Blacktop Mojo brought their southern twang infused hard rock to Fargo, North Dakota Sunday night at The Aquarium.
With fresh material to share and the chance to play to a brand new crowd, Blacktop Mojo was full of life on the small Aquarium stage. This was their first time in Fargo, but definitely not the first time Fargo had heard of them. The room was full of enthusiastic fans, all of whom knew every word and sang along, even to the newest songs. The band played off of this energy, keeping a spirited pace throughout the show. There was headbanging, hair whipping and quite a bit of grooving on stage. The five-piece have solid chemistry among themselves, as well as great fan interaction, and in a location as intimate as the Aquarium it was an atmosphere set for a good time.
Shannon Rae: Welcome to Fargo, first time here, is it everything you dreamed it would be?
Matt James: It looks just like the movie. It’s cold and uh, yeah haha. Everyone has been super nice.
SR: So you have been touring for a little while, what is your favorite place that you have been so far?
MJ: On this run, probably would have to say last night, we had a sold out show in Omaha, so that was really fun.
SR: Nice! Taking a step back here, for those who don’t know who Blacktop Mojo is, give me a little bit of a rundown?
MJ: We are from Palestine, Texas. We are a rock band. We started seven years ago and we have been touring full time for the past 3 years.
SR: How did the name come to be?
MJ: We do what is called “back roading” back home, I’m sure you do something similar up here, but from the time we are old enough to drive we sneak out, take a couple beers, and listen to music out on county roads.
SR: Oh, so booze cruising?
MJ: Yes, exactly, booze cruising! But we were back roading one day and one of my buddys was a duck hunter and had a Mojo brand duck decoy and I needed something to stir my drink and uh, it gets kind of fuzzy from there. We had been trying to find a band name for like three weeks and when we got back from that trip we had one.
SR: You’re a southern rock band, how did you decide the style of your music?
MJ: I don’t know that we decided upon it, but we started out as a country band because that was pretty much the only place we could get gigs, playing country covers and other covers in bars, and country is king where we are from. When we started writing our own music it was kind of harder and heavier, it was more rock music. I think a little bit of that twang sort of lingered around and here we are.
SR: You are out here in support of your album Under The Sun, which you released last fall. How do you feel the response has been?
MJ: The response has been good! Our first single cracked a top 30 on Billboard. So far everyone seems to be enjoying the new songs at the shows.
SR: Right on. This album is a little heavier and definitely guitar driven, was this something that was predetermined or did it naturally occur?
M: Pretty much everything we do naturally occurs, we’re not really that smart haha. We don’t really plan ahead for stuff like that. Both of our guitar players are really talented and especially during this last writing process they pretty much spent eight to twelve hours a day just playing guitar and it shows.
SR: What has been your favorite song to perform from the new album?
MJ: Lay It On Me. The very first song on the album.
SR: And what is the dynamic with that song, do you get the crowd into it or is it just fun for you all on stage
MJ: It’s fun, we usually kick the show off with it, so it’s kind of a psych up song.
SR: You released the music video for “It Won’t Last” at the beginning of month. What about this song in particular inspired you to put together a video, as well as name your tour after it? Because that kind of incites people to check it out and it could very well be the first Blacktop Mojo song they check out.
MJ: I think it is one of those songs on the album that is different style wise for us. A little less heavy, and a little more of a blues rock sort of song. It’s a little softer, I guess. That was kind of the inspiration for it. We wanted to shine the spotlight on something different.
SR: Collaborations are becoming a pretty popular thing, and we are seeing a lot of crossovers amongst the genres even. So if you could choose anyone from any genre to collaborate with Blacktop Mojo, who would you choose?
MJ: Oh, that's tough... Florence and the Machine!
SR: Oh, that would be cool! You have a little bit more of this tour to finish up yet, but what is next for your 2020?
MJ: We’ve got some new music coming out later this year, probably an EP. And then a lot more touring, we want to stay on the road.
SR: Are there any festivals in the plans?
MJ: We are doing RockFest in Cadot, Wisconsin and there is a new festival in Grand Rapids, Michigan that they just started this year called Upheaval Festival. We will be playing that with Staind and Disturbed, it’s going to be badass.
SR: Awesome! Thank you so much for chatting with us!
Full BLACKTOP MOJO Photo Coverage Here.