An Interview With… Bellos

Local bands are constantly emerging in Belfast, and in the Northern Ireland music scene.   When one such band cites ‘The Smashing Pumpkins’ as an influence, it is usually sold to me that they deserve some airtime in virtue of this influence alone. Such is the case with three piece Bellos.

 The group is comprised of Luke (bass, lead vocals), Aidan (guitar, backing vocals) and Jonny (drums). To set the context, and so you can get a sense of what Bellos are about, I thought it would be best, simply, to ask them.

Questions by Conor Heaney

Conor: When and how did you guys get started as a band, how did Bellos come about?

 Luke (Bellos): We are a three-piece alternative rock (grunge) outfit from Belfast. We got started around April 2012 when Aidan and I drank copious amounts of Buckfast, decided to start a band and wrote our first and probably best song! We searched for a drummer for a long time and finally found Jonny who is now a key (but could be expendable depending on the availability of Jimmy Chamberlain) piece in the jigsaw of our songwriting.

C: How long have you guys been gigging in Belfast? Do you have any upcoming shows we can look out for?

 L: Our first gig was on the 29th August – and our Limelight gig on 5th November will our 5th gig! We have more in the upcoming months including a big one in Stiff Kitten on the 23rd November with Rupture Dogs and Dutch Shultz – who are awesome bands!

C: It is always a necessary and interesting question to ask – just where does the name Bellos come from?

 L: Bellos means ‘beautiful’ in Spanish, and ‘war’ in Latin, which is a cool oxymoron. Metaphorically it suits our songs very well (by pure fluke)!

Aidan (Bellos): Band names don’t really mean anything, we just thought the word sounded cool!

C: Alright, I’m sure there won’t be many bands in Belfast who’ll be able to draw cl

ear Latin etymology from their names, so that’s pretty cool. I’d like to ask… about your music itself. A glance at your Facebook page will tell readers that you are fans of, and take influence from artists such as The Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam, and Cloud Nothings. Most listeners may associate this with grunge, lo-fi, or even as early elements of post-hardcore. Would you assign yourself a genre? Or how would you describe your style?

 L: We'd be pretty happy in saying that we are big fans of the early 90s grunge scene, and feel that lots of people are also still big fans. Cloud Nothings are a good example because they are a new band who have that grunge, lo-fi edge – and are sort of reviving the scene in a way but with a new more modern and relevant edge. That is pretty much what we like to try to do with our music.

Each band is different but genres are a great way of letting people know what your band's sound is similar to, so I don't hesitate to tell people we sound like the Pumpkins and Nirvana because I believe if people like those bands then they more likely than not will like us – but if I wanted to really describe our style I would bring them to one of our gigs!

 C: Great stuff, it’s probably a scene with under-representation in the Northern Ireland scene, in my opinion. So it’s great to see. Penultimate question – is there a release in the making?

 L: We have big plans for an EP recording! Mixing and mastering should all be done by the New Year with an EP launch coming shortly after – keep yourself posted on our Facebook page!

C: On that note, I’ll finish with one last question, with a wider timescale – where do you guys see yourself in 2/3 years?

A:Married to Carly Rae Jepsen with a fashionable smack addiction. (Or possibly dead depending on the amount of material we have left.)

 L: Hopefully having a couple of decent EP launches under our belt and a tour. Our big goal for that time frame would be to get a slot at Glasgowbury – but at the minute we are just enjoying finally playing to a room of people and getting some positive feedback. Things are already moving quicker than we had imagined with us already getting radio play so who knows, maybe a slot at Glastonbury could be on the cards…we joke we joke!