But the psychedelic rockers from San Francisco could have been playing under a different moniker after turmoil within the group led them to consider dropping their name.
Founding member Nick Jago left the band for a second time two years ago, and according to the leather-clad group’s guitarist Peter Hayes, that led to serious soul searching by the band’s remaining members.
“At one point there was a question of whether we could really keep the band name” he says, speaking ahead of a sold-out New York show.
“Now that one of the major players was gone it seemed odd, but it kinda made sense to keep it in the end, because that player didn’t want to be there, it wasn’t like the whole band had gone.”
Now they’ve got a new drummer, in the shape of former Raveonettes sticks-woman Leah Shapiro, and a new album, Beat The Devil’s Tattoo. It’s the band’s sixth record, and continues their habit of cherry-picking numerous genres, from woozy rock to down-tempo country.
But it’s clear that the problems with Jago, who had originally left the band in 2004, only to be tempted back several months later, had created serious issues for Peter and his bandmate, bassist Robert Levon Been.
“It was hard to enjoy being in a band when you’re a three-piece when one of you isn’t enjoying it, as you need everyone on the same page.
“It got pretty hard with Nick not wanting to be there for a long time. That whole thing meant I couldn’t rely on him too much to give us a spark. He didn’t like touring, and just wanted to do something else, so it’s nice to now have someone who wants to be there.
“I never considered walking away from it, though. I’m not the sort of guy who’d be into a solo thing, where you become ‘that guy from that band’.”
Even aside from Jago, BRMC have had a strange several years. Their first two albums confirmed them as one of the finest of the new crop of guitar bands that appeared in 2001 and 2002, but the incendiary likes of Whatever Happened To My Rock & Roll (Punk Song) Spread Your Love and Stop didn’t prevent them falling out with their record company, while they gained a reputation for being humourless characters.
Thankfully, while Peter often pauses when speaking, he’s not the frosty type he’s sometimes portrayed as, and displays a dry sense of humour.
He’s happy the band have refocused and believes it benefited from the way they made Beat The Devil’s Tattoo, as they spent several months cramped in a house in Philadelphia, working on songs.
“We recorded it in a friend’s house. It gave us an opportunity to live in the same house and play when we wanted to, take our time writing and it seemed a good chance to do that with Leah. So we ended up living together for about six months, where we’d wake up, walk to the basement and just start playing.”
But while many bands like to talk about how their records move on from the last one, Peter believes the band’s albums should be viewed separately, meaning there’s little point in looking to their last couple of efforts, the laid back country of Howl and the full-on Baby 81, for comparisons.
“I don’t really look at our album’s as being progressions that much.
“I mean, I just hope to write good songs and that’s the only real concern I have when making albums. Hopefully, they get better as times goes on. I guess there’s no sort of grand scheme, but there’s nothing wrong with that. We’re just honest about what we’re trying to do.
“We weren’t trying to do anything fantastical. It’s still pretty simple, just drums, bass, guitar and vocals and we just make something that we think sounds good. It’s always been basic with us, since day one.”
While they have disappeared off the radar for the past couple of years, their fans haven’t forgotten them. Tomorrow night’s gig was originally set for the ABC, but sold out so quickly it was moved to the Barrowland, a venue the group have played several classic shows at in the past. Now that show has also sold out, suggesting the men in black are back with a bang.
“It’s always a pleasure to come back to Scotland” Peter says.
We’ve done our fair share of shows in Glasgow. It’s interesting picking what to play, now that we’ve got a few albums.
“There’s a fine line between making ourselves happy, and making others happy, so we try to listen to what folks are saying, and put what they want in the set. You can’t be too selfish.
“As long as people are up for hearing Spread Your Love or Punk Song we’ll play them.”
And while several of his contemporaries, such as Jack White, have blasted the internet for ruining music, Peter is far more relaxed about the situation.
“I don’t really see the internet killing music -- I mean, it makes sense to me why folks would want to consume music for free.
“It’s hard times at the moment, and music can be medicine in those hard times, because you want something to help you get away from your problems. If you haven’t got money for it, of course you’d want it for free.
“There’s a lot of guys in the music business who can be very disrespectful with the money they make anyway, so I guess they’ll have to do without that extra house.”
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Barrowland, tomorrow, sold out, 7pm.