Members of Black Country, New Road discuss remaining North American tour, new artistic direction

Darren Puccala and Chandler Rowley

In the past year, British indie rock band Black Country, New Road rose to stardom in large part due to their eclectic sound on their 2021 debut album For the First Time and the resounding admiration for their latest album Ants From Up There released in February 2022. 

Lead singer Isaac Wood announced in Jan. 2022 via Instagram that he would be leaving the group for personal reasons. While adjusting to their new six-piece lineup, the band created eight new tracks to usher in a new era of BCNR.

While in Austin for their two-show run opening for black midi, The Daily Texan spoke with Tyler Hyde (bass, vocals), Lewis Evans (vocals, flute, saxophone) and Luke Mark (guitar) about their forthcoming tour and artistic path moving forward.


Daily Texan: What are the benefits to polishing these songs in front of audiences as opposed to exclusively working in the studio?

Tyler Hyde: We used to do more of that when we built up a slow career and had a fan base that was following us. Now, it feels way more daunting to do that because the music is so fresh that nobody knows it at all. It’s definitely useful to get that instant reaction from the audience. Otherwise, you become so wrapped up in your own little bubble that you forget there are other people with opinions that might hate or love what you do.

Lewis Evans: Playing a song at one gig counts for about five rehearsals in terms of how much tighter the song gets. With the pressure that [we’re] put under, we really have to focus in a way that we might not be able to focus in a rehearsal room.

DT: Do you feel overwhelmed by the sheer possibilities ahead of you, or do you feel as though the world is your oyster?

TH: We’ve chosen to look not that far into the future, so it’s not that overwhelming. We’re not looking much further than this tour and then going home and having an awesome time. 

LM: The time after we finish this tour is going to be when the craziness sets in — the mad plotting for the next album. I’m getting another fucking whiteboard, best believe I am. We had this whiteboard for the second album where we all contributed to it. (The board) had the number of tracks on the album (and) little drawings of what they should be or (notes like) track seven (listed as) “emotional shit,” which is where we ended up putting (the song) Snow Globes.

DT: With the timeline of Issac’s departure, this tour and the production of new material, do you feel there was enough time to appreciate the success of Ants From Up There ?

LM: We all felt like if we were never allowed to make another album, we’d be pretty satisfied. We were so in love with Ants From Up There. (However), we didn’t think it would have as good a reception, but then we’re like “in 10 years, it’ll be a classic.”

TH: I’ve been able to appreciate it in a cooler way. We don’t get sick of the songs because we’re touring them over and over again. (We) also get these moments occasionally where it pops up, (where) someone says, “I was just listening to Ants From Up There, and it’s sick!” To know that people still care about it means a lot.