 McBean asked drummer Joshua Wells (Radio Berlin)[9] to join his band Ex Dead Teenager.[10] By 1999 it had morphed into a duo of Wells and McBean as Jerk With a Bomb.[11] They signed with Scratch Records and Jagjaguwar in the US, and released three albums: Death to False Metal (1999), The Old Noise (2001) and Pyrokinesis (2003).[12][13] The latter of the three albums would feature Amber Webber of Dream on Dreary on vocals.

While McBean and Wells were still performing as Jerk With a Bomb in 2003, McBean began to demo material that included the song "Black Mountain".[14][15] At the start of 2004, the two began working on the demos under the same name with contributions from Webber, bassist Matt Camirand and keyboard player Jeremy Schmidt. Thus Black Mountain had officially formed by then. They recorded the eight track, self-titled debut album during the first half of the year.[16] McBean would later describe the change as "it was almost like a release. I mean, I loved Jerk With A Bomb, but it got to a point where I was done with it, I was through with that part of my life".[17]

The first release under the new name was a split 7" with Destroyer that featured the song "Bicycle Man". The album was released in through Scratch Records in Canada in December 2004, while Jagjaguwar put it out a month later. The band toured around North America and Europe,[18] while in June the 12" single "Druganaut" b/w "Buffalo Swan" was released in the US.[19] In August 2005 the band opened for Coldplay on their Twisted Logic Tour for three weeks, with their final opening in San Diego.[20][21] In the same month the eponymous Black Mountain was released in Germany through City Slang Records, with further touring n support to follow.

A vinyl single was released in April 2007 named "Surrender Sound Session: Unkle vs. Autolux/Black Mountain" with a remix of "No Hits" on the B side. Their second album In the Future was a finalist for the 2008 Polaris Music Prize and was also nominated for "Best Alternative Album" in the 2009 Juno Awards. The song "Stay Free" from In the Future was featured on the Spider-Man 3 soundtrack. A second album entitled In The Future would follow in 2008 with extensive touring over the next few years, including an appearance at Incubate Festival in Tilburg circa September 2010.

Several members of the band have, for as long as a decade, worked for organizations that meet the basic living requirements of the chronically poor, drug addicted and mentally ill in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside neighborhood, such as Insite.[22][23] In an interview, the band said: "After work we all try not to think too hard about the effect it has on our lives. It keeps us grounded."[24]

In 2010 McBean would relocate to Los Angeles as work began on a third album.[25] The band released their third album Wilderness Heart in September 2011 to positive reviews, produced by Randall Dunn and Dave Sardy.[26][27] Along with critical acclaim, Wilderness Heart was named as a longlisted nominee for the 2011 Polaris Music Prize[28] and appeared on the !earshot Top 50 chart.[29]

Further touring would follow to support Wilderness Heart though a lineup change would happen in 2015 when Arjan Miranda would take over on bass once founding member Matt Camirand left the group. This new lineup would record a fourth studio album and on 1 April 2016 IV would see release. The band would tour extensively from 2016 - 2018 to support the album.

In early 2019, along with a new lineup[30][31] and tours of North America and Europe being announced,[32] Black Mountain would release their fifth album Destroyer on 24 May 2019, the first to feature new drummer Adam Bulgasem and new vocalist Rachel Fannan. Destroyer would attain praise from several publications.[33][34][35]


Studio Albums[]

  • Black Mountain (2004, Jagjaguwar)
  • In The Future (2008, Jagjaguwar)
  • Wilderness Heart (2010, Jagjaguwar)
  • IV (2016, Jagjaguwar)
  • Destroyer (2019, Jagjaguwar)

Other Releases[]

  • Jackie, Dressed In Cobras / Bicycle Man (Split 7" with Destroyer) (2004, Spirit of Orr)
  • Druganaut (EP) (2005, Jagjaguwar)
  • Moder Music (CD Single) (2005, Jagjaguwar)
  • Stormy High (7" Single) (2006, Suicide Squeeze)
  • The Black Mountain Army Tour EP (Split CD with Pink Mountaintops, Blood Meridian) (2006, City Slang)
  • Bastards Of Light (12" Single) (2007, Jagjaguwar)
  • Lucy Brown b/w Shelter (7" Single) (2008, Sub Pop)
  • Old Fangs (CD Single) (2010, Jagjaguwar)
  • The Hair Song (CD Single) (2010, Jagjaguwar)
  • Rollercoaster b/w In The Drones (7" Single) (2011, Jagjaguwar)
  • Year Zero (The Original Soundtrack) (Soundtrack / Compilation) (2012, Jagjaguwar)
  • Florian Saucer Attack (CD Single) (2016, Jagjaguwar)
  • Echoes (12" Single) (2017, Jagjaguwar)
  • What's Your Conquest? (Digital Single) (2019, Jagjaguwar)


Current Members[]

  • Stephen McBean - Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals (2004 - Present)
  • Jeremy Schmidt - Organ, Synthesizer, Mellotron, Keyboards (2004 - Present)
  • Arjan Miranda - Bass (2015 - Present)
  • Adam Bulgasem - Drums (2019 - Present)
  • Rachel Fannan - Vocals (2019 - Present)

Past Members[]

  • Matt Camirand - Bass (2004 - 2014)
  • Amber Webber - Percussion, Vocals (2004 - 2018)
  • Joshua Wells - Drums, Piano, Mellotron (2004 - 2018)

External Links[]