Interview with Andy Dean of Bella Morte

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Interview with Andy Dean of Bella Morte

Post by Klaus2.0 on Sat May 30, 2009 2:59 pm

I did this interview early of May, if you're not familiar with Bella Morte, they are the leading band in goth rock. They have toured with many big time bands and made a name for themselves with their intense live shows and wonderfully crafted songs.

1. Tell us a little about yourself?

Andy- I was raised on a steady diet of horror films in a small town in Virginia. Got into underground music by way of Iron Maiden and The Misfits in my early teens and never looked back. I’ve been in bands since I can remember, Bella Morte obviously the most serious project I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of. I recently had my first novel, “The Sticks”, published by Delirium Books, and have since completed a second novel and am currently working on a third. I’m somewhat of a workaholic, so long as the work isn’t boring.

2. What are your musical inspirations?

Andy – Having loved horror movies since I was small, that stuff creeps into all of my art. If you look close enough, there’s something unsettling in a lot of Bella Morte’s lyrics. I obsess over the passage of time and what it means for us all. Bands you’ll find in heavy rotation on my iPod right now include Faith No More, Slayer, Eminem, and Lauren Hoffman. But that changes weekly… My musical tastes are schizophrenic to say the least!

3. How did Bella Morte get their start?

Andy- Gopal and I were introduced through a punk kid in town, started pounding out dark rock dirges in a warehouse by the train tracks with an old drum machine and a couple of sh#%$y amps. From there it took on a life of its own and grew. Members came and went but the heart kept on beating.

4. So Tell us some about your new book, and what inspirations you had when writing it?

Andy- I started writing “The Sticks” at a friend’s house in Salt Lake City while we were out on tour. I was just writing a short story to kill some time, and before long I looked down at my word count and was surprised at how far I’d gotten. So I decided to keep going and after a while had my first novel, and love how it turned out. Delirium hooked me up with Greg Gifune (an amazing author for those who might not know about him!) to do the editing on “The Sticks”, and working with him was a great learning experience. I wanted to write a fun horror story that doesn’t get bogged down in bullshit like the origin of the monster and crap like that. The idea is that sometimes awful things happen for no reason.

5. How has touring been going lately?

Andy- The tour we just completed great! I love being out on the road, always feel a little weird when I get back home and stop moving from city to city. It’s like driving a car full speed and then slamming on the brakes… jarring! But yeah, we played cities throughout the northeast and Midwest, and plan on getting out to the west coast this fall.

6. What was your first tour like?

Andy- Our first real tour was in 2001 with The Cruxshadows. It was their first full tour as well, so we learned a lot out on the road. It was a good time, even when money got tight and we were using credit cards to buy enough gas to get to the next city. But that tour gave me a taste of being on the road, and I’ve loved it ever since.

7. Now I saw you guys awhile back with Cruxshadows, in Birmingham, Al. I believe you were touring to support your album “Where Shadows Lie”, and your guys were amazing, I was so impressed with your live show and the energy that you guys put out. By any chance you remember that show? And if so what was it like playing with the Cruxshadows?

Andy- I do remember that gig! I think that was on the 2001 tour actually. Glad you had a good time! We put so much effort into our shows, and I never leave the stage with an ounce of energy left in me. As for The Cruxshadows, we’ve been close friends since that tour, even played some shows together at the end of last year and had them crash at my house for the better part of a week. Here’s a bit of trivia for you; Rogue and I were actually born in the same hospital here in Virginia. He was joking that if his family hadn’t moved we’d likely have ended up in a band together, and I think he’s right. I can only imagine the arguments over who got to be the singer!

8. How was playing the Warped Tour? Did your music go over well with the crowd?

Andy- Warped tour was fun and chaotic! The crowd loved us, and I’m hoping we’ll have the opportunity to do it again next year.

9. I’ve seen you guys do a couple of acoustic shows for dragon con, how does the energy differ (both from the band and the crowd) when it comes to acoustic vs. your regular show?

Andy- It’s a lot more chill, naturally. But it’s interesting to rework the songs, dissect them and rearrange the parts to fit a different format. We still do acoustic shows on occasion. One thing that’s nice is I don’t sweat so damn much at those.

10. Now well all know the economy is in the crapper, has it affected you as an artist personally and at your shows?

Andy- We lowered the prices on our tees on the last tour to make them more affordable for kids who might not have as much money. But for the most part, we’re going at it as we always have… just rolling with the punches!

11. How do you feel about digital downloads almost replacing physical cd, a lot of artist just release album directly to Ituens or Rhapsody? Does the artist still get a fair deal when they sell their music digitally or do they tend to profit more from touring and cd sales?

Andy- Actually, we make more from a digital sale than a physical CD sold at a store. I’m all for digital media, even got an Amazon Kindle 2 recently for reading. I love having a nice, compact device that I can drag around on the road.

12. Tell us some about the new album “Beautiful Death”, and the progression that the bands have made musically from your first demo” Remorse” to the new sound on “Beautiful Death”?

Andy- I love the way “Beautiful Death” turned out! We’ve definitely grown as artists over the years, and I love having a full band backing me up! The music’s still deep and emotional, but it has more drive and intensity now. Those old songs mean a lot to me, though.

13. How do you feel about religion?

Andy- I’m not a religious guy at all. But I’m happy, and don’t feel that I have any place for it in my life. To each his own is my philosophy.

14. How do you feel about God and Jesus Christ?

Andy- I don’t believe in either, so I guess I don’t feel much of anything about them. I’ve always found faith very curious, but hell, if it makes someone happy I say go for it. People should do what feels right for them, and if that means believing in God then so be it.

15. How do you feel about the current Goth/Industrial scene? Some say that it’s gone back underground, while others say it is completely dead.

Andy-I don’t know. I guess the scene splintered a bit with the introduction of EBM and synthpop. But you know, genre’s are just generalizations. As long as there are people out there who love dark music there will always be Goth, or something resembling it. I have no idea how to classify Bella Morte, but I don’t much care about that. They key for me is to keep making music I love.

16. What is next for the band?

Andy- We just wrapped up recording a new track called “Flatlined” for a Metropolis Records CD compilation that will be sold exclusively at Hot Topic stores starting this fall. And we’re pounding out new song for the next CD right now and gearing up for some more touring. I’m hoping we can shoot another video with Eric Thomas Craven before too long also.

17. Any advice for up and coming bands?

Andy- Love what you do and work with people you respect.

18. What do you think are the pros and con’s to an artist being independent (with myspace, garage band, twitter, and facebook) or being on a label

Andy- A label can help by providing financial backing so you’re not spending tons of your own cash pressing CDs and buying studio time to record. Plus, they may have lists of DJs and Radio Stations that they’ve formed relationships with that will get your music played. However, these days being independent is far less scary than it used to be. You just have to be willing to work a little harder to get yourself heard.

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Re: Interview with Andy Dean of Bella Morte

Post by Ash on Sat May 30, 2009 3:50 pm

Thanxs for posting, Herr Klauss. Nice interview.

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Re: Interview with Andy Dean of Bella Morte

Post by Blixi on Tue Jun 09, 2009 10:31 pm

Nice interview, Mr. Klaus.

Never really heard about this band until now.
!The Nameless One!

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