Our Story



BLACKKISS was born back in 2004 from a vision that frontman and leader Pete Sands had.  

The band name actually came from a revelation from an old Chilean woman who told Pete, "You're like the Sun and Moon at the same time. You are the light and dark, like a Black kiss..." So the name "Blackkiss" stuck, which became a musical style that's a mixture of a lot of different aspects of music and lifestyles. 

Pete Sands grew up listening to the old country songs from the likes of Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, all the while growing up on the Navajo-Indian reservation. In 2007, after a year of playing open mic nights, Sands recorded his first Demo "Black Occasion" under the BLACKKISS name. Sands then took the BLACKKISS sounds throughout Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas until landing his first major break at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Often compared to Johnny Cash's American Recording's Era, BLACKKISS took a huge step forward by releasing his first full length debut album "Dirt Dance Floor" in November 2014. Due to their truly unique desert sound BLACKKISS has been labeled as gritty and bare-boned Country Music. 

In early 2015 cellist Ren Javadov entered the BLACKKISS circle through mutual friends with Pete. After the reaction they got after playing their first show together at "America Loves Bacon" festival in Phoenix, AZ, they knew they have something truly unique. And in early 2016 BLACKISS became a little bit bigger by adding drummer Steven Tabarez to the unit.

BLACKKISS ended 2017 by playing some killer shows and being featured on some television spots in Utah and california. Frontman Pete Sands was also fortunate enough to have been able to land a role on the upcoming television series "Yellowstone". The show is being helmed and directed by Oscar nominated filmmaker Taylor Sheridan and starring Kevin Costner from Paramount Studios. Furthermore, the director also showed interest in the music and two BLACKKISS songs were picked up to be included in the series. 

BLACKKISS entered 2018 with new songs being recorded and new shows all along the west coast with the duo Wild the Coyote & Badd Wolf in tow.  We also entered the year with a new lineup with Steven Tabarez on Drums, Chris Aguilar on Lead Guitar, Nate Meredith on Bass, and on/off again steel pedal guitarist Ryan Hawthorne.  "Yellowstone" will premiere on the Paramount Network on June 20, 2018.  

Some notable BLACKKISS shows are performing at the Sundance Film Festival 2014-2015, Thunder Country Fest 2014 (w/ Bucky Covington, Lonestar, Mark Wills, etc), opening for John Moreland, Two Car Garage, Matt Woods, Randy Rogers Band, The White Buffalo, HoneyHoney, and their all time favorite Whitey Morgan & the 78's. Pete Sands also works closely with Yelawolf, Shooter Jennings, Joey Stylez, and filmmaker Taylor Sheridan.