Interviews: BELLE MORTE

On this new occasion, we have had the opportunity to interview the Metal band, BELLE MORTE from Belarus. Check out the interview and follow the band on their FACEBOOK PAGE.

1.Where did you get the idea for the band name, you planned it or came out just like that?

BM: Originally Belle Morte is a name of the vampire character from the “Anita Blake” book series by Laurel Hamilton. Back then, when Belle Morte started as a studio project, we didn’t know yet if we were going to become something more than that. So I picked something quite flexible and neutral for any scenario. 

2.Why did you want to play this genre?

BM: We never focused much on the genre, to be fair. It was the other way around: it has always been “music first”, meaning if we feel some, for example, black metal or progressive elements fit the song, we are gonna use them.

SB: From the very beginning we had symphonic metal on our mind as a guiding star, but with a reservation not to be bonded by any strict rules. As we had a really diverse spectrum of music we liked, we could balance in between genres, augmenting symphonic metal with different elements, such as progressive, industrial, black, rock opera, celtic music, Argentinian tango and whatever we felt would work for particular songs. We think of Belle Morte as music first, and genre is less of importance.

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed? 

BM: There are 6 of us at the moment, and some of us knew each other before we formed as a band. The others became great new acquaintances.

SB: I knew Rostislav (drummer) from multiple occasions, when my band Ivory and his bands Kliodna and Synaxaria met at the same concerts. Ilya P was recommended by Rostislav, as they played together in Synaxaria. And we used to play together with Ilya R (guitars) in a folk-rock project Nevrida.

4. Each band member favourite band?

BM: To me this is the hardest question of all. I don’t have a one and only favorite band, and I mostly stick to favorite albums. Let’s say Rituals by Rotting Christ is my fav.

SB: My list of favorites is extremely long and chaotic. Classical music, especially Beethoven, Musorgski, Prokofiev, Rohmaninov, Albenis, Rodrigo and many more; Queen, Rainbow, Scorpions, Andrew Lloyd Weber (especially Jesus Christ Superstar and Phantom of the Opera), David Arkenston, Loreena McKennit, Secret Garden, d'Artagnan, Helloween, Kamelot, Ayreon, Avantasia, Leprous.

RG: The list is huge: I have listened to different music since my early ages, so it became enormous up till now. Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Kreator, Sodom, Pantera, Sepultura, Blind Guardian, Nightwish, Lacrimosa, Behemoth, Amon Amarth, Hypocrisy, Cannibal Corpse, Nile, Аркона, Butterfly Temple - and the list goes on. Basically everything from eighties rock and metal and up to extreme genres.

MS: King Crimson, Dream Theater, Snarky Puppy

IP: I like a lot of bands from the eighties: Cinderella, Mötley Crüe, W.A.S.P. , Skid Row, Guns N' Roses, Europe (2 albums in particular), Def Leppard, Whitesnake, DIO, Rainbow, Queen, Helloween, Place Vendome. Thrash bands from nineties: Pantera, Testament, Megadeth, Sepultura (especially the last album), gothic metal (Sentenced, Poisonblack, Type O Negative, Lacrimosa, To/Die/For), doom - Draconian, Saturnus, Paradise Lost, Cult of Luna, MDM - Dark Tranquillity, Arch Enemy, Amorphis, Mors Principium Est. Black - Behemoth, Cradle Of Filth. And I reserve a special place for Symphony X, Dream Theater, Angra, Avantasia, At Vance, Allen/Lande.

IR: I listen to a lot of music in different genres. So it’ll be a long list. At this moment I am listening to such bands as Periphery, Polyphia, The Veils of Maya, Ice Nine Kills.

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

BM: it just happens. Everything can become an impulse, starting from a traumatic experience and up to a single word that sounds fascinating. Overall composing for me is a therapeutic exercise and I tend to do it whenever I’m feeling bad.

6. Where was your last gig?

BM: The last one was in August, we took part in Bloody News Online Fest. No doubt, 2020 was harsh with ruining everyone’s plans.

7. Where would you like to act?

BM: After 2020 with all this lockdown - anywhere, where the place is not a literal hole and where there are people willing to hear us.

IR: I agree with Belle. This f*cking epidemic makes me crazy and I wanna perform anywhere.

SB: Wacken, no doubt. And if we think about countries, that would be Japan and Brazil.

RG: Definitely Wacken :) But any concert is an interesting and unique experience. It’s about a story and emotions associated with it, so I’d love to visit a lot of different places, to collect such emotions and memories and leave a part of us there.

8. Whom would you like to feature with?

BM: I’m open for all collaborations and I do believe in cross-genre experiments. At this point I’d love to collaborate with some Japanese artists playing traditional music - I have a feeling this might become a fresh and mesmerizing fit.

SB: With live orchestra :) 

RG: And a chorus :)

9. Whom not?

BM: Don’t have anyone particular on my mind, but in theory that would be someone we have contrary values with, or things I wouldn’t want to anyhow be associated with. For instance, it might be a performer supporting the illegitimate government and police brutality - something that our homeland is going through right now.

SB: Probably Justin Bieber?..

RG: With Morgenshtern. If you don’t know who he is - it’s fine, don’t google it.

IR: With any pop singers who got a bad reputation and degrades the younger generation.

10. Any of you has ever suffered from stage fright? Any tip for beginners on how to beat that?

BM: Yes, to a certain extent it’s always there, and it’s ok to be excited (if it’s not a paralysing fear, of course), as otherwise it means you don’t really care about the performance. I believe there’s only one way to beat it: to have more gigs. You get used to it eventually and it stays in the background. Besides, even when it’s strong, it gets weaker as you proceed, and by the end of the song #1 you are completely set. Tips: do your best to practice before the gig, then stop overthinking each step and focus on getting joy from what you are doing.

SB: When I was studying at a School of Music, I was suffering from the stage fright badly and my performance was affected a lot. You can’t fight it completely and it’s not needed. The best way is to transform your fear into drive, because when you are completely calm and well-balanced, you won’t be able to rock! And of course knowing your parts and experience do help.

RG: Stage fright is a totally normal thing, because it means you feel responsible for giving a good performance people would love. What definitely helps is knowing your parts - at least you won’t be worried about it and become less nervous and more confident. Obviously it becomes easier with time. Having a warm-up helps, too: you just stop thinking about anything but music. 

IR: Just try to enjoy this moment. I know it sounds too simple, but hard to do. But if you don't enjoy it, then fear will consume you.

11. What bands have inspired you the most?

BM: The first one on my list will always be Roxette. That’s literally the music from my childhood and the first band I got obsessed with. They affected the way I perceive music in many ways. Then more heavy stuff followed, but I think Slipknot, Tool, Rotting Christ and Behemoth left the deepest imprints. 

12. What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you for?

BM: It’s not super weird, but kinda creepy. One fan asked me to send him photos of me, not just online (which still would sound a bit weird), but via regular mail. He left his full address for that purpose.

13. What do you think of your fans?

BM: They are unbelievable! They inspire us, they help us know our music is welcomed in this world. Each time we release something new, it’s so important for us to see there are people appreciating what we do, sharing our stuff and taking a moment to tell about the feelings they have while listening to it. It’s truly exciting and I can’t stress enough how lucky we are to have them.

SB: I think they are great people, as they have such wonderful music tastes :) 

14. What do you think of our site?

BM: You are doing a great job, helping bands to get more recognition and helping metalheads discover worthy music. And a special thanks for having comprehensive subgenres categories on your site!

15. Something add?

BM: Thanks for having us! Good luck with Breathing the Core and keep up the great work!

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