Monday, 14 May 2012

The Black Belles INTERVIEW@The Great Escape 2012

Interview with The Black Belles
The Great Escape 2012

Q. I first heard The Black Belles from your cover version of The Knickerbockers track ‘Lies’, would you say that this late 60’s era is the genre that influences you as a group the most?

Shelby Lynne (Drums): I’d say we all have individual influences that are separate but then as a band there’s a lot that we all really love and that’s what comes out of us with our music I think. We do love lots of 60’s music, 50’s and 60’s really and then we all have separate little decades that appeal to us in unique ways.

Olivia Jean (Vocals/Guitars): I love girl bands, surf music and Phil Spector.

Q. I hear a lot of Link Wray, Duane Eddy, Dick Dale on the guitar especially, would you say that’s true?

Olivia Jean: Yeah I like surf music (laughs)

Q. You have a very striking image with the hats, makeup and overall look of the group, do you feel that this is just as important as the music itself and do you think that too many indie bands lack imagination with this area of things?

Shelby Lynne : Yeah!

Ruby Rogers (Vocals/Bass): Definitely, we like to dress for the stage. It’s nice to have a uniform as it does help to unify the band and prepare us.

Q. Would you say that it helps get you into the right frame of mind and gets you ready for the show?

Shelby Lynne: It definitely helps to have a hat on (laughs)

Q. There have been a few different stories about the origins of the band and your connection with Jack White. Did he see you playing and then decide to record you or was it a group that he invented and put together under his own design?

Olivia Jean: Yes, well we’ve all been playing music for a long time but we all have mutual friends at Third Man (Third Man Records) so it’s not like he (Jack White) picked us up off the street and threw us in a room (laughs) and put a group together, it wasn’t like that at all. Some people try and make up their own wild stories about the whole thing but it’s not a manufactured band at all.

Q. How is he (Jack White) to work with? He produced, co-wrote and directed your video…

Olivia Jean: He’s always really easy to work with, really open to ideas, very funny.

Ruby Rogers: I think that he definitely has a vision though about what he wants, but there is definitely collaboration between us although ultimately he has total control.

Q. Are there any plans for the summer festivals in the UK?

Shelby Lynne: We don’t know, we haven’t talked to our booking agent in regards to any at this stage.

Olivia Jean: They are sorting some stuff out and still confirming some other shows, I know that we have a few shows throughout the summer that are booked sporadically in the U.S and Canada.

Ruby Rogers: We’re also in talks with some shows in Spain as well.

Q. As a Third Man artist I would assume you have the same opinion on the download verses Vinyl debate as they do. Do you prefer people listening to your album as a whole piece or downloading individual tracks?

Olivia Jean: At this point in our career the whole thing definitely (laughs). I’d prefer them to listen to everything as a whole, as we’re still growing up. This is our first album so we’re trying to find the solid Black Belles sound. So on the album a lot of the songs sound really different from one another. You won’t get a real idea about what we’re trying to do if you just listen to one song.

Shelby Lynne: Exactly and I think that the general rule is that it’s really important to listen to the whole album from start to finish, look at the front cover, the back, the artwork it all ties together. Especially with this band the visuals are an important aspect, we really put a lot of care into each part of it.

Olivia Jean: Lots of tears went into it (they all laugh)

Shelby Lynne: Yes a lot (laughs) even the track listing we played really close attention to all the minor details right up to the way it looked finally.

Ruby Rogers: We’d hope that people use the sleeve of our album as a poster on their wall, we really love the artwork.

Q. Congratulations with getting your music added as the intro music for The Elvira Show in the U.S. Do you see a Black Belles movie in the pipeline? The Black Belles VS The Black Keys perhaps?

(All Laugh)

Olivia Jean: We’ve never thought about it but now you’ve planted the idea, the seed… now it sounds like something we’d want to do (laughs).

Ruby Rogers: We have frequently talked about directors and movies and genres of movies that we like that we’d like our songs to be in for soundtracks.

Q. There was a film that the band Ash made on tour called ‘Slashed’ that included a lot of other bands playing different characters/killers such as The Hives, Coldplay and Dave Grohl, a real old school slasher movie. Would that type of thing appeal to you?

Ruby: That would be cool

Shelby Lynne: Yeah (laughs) in black and white obviously, high contrast.

Olivia Jean: That would be fun, some time in the future but no plans for the time being.

Thank you very much (official site)

Thanks to Andy Barding and Ben Swank at Third Man Records

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