Picture: Briana Purser

The Black Angels are doing more than their fair share to ensure the world knows their hometown of Austin, Texas, is the capital city of psychedelic rock.

For the past six years they've staged the Austin Psych Fest, an ever-growing multi-day celebration of mind-expanding music.

At the most recent fest in April, they put together a dream line-up by landing legends Roky Erikson of the 13th Floor Elevators and The Moving Sidewalks, the 60s band featuring ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons, alongside modern day heroes Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Clinic and Deerhunter.

Guitarist Christian Bland says the festival went down flawlessly.

"It was the biggest crowd we'd had, and it doubled from last year," he says.

"We had it out at a place called Carson Creek Ranch about 10 minutes outside of downtown Austin, and it's right on the Colorado River. It's beautiful out there.

"There's a lot of room for growth, too. You could probably fit about 10,000 people out there, so hopefully one day we'll have that many."

After the four-piece toured the east coast of Australia with the Harvest festival last year, there were reports they would bring a localised version of Austin Psych Fest to our shores. While it didn't happen this year as planned, Bland says it is still in the works.

"We were hoping that it could happen in June or July and it just didn't happen, but now we're hoping for next year," he says.

"The billing process of how we did it in Austin when we started was about three quarters local Austin bands, so I would think that the way that we would do it is that we would bring bands from each city and then maybe one or two outside bands from somewhere else, US or wherever."

For now Australian audiences will have to settle for a headlining tour, which kicked off at the weekend and will see the band showing off their recently released Indigo Meadow record.

After leaving their comfort zone and heading out to LA for their third album Phosphene Dream, this time they decided to venture into the West Texas desert.

"Originally we were going to do it in Austin, but then we talked to John Congelton, who was the producer on it, and asked him what was a good place in Texas to record and he said Sonic Ranch in Tornillo, so we decided to head out there and check it out," Bland says.

"It was amazing. I think the setting infiltrates the way that the album sounds. So I think the West Texas desert snuck into the way that the album ended up sounding as LA did on Phosphene Dream."

Bland says the biggest difficulty in finalising the album was whittling down the songs from the 30 they wrote to the 16 they recorded and then to the 13 on the final product.

"There's three other songs that didn't make it on the album," he says. "We'll probably release something like Phosphene Nightmare where we did a 10-inch vinyl of b-sides, so eventually we'll put something out like that."

The Black Angels play Capitol today. Tickets are available from Oztix.

The West Australian

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