The reigning punk kings of garage rock, Black Lips, continue their extensive US and international touring schedule in promotion of last year’s record, Arabia Mountain. Now in Australia — bass player Jared Swilley takes a break to share with us his some snap shots from the tour and his thoughts on packing, culture sock and airport security.


What’s your one must-have-travel-item?

I guess a toothbrush? Or clean socks. Otherwise, I could just go with the clothes on my back and be fine.

Very practical, I like it. Biggest culture shock you’ve experienced while touring aboard?

I don’t really experience culture shock too much. I guess a little bit in India. It’s mostly weird places in the U.S. that shock me. And I was a little surprised when I heard people belching over dinner in Malaysia, but I thought it was awesome.

What about the long journey over to places like Malaysia, how do you pass the time when on transatlantic flights?

The in-flight movies usually suck. Mostly romantic comedies. I like to read the first hour until the food comes then it’s booze and Xanax to make the time disappear.

And how about pre-flight rituals, body search or full body x-ray scanner?

X-ray scanner because it’s futuristic and they get to look at a computerized version of me naked.

Any person, place or thing you especially miss when you’re on the road?

Not really. I haven’t really been rooted anywhere in a long time so I always miss something and someone, but am always looking forward to seeing everyone and every place again soon.

When you’re in new places, who in the band is adventurous enough to try eating say live shrimp in Thailand, and who’s the first to look for the nearest American fast food chain?

We are all very adventurous eaters and will try anything once. We don’t like fast food and only eat it out of necessity or convenience.


Smart thing to avoid. What about time off, what do you like to do when you get a break while on tour?

I just sit around in my underwear and drink beer and watch TV.


Obviously not counting you’re time in front of the tube, do you find much inspiration for new songs while on the road?

Yeah, that’s pretty much where it all comes from.

Any examples from your most recent album?

Yeah, “Modern Art” was written while in Spain. We went to the Dali museum and took psychedelic drugs. The song is about that experience. “Don’t Mess Up My Baby” is kind of about life on the road but I won’t go into that.

Hmmm…intriguing. Okay, last question, finish this sentence: Life on the road is…

So amazing and so shitty.