Untrue with Mark Sugar
Art: Alexandre Goulet
Black Sites’ music is directly descended from classic heavy metal and prog-rock bands, but it builds on what those artists did rather than imitate it. I’d like to think that our sound is familiar yet feels new at the same time. Personally, this band is an outlet for me to say what I need to say, both lyrically and musically.
The last few years have been an increasingly dark period for most people, and “Untrue” definitely reflects that. We recorded the album during the early stages of the pandemic, and as a result, we had to record our parts separately. I’m not a big fan of this approach, but the upside is that we had a little more time and the ability to focus on our performances. Writing-wise, I think we’ve arrived at a sound that we can call our own, with dark and complex songs but still memorable.
The lyrics are all over the place. I don’t do concept albums and have difficulty focusing on one theme for 45 minutes. But the subjects are all intertwined on some level. Some songs are more personal and involve more significant ideas or refer to current events. But they are all coming from the same general worldview.
I have always felt compelled to write songs without any real reason or logical motivation. It’s just the way my brain is wired. I think I’ve gotten better at it over time, which has become a motivator to keep pushing forward.
I think most of our lyrics are coming from a humanist/atheist perspective, on some level. I don’t believe that a higher power is coming to save anyone – we have to figure out how to do that ourselves. Most of the songs are reality-based. No dragons or rainbows here.
As a young misfit, I was exposed to more “accessible” metal/hard rock, i.e. Van Halen, Motley Crue, Ozzy, etc. I was drawn to the musicality and the subversive attitude and dove deeper into thrash metal, then onto doom, death metal, prog, black metal, etc. I am still inspired by bands and albums across all these genres today.
Music is whatever you make, and whatever time the listener puts into it will be rewarded accordingly. History has certainly shown that music has the power to unite people, although time will tell if that will happen again.