Search This Blog

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Belle Phoenix - exclusive Interview

How would you describe your music?
Many cats sticky–taped together riding a black horse through the underworld...

What do you think distinguishes you as an artist?
I write songs and sing them and occasionally play guitar.

How important do you think image is with music, do you think music without image has little meaning (and vice versa)? How would you describe your image?
Everyone is different and there are those of us who feel inclined to express themselves through image and music and there are those who express through music or fashion etc. I personally don't think it's important if you express through image and music, just be yourself and do what you love and believe in.

There are elements of punk in your work – do you think it’s something that’s resurfacing in today’s music?
As far as I know, 'punk' originated from New York CBGB's music scene from a magazine called "PUNK" created by John Holmstrom in the mid 70's to describe the new sounds that were coming through, namely, Ramones, Stooges, New York Dolls etc. The name caught on and eventually would be accepted as a label for new sounding bands of the time. The truth is, I don't really know what is resurfacing in today's music, because I'm constantly in my own head and putting my own ideas down for songs that I can become a little ignorant to what is going on in the world of music.

What are your thoughts on grime as the new punk?
Punk is punk, grime is grime

Tell me about your squatting days. What were the worst and best things about it?
The worst thing about it is I lost some friends to drugs, one ended up in a wheel chair because he was high and jumped of a bridge. The best thing about it? There's a certain freedom about it, no deadlines to meet, no bills to pay, no-one to impress, your you without any of the frills so to speak.

Do you think the use of drink and drugs is something that will always be within this music / rock culture? Does it make you feel more like a ‘rock-star’?
Drugs and drinking is beyond music or rock culture! most people take sedatives to escape the 9-5 humdrum or pressures of life or just to have fun, open their minds to something new etc. etc. Housewives from the 1950's onwards were hooked on all kinds of prescription medication to relieve the repressed lifestyles they were living, some even taking LSD a drug created for the government to give to soldiers to be more alert etc. Obviously it backfired and ended up on the streets. The point I'm making is that, as we all know, drugs aren't just part of rock'n'roll music.
The term rock-star sends chills down my spine... I'm not really about being a rock-star. This passion for music has always been in me since a small child, creating is just an expression of who I am.

How would you say you have developed stylistically (and lyrically) from those days to now?
The attitude in the music has always been the same, although working with producers that don't resonate with your style of music can disguise the truth of a song, if that makes sense? As with everything we are passionate about, we hope we're on the journey of evolving, and I'm not sure if I have or not... The spirit of the songs remain the same although the musicality may change, at the moment it's got quite a lot of Western overtones, likened to Ennio Morricone, or something like that.

Did you have much input into the thoughts behind your underground video? What’s the story of it?
We couldn't afford a video and I had a clip in mind, cherry blossoms and birds and gravestones etc. So we got the only video camera we could find and started to create this clip right on spring time when the blossoms were coming out, it's lo-fi, but it's all we had. The clip represents the cycle of life after death on a spiritual, psychological level. The song came to me as I was waking up from a deep sleep and I immediately wrote down the lyrics that in that moment poured out of me, it was straight into the home studio to record the various instruments the main one at the time being synthesizer and acoustic guitar. There was an eeriness and beauty about the song that haunts me till this day.

What do you think of the student protests / government? Do you have a strong political viewpoint on all this – even if you are from Australia?
People are suffering in the world, I feel an empathy about that. Is violence necessary? what kinds of minds end up in protest situations, are they just angry young people with nothing else to do but spit blood at the government? Are they just people who want an easy ride? I don't know... I believe in freedom of speech without violence, however I have witnessed many video's documenting young students being hit on the head with batons and knocked unconscious, police officers injured as well, I don't agree with people using weapons against people with no weapons. Should the people pay for the government and it's mistakes? It's been an eye opener researching the current climate and "revolution" that seems to be happening all around the world. Out of curiosity and of course concern, I attended a rally against a nuclear reactor being placed not far from Sydney, at the time I wasn't sure what my thoughts were, I just wanted to try to be familiar with both sides of the story. After realizing what is happening in Japan, I feel validated that I attended. It's important that we gain knowledge of politics and the resistance to get a clear idea of what is going on, I don't believe in a government that puts people at risk of losing their lives or their homes and freedom of choice.

What made you move from over there to Camden?
First I moved to Germany from Australia to play in a band there with friends, I needed to hear english again after some months and decided after being asked to come over here for shows I would stay and catch up with a couple of my old friends, one was the guitarist Mark Alberici who also played on the last album 'The Glorious Dead' in New York's East Village. Mark and I wanted to collaborate on some new songs and unfortunately that didn't really work out so, I put a band together and started playing some shows and staying with friends in Camden in which, it turned out I didn't have the energy to move again, although I think I will soon... I don't like to stay too long in one place.

How is the music over there compared to here?
A lot of Australian folk in which I don't particularly resonate with, although I have respect for a lot of the "underground" scene that usually gets showcased in various warehouses out of the public eye.

Have you ever made contact with the ‘original punks’ strolling around Camden?
Haha! I have actually, I got a photo with them! I'm pretty much a recluse most of the time although I do enjoy socializing with all kinds of people.
Any tattoos?
One tattoo... on my arm... I'm not proud of it

Favourite lyric
Lost myself again
Or then again maybe I never did
I been waiting like a fool
For some ship to roll in
I been living in a desert
Livin' in God or Satans dream
Livin' like some kinda cactus
That the world has never seen....

It sums up my life...

Favourite food
Strawberries & Fresh Cream

Where do you think the world will be in 100 years?
That is up to us really, what are we going to create for future generations, we have the power to create a beautiful future, the power is in our hands.

Any last words?
Check this link out:

No comments:

Post a Comment