June 18, 2024

BACK:N:BLACK  Chat with BB Founder of the Girls who play AC/DC

On a hot July day in 2020, one of Athenscalling.gr, journalistic team told us that he discovered  BACK: N: BLACK, an all-female AC / DC tribute band, on You Tube surfing the internet during the quarantine period! BACK: N: BLACK is the name of all female AC / DC tribute band, from Switzerland which consists of 5 beautiful girls

BACK: N: BLACK  they are the best tribute band and their live shows in Switzerland Scotland, England, Czech Republic, Belgium, France and USA was the real name of a rock dream on stage playing AC/DC songs.

The next step, for Athenscalling.gr , was to ΄΄ travel΄΄in Switzerland and via email … chatting with the explosive B.B, the founder of the girls who play AC/DC 

Athenscalling.gr : Hello from Athens Greece… My dear BB welcome in ATHENS! Welcome in Athenscalling.gr we are very happy to chat with you!

BB (BACK:N:BLACK): Hello and thank you for having us! We are very happy to connect with fans in Greece! We love Greece! In fact, our singer and Hell-ena and I had such an awesome time recently in Corfu! And of course, our friends in Beast in Black. I can’t wait to play there!

Athenscalling.gr : What are you doing… these days about COVID-19 pandemic?

BB (BACK:N:BLACK): Rockin’, rollin’, and right out of controlling! Well, seriously, these are really crazy times we are living in. I think we can say that nobody has lived in a global pandemic like this before. It has certainly changed all of our lives into a “before” and an “after”. Hell-ena in Northern Italy was under lockdown for so long. So many people have suffered a lot from this. This is why it’s so important to protect ourselves and others—even if many governments are relaxing lockdown rules. The virus doesn’t really care about human-made rules. So even if it might seem like it’s slowing down and people are getting bored of all the safety measures, we still need to keep a distance, wash our hands and wear masks in public places. Like most other bands, most of our shows got canceled this year. But in BACK:N:BLACK, we believe the show always must go on, no matter what. So pretty early on, we organized a cool series of livestream concerts. It was called HIGHWAY TO HEALTH! Every two hours, everyone in the band streamed while playing AC/DC songs on acoustic guitars. It was so cool to rock with our fans. No hiding behind big amplifiers no big lights. Just all of us like a big family. Our fans were so brave, singing along and filming themselves too. The ones who contributed to the fundraiser ended up in the video. You gotta check out the final video!

Athenscalling.gr : And what else?

BB (BACK:N:BLACK):What else? Well, because 2020 is the 10th anniversary of BACK:N:BLACK and the 40th anniversary of the AC/DC album Back In Black, we are re-recording this entire album…unplugged. We’ve been doing pre-production at home during the lockdown and we hope we can get it recorded in a studio soon! We’re putting our own stamp on it. I think you guys are gonna love it! We are all so happy we have something to do because not playing live is driving us CRAZY!

Athenscalling.gr :… BACK:N:BLACK is the name of your female band, who was the Godfather. I mean who gives the name?

BB (BACK:N:BLACK): Haha, there is no Godfather in BACK:N:BLACK. We have no manager, no mysterious Kim Fowley guy who “assembled” us. We play our instruments, plan our own shows, do our own thing. Of course, we play AC/DC songs, but everything else? That’s all us. The name came up actually for the very first show we played. Our first singer’s favorite album of all time was… you guessed it… Back In Black. She came originally from the USA, and I think she was really impressed with Wacken Open Air. Look at the initials, W:O:A… see anything familiar? She no longer sings with us, but I’ve always kept those two colons as part of our identity. There are actually a few other tributes named “Back in Black”. But if you hadn’t noticed, there’s only one BACK:N:BLACK!

Athenscalling.gr : About 10 years on stage, five talented and beautiful young musicians girls! How did you make that decision to form one female band?

BB (BACK:N:BLACK): The truth is that women have been rocking out since the beginning of rock ‘n’ roll. From Lady Bo to Bonnie Raitt to Ruyter Suyes from Nashville Pussy, there have been good female musicians in the mix for a long time. But the truth is, it’s still a pretty guy-dominated field. But why? What, does it take big muscles to pick up a guitar? Haha, I’ve heard more skinny guys complain about how heavy Les Paul guitars are than I can count. I play mine every show, and yeah, its heavy, but it never bothered me! But yeah, if you ask me, there are still not enough female bands on stage, anywhere in the world. Chicks like to rock just as much as guys. But where are they? I wanted to make a platform for women musicians to get up and rock! It’s important, not just for our own egos. But also for younger musicians. I can’t tell you how many young girls have told me we’ve actually inspired them to play. And you know what’s really cool? Now, we get a lot of guys saying that too. And that’s where we ought to be today. Rock n roll isn’t men against women. Rock n roll is no rules, no boundaries. Just passion and good times.

Athenscalling.gr : Would like to tell us about your other four amazing band members. About BACK:N:BLACK band members?

BB (BACK:N:BLACK):Of course, we have Hell-ena on vocals. She is straight outta Italy and has just such a great rock voice and amazing stage presence. On lead guitar is Claire, from Switzerland—like me! The funny thing is, Switzerland is so small and yet we never met! It took a common connection from London to get us to meet! She is a fantastic guitar player and super fun to be around. On bass is Cléa, also from Switzerland. She came in fairly recently and picked up all the songs in no time. She’s more of a quiet person in the band and a great musician with a background in jazz. She always jokes about how her jazz friends are so jealous because when she plays with BACK:N:BLACK, she actually has an audience! Hahaha! On the drums is our ginger Angie. She’s also Swiss but has moved to Florida a few years ago. When she visits home she plays with us. When she is not there, we have Debs from England on the drums. You always know her because she’s got this smile from ear to ear! And actually, we are six people in the band! The sixth member of BACK:N:BLACK is actually not a woman, but Randy. He’s a great friend, and we played in a couple of other bands together. So, he knows the stage, and helps do everything a band could possibly wish for: manages gigs, takes photos, makes all our videos, changes broken strings on stage, even announces the shows.We are a really small team, and we like it this way. We have lived through many crazy things together in the past 10 years, and we all have become close friends. Also, because playing AC/DC is so much fun. And what more do you want than having fun while traveling all over the place with your friends? It doesn’t get better than this, and I am very thankful!

Athenscalling.gr :…And about you? Who was your first music teacher and why you choose to play guitar?

BB (BACK:N:BLACK): Me? I was born this way! Haha, seriously, I chose to play the guitar because when I was a teenager I found out about two bands: Hole and L7. They were like nothing I had ever seen before: fierce, taking no shit and playing loud, aggressive music. After hearing so much rock music all my life, for the first time, I finally saw myself in there, somehow. MY place. Girls rocking hard and making their own rules. I could do that! I HAD to do that! So, wouldn’t you know, my first guitar teacher was a classical guitar teacher. That’s what my school thought was best. So I learned how to read and write music and the basics of classical guitar. You know, where you hold it between your legs, put your foot on a stool and play Greensleeves and things by Bach. I’m not against all that, but man, that was not at all what I wanted to do.

Athenscalling.gr :… And then, what happened to you ? Tell us about it… What do you want to do?

BB (BACK:N:BLACK): I wanted to rock! So, I saved a lot of money and bought my first electric guitar made of plastic (don’t judge, this is what I could afford) and it was terrible. It was an awesome pink nasty-looking and even worse-sounding piece of junk. Of course, I didn’t have an amplifier, so I plugged it into my stereo and bashed the strings away to every L7 and Hole song I could find, teaching myself how to play the chords by ear. I didn’t really know what I was doing, but I knew I just wanted to make that big, screaming fist-in-your-face sound. That power hammer that hits you right in the gut. Soon enough, I started to play in bands. Then for one concert, my band back then decided to play “It’s A Long Way To The Top If You Wanna Rock’n’Roll”, and everything changed for me. When I was learning to play Malcolm’s parts, that was the point when I fell in love with AC/DC and Malcolm Young’s right hand. The timing and the dynamics he has are second to none. I wanted to learn how he did it. How he could possibly be so aggressive while still letting the lead guitar do all the shiny stuff? Malcolm Young to me is what rock’n’roll is all about! That’s when I knew I was hooked for life.

Athenscalling.gr : Now with the time machine, leaving in the past… do you have any fondest musical memories? Maybe in your house? Maybe in your town or in neighborhood?

BB (BACK:N:BLACK): Time machine? None needed! It might sound corny, but every time we play, there so many magical moments my brain stores I will treasure forever. That’s why we do this, after all! Of course, there are some experiences that are super intense, like for example the first time we played in front of thousands of people after ZZ Top at a big festival. I looked up and all I could see were people… and more people! It was like an ocean of faces, like in some crazy MTV video. But it was us on stage! Very surreal! There were people sitting on each other’s shoulders just to see us play, pushing for the front row, just like I have done so many times at my favorite shows. One woman even lifted her shirt and got her boobs out! Hahahaha! Crazy! Another awesome memory is when we played at the Montreux Jazz Festival with Prince and got to play on his amplifier! I mean, what?!! And one of the most awesome recent experiences was at Bon Fest in Scotland, in the town where Bon Scott was born. We all loaded up on the back of a flatbed truck and drove through the town. There’s this old classic video of AC/DC for “It’s A Long Way To The Top If You Wanna Rock’n’Roll” where they rolled through the town and people followed them. Well… we did that, complete with our friend Iain on bagpipes, and people were actually following the truck and singing! And when I say people, I don’t mean a few. I mean thousands! What a moment to be with all these fans… all in the same moment, same spirit, same thrill. There was one moment where Hell-ena and I looked at each other and we just had the exact same thought at the same moment of just pure and 100% rock’n’roll awesomeness. I can’t describe it, but I am sure everyone who has been to a rock show knows what I am talking about. The moment that makes your heart beat and your soul scream for rock’n’roll! You can check out the video on YouTube too. Long Way to the Top!

Athenscalling.gr : And here I will ask you,about of your aspirations,what are they really?

BB (BACK:N:BLACK): You see, what we’re after is not about being rock stars. It’s about finding that connection with the crowd. It’s that moment when you see that guy playing air guitar out in the audience, and you KNOW what it feels like. Because you’ve been there too. And being able to put a big loud, proud noise to that air guitar, so every person in the crowd playing and singing along has a voice.

Athenscalling.gr : Do you have any dream? And if you have, please tell us, what your big dream is?

BB (BACK:N:BLACK): Funny you should ask that, because a long time ago, we came up with a slogan for the band: “Dream Loud”. I really do feel like ever since we started the band, we have been living the dream. We get to play the best music in the world with our friends and travel around and play the craziest festivals. We have already experienced so many things that are way beyond any of our dreams! And we can dream pretty damned big, hahaha! We would never even have dreamed to one day play on the same stage AC/DC and Black Sabbath did. Or to travel to Norway, Slovakia and Scotland—all over Europe—to play our favorite music. The people we meet are awesome, there are adventures every time. And of course, I still dream of playing in Greece, hint hint! I love Greece; the people, the nature, the food… Let’s make this happen soon!Like I said before, another great thing is that BACK:N:BLACK has inspired some people to pick up and learn a musical instrument themselves. And this for me is the biggest motivation to do what we do: inspire people to express themselves and to rock out! There is no better or more sincere compliment!

Athenscalling.gr : My opinion is that BACK:N:BLACK is one special on stage tribute band. If you agree with my opinion, how do you feel playing on stage?

BB (BACK:N:BLACK):Thank you! Yes, I agree. Next question!Hahaha, just kidding. Seriously, I appreciate your saying this. It has always been important to me that BACK:N:BLACK has its own identity. Sure, we play another band’s music. They gave us a gift and we need to respect this. But for BACK:N:BLACK, it is important to be ourselves on stage. That’s what AC/DC always did, and to me, that is the most inspiring thing about them. Of course, we pay tribute to the greatest music in the world, and play the songs to the best of our abilities and give 100% of ourselves into it. But we do not want to pretend we are AC/DC. Not only would it be a bit difficult, but also because they are older than we are, and well, there’s a bit of a gender mismatch. Moreover, it’s just the wrong idea for us. Lots of tribute bands dress up as their favorite bands. More power to them, but that’s not us. We are just who we are. And we just love to have tons of fun with the music, and with the people who love these songs just as much as we do. Hey, at the end of the day, we are all AC/DC fans. We, the members of BACK:N:BLACK just happen to be on stage with the instruments in our hands. But don’t fool yourself—It’s every time a super party when we play a concert, celebrating the music of AC/DC together with the audience!

Athenscalling.gr : Do you like to play other songs than those AC/DC songs and if what genres of music?

BB (BACK:N:BLACK): Of course, I do! I also like to write and play my own music. But BACK:N:BLACK is all about AC/DC. Right now, with Corona, managing and playing with BACK:N:BLACK I don’t have tons of time to dedicate to other projects.

Athenscalling.gr : Tell us your best … 3 bands-3 songs and 3 films.

BB (BACK:N:BLACK): AC/DC. What did you expect something else? Monster Magnet. If you don’t know em, get to know em. Not only are they awesome musicians, they are also great personal friends. Shout out to Dave n Phil! Hole. You never forget your first Love. And Courtney was, and still is, a big one. Oh man, for songs I can’t possibly decide 3 songs only. I can tell you my favorites of TODAY! Songs I like to play today:΄΄ Shoot To Thrill΄΄. That break when we get everyone clapping gets me every time.΄΄ Let There Be Rock΄΄. Nonstop adrenaline on a stick. ”Riff Raff΄΄. Like I said, for Let There Be Rock, but we get to do it again…. Here are three songs I listened to today? Carry Fire by Robert Plant. Truly wonderful vocalist and presence. They don’t make them like this anymore. Hallucination Bomb by Monster Magnet. It’s a Satanic drug thing, You wouldn’t understand. Shireg Shireg by The Hu. We were in Mongolia when The Hu started breaking big. I am so proud and happy for them!…Three Films? Kill Bill Vol.1 and Vol. 2 – Pure ass-kickin’ female badassery. If you come to our shows, you’ll understand why! Death Proof. Even more ass-kickin’ female badassery, but with muscle cars, Seeing a pattern? Hahaa! Big Fish. Even I have a fish story or two…

Athenscalling.gr : Now fill in the blanks,(B)… (E)…. (A)… (T)…. (R)… (I)…. ( X )……

BB (BACK:N:BLACK): OK, I have to confess, my name is really BB, not Beatrix! I only came up with this because Facebook wouldn’t accept “BB” as a name. So, I have to go for something longer. Beatrix? See the Kill Bill question. So, let’s see… (B)Big… (B)Balls

Athenscalling.gr : How do you spend your free time?

BB (BACK:N:BLACK): I think I can speak for everyone in this band when I say that my time on stage with BACK:N:BLACK IS my free time. It’s not a job, else we wouldn’t do it. Look at it like this: some people pay money to play golf, hit balls around, hang out with friends. In BACK:N:BLACK, we do the exact same thing, but we don’t have to pay, and sometimes thousand of people watch and think its awesome! Can’t beat that! Rock n roll isn’t  a job. It’s a blood type.But of course, I also like to chill when the lights are off. I like to be in nature and with my animals. I like to hike in the mountains. I also like to travel and see new places and meet new people and taste new foods!

Athenscalling.gr : What is your opinion about  Greece?

BB (BACK:N:BLACK): Yes, like I mentioned, I have visited Greece a few times, but mostly for vacation and travel and visiting friends. It’s always been such a great time. And I love Greek food! One of the best foods in the world in my opinion! I would love to come to Greece with BACK:N:BLACK and play a few shows! Wouldn’t that be the coolest? When I am there, I would also like to check out some Greek bands, because I don’t know so many yet!

Athenscalling.gr : Oh… about the bands. Do you know  any about our music?

BB (BACK:N:BLACK): I know and really like Nightstalker ! Like I mentioned also, when we were in Slovakia last year, I met the singer of Beast In Black because we played the same festival. He’s a Greek dude, but I think he moved to Finland now to play with the band. So, I don’t know if he still counts as Greek, haha! 

Athenscalling.gr : And your future plans?

BB (BACK:N:BLACK): Especially with Corona right now, we just take it one day at a time. Continue playing with BACK:N:BLACK as much as possible! It’s a bit hard to predict when this will be, and what will happen with this pandemic. Regardless of when and where: we will ROCK!

Athenscalling.gr : Many thanks for the Interview BB, all the best to you and to the other four BACK:N:BLACK band members and you must know that I am a new fan of your HARD – AMAZING – EXPLOSIVE BAND… BACK:N:BLACK!

BB (BACK:N:BLACK):Thank you and hopefully see you soon in Greece! Remember, Dream Loud.. and Play Louder!

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