Not Your Average Band – An Interview With Belisha
(photos graciously provided by the band)
Being such “virgins” in the gothic world, what do they think of it all? “There is so much variation. You can get embraced.” Dan tells me. But do they see it as a problem? Something that will hold them back from mainstream success as many other artists have started to do? “I don’t see it as a problem.” Dan scoffed. “I never thought about it. We’re quite proud of it to be honest.” Byder chimed in with.
“Although I don’t plan to be underground forever.” Dan stated proudly.
And as some of the “survivors” of Slimelight the night before were streaming into the Dev, some with noses as high up in the air as can be seen in the world, Belisha’s take on the pretension?
Dan: “Is there? If I they are pretentious, I don’t care, but if they are to me then they have a problem.”
And we descended into people watching…..until
the interview could continue
And together Dan and Byder: “Genuinely from the heart.”
Dan: “We don’t even hardly ever have to redo anything.”
Byder continues, “You wouldn’t ever believe where some of the original guitar lines come from. Me and him (pointing to Dan) in my mum and dad’s study.” Until Dan interjects, “Done with an acoustic guitar no less. “ And again Byder continued, “And I have kept them in the final mix because they just had it. There was no point doing it over again.”
And Byder knows what he is talking about. Whereas Pit’s real life job doing video work made him the perfect selection for directing the video and Dan being a guitar teacher creates the path for he writing the music, Byder’s daytime job also lends itself to the band very well. He’s a sound engineer. And as we descend into a conversation about Linkin Park and that rap dude,
Dan :”The one thing I hate is rap. It’s
easy. You don’t have to think about it.” Agreeing, Byder, “Anyone can do
it.” And Dan picks up steam, “You just listen to the rhythm and you don’t
have to listen to the lyrics. I hate the fact that no one listens to lyrics
anymore. So when you commented about my lyrics ask them…”
Dan: “I keep it in my pocket.” (awwww shucks Dan.)
Byder: “And so when we take the piss out of him at practice, he takes it out.”
Pit: “You created a monster.”
Dan: “It was the first time someone actually read my lyrics. I almost wept.” I didn’t know whether to feel guilty or not.
And recognition from the public? Was Belisha ready for it? Byder says, “It’s been a long time coming because we have….its why we are so pleased to find you. Because we have taken knock after knock. Things written about us, never going to take us on board in the mainstream. Kerrang, although they gave us a fair review, generally they won’t do anything with us. They just turn their backs on us.”
Dan: “They are licking the arse of corporate America basically.” AAAh the hatred of the suits again.
Byder: “They care about Travis. Who cares about them? It’s so boring.”
Dan: “The fucking indie rock c*&^s.”
Byder: “The one thing we did as soon as we could was get the guitar away from Dan so he’s free to sing.”
Dan: “I want to entertain people.”
And that main goal of hitting America. Already they have received attention from Scary Lady Sarah of Chicago, who has included Belisha in her playlists. But as an America living in London, I know there are some major conceptions, normally, misconceptions about what America and Americans are like (too many talk shows i.e. Jerry Springer) and was interested in what they were thinking?
Dan: “We just don’t know, we will just have to wait and see. Bound to be different from what we think.” Once again, you wonder where they are from? No talk of big hair, loud Texans, the Wal-Mart gang? “The only thing I know is that there seems to be more enthusiasm for things. A spark, general ambition. Here, if you are a successful, you’re a knob. And people don’t like successful people. It’s fucking world government. Fucking Blair.”
I took it then that Dan was not labour?
“ I’m nothing. Bilderberg Blair.” He spat out at me.
A political conversation ensued and somehow made it back to the interview. Perhaps we are getting the swing of this interview business Belisha and I. The new album will have some political overtones.
Dan: “We’ll probably going to get executed,
assassinated for it. The new album will have some world government political
and anti-religious overtones.” I think Dan was slightly excited about that.
Perhaps a throw back to when for the Queen’s jubilee, the Sex Pistols released
“God Save The Queen” and then were promptly arrested for playing the song
on a boat going down the Thames.
But perhaps it was time for more superficial things, silly things. Is there a warm and fuzzy side to Belisha? Rumour had it that Belisha are clean freaks. They have promised to “Mary Poppins” anyone’s house that will have them stay there. Especially our Blu’s. Seems Pit is the cleanliness of all. “When Pit stays at my house. He’s re-arranged the throw before he leaves, “ Dan shares.
The conversation turns to breakfast food. Alright, I asked.
Dan: “Don’t eat breakfast. I hate breakfast.”
Byder: “Invented by the breakfast companies to make a lot of money. Although, when I am on holiday I will have a massive breakfast.”
Dan: “Give me lunch. If I can pour like a nutrient powder into my skull or something when I wake up it would be so much easier. Save so much time.”
And the favorite food?
So if you do need to entertain them, just have a wok handy.
Dan: “Hate animals. I generally hate animals. Particularly dogs because they smell. They are unclean. Cats are okay as they clean themselves. I think I am damaged because my dog died when I was young. “ (note: since the interview, Dan has written to me to amend his answer. Cats are more than okay, as his band mates have pointed out his relationship with Byder’s cat, Charlie.)
Pit: “I have a rabbit. Woo the badget. It’s explained to me that it is called such because it’s a rabbit that looks like a badget. What a badget is, I don’t know? An English badger?
Byder’s cat, Charlie is deemed “alright” by Dan. The discussion of cats and dogs is followed by the question of Coronation Street versus EastEnders. But unlike the majority of Brits, these guys could give a fig about them. Although they all agree one thing…given the choice, “EastEnders.” Which makes sense the boys are originally all from East London but now all live in Essex. That makes less sense as Essex is known for its tarty stupid girls and dopey lads.
But back to more interview questions.
Dan wants to have lunch with Byron so he can “take the piss out of his foot.” But we are distracted, Byder is bleeding. A small cut has opened up and he’s cleaning up the trickles of blood. Fine interview this is turning out, Dan is in immense pain and Byder is bleeding, would Pit want to fracture himself?
After some triage work, we can go back to the interview.
Pit decided not be put off by his friends and explained his writers are those who write for “films, comedy shows. Like the people who write for this comedy here called The League of Gentlemen, which is the darkest, weirdest comedy show.” In fact Dan uses them and “Steve Coogan, Chris Morris” as some of their inspirations.
We start to chat about Eddie Izzard and a play called “A Day in the Death of Joe Egg,” which is playing in the West End here in London. A dark play, we discuss how the dark side of comedy lends itself to gothic.
But we are ignoring poor Byder. Who would be his favorite author? “Steven Baxter, a hard sci-fi writer because he gets the science right on target. He gets it as up to date as Steven Hawkin. His mind is the most massive writing mind. I get lost his world and I can’t even follow it, but I love it.”
The Belisha gang start to beleaguer the point that they have no more time to read. Keeping up to date with everything that is going on with the band keeps them busy. But surely there has to be some time for some things….like what is their favorite album….of all time. The one that if sent to the deserted island, you would ~have~ to have with you.
But that actually gets interrupted. Seems the third round of drinks needs to be ordered. And Dan needs to leave us for a personal moment in the men’s room. But wait!! Was there a football (soccer to you and me) reference in there? No – it seems that was only one of those passing comments, meaning nothing. But Dan is quick to add, “I like athletics. I like people at their peak.”
But perhaps that says a lot about the band.
The interview went on for a bit. We giggled and babbled and went on and
on about things that were just idle “stuff.” And honestly, as the afternoon
went on, it became louder and louder in the pub. And it became increasingly
difficult to get an interview recorded.
And so we chatted, had some laughs, made some comments about what was walking into the pub. And the it was over.
The interview was over.