I have found that good music is easier to generate when musicians truly enjoy every second of what they’re doing. Everyone has heard of the term “jaded”; one simply is going through the motions, doing what they think they’re supposed to do, and they’ve lost that passion and drive somewhere along the line. BEER N BLACK is a group of talented individuals that have - along with a variety of other substances - passion for what they do. A lot of it. Whether it be they are still on the up and up, traveling the state playing shows, or releasing a highly anticipated EP in preparation for a full length album, BEER N BLACK are definitely the antithesis of jaded. They were kind enough to sit down with me and answer some questions about what’s going on in the daily life of BEER N BLACK.

Can you describe BEER N BLACK for readers that may not be familiar with you guys? What are you guys all about, and how did you come together?

We both grew up in VA, and went to Christopher Newport University. Our experiences from life and the crazy times we had in college fueled our original sound. We have done quite a bit of growing since then so it’s not all bongs and beer pong, but we definitely have “the party” engrained in our DNA. We have been best friends for over a decade now and are actually very different people so that helps our music become more dimensional than the average hip hop artist.

I distinctly remember hearing “Frat Life” blare over the speakers at more than one Pi Lambda Phi party at CNU; how has BEER N BLACK progressed over the past five or six years?

“Frat Life” was made during that adjustment period when you leave college and go out into the real world to make a living, but you’re still stuck in a college mode mentally. That was probably the first song that got people really asking us about our music. We originally made it for the brothers, and there are a lot of secrets mentioned that most wouldn’t understand. We’ve made a lot of progress over the years. We are more confident in our sound, production, song selection, and performance abilities. We take our time with each song rather than making as many songs as possible just to get exposure.

Starting in the Hampton Roads area and even traveling all the way to DC to play a few months back has got to be interesting - do you find the hip hop culture/scene to be noticeably different in the varying areas of the DMV?

We currently live in the DMV area. It’s vastly different than Hampton Roads because you can find so much more live music in general, not just hip hop. In Hampton Roads, there are a ton of people making music, but the music scene (as far as studios, venues, indie shows, etc) isn’t nearly as big. Up here, there are a lot more opportunities to network, be seen, and have your voice heard.

What would you say is your proudest moment associated with BEER N BLACK so far?

The answer may differ between the two of us, but I think we’d both agree that it isn’t just one moment – it’s every time we have a show and our fans are always there to support us. We had a fan last show find a babysitter last second to come watch their brand new baby so they could get out for a bit and come support us. We have friends drive up six hours from Charlotte to cheer us on. The moment when you get on stage and you look out and see so many familiar faces all there to support you is always the best feeling and proudest moments we have.

I checked out your most recent release, Panty Droppers, and I’ve got to say - the lyrical and musical progression from your previous work is impressive. What, if anything, did you do differently when writing and recording Panty Droppers?

Thank you, it’s been a lot of experimenting and hundreds of hours of work over the past few years to improve our sound. Practice makes perfect, for sure. Around the time of “Frat Life” we recorded a lot of songs that are now on our compilation called Kingstowne: The Prequel. From there we released an album called Random Tandem, which is our most major release to this date. We look back at some of those older tracks and remember thinking they sounded great at the time, but now it’s easy to pinpoint where they were lacking. The biggest change is in the knowledge and experience we have gained over the years.

We are gearing up to release a full album and wanted to put out something so our fans didn’t have to wait so long. It’s actually a pretty funny story. We were chilling having a music session, which usually consists of a little drinking and the occasional smoke, and talking about songs we should release. It was about two weeks until Valentine’s Day and Tweeter says, ‘Man we should really look into releasing an EP of just a few songs.’ JRock kicks in, ‘Yea let’s make one with those love songs and call it Panty Droppers – Tweeter laughed. Our Valentine presents were done, and history was made. It’s funny because that’s how a lot of our ideas happen. They aren’t planned for the most part. We just spitball ideas back and forth, and the great ones stick.


How has the response to the album been so far?

The response has been undeniably positive, which is always nice. It was a very unique release and great timing, but you never really know how new material is going to be received. We have had hundreds of people send us messages saying that they really loved a hook or think “That Song” should be our next major single. Valentine’s Day turned out to be the perfect release time. Most importantly, our girls really enjoyed the songs we made for them.

Do you have anything big planned to support the EP? A tour, music video, etc?

To be honest, Panty Droppers was sort of a chess move in order to help support our future projects. We like to keep giving our fans new music when we can and waiting for full-length albums takes a while. We will perform one or two of the songs at a few of our upcoming shows, but it won’t be the basis of our next tour. Our next album, which will be completed soon, will ignite our first major tour.

What do you see in the future for BEER N BLACK, both in 2014 and beyond? It seems like with the constant blending of genres and the general acceptance of being unique in ones musical expression is at all time high. Where does BEER N BLACK fit into that picture?

“Same thing we do every day, Pinky – try and take over the world.” This is always JRock’s response when I ask him “What are we doing? ” This year has been and will be continue to be the year of structure and growth. In order to be successful in this landscape, you need to have your marketing channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and your website, in place. We even battle fans in Words With Friends for anyone who thinks they can take us on (wink). We finally promote our music like we should and will only grow stronger from it.

This year we want to continue to focus on collaborating with other artists musically and from a production aspect. Honestly, we want to branch out to where we aren’t just making music, but also helping other people get their sound out. We want to throw events and parties, concerts, or whatever gets people together having a good time. It’s all been preparation up to this point, and now it’s time to execute.

For more updates on BEER N BLACK, be sure to “like” their Facebook page, follow them on Twitter and Soundcloud, and visit their website.

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