New Sounds: Black Helicopter seek refuge in the sludgy comfort of ‘And I Drive At Night’



Studio 52 is a community artist space located in the heart of Allston, and is proud to support the Boston music scene and local artist community.

There’s probably a perfectly-crafted lede somewhere out there in musicjournalism-land about how in liftoffs and landings, the up and down trajectory of a black helicopter, the aircraft, is not unlike one experienced by Black Helicopter, the Boston band.

Over the past decade-plus the sludgy rock quartet has shown a willing knack to simply not give a damn about all the roadblocks that have sprung up along the way: Artistic differences with major label distributors, lineup shuffles, or, most recently, a forced exodus of their condemned Allston practice space of nearly 15 years.


That last bit serves as a subplot for Black Helicopter’s new video for “And I Drive At Night”, the latest track off last month’s Everything Is Forever EP. The title of the record is appropriate, especially in these times of universal disposability; the band filmed the video as refugees at Studio 52 in Allston, after their previous home around the corner was shut down by the city.

“So, right around Super Bowl time, 32 Rugg Rd. got condemned after a raucous party ended in a bloody fight (again), and the authorities were called in to inspect the not-even-close-to-code building,” drummer Matt Nicholas tells Vanyaland in an email. The shut-down, just weeks after the fatal Ghost Ship fire in Oakland, displaced several recording studios in the facility, including the band’s Analog Divide.

“We were only let in during certian ‘approved’ hours to retrieve 14 years worth of belongings, musical and recording equipment,” Nicholas adds. “Under the fabric of the sound proofing of the walls was panelling we knew had to be reclaimed and made into record covers so the legacy of the Analog Divide will live on, #everythingisforever. I am hearing the building will be razed to put up whatever commerce-spewing faucet development project pays the most. After a brief stint at Studio 52, we’ve moved on to another clean, secure, climate controlled room. Recording studio, not inclusive.”

Studio 52 can be seen in the band’s video, spliced together with other footage of the city and visuals that align nicely with frontman Tim Shea’s narrative, contemplative vocal delivery. It continues the cycle that seemingly spins over Black Helicopter’s every move: Shit happens, rock on.

Watch it below.