Hello Alan. How are you?
I’m not too bad. I’ve just woken up from a little nap actually.
Bellevue Days are due to release a new single 2020 Vision on 27th November – What is the song about?
I found an old guitar in my cupboard, and I picked it up and it was in a really bad condition. I started recording with it, and thought it sounded quite cool. As for the lyrics, I had this picture of a couple, heading down an American highway in my head. I later changed that to the A20, to make it more British, like a motorway. I imagined the couple kind of going through the motions; having arguments and making up. That’s what it is all about really, the battle between your head and heart; a lust and hate kind of thing.
This is the first single with the band’s new line-up. Can you tell me a bit about that?
The February tour was the last tour with the original members. Dan and Jack have unfortunately parted ways with the band. We’ve now got a new guy called Sam Christmas, who is the frontman of a band called Best of Enemies. They are from a similar scene circle as us and myself and Joe have known them for ages. We’ve also got the original drummer of Best of Enemies as well; who is a guy called Simon. We’ve formed a bit of a supergroup and it should be cool.
You have a new EP due for release early next year. I believe that you took a more DIY approach to recording the new material. How did the recording process differ to previous releases?
Before we recorded 2020 Vision, we worked with a few producers over the years. For the last five or six years, Joe and I have always had computer software to record with, so we’ve been learning tricks over time. We feel like we’re finally at a place where we can save a lot of money by doing it ourselves. You can get almost to the same quality and also you have a lot more time to work on it. If you’re not happy at a vocal take, you don’t have to pay something like £400 just to go back to a studio, you can just re-record it yourself instead.
What can we expect from the new EP?
I’d say it’s pretty Indie. We have generally been going that way, but we were under the bracket of Emo for a good while. Even when we released the last album, we were playing a different style of music behind the scenes, because it took so long for the album to come out. I’d say the new stuff is definitely more Indie; It has a The Strokes and The Killers kind of vibe.
With everything that has been going on this year, how have the band adapted to the current way of life?
It was hard at first. You can’t tour at the moment. We were very lucky that we had finished our headline tour in February, which was just before it happened. If it was a month later, we’d have had to reschedule, and it would have been really weird, because I don’t know if the old guys would have stayed on for another year. I really don’t know what would have happened. When it first happened, we had a few months off. Me and Joe recorded a remix tapes EP, which we released on Bandcamp about two weeks ago. We spent the first two months re-recording six songs from our older albums and EPs in very different styles. I was really productive for the first month and a half, but it’s so hard to keep constantly productive all of the time. Now it’s much better; we’ve almost finished recording our first EP for next year, and the plan is to record two. One for release at the beginning of the year, and then another one for about mid-way through. It should be good.
How do you feel about the current situation and how it has affected the music and entertainment industry in the UK? Do you think it has to change or adapt in some way to prevent potential future disruptions?
Obviously it’s something that has never happened in our lifetime. You really have to adapt. I guess people are live-streaming more; but for me, I don’t feel like it has the same atmosphere. It’s like watching a YouTube video; it just doesn’t have the same impact. There’s no atmosphere on a live stream, so we haven’t really been doing that. It’s amazing what having something taken away from you makes you realise, and seeing how a whole industry can collapse; it’s crazy. You just have to do what you can to keep afloat. We’ve had to flog loads of merch to try and pay for the next lot of stuff that is happening. We can’t play gigs, but we have to keep going.
I’ve got my fingers crossed that with the development of vaccines, things will eventually get back to a little more normality at some point in 2021. If you could choose any venue or festival for your first gig back, where would you choose?
I’m looking forward to next year. I think we’re hopefully playing Teddy Rocks in April. I’m desperately hoping that things will be nearly back to normal for then, as it’s rather early next year. If I could play any other places next year, I’d really like to play 2000 Trees again; I love that festival. Venue-wise, I’d love to play a capped-out room at 200; any 200-cap venue; with loads of people going crazy.
You’ve already said about Teddy Rocks festival if all goes to plan. Do you have any more gigs or festivals that are potentially in the pipeline for Bellevue Days next year?
We’re hopefully going to book some headline shows in the Summer. That’s all for now really, we just have to see how it goes.
Bellevue Days release their new single 2020 Vision on 27th November 2020. Check it out at the link below:
Photo: Andy Brice