Chain D.L.K.: Who are the members of Bella Morte, and what do they do?
Bella Morte: Andy Deane, Vocals and synths Gopal Metro, Bass and synths Tony Lechmanski, guitars We’re training a new guy to cover synths at live shows soon and also a drummer, but we’ll be using a synthetic kit so our sound won’t change.
Chain D.L.K.: When and how did you meet, and where are you from?
Bella Morte: I’m from Charlottesville, VA. I met Gopal through a local punk kid in town who said we’d get along. I called him out of nowhere and soon thereafter we were writing music together. Gopal was living about thirty minutes away in a community called Yogaville at the time.
Chain D.L.K.: What is meant by the name Bella Morte, and why?
Bella Morte: The name means “beautiful death”. Gopal came up with the title, and it really works for us. At the time we wanted a name that clearly defined how dark our sound was and I think we succeeded.
Chain D.L.K.: Do you feel the band has grown/matured since you first began?
Bella Morte: Well, for starters we’ve gotten a lot of new and better equipment. Also, we’ve been working together long enough that our writing has matured. We play off of one another very well. Adding Tony Lechmanski to the band on guitars has made writing that much more fun as well…We’d been friends for a long time so he was easy to fit into what we were doing.
Chain D.L.K.: How would you describe your sound to those who haven’t heard you?
Bella Morte: I’d say that we mix a lot of dark genres together with an 80’s twist. Our atmosphere can change from song to song…
Chain D.L.K.: How do you feel you have impacted or influenced the goth/darkwave scene?
Bella Morte: Well, I think that we’ve made people realize that you don’t have to stick to one specific style of music to be successful. Also, I’m hoping that we’re creating diversity in the crowds as well. It’s nice to see a mixed bunch of people at the gigs!
Chain D.L.K.: Would you rather be called goth, darkwave, or neither?
Bella Morte: It really doesn’t matter to me so long as people are enjoying what we’re doing and we’re still loving doing it. I think that sometimes a name can back you into a corner and make it hard to experiment with new sounds, and we’re all about diversity.
Chain D.L.K.: What are you feelings toward your newest release “The Quiet”, and how would you describe it?
Bella Morte: Well, I’m really happy with “The Quiet” and so far the fan reaction has been great! The album is actually a compilation of three years of writing. We just never found the time to work on the release until last year and so we had a huge back catalog of songs! We had enough material to make it a two-disc set if we had wanted to!
Chain D.L.K.: What other albums have you produced?
Bella Morte: Our first release, “Remains” was put out in 1997…Then we followed with “Where Shadows Lie” in 1999 and “The Death Rock EP” in 2001 on vinyl only. Since then the DREP has been re-released with two bonus tracks on CD. “The Quiet” (2002) is (of course) our latest album.
Chain D.L.K.: Why the change from Cleopatra Records to Metropolis Records?
Bella Morte: We just liked the deal they offered. So far it’s been a real pleasure to work with the folks at Metropolis.
Chain D.L.K.: Once again in “The Quiet you have a mix of slow songs, dance, punk, etc. Could you elaborate on why you use such a variety of styles?
Bella Morte: We are all big fans of a lot of different styles of music, so we enjoy playing different styles. It keeps us happy with what we’re doing and makes sure that none of us end up getting bored! I think that we’ll always be as diverse as we are today
Chain D.L.K.: Where have you toured/where are you planning to tour?
Bella Morte: We’ve toured the US a couple of times and we are planning on getting to Europe in the coming year. Our CD comes out in January of 2003 over there and we’re hoping to get some shows after it hits the shelves.
Chain D.L.K.: Are you doing any side projects right now?
Bella Morte: We are always full of side projects! My side projects include Nerve No Pain (metal), Xerox (Indie Rock) and two solo projects…one electro clash and one EBM. Gopal fronts a band called Undergrave (deathrock) and Tony is the guitarist in that band. Also, Gopal’s industrial solo project is called Terminus Est. Tony fronts a street punk band called Riot Act as well…Oh, and Tony and I do a rather idiotic side project called AT that plans on taking over the world.
Chain D.L.K.: What your plans for the future? Are there any plans for the next album yet?
Bella Morte: Yeah, we’re already getting material finalized for the next release! Other than that just a load of touring and writing!
Chain D.L.K.: What makes a song good to you, and when are you satisfied with a song that you’re working on?
Bella Morte: I don’t really know…It just has to hit me somehow. I have to want to sing it over and over without growing tired of it. I think that we all just know when a song is right.
Chain D.L.K.: Many artists have a “stage personality”, which is completely separate from who they are off-stage. Does this describe you?
Bella Morte: Not so much. I mean, I guess I don’t jump around and sing at people in the streets, but I like to let who I am shine through on stage. I’d say that this is true for all of us.
Chain D.L.K.: Your lyrics are very intense and beautiful. What inspires them?
Bella Morte: Whatever is happening in my life…What I read, what I hear…You know, a little of everything that passes me by.
Chain D.L.K.: You are an incredible writer. Other than your lyrics, do you do much writing?
Bella Morte: Yeah, I write short horror stories sometimes…
Chain D.L.K.: What are some of your influences and how are they brought into your music?
Bella Morte: Well, as I said, anything that I see might end up in a song…It just has to mean enough to me.
Chain D.L.K.: Are you religious / what do you believe?
Bella Morte: A~ No, I’m not a religious person by any stretch of the imagination…I don’t necessarily believe anything.
Chain D.L.K.: What do you do when you’re not working on your music?
Bella Morte: I watch horror films, read, play video games, hang out with my cats, hang out with friends…You know, the same stuff anyone does to kill time.
Chain D.L.K.: If you could give advice to someone who desired to start a band, what would it be?
Bella Morte: Stick with what you love and never quit! I’ve seen too many bands with a ton of potential give up when things got tough! You have to be able to put your chin down and make things happen…
Chain D.L.K.: Which bands influence you/do you enjoy listening to, and are you influenced by any books/live theatre?
Bella Morte: A million bands have influenced me, but right now I’m listening to Specimen, Le Tigre, Sigur Ros, The Misfits (early stuff), Iron Maiden, The Cranes, The Smiths, etc… Well, my favorite book is “The Thief of Always”, though I haven’t written about it yet!
Chain D.L.K.: How can people get in touch with you?
Bella Morte: We have a contact forum on our website…www. bellamorte. com
Chain D.L.K.: Anything else you would like to say?
Bella Morte: See you at the shows!
Visit Bella Morte on the web at:
[interviewed by Li Bredesen proofreading by Erica Breyer] [proofreading by Erica Breyer]