After more than 20 years and a long hiatus Canadian Melodic Punk band Belvedere is back and stronger than ever. To celebrate the release of their latest album Revenge of the Fifth we reached out to frontman Steve Rawles who talks about the album and the band’s recording process in the interview below.
Belvedere spent significantly more time recording Revenge of the Fifth than previous albums. How did the band combat outside pressures to keep pumping out material while focusing on jobs and families?
The best part about it was we didn’t have a timeline and thus not as much pressure to write this. While normally I need a deadline to get projects done, we didn’t need the motivation this time. It was already there but we just had to let it all unfold organically. It was a long process timewise but a much more rewarding one.
In regards to recording, we spent 2.5 months but it was fairly part time. While Casey Lewis took a week to record and edit the drums, the rest of us came in for 2-4 hours at a time when convenient. It also gave us a lot of time to listen and think about what we were playing. I’ve never been more happy and proud of a recording that I’ve been a part of.
What aspect of recording was the most time-consuming?
There wasn’t any one thing that really took up a lot of time. It was just a slow burn throughout the 2 months.
Each of Belvedere’s album titles contains 5 words and 6 syllables. Do you change the title in the recording process or were you set on it beforehand?
We knew it would be called The Revenge of the Fifth before we started recording. It just made the most sense given the song title Revenge of the Fifth.
After Belvedere separated in 2005 what safeguards do you have in place to keep touring survivable after the reunion in 2012?
I’m not sure we have any safeguards. When the band split up in 2005, I started This Is A Standoff with John [Meloche] and Graham [Churchill]. This was a chance to maybe do a few tours and see the world. I had no idea that it would turn into seeing 35 countries and putting out 3 albums. During this time I met a lot of Belvedere fans at the shows who asked if we would come back. When Belvedere decided to tour again, I figured we would have some great shows, but again I had no idea it would be this positive. By the end of 2014, Belvedere had burned ourselves out on Reunion shows. We very much wanted to put out new music.
Did your time in This Is A Standoff y change your playstyles or goals when Belvedere reunited?
I think for me, I just appreciated that people were still engaged in the band. My goals are to play music, and re-connect with old friends on the road.
I’ve noticed Belvedere focuses more on technical aspects like vocal harmonies and specific leads for live shows. What are some of the evolutions you’ve made to previous songs for live shows?
Most of the songs we play much like they are on the album. There are a few live segways between songs and maybe we slow or speed up a part. Occasionally we’ll drag out an ending or a bridge, but it’s usually on the fly.
Are we ever going to hear a live Belvedere album?
Great question, I’ll ask the guys.
Is there anything else you would like to say to the readers of By the Barricade?
We appreciate you sticking with us. Hope to see you all out on the road. The new album is out on Bird Attack Records. You can pick it up at their site, our Bandcamp site or iTunes. Cheers!