The Untitled Interview #183: Starring Aaron Estes (Black Hills)

Sometimes, one really craves music that's cooler than the other side of the pillow. Songs that sound, to continue this whole bed/sleep metaphor, rather dreamy. Black Hills, the new project of former Bellman Barker-ite Aaron Estes, just so happens to make such music. Inspired by everyone from M83 and Air to the Scandinavian pop tart Robyn, Estes has recently released his four-song Black Gold EP, full of glacial, synthy cool nuggets. 

To celebrate the release, Estes and the live members of Black Hills will be at the Black Cat this very evening. To celebrate that celebrating, I cornered Estes to get the skinny on all things Black Hills. Read on for the good word (Trapezery! Pawn shops! Boyz II Men!), and then make sure all you local types are at the Cat this evening. See you there.  

Fuzzy Logic: How the hell are you? 
Aaron Estes: Busy! 

FL: What was the last song you listened to? 
AE: I was at the Damien Jurado show the other night and I don't remember the last song he played, but the 2nd to last was "Ohio," and I like that song. So, "Ohio".

FL: Playing music is: 
AE: Cathartic.

FL: What album most made you realize you wanted to make music? 
AE: No idea. But well for the Black Hills stuff, if I had to point to a single album, I'd say Air's Talkie Walkie. Or Royksopp's Melody AM. Those are 2 records I am always going back to. 

FL: Beatles or Stones? 
AE: Lou Reed & Metallica. Ok, not really. In their prime, I'll take the Beatles. But the Stones aged better. 

FL: Top 5 albums (of now, of this month, or of ever): 
AE: Don't really know. Some music I'll always love though-- Moon Safari and Talkie Walkie (Air). Almost everything from Robyn and Royksopp. Really into the Weeknd right now. And Washed Out, JJ, ceo, Fever Ray, Annie. 

FL: Favorite music-related movie? 
AE: Rock and Roll High School. 

FL: Half-full or half-empty? 
AE: Only half empty. 

FL: Which of your peers do you think is making the best music these days? 
AE: That's easy. Bone Fur and Feathers. Full disclosure--I'm playing keys with them. But you know, it's a very new band, and when I first checked out the demos I was just really amazed. Very beautiful songs. 

FL: What’s the first thing you think when you wake up in the morning? 
AE: I hope my dog hasn't peed on the floor yet. 

FL: Little-known Black Hills fact? 
AE: Most Black Hills facts are little-known I guess, haha. Umm, my day job is giving trapeze lessons. 

FL: The greatest record store in the world is: 
AE: You know, I don't really go to record stores. Most of the records I own came from pawn shops or the merch table at a show. 

FL: Shaken or stirred? 
AE: Neat. 

FL: Best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? 
AE: Relax. It's tough though. I'm not good at it. 

FL: What does Black Hills have in common with the actual Black Hills? 
AE: I grew up in the actual Black Hills, so it just seemed like the right name. 

FL: If you weren’t in a band you’d be: 
AE: This is a tough one. I stopped thinking about it a while ago and decided I was just always going to make music. 

FL: If you were so inclined, whom would you form a tribute band in honor of? 
AE: Daft Punk! We already did that though, haha. I'm not sure...Boyz II Men? I can't wait for their show at the Howard Theatre. 

FL: Best song ever written? 
AE: The Action - "Brain"


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