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Black Lab


About the artist

Black Lab: a brief history

In 1998, Paul Durham’s band Black Lab was signed to Geffen Records and mesmerized modern-rock radio with the singles “Wash It Away” and “Time Ago,” both Top-40 hits on alternative rock and pop formats. The group’s intelligent, heartfelt lyrics and wide-screen guitar attack had them compared to U2. Radio programmers hailed the band and their debut, Your Body Above Me, as the Next Big Thing.Contributions to soundtracks followed as their passionate vocals and huge sound landed them on the soundtracks of Can’t Hardly Wait, Varsity Blues, Permanent Midnight, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Unfortunately, on the cusp of world domination, their label went out of business, leaving the band’s dreams in disarray. In 2002, after signing and unsigning with Epic Records, the band found themselves on the soundtrack of Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man, opening another chapter for Black Lab or at least for Durham, who produced the band’s second album, See the Sun, with new guitarist/programmer Andy Ellis. Starting from scratch and taking on every aspect of the production, from recording and mixing to album layout and marketing, the band exploited the creative possibilities of being free from a major label. Songs from this era wormed their way onto the scores of Blade: Trinity, The Covenant, MTV’s Real World, ESPN’s X-Games, ABC’s “The Days” and “What I Like About You,” among others.

Five years in the making, Black Lab’s Passion Leaves a Trace (2007) found the band returning to the experimental foundation of their debut.  The album bristles with dark melodies, and tracks from this self-produced album have been heard on FX’s promotion for season 6 of “The Shield,” ABC’s “6 Degrees,” and CBS’s “Numb3rs” and “Flashpoint,” as well as the films The Benchwarmers and Lovewrecked. The band attracted national media attention through the single day, worldwide viral campaign called “Bum Rush the charts,” in which their song “Mine Again” was promoted through podcasting, blogs and email.  The song peaked at #11 on the U.S. iTunes rock chart and broke the top 100 in fifteen other countries (#2 in Holland!). As a follow-up new media stunt, Black Lab covered the 80’s cheese-metal theme to The Transformers, cutting together a video from Dreamwork’s HD trailers that earned them over four million on YouTube and drove people to their website, The theme was included on Black Lab’s collection of remixes and electronica called TECHNOLOGIE.

In 2009, the band’s put out a b-sides collection called Give Us Sugar that collects all the rare mp3’s that trickled out between the first two albums, as well as unreleased tracks from the last fifteen years, soundtrack-only recordings, and never-heard demos and live recordings. An 18-track version is available (like all of Black Lab’s music) at iTunes and AmazonMp3, while the full 32 track version can be downloaded or shipped worldwide in CD format from the band’s website. Recently, Black Lab released its fourth proper album, Two Strangers, featuring twelve new songs that swing from cold-wave desperation to indie-pop celebration to post grunge thrust. The band’s music continues to find its place on TV (“House MD,” “Dirt”), film (Happy Tears), trailers (He’s Just Not That Into You, Waiting for Forever), and commercials (Honda, McDonalds).While Black Lab roars down the tracks, Durham continues to pursue a variety of musical endeavors, including side projects (Cake or Death, Stray Palace), producing (Gringo Star, Kristin Kelly), co-writing (Natalie Imbruglia, Rachael Yamagata, Ryan Cabrera), and playing live acoustic shows. All things Black Lab, including streams and free downloads from new and past albums, CDs, posters, photos, videos, history, news, stickers, gossip, and back issues of the band’s excellent Mp3 of the Month Club can be found at

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November 29, 2011
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