Pop Quiz: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club


Aidin Vaziri | Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s latest album was born out of tragedy. In 2010, singer Robert Levon Been’s father, the group’s sound engineer and ex-Call singer Michael Been, died of a heart attack backstage at a festival in Belgium. After struggling with writer’s block and searching for a reason to carry on, the Los Angeles trio eventually arrived at the cathartic 14-song set “Specter at the Feast,” which includes a cover of the elder Been’s signature tune, “Let the Day Begin.” We spoke to Robert Levon Been as the band was wrapping up the European leg of its tour in Köln, Germany. BRMC performs Monday at the Fillmore.

Q: Was there a moment after your father passed away and you were having trouble coming up with new songs that you considered calling it quits?

A: I think the incredible insecurity and self-doubt and depression – the things that really pull you underwater – we still fight with every day. Michael was a father figure to both me and Peter (Hayes, guitarist). He helped us when things got really dark. Now we have to lean on each other. The work is left on our shoulders. It’s kind of a good thing. Because I got to see my father as an example in life, I saw that you can do this with your life and it can be something really fulfilling.
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