Inspired and pushed toward a current metal rock, the Black Road have finally found their way. Suzi, mind and founder of the band, says loves Italy and cooking, and one day she hopes to come to the “Bel Paese” for tasting our best products. Because as she says: “Being able to travel to the world and discover new dishes, maybe while writing more, and playing gigs as we go … that would be heaven for me!”
Hi Suzi, welcome to WSD and thank you for being here with us.
Introduce yourself to the readers of WSD
“Hi! I’m Suzi Uzi from the band Black Road. We are located in Chicago, IL, USA. I write all the lyrics, as well as contribute to song structure and instrumentation. I create all of our artwork, logos, designs, posters, promotional material, videos, edits, and basically anything having to do with visuals. Currently I am also tracking, recording, mixing, and producing our music with some help from a couple friends. Lastly, I also do all of our booking.”
Black Road. Tell us about the origins. Where do your ideas come from?
“Black Road started in the beginning of the summer of 2015. I had hoped to start a band simply to ensure Tim (our guitarist) would be able to have his music heard by others. He had a major shoulder repair surgery and had not been playing for a long time, and I was hoping to help him find inspiration to keep playing guitar. Tim finally decided on the name Black Road, and that was all I needed to hear to begin getting the band up and running. We added a buddy of mine from an online music site to the band as our bassist, named Anthony Petrucci. We did our first acoustic recording together as a 3-piece with just acoustic guitar, acoustic bass, and vocals. This was during the weekend of America’s Independence Day, July 4th, 2015. I recall mentioning that we might have the sound of fireworks exploding in our first recording! At that time, we had a bunch of great ideas from all of our musical pasts. We started using riffs that Tim had made up himself a long time ago. His riffs are usually the start of all of our songs and songwriting ideas. We had a second guitarist originally as well, named Ed Salinas, whom we went to high school with. Tim, Ed, myself, and our original drummer Dennis Franco all went to high school together at the same time. Originally a 5-piece band, we had only 2 original songs when we played our first gig in July of 2015. Shortly after, we lost Ed as our second guitarist. We never searched for a replacement for Ed (which would have been almost impossible because of his level of skill and connection with Tim). Our original drummer Dennis, who is actually a very skilled guitarist himself, had family obligations which began to get more serious and caused him to leave the band eventually. Black Road became a 4-piece band once a replacement drummer was found, Andrew Becker. Our first show with our new lineup took place in November of 2015. This lineup continued until September of 2016. During the week we had planned to record our debut EP, after having recently been signed to DHU Records in August of 2016, our drummer decided to leave the group. He said he did not wish to play the type of music we were writing anymore, and did not want to be in a metal band. This was understandable since our music got heavier as we progressed. The original plan for our band was to start writing easier songs for me to sing, as I had just quit smoking cigarettes to make a true effort to become a solid vocalist. I knew eventually I would be able to sing heavier songs, and more powerful vocal parts. As that turning point arrived, and we had been building up better gear for recording and gigging purposes, it was clear the direction we were headed… down this Black Road. We were thankful our drummer let us know his true feelings, and he stepped aside to make way for someone who wanted to play the kind of music we were making. Not even one week later during discussions with our bassist over needing a new drummer, Anthony decided he also did not wish to play in a metal band. Seeing as we were actively seeking a new drummer, he thought it would be a good time for us to also try and fill his spot and search for a more fitting bassist for the group. It took a little time, but by Halloween (10/31/2016) we found new members and were ready to practice and start writing newer and heavier songs. We currently have Robert Gonzales on drums, and Casey Papp on bass. It seems as though the universe brought them straight to us, and we could tell they would be perfect right from the start. Their enthusiasm and talent is inspiring and really helped to create an instant family dynamic for our band. They now contribute and assist in songwriting whenever we write new songs.”
The quality and professionalism is evident in all your work. How much passion is put into your projects?
“There is nothing I care about or think about more than our music. It has taken over my life. I am doing all of our musical production at this point. One friend who truly helped in the past and even still, is John Morrison. His passion and talent in regards to music and instruments is infectious. I have learned a lot from him in a short time, and am very thankful for everything he continues to do or has helped us with in the past. Another person who really helped our recording process was Brad V Earl. He allowed us to track drums at his place, as well as a lot of our tracks for our debut EP. He has a lot of knowledge of music production and knows how to make recordings sound amazing. We have all invested a lot of time in this band. The level of passion we have poured into this project cannot be measured. We are very grateful for any help we’ve received, and for all the amazing people who have put up with this lengthy process!”
What do you think about the music and entertainment in USA/Chicago? Do you find any differences with other European realities?
“From what I hear and see, it looks like there is a much bigger metal scene in Europe. There appears to be many more music festivals and events going on in Europe that are targeted toward real music. In America, we have a lot of festivals which are nothing but electronic music, no real instruments, and all targeted toward young adults partying and dancing while half-dressed and lit up like a Christmas tree. As you may be able to decipher from my comments, I wish there were more REAL rock festivals in America. I think the underground scene here is great, and we also do not want to be mainstream. It feels like once something is picked up by mainstream media or companies, they try to exploit it in some way that seems to ruin the original raw power it had once possessed. Going to smaller, local shows is the way to do it in America. In Europe you might find the same underground bands playing for huge crowds because it seems they simply appreciate real music more?”
Do you hope to find something more in your journey of life? And what?
“One of my main goals for my life has always been to find what I am passionate about, and find a way to make a living doing what I love. Getting paid to make music full-time would be wonderful, however that is not the only thing I hope to accomplish. I have always thought of myself as a decent writer, and have used writing as a way to express myself for as long as I can remember. I have written almost an entire teleplay for one season of a TV series I hope to release someday. Being able to write and direct my own series would be a dream come true. Another thing I feel is a necessary part of my journey in life is traveling. Italy is one place I wish to visit, and to completely explore and indulge. Food is the only thing that can make me as happy as music. Creating, tasting, and discussing cuisine are some of my main interests. Being able to travel the world and discover new dishes, possibly while writing more, and playing gigs as we go… that would be heaven for me!”
Is there a band or singer that gives you inspiration?
“Some of my greatest inspirations when considering bands or singers, come from the past. I was always surrounded by rock music. I remember loving bands with male vocalists the most. I was very into motown and oldies, as well as any and all kinds of rock or metal. There are tons of bands from different genres that helped to shape who I am today. For the past few years I have been working hard to discover more artists who have created a name for themselves in the underground scene. I am inspired by Magnus Pelander as an overall artist. I love his voice, lyrical content, and both his solo projects and work with the amazing bands Witchcraft and Norrsken. On that topic, I also must mention Graveyard. I love everything I have ever heard from them. These bands and musicians make me feel like rock is never going to die, and that there is a place for individuality (as well as classic taste) in music to this day.”
Give some advices for those who is at the start on the road to the music and to the other kind of art.
“The main advice I would give to anyone starting out with a band or trying to make a living with their art… don’t stop! If you do not believe in what you have to offer, you cannot expect others to do so. Make sure you put your passion into your work, and others will feel it. Keep going. Sometimes it feels like no one cares, but someone out there surely does.”
Lake Shore Drive, a song by Chicago rock band Aliotta Haynes Jeremiah.
The end of the song is… “And the sun shines fine in the morning time….
Tomorrow is another day!”
This is your philosophy of life?
“That song has many references and lyrics which ring true for me in particular. Being from Chicago, experiencing certain things, and feeling like I was born too late… these things have all shaped who I am today. No matter what has happened or how bleak the situation, the sun shines fine in the morning time. If you are lucky enough to see the next day, you will have another chance to make your life what you want it to be.”
Suzi, WSD thanks you for having given our readers the opportunity to follow your career and personal path. Good luck for the journey. We say cordially good bye and hope to have another chance to meet you.
“Thank you to WSD and to you Joe Zagari, for your support along our journey! Everyone in Black Road thanks you, and I thank you personally for the chance to share our story with you. Please come back anytime and we can chat some more!”
Suzi Uzi (Vox/Lyrics)
Tim M. (Guitar)
Casey Papp (Bass)
Robert Gonzales (Drums)