Now Hear This: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

WHO: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club MEMBERS: Peter Hayes — guitar, bass, vocals Nick Jago — drums, percussion Robert Turner — bass, guitar, vocals FORMED: November 1998 in San Francisco WHAT'S IN A NAME?: Previously known as the Elements, B.R.M.C. took its name from the motorcycle gang in Marlon Brando's film The Wild One. COMPARISONS: The Smiths, Jesus and Mary Chain, Joy Division DID YA KNOW?: Turner's father is Michael Been, the singer, bassist, and chief songwriter in The Call. FIRST IMPRESSION: B.R.M.C. (Virgin)

How did you get together? Turner: Peter and I met in high school; he was a friend of mine, and at the time I was looking for someone to just play music with. He was a guitar player and just starting off, too, so we kind of got to learn it together and started writing songs together. Nothing too official, though; we never said, "We're a band," or anything. It was just good friends getting together. The band came into being when we met Nick. It was a short search; we found Nick, we knew him from some [mutual] friends, and it was immediate. You don't really expect someone to be great … but he was definitely right for the band. What are your influences? Turner: It's hard to say. In the beginning there were lots of different things; Peter is more into folk stuff and psychedelic stuff, not really like what he's doing now. I was more into The Beatles, [Jimi] Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, those kinds of things. We ended up coming from two different places and meeting in the middle. How do you react to the comparisons that are being made about you? Turner: It's flattering to be compared to great bands like that. It's hard, because some people kind of hear things differently, and I'm not sure that what they're hearing is really like us. It's a little weird because I have a hard time describing what we sound like; I hate to give examples of other bands because people get thrown pretty easily. This band has its own sound. Hopefully people will just wait until they have a chance to hear it for themselves. You named yourself after the motorcycle gang in The Wild Ones. Do you guys bike, too? Turner: [Laughs] No. I mean, it's not really a literal title; the spirit of the film is kind of what you hear in our music, we hope. As a name of a band, it really takes people by surprise; it kind of starts your imagination going, actually. That really was great to kind of shock people a little bit. It kind of gives them something to open up their minds.

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