THE BLACK RYDER
WORDS BY STEFANA FRATILA
PHOTOGRAPHY BY MICHELLE PEERALI
The Black Ryder hail from Sydney, Australia where they first started making atmospheric music that is both dark and completely dreamy. The two core members are Aimee Nash and Scott Von Ryper. Nash recalls how they met when she was just 15. “We both used to frequent a gothic nightclub back in the day. I used to sneak into the club because I was underage, but I’d discovered bands like Bauhaus, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Cure, My Bloody Valentine, The Sisters of Mercy, Cocteau Twins and this was the only place I could be with like-minded folk. It was such a romantic period for me musically and so exciting to come into an environment that really embraced the music, the fashion. There was definitely a sense of rebellion and also a sense of community with the dressing up, and getting a little kooky was always fun. Scott was playing in a band at the time and I had a crush on him for a couple of years. I was younger than him so nothing actually ever happened with us until I was 21. What a guy…”
The two are no longer a couple but have managed to preserve a serious friendship and working relationship, which is a lot more than most couples can say after breaking up. They were banded together in more ways than one when they were both kicked out of The Morning After Girls. “Both Aimee and I were asked to join the band,” Von Ryper recalls. “It came to a sudden but appropriately timed end for us two when we were both fired early one morning at the end of a tour. When you find yourself kicked out of the boat, you learn to swim quickly, and then realize that you want to build a very different boat altogether.”
The boat they’ve built together is a beautiful one. “We both felt creatively starved and needed to fully immerse ourselves into something we could be passionate about,” says Von Ryper. With everything falling into place, the duo named the band after an avant-garde musical fable called The Black Rider (a theatrical collaboration between William S. Burroughs, Tom Waits, and Robert Wilson). “The image of a lone black rider just seemed to fit perfectly for us.” Nash adds, “For anyone who knows us, it’s rare to find us wearing any other color.”
Their 2009 debut album, Buy The Ticket, Take The Ride was created over a long period of time,all within a studio environment. “A good reasonthe album took so long is because it was a learningprocess for us,” Nash says. “Aimee and I had neverreally written or collaborated on songs togetherbefore so even that was new,” adds Von Ryper.
The recording and writing process was a simultaneous one. “There was certainly a healthy or more appropriately unhealthy amount of alcohol, amongst other things, to get through the writing and recording, as well as performing,” Nash explains. “It’s an awful thing to admit, but there is something to be said for experimenting with different types of substances when you’re in that creative space. You can feel very vulnerable, and rather than stay in that place of vulnerability, sometimes it’s easier to get out of your sober mind. After enough time you realize it’s just not sustainable to keep going like that.”
Currently working on their second album, 2011 has been a great year for the band. Now living in Los Angeles they’re chilling out a bit and working on scoring a film for director Michael Spiccia (who also directed the video for Sweet Come Down). “We now have a more mindful existence and the desire to do our best,” says Nash, “whether that is through performing or in a recording environment. It’s a good motivation to look after ourselves a little more.”
More — www.theantimachinemachine.com
Enjoy more of this on thelabmagazine.com, coming summer 2012!