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Monthly Interview: Belated

I’ve been on the road again, this time visiting the rather lovely surroundings of Chester. While I was there, I managed to catch up with Belated, to find out about the third studio album and their hopes for the future. Enjoy!

Guys, it’s great to be back with you. It seems like only yesterday that Buzzin’ Around was released. Can you believe that it was five years ago?

Micky, lead vocals: Blimey – you’re making me feel olllllllddd man!

Jerry, bass player: You are old, Mick! Nah – I don’t think any of us could have imagined this weird rollercoaster ride of musical discovery and how it would play out.

When I look back at Buzzin’ Around, it almost feels like a different band.

But do you still look back fondly on that record?

Micky: Definitely. That was a huge breakthrough for us. We’d been gigging around Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee…anywhere that we could really. We’d built up a following and we’d really been playing some of those songs for, what, 3 years before we even recorded the album.

So you basically had all of the tracks in place before you were even signed?

Jerry: Pretty much. I think we had 7 or 8 ready to go.

So did the recording process feel natural?

Jerry: I’m not sure I’d go quite that far! The song writing process was fairly quick ‘cos we only had to write 4 or 5 songs to complete the album. From that point of view, it was easy. If you compare that to the last album, where it’s probably taken 6 months to put together 12 songs then – yeah – it looks easy compared to that.

Aaron, drums: Song writing is only ever half of the challenge though. That original recording process meant a real learning curve for all of us. None of us had experienced recording in a proper studio before, working with people who knew exactly what was needed to get the best sound out of the band.

We were tight on all the songs – that was from all the gigs. But we didn’t know how well that would translate on to the record.

Did you know that you had something special on your hands as soon as you’d finished?

Micky: We definitely thought it was good, but…

Aaron: I think the feedback from the producers was good, wasn’t it? We all thought it sounded good but you just don’t know until other people hear it.

Jerry: I remember Julietta getting played on local radio. That was the first time that I felt that other people were starting to get it.

After that initial success, was there a weight of responsibility with the second album?

Jerry: Definitely.

The critical reception of Banana Fever was pretty mixed. Did you read the reviews, or hide away from them?

Micky: So many people used to go on about the difficult second album. One the one hand, we’d try to dismiss all of that stuff. We felt that the first album had been a big success, so were sure that we could repeat the trick.

Once we got into the studio though, the whole process just seemed so much more difficult. Then we had problems with Nina too, which didn’t help. It could have gone better – let’s put it that way.

Aaron: Was it NME that was harsh, or Kerrang?

Micky: All of ’em wasn’t it? I read a few. That was a tough time. We struggled to even get back out on the road.

Did you think you’d move on to do a third album?

Jerry: It was touch and go.

Micky: We knew that, if we did, it had to be different. Better, obviously.

So what changed about the process for this one?

Micky: Everything! We knew that the atmosphere had to be less intense. We needed downtime and we had to take a better approach.

Aaron: Micky even got on his treadmill!

Micky: Yeah, that may sound a bit mad, but I needed something that I could kind of escape to. A friend of mine had said about healthy body leading to a healthy mind and all that. So I thought: why not?

I had a look at a load of reviews on a treadmills website – Shop Farinellis – and then I hit it every day. 45 minutes every day while we were recording. I felt better too. I know it sounds daft, but exercising made the record better.

Did you all have a go?

Aaron: I gave it a whirl, but I ended up going out on my bike around the studio. There was some great scenery and it all felt conducive to being more creative. You can’t beat this part of the country, really.

The album (as yet untitled) is due for release in 3 months time. What can we expect, in terms of sound? Is it back to the first album?

Jerry: I’d like to think that we’ve moved on, but in a more progressive way. It’s still Belated – fans will recognise us from the first track – but it moves us on.

Micky: It takes things up a notch.

Aaron: Yeah. We just hope people like it!

After their ups and downs, the boys seem confident that they’re back on track. We all wait to hear the fruits of their labours.