Black Country, New Road open up about singer Isaac Wood’s departure: “It’s daunting to be ‘the voice’ of a band”

The band announced Wood was leaving the line-up earlier this week

Black Country, New Road have opened up about the departure of singer Isaac Wood and how it will change the band moving forward.

Wood’s split from the group was announced earlier this week (January 31), days before the release of their second album ‘Ants From Up There’.

“I have bad news which is that I have been feeling sad and afraid too,” Wood wrote in a statement. “And I have tried to make this not true but it is the kind of sad and afraid feeling that makes it hard to play guitar and sing at the same time.

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“To be clear: this is completely in spite of six of the greatest people I know, who were and are wonderful in a sparkling way. If you are reading this maybe you would have seen some of that. It has been a great pleasure and I would like to say the words ‘Thank You’ to everyone.”

Black Country, New Road
Black Country, New Road. CREDIT: Rosie Foster

Now, in a new interview with Rough Trade, three of the remaining band members have spoken about Wood’s exit. Drummer Charlie Wayne acknowledged that losing their singer was “a big thing” and that Wood had had a “massive” influence on the band.

“But if Black Country New Road had rested solely on the merits of one person then we would have ended the band with Isaac leaving,” Wayne said. “But because it’s doesn’t, we haven’t. In very tangible ways the band sounds pretty similar. The songs are definitely different and we are exploring spaces we have never been to before, but we are the same musicians playing our instruments.”

Bassist Tyler Hyde said the band had “discussed an evolution” a long time before Wood had decided to leave, which would involve “new voices coming in and roles and responsibilities changing”. “It’s taught us that it’s really important to relieve people of responsibility in order to keep everyone in check and to actually live up to this thing that we have been saying about everyone holding the same responsibilities,” she added.

“It’s daunting to be ‘the voice’ of a band. Even if we do make the music 100 per cent collaboratively, there’s an added pressure that the vocalist gets and we have learned that we really need to share that.”

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‘Ants From Up There’ was released yesterday (February 4). In a five-star review, NME said: “On ‘Ants From Up There’, a truly remarkable collection, Black Country, New Road manage to pivot towards more familiar, accessible sounds and embrace traditional song structures – without sacrificing an ounce of their musical wizardry or inventiveness.”

After Wood’s departure was confirmed, Black Country, New Road cancelled an upcoming show in London, their US tour in February and further UK dates in April.

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