Black Country and New Road open on the departure of singer Isaac Wood

Black Country, New Road spoke about the departure of vocalist Isaac Wood and how it will change the band going forward.

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

“I have bad news is that I also feel sad and scared,” Wood wrote in a statement. “And I tried to make sure that wasn’t true, but it’s the kind of feeling of sadness and fear that makes it hard to play guitar and sing at the same time.

“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’re reading this, you might have seen some of that. It was a great pleasure and I would like to say the words “Thank you” to everyone.”

Black Country, New Road. CREDIT: Rosie Foster

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

“But if Black Country New Road had relied solely on the merits of one person, we would have ended the band with Isaac’s departure,” Wayne said. “But because it’s not, we didn’t. In a very tangible way, the band sounds quite similar. The songs are definitely different and we’re exploring places we’ve never been before, but we’re the same musicians playing our instruments.

Bassist Tyler Hyde said the band had “discussed an evolution” long before Wood decided to leave, which would involve “new voices and changes in roles and responsibilities”. “It taught us that it’s really important to relieve people of their responsibilities in order to control everyone and to live up to what we said about everyone taking on the same responsibilities,” said she added.

“It’s intimidating to be the ‘voice’ of a band. Even though we’re doing the music 100% collaboratively, there’s extra pressure on the singer and we’ve learned that we really have to share that.

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

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

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