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Black Rebel Motorcycle Club Finds Solace in Music After Michael Been’s Death

Specter at the Feast

If you’re a Black Rebel Motorcycle Club fan (and I hope you are), you probably already know the band releases its seventh studio album, Specter at the Feast, today.

(If you’re British, you got it yesterday.)

Specter at the Feast comes three years after the band’s last album, Beat the Devil’s Tattoo, and those three years weren’t easy: Just a few months after Tattoo‘s release, BRMC bassist Robert Levon Been lost his father, former frontman for The Call Michael Been, to a heart attack during the Pukkelpop 2010 music festival.

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Michael Been was extremely active with BRMC, often acting as sound manager and touring with the band providing mentorship and guidance, and naturally each member felt the loss — to the degree that Robert Levon Been admits they weren’t sure how they would carry on:

It terrified us that we were robbed of the very thing that we could always call on. I described it once where playing rock & roll was an escape. It begins out of, ‘I just want to transport myself out of this pain, this place,’ and it was always like that growing up. And then all of a sudden it switched, and now music is the place where kind of you can’t hide from anything. Everything’s turned around.

Robert Levon goes further to describe the band’s process from just going through the motions to working through the pain and finally creating the album:

That was why this record took so long. No one really wanted to find those words or dig in deep. So we were faking it for a while, not really digging that deep. You have to go back again and dig a bit deeper, and it was excruciating.

Appropriately, the band’s first single off the new album is a cover of The Call’s “Let the Day Begin.”

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You can grab your copy of Specter at the Feast over at (or stream it for free ’til you make up your mind).

In the meantime, we all know that music can help us get through life’s tough situations, but have you ever experienced a time when music hurt before it healed? Maybe there was a song you couldn’t listen to for a while, or an entire band or genre? How did you overcome it? Or, did you?

Share your story in the comments below.

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club Finds Solace in Music After Michael Been’s Death

Alicia Sparks

Alicia Sparks is a freelance writer and editor and the creator of, where she blogs to help new freelance writers get their quills in the pot, so to speak. Among animal rights, music, and physical wellness, her passions include mental health and advocacy. Here at Psych Central she works as Syndication Editor as well as authors Your Body, Your Mind, Unleash Your Creativity, and World of Psychology's weekly "Psychology Around the Net."

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APA Reference
Sparks, A. (2019). Black Rebel Motorcycle Club Finds Solace in Music After Michael Been’s Death. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 23, 2020, from


Last updated: 23 Mar 2019
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