Since their beginnings in 2006, Newcastle five-piece Seabellies have earned their musical stripes touring with the likes of Pixies, Phoenix and Soulwax, as well as their own headline tour dates and countless festival appearances. Fever Belle follows 2010’s critically acclaimed debut LP By Limbo Lake. In the lead up to the band’s performance in Sydney, we caught up with Seabellies’ frontman Trent Grenell for a chat.
How did you get your start in the music industry?
I’ve always played in bands, but Seabellies kicked off really quickly when we won the inaugural V fest ‘Garage to V’ competition in 2008. We got to tour with the Pixies, Phoenix, Groove Armada, Soulwax, and many other huge acts. It was a big start for us.
Best part of what you do?
I love touring, I love recording, but most of all, I really love writing. When you hit a purple patch, there is no better feeling.
And the worst part?
When you feel the purple patch leave, and you have trouble being inspired. You just have to wait that out sometimes, you can encourage inspiration, but you can’t force it.
Any interesting experiences you can share?
I guess me running away from this album is a funny thing to look back on….I had a messy break-up during the tracking of this album, and I had to runaway, to Uganda! I apologized to the band, and took off, to a remote orphanage outside of Kampala, where I lived until I felt healed enough to finish the record. I then went straight to Berlin to finish it off. It all sounds a bit dramatic looking back, but I guess it was better than making a record in the traditional way. Sheeesh.
Favourite album of all time and why?
Broken Social Scene – Broken Social Scene. It’s just a massive album, such a large band, with so many sounds and textures, somehow all working cohesively. It sounds like Joy and pain simultaneously, in some noisy chaotic way. It is the album I always come back to.
Best live performance that you’ve ever seen? Dead heat between Radiohead last year in the forest in Berlin, and Broken Social Scene at the Metro in 2006. Very different shows, but they both moved me immensely.
Favourite bars/clubs/pubs to hang out in?
My favourite spots are The Courty in Newtown, and for a late Saturday night dance, sidebar at Oxford Arts Factory. I think I put my back out there last weekend.
Take us through a typical day in the life of Seabellies.
Depends what stage of a cycle we are at. Right now I am doing lots of press, and editing our music video, and getting geared up for our next tour which kicks off so soon, and is our biggest to date. But other times I may be having a milo in bed. Rock n roll is super dynamic.
Any news or final comments?
Our new album ‘Fever Belle’ is out now through Shock, and we are extremely proud of it, being the culmination of two years of hard work, heartache, running away, death, love and everything else that shapes a piece of art.
Catch Seabellies live on Saturday December 14 at GoodGod Small Club (Sydney). Tickets available from www.oztix.com.au
© Danny Canak