Andy- Well, it’s funny, but it seems that everyone who hears us hears something different. We get a lot of comparisons to Faith No More and The Misfits. The crowds at our shows are made up of metal heads, Goths, punks, and just the average alternative rock fan. I love that we can draw from so many different walks of life. As for the sound we’re looking for, it doesn’t necessarily involve a genre. It’s more about being epic and haunting.
What can we expect from Bella Morte in the future? For example, touring, new albums.
Andy- We’re already working on music for our next CD, so we should have a new single out sometime next fall, with an album to follow it. But right now, we’re still very focused on “Bleed the Grey Sky Black”. It’s outsold our previous discs combined, and has a lot of steam behind it. We will definitely be doing a full US tour this year, and plan on getting back to Europe in ‘07 as well.
So tell us about you guys. When did you start? How did you start? Where did you meet?
Andy- The band started as a two piece; just me and Gopal, a couple of drum machines and some amps that only worked half the time. As we continued writing together, our ideas expanded which made us want to add some members. Growing to a five piece band was the best move we ever made! Oh, but we met here in Charlottesville, Virginia, which is a pretty damned cool town. It’s small, but there’s a ton of music and art here. And it’s diverse too… just think, the same town that spawned Dave Matthews also gave birth to our spooky asses!
So is there any specific type of guitar/bass that Tony and Gopal use to generate the music?
Andy- Tony is a fiend for Gibson gear. He loves Les Paul, and has just started talking to them about a sponsorship. Gopal’s been playing an Ibanez for years now.
Andy, What do you think influences your lyrics the most? and why?
Andy- Well, life would have to come first, of course. Everything that happens in a given day has a shot at getting into our songs if it impacts me enough. Also, horror movies have always given me food for thought with my lyrics. I like dark themes, but I also like to inject an element of hope into what I write.
What point of your life would you guys hope to be in by the end of 2007?
Andy- I think things are just going to keep getting bigger for us. Right now we’re seeing our fan base grow like never before! It’s really an amazing time for us now! I don’t know exactly where I want to be, but I know I want to continue building the fan base and playing bigger and bigger shows. Maybe We’ll get a Grammy next year, or a moon man from MTV. Who knows?
What do you think makes you guys stand out from the rest of the bands trying to make it?
Andy- I think that we have a unique sound. We don’t make any attempt to do what others out there are doing, and have never felt the need to follow trends. Second, we can perform live. So many bands now can’t pull off what’s on their albums at their shows… we aren’t one of those bands. If anything, our songs are bigger and better live. Third, we’re approachable. I do my damnedest to make sure fans have access to the band. I even handle our MySpace personally, though sometimes it gets tough getting back to everyone when a hundred emails are rolling in a day there. But I do my best, and the rest of the guys do as well.
Fame or a small following of undying fans?
Andy- Fame with a large following of undying fans!
What is Bella Morte’s plan for the next album? Are you going to try anything different with it if you are?
Andy- I think we’re just going to pick up where “Bleed the Grey Sky Black” left off. The stuff we’ve written so far for the next release is huge! It’s got a ton of energy and is very melodic. The diversity of our sound will still shine as well.
What do you think makes an Ultimate Rock and Roll band?
Andy- Hair spray volume knobs that go past ten! Ahem… Songs that play like anthems and undying originality.
What was the last concert you attended?
Andy- Hmmmm… I don’t remember. I don’t go to so many shows since we play so many. But I did catch Rasputina down in New Orleans when we played the Convergence festival together. They were amazing! I’d like to catch Lamb of God sometime soon as well. Their new album rocks, and they come from VA!
For our readers who have not seen you live, what is it like?
Andy- Lots of energy, lots of emotion, and some goofing off thrown into the mix!
Which band would you like to compete with on stage in a talent show?
Andy- Compete, huh? Well, I know there are a lot of bands I’d like to gig with… maybe AFI or The 69 Eyes. Hell, maybe we could battle it out with The Bee Gees if they reunite!
Your last album came out in 2006. Where can people go to pick up a copy?
Andy- Any retail store can get the CD. If it’s not already in stock, they can damn well order it for you! They’re in a lot of Best Buy stores, FYEs, and Hot Topic! Now go bug these folks to get you a copy! Hell yeah!
Thank you Andy, for taking a few minutes to speak with me. Bella Morte is out of Charlottesville, VA. There new album “Bleed the Grey Sky Black” is in stores now and you can catch them if you are in the VA area on March 10 at the Outback Lodge.