Andrew Belle

22 Sep
Andrew Belle

“It took many years of practice and honing in on the craft, but I eventually found my own voice and a unique message to sing about.”

Let me start off by saying, this is long overdue. A few months back, I interviewed Andrew Belle, and I had every intention of posting it before his new album release, but alas it didn’t happen.

Black Bear, his newest album came out one month ago, and I can’t stop raving about it. It’s different from Andrew’s first album, The Ladder, but not in a bad way. I find myself tapping my foot more, wanting to repeat each song more than I did with his first album.

The attention for Andrew’s music has grown considerably over the years, and if you’ve ever gone to one of his live shows, you understand why. His talent is so close to perfection, it’s really not even fair. You watch him perform and wonder to yourself how in the world he can be so talented. He has the power to make you feel things through his lyrics, and that is a gift in itself.

As I said earlier, a few months ago I e-mailed some questions over to Andrew, and if you’re unfamiliar with him, these questions will allow you to get to know him. I encourage you to listen to every song he’s ever released, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll find yourself zeroing in on each word Andrew sings and in that moment feel as if a little piece of your world is perfectly intact.

Q. What was it that drew you into music? Was it a certain song/lyric, a musician performing, or an epiphany? What grabbed you by the shoulders and shook you and said, “This is what you need to do!”?

A. When I was a sophomore in college, I went to a concert and the opening act was a band I had never heard of called ‘Brand New’. I was so captivated that I no longer cared about the band I was originally there to see. I went home, downloaded all of their music, and studied every syllable. I was fascinated by the level of depth and cleverness poured into the lyrics, and I was immediately inspired to emulate what I was hearing. It took many years of practice and honing in on the craft, but I eventually found my own voice and a unique message to sing about.

Q. I read in an interview that you listen to Radiohead a lot, and that you only got into their music within the past few years. What other bands have you been exposing yourself to for inspiration?

A. It’s true – I was late to the party in regard to Radiohead. It’s sorta cliche now to claim them as an influence – but who can deny their genius? I’d say they were sort of an blanket influence in respect to the quality of music I wanted to strive to make. More specifically, however, I was inspired a lot by Washed Out, Beach House, and M83.

Q. I’ve seen on your twitter/blog that you’re a food lover. Is it hard to eat healthy on the road/tour? If so/or not – Why?

A. It’s nearly impossible without a fair amount of planning ahead. At this stage, tour itineraries and logistics are so overwhelming that there just isn’t the time to go too far out of our way in search of a Whole Foods or something. The name of the game is usually just trying to avoid that 2 A.M. pizza indulgence that ends up haunting you for the rest of the tour.

Q. When you’re performing, what do you hope that people take from your performance?

A. I’m relatively new to performing and so honestly, I’m usually just trying so hard to sing in pitch that I kinda forget about the rest of it. There are moments though, here and there, where I get into a rhythm and I can sorta take it all in. In those moments, I hope that people 1.) are glad to be there and 2.) realize that all music and all talents are gifts from God; that all glory should be deflected from us, and onto him.

Q. What’s your most memorable fan interaction? Whether it be funny, profound, or both.

A. There is a very nice woman who usually comes out to our Denver shows, and brings us crazy looking candy and sparkly pom-poms. It’s the best.

Q. What’s the most humbling thing you’ve heard about your music or said about you as a musician/song writer?

A. In the past few years, I’ve received several messages that have been extremely humbling. One from a U.S military veteran who told me he would listen to the Ladder during his down time in Iraq. A note from a woman who had a serious illness and said that she would listen to my music while receiving treatment for hours at a time. Another from a family whose child had a serious mental handicap who said my album was constantly being played in their house because it was one of the few things their child would respond to. Things like that are beyond humbling and help put my work into perspective when I find myself getting stressed out or frustrated with trivial details.

Q. Do you have an item that you wear or take with you onstage at every performance? Or even a pre-show ritual?

A. In this new season of live shows, my Avocado shaker has made regular appearances. It reminds me of my wife.

Q. Your new album, Black Bear, is set to be released this summer. What can fans expect and how is it different from what you’ve already released?

A. It’s pretty much in keeping with the projection and trajectory of my work to date. If you listen to the Daylight EP, you can maybe start to get a sense of where things are headed, sonically. I wrote all of the songs the way I always do – with emphasis on lyrics and melodies – but we took a few more risks, and experimented a lot more with fun, ambient sounds on this one. I made the album I really wanted to make and I really hope people can appreciate it.

I know I’ve made you curious about Andrew’s music, so here’s my favorite song off of Black Bear titled Pieces.

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One Response to “Andrew Belle”

  1. Lynette May April 25, 2014 at 10:35 am #

    Reblogged this on Just Lynette May and commented:
    Here’s ANDREW!

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