Black Mountain are known for dark, bluesy, and heavy psych, but frontman Stephen McBean contains musical multitudes, and explores those regularly with his Pink Mountaintops solo project since the mid-'00s. Peacock Pools is the first Pink Mountaintops album in eight years, and has him collaborating with Redd Kross' Jeff McDonald, Melvins' Dale Crover, Destroyer's Joshua Wells, and more, with musical nods to new wave, Britpop, '80s riff rock and lots more. It's a fun album -- read our review -- and you can stream the whole thing below.

We asked McBean if he'd tell us about the inspirations behind the new album, which include other musicians, books, birds and more. Read his list and commentary below.

Pink Mountaintops are on tour with Ashley Shadow now, and play Brooklyn's Knitting Factory on May 27. All dates are listed below.


Solitude & making the best of days alone
Headphones… hiking …. staring up at the sun. Lord, keep me on the upside of earth.

Taking up residence in Arcadia, CA brought a wealth of new feathered vertebrate friends. Leisurely strolls exploded into exciting new colors and their nervous honks are almost as funny as Benny Hill outtakes:

photo: Laura Pleasants
photo: Laura Pleasants

Guitar shopping with Chantelle
She didn’t find a guitar, but she bought me some chimes at Ventura Music in exchange for being her chauffeur. This added the album’s needed Alice Coltrane influence.

Muscle - Confessions of An Unlikely Bodybuilder by Samuel Fussell
The bulk that can grow off bullied bones is colossal. A side glance into mid 80’s SoCal bleached blonde steroid mutations.


This Planet Is Doomed - The Science Fiction Poetry of Sun Ra
This book seems to reappear throughout my life…. Sometimes I’ll just hold it or open to a page and skim…. but as instruments to be part of the cosmos.

attachment-this planet is doomed

"White Boys and Heroes"
Lead off track from Gary Numan’s 4th album, I Assassin. I’ve rambled through numerous Numan / Tubeway phases, but always slept on this one until it jumped out on shuffle. It was also a fave of Ryan Jewell so some Linn Drum hairdressing seemed in order.

YouTube free jazz playlists & couch guitar noodles from outer space

Ken Tamplin Vocal Academy
I needed a new kick so I bet on some online American Christian vocal coaching. Rumor has it he once auditioned for Accept:

Side Chaining
You can side chain almost anything… who would’ve thunk’d. #norules

Neos - Three Teens Hellbent On Speed (Supreme Echo)
Neos were my mentors & pre-pubescent punk friends as I stood at the gates of an alternate universe. School, sports & adults didn’t fit into my world - I wanted out. Listening to this 51 song discography LP brought it all back - ferocious hearts pumping at 220 bpm when every second seemed like eternity. Best band ever!


5.06 - Denver, CO @ Globe Hall - RECORD RELEASE SHOW
5.08 - Madison, WI @ High Noon Saloon
5.18 - Quebec City, QC @ L’Anti
5.20 - Montreal, QC @ Bar Le Ritz PDB
5.21 - Ottawa, ON @ Rainbow Bistro
5.22 - Toronto, ON @ Horseshoe Tavern
5.23 - London, ON @ Rum Runners
5.24 - Buffalo, NY @ Mohawk Place
5.26 - Cambridge, MA @ Middle East - Upstairs
5.27 - Brooklyn, NY @ Knitting Factory
5.28 - Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie
5.29 - Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom
5.31 - Indianapolis, IN @ The Hi-Fi
6.01 - Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
6.02 - St. Paul, MN @ The Turf Club

all dates with Ashley Shadow

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