Godspeed You! Black Emperor
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Godspeed You! Black Emperor: Godspeed You! Black Emperor (formerly known as Godspeed You Black Emperor!) is a Canadian post-rock band based in Montreal, Quebec. They take their name from God Speed You! Black Emperor, an obscure 1976 Japanese black-and-white documentary by director Mitsuo Yanagimachi, which follows the exploits of a Japanese biker gang, the Black Emperors. The band is most commonly classified as post rock, but they exist outside any established scene and take influences from a range of styles including progressive rock, punk, classical music and the avant-garde. Their records each consist of a few fairly long tracks (mostly between 10-20 minutes), divided into "movements" which are sometimes specified in the record sleeve. The band formed around 1994 with three members, but its lineup has changed frequently. The band has had as many as fifteen members at one time, but has tended to settle down to a group of nine. The instruments played vary with the lineup, but the music tends to be based around electric and bass guitars, strings and a percussion section. Other instruments such as the glockenspiel and the French horn make more occasional appearances. The music on some of their records is accompanied by spoken samples recorded by the band across North America, including an apocalyptic street preacher from Providence, Rhode Island, an announcement at a gas station, and a group of children talking and singing in French. The band members have in the past been reluctant to go in for the traditional self-publicising interviews, and have openly expressed their distaste for the mainstream, corporation-owned music industry. This has given them a reputation as shadowy, even anti-social figures, and not a great deal is known about them personally. They did, however, become considerably more widely known after appearing on the cover of British music magazine the NME in 1999. The member who interacts with the press the most is Efrim Menuck, and for this reason he is sometimes presented as a front-man. However, he has strongly repudiated this label. Members of the group have formed a number of side-projects, including A Silver Mt. Zion, Fly Pan Am and Set Fire to Flames. The band contributed the song "East Hastings" to the soundtrack of the UK film 28 Days Later, although it is only featured in the film and not on the soundtrack available for purchase. The band released the CD versions of its first two albums on the Kranky record label, with the LPs being published by Constellation Records; the contract with Kranky having run out, both the LP and the CD of Yanqui U.X.O. were produced by Constellation. In 2004, long-time guitarist Roger-Tellier Craig left the band on amicable terms and to devote more time to Fly Pan Am. The band has often played an unrecorded song entitled "Albanian" when touring. Efrim has said that when the band reform they will record it for their next release. Another unreleased song, "Gamelan," may also be recorded. However, due to the band's open taping policy, both these songs are available as high quality audience recordings. It has frequently been the case, in fact, that new material is released through the fans before its official recording. Thanks to Wikipedia.