Dustin Hill, frontman for Black Magic Flower Power, is trading in the down-tempo ’70s stoner grooves of his previous band (the unprintable Black P****) for a whole new disco-tinged boogie rock project.
“I had the idea a few years ago,” explained Hill. “I’m always tinkering around with songs and I came up with the band name, maybe four years ago now. I’ve been in a lot of projects, writing music, and it’s like a new art project. A new band is an art project and you start playing around with the name and songs, how you’re going to dress, the whole idea behind the project. It’s been forming for three or four years, and I thought it was time to launch. I get a little ADD in music and wanted to try something else. I felt like the stoner rock was getting a little tired and I needed a break from it and wanted to do something really positive and fun.”
Black Magic Flower Power have released two funky singles, so far, and a video for a cover of Patrick Hernandez's 1978 disco hit “Born to Be Alive.” The video is a kaleidoscope of dancers, blacksploitation hero Dolemite, and live concert footage.
“That was us just trying to get a song out,” said Hill. “Since we’re kind of road dogs — I like to be on the road a lot — we’re on the road about 200 days a year playing over 150 shows a year. I thought it would be fun to do live recordings of us from small shows to big shows and the roller coaster ride of being in a touring band.”
Instead of Black Sabbath and Pentagram, Hill and the rest of the band draw inspiration from the other side of the radio dial. “Definitely a lot of Issac Hayes, a lot of Curtis Mayfield and Funkadelic, so getting into the subculture of the ’70s funk movement,” said Hill. “We’re letting soul influence us in instrumentation, so a lot of clavinet, a lot of synth. So those are the benchmarks, but with a modern pop twist.”
The change in genre hasn’t affected Hill’s wardrobe too much. Flared collars, polyester, tight pants, and tea shades transfer pretty readily from ’70s stoner rock to ’70s boogie. Surprisingly, the colorful clothing the band wears on stage is still pretty easy to come by.
“It’s not too bad, because it’s not too hip right now,” said Hill. “We’re hitting vintage stores and always searching eBay. Right now it’s pretty cheap and fun. Not too difficult at the moment unless it becomes too hip.” Hopefully, it will be a while before it all comes back into style again.
Black Magic Flower Power will be playing at El-Rocko Lounge with Little Vicious and Silver Tongue Devils. After this tour, they hope to get back into the studio.
“We’re on the road till mid-September and then we’re in the studio to make a full length,” said Hill. “There should be another single soon. I think we’re going to drop a video for ‘Funky Town Sex Machine’ soon — the video turned out great.”