Black Peaks on the Rise with Sennheiser
Formed in 2013 in Brighton on the UK south coast, Black Peaks is a four-piece progressive rock band that is going places. Their debut album Statues has been described by The Independent as "an exceptional combination of alternative rock, heavy metallic riffs, prog infused concepts, and subtle post-rock flourishes that all interweave to create an extremely accomplished debut," and they have been championed by both Radio 1's Daniel P Carter and Zane Lowe. Having started out, as most fledgling bands do, with an unrefined mix of microphones, adding Sennheiser to their inventory has made a world of difference.
"We were originally an instrumental three-piece, which was me, Andrew Gosden on bass, and Liam Kearley on drums," explains guitarist Joe Gosney. "We quickly got Will Gardner (vocals) involved and from there our music really started to take shape. We spent 2013 and 14 playing a bunch of shows around the UK and getting tracks together for what would eventually become our debut album Statues."
With their live performances becoming more frequent and higher profile -- last year, for example, saw them support the Deftones, playing to a crowd of 12,000 at Wembley Arena and this year, as part of a six-week run round Europe and Scandinavia, Mastodon and System Of A Down -- they wanted to upgrade their equipment, with microphones being the number one priority.
"We're now using Sennheiser e 935s on Will's vocal and 904s on Liam's toms," says their front-of-house engineer, Jack Childs. "I love the 935s for their clear glassy highs and rich low mids, the clarity is amazing. They work so well with Will's voice as he has such a wide dynamic range. I find they perform really well when he's whisper quiet, keeping their definition and clarity, yet they can handle the insane screams and extreme SPL that this guy can produce (he really is a loud chap)! When he is screaming at full tilt, the 935s continue to provide me with warm and balanced low mids, giving a full-bodied defined tone that makes pronunciation easy to hear, even in the most unruly of venues and spaces we play in."
Childs has found the biggest difference in using Sennheiser, compared to many of the other mics he's tried with Will Gardner, is that they sound consistent throughout the show.
"I've found other leading brands tend to clog up with spit and start to sound dull after half an hour of use and it is really apparent," Jack adds. "I feel confident using the e 935s live, as I know they will do their job every show of the tour -- these are some seriously well-built and hard wearing mics. The Black Peaks' show is intense musically, but also physically. The mics have been thrown around stages all over Europe and after two years of vigorous touring they are still going strong and sound like new, even if they are looking a bit tired now."
"The last few years have been a bit of a whirlwind to be honest," concludes Gosney. "We have been so humbled by the response to Statues. "We have been touring the record for the past two years now and played hundreds of shows around the UK and Europe in support of it, and knowing that we have great sounding, reliable mics has made a world of difference."
"We're now back in Brighton, working hard on our next album and can't wait to get it out. When we start to tour it, our Sennheiser mics will be going with us!"