WHAT’S UP | BELLIGERENTS
They’ve been making waves for a while with their lively festival sets and mad indie rock jams but The Belligerents have only recently (read: finally!) announced a full length album, with the release of Flash, the wonderfully lush, electric lead single. We sat down with them between shooting their new film clip to discuss studio dogs, being belligerent and what the album’s all about.
All photos by Michellefish
You’re about to release the first single off your debut album, which has been a few years in the making, right?
We’ve been a band for 6 years, but the record hasn’t been 6 years in the making. We’ve wrote it pretty much in the space of a year, probably? Yeah. We went to a place called Stradbroke Island which is an hour and a half from Brisbane. Island set up like a home studio thing. Recorded it over 2 weeks, did it all ourselves, mixed it all ourselves and now it’s ready. Can’t wait for everyone to hear it.
I heard you have a studio dog…
Well I have a dog. And he kind of comes to the studio with me. My dog doesn’t really like the studio. He always wants to come with me, which is what I think dogs do when you leave the house but once he’s actually in the studio, he doesn’t like it at all. He’s fine for an hour then wants to get out. I wish he was a studio dog. He was on Stradbroke with us, he loved the farm ’cause he could chase mice and stuff. He didn’t get them though, they were too quick.
What was the island like?
It’s a sand island. Lots of mosquitoes, lots of great surf breaks.
We stayed on the sheltered side, the West side! And we drove to the East side most mornings and swim in the ocean. Chase jellyfish. Saw some dolphins, a stingray. It was really beautiful. We’ve done the studio thing a bunch of times and it was good to get out to somewhere different and to hang out with the fellas.
What have you tried to achieve with the album?
I think what we’ve tried…is to make an album. Recreating songs that we’ve written. It’s the kind of thing where we’ve been in a band for so long that we’ve been like, well, at the start we didn’t have management or label and we felt like we wanted to do a record. We felt like if we didn’t do a record then we might never do a record. I think it was like 14 songs the four of us were into so we went away and we didn’t really have a particular vibe we went for. It was just the first time we had a bunch of songs that sat well and felt cohesive. The songs we’ve been playing live and the process of going away and laying it down.
I don’t think we went for a certain vibe. It just came together from being in that space and hanging out together. Most of the songs were written in a 3 week period, I was in a good space lyrically.
You’ve been a standout on the festival circuit. Any stand out festival moments?
Lost Paradise was amazing. It was an unexpected thing because we didn’t know if it was going to be good or bad but there was a huge crowd and we played at sunset. There was a mosh pit which doesn’t make much sense for our music but that was really really good.
All festivals are kind of fun, hanging out with other guys.
I saw you play at Sugar Mountain, you did a great set.
Yeah! Sugar Mountain was really good too, I forgot about that. That was a close call actually, we left a piece of music equipment at the venue beforehand and we set up on stage, the bus pulled up and dropped off the equipment and we ran out on stage 5 minutes late. Good to go. Really touch and go because half our equipment was on the bus. I had real sweaty hands when it was happening.
I felt really good about that set. Such an awesome festival. Best festival-wise I’ve been to in recent memory. Just felt really good.
Most belligerent thing you’ve done?
Don’t know, I’m quite a placid guy…No wait, when we were at Festival of the Sun, Stag swam across shark infested waters went onto a yacht and did a backflip off the yacht. And swam back and the guys on the yacht were like what’s going on. And he swam back with all these cuts from the oysters and joined the party. He just jumped out of the water, like a dolphin. That was pretty cool. Pretty belligerent!
The Belligerents’ debut album Science Fiction is out September 8 via Sony.
Live music enthusiast. Always at gigs with my camera.