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Jen chats to Jess and Paul from The Belafontes

“ The Belafontes are only just beginning to take the Music Industry but storm. Stayed tuned! “ Music Injection Australia

On the 4th of May The Belafontes released their debut single ‘Saturday’ and an added bonus an upbeat, catchy B-Side ‘Skeleton guaranteed to stick in your head.  With an all female front line up they delighted the crowd with a super energetic performance at The Grace Darling. Jess has a unique voice and a sense of super energy on stage as well as off stage is just as talented with her promotion, publicist and booking skills.

The Belafontes formed in 2015 and is the lovechild of husband and wife team Paul and Jessica Belafonte. The Belafontes are a five-piece sunny pop band from Melbourne, Australia. Their sound is made up of garage, soul and surf elements in a neat little pop package. Inspired by the sunny pop of Brian Wilson with the tight rhythm arrangements of early soul. They sound like The Pixies with the happier moments of The Smiths and the crystal clear vocals of a young Deborah Harry. They have been described as ‘Mary Weiss from the Shangri-Las singing Beach Boys songs’. The group place an emphasis on delivering killer live shows and, as such, avoid heavy production in their DIY recordings. Watching Jess and the band on stage looks like a Wes Anderson movie. Jess flamboyantly moves about the stage banging and crashing various instruments while the rest of the band serenely play their instruments and look off into the distance. They surely are a sight to behold. A must see!

Their sound is made up of garage, soul and surf elements in a neat little pop package. Inspired by the sunny pop of Brian Wilson with the tight rhythm arrangements of early soul. They sound like The Pixies with the happier moments of The Smiths and the crystal clear vocals of a young Deborah Harry. They have been described as ‘Mary Weiss from the Shangri-Las singing Beach Boys songs’. The group place an emphasis on delivering killer live shows and, as such, avoid heavy production in their DIY recordings. Watching Jess and the band on stage looks like a Wes Anderson movie. Jess flamboyantly moves about the stage banging and crashing various instruments while the rest of the band serenely play their instruments and look off into the distance. They surely are a sight to behold!

Hi Jess and Paul.

Hi Jen!

You guys are a relatively new band on the music Scene. Interesting that you are a husband and wife team. With all due respect ….. if that was my husband and I would ah go mad! If we worked together all the time. How is it for you working as a team in your personal and professional life?

Jess – We love it. We’d spend every minute together if we could. We’re gross like that.

 Paul- Yeah we always end up wearing entirely matching outfits by accident, so it was inevitable that we would be in the same band.

Was this project something that you two had always planned together or did it gradually come together over time?

Jess – It all started with a song Paul wrote on an op shop organ at home. We spent a summer at home making frozen margaritas and playing songs together and realised we should do that all the time. 

 Paul – It was a number of things in this order. 1. I bought Jess a ukulele for xmas. 2. My sister got married and we volunteered to be the entertainment. 3. We had to follow through with this ridiculous idea and learn and play 3 hours of music. 4. I had some songs written that we thought sounded ok. 5. After the wedding we both though “hey we sound alright together”. It was this sequence of events, started by the ukulele – if I hadn’t have bought that we might have gone into telemarketing together or something.

I was looking through your facebook and found this.

“Currently writing out love song dedications. It’s your last chance to share and get in on the fun tonight. For those that already shared private message me if you want your dedication to go out to someone special. Otherwise I’m dedicating to your sexy body”

What was that about? You had to get to 20 shares? Please explain!

J – Oh haha. We were given the advice to send our single out to as many blogs as we could. Hhhhappy was one of them. If you get 20 shares they have to review your song. Getting people to listen is most of the battle when no one knows who you are!

 P – Those love song dedications went out too for the record, many to sexy bodies.

You have been trying to save the planet according to your facebook page, how did this event go, was it just for the month of May?

Milk Crater is one of the blogs that shares our music. They have a really great business model that donates to charity every time you listen to a song they share. This is what they were doing in May. 

“Happy May everyone! This month we are going to try something really special on Facebook. We are going to save the planet by building the greatest music community Facebook has ever seen. For every like, share, comment, friend tag, or “engagement” of any kind on our posts, we pledge to save 5 sq. feet of forest from deforestation. EVERY SINGLE ONE! So if you like, share, and comment on this post you will have personally saved 15 sq. feet of forest.”

 

Classic post made here!

This is the last time – That we tell you to come to Mundane Mondays atThe Old Bar on Monday night. Farnsey would do it! Then he’d do your mum the cheeky bastard. Come have FARN.

I am not a John F fan but this made me laugh!  Who does the posting for your page? It is a great idea to have humor in your posts!

J – Haha that was Paul! We all take turns posting but the Dad jokes are usually Paul’s doing.

 P – Yeah any excuse to get Farnsy on your page. I also toyed with Jerry Seinfeld’s “I’m telling you for the last time” as the joke.

Now about your dual single release, ‘Saturday’ and B side ‘Skeleton’

Jess, I love how your Aussie accent is so recognizable throughout the song. I also love how the song makes me feel, it is so cheery. Is that something that you wanted your listeners to feel?

J – The guitars in Saturday sound so happy I love it. I feel like my voice lends a sadness to the song which is kind of nice. I guess my accent just shines through. I used to hate the sound of my voice but now I love how different it sounds.

How does you writing process go? Is it a whole band approach?

J – We like to refer to Paul as ‘the benevolent dictator’. He arranges the music.

P – It’s easier to have one person in charge of things like that I think, as long as that person is me.

hahaha! Love it, and that is what I mean about how working with my husband would not work out well! 🙂

Is there a story behind the song Saturday? 

P – There’s stories behind all of the songs, but usually they’re not as exciting as you might think. This is one of those. Some songs I thought were really deep and powerful when I was 18 I now realize are about complete rubbish.

 J – I have a story in my head but I haven’t shared it with anyone.

I actually prefer the B side ‘Skeleton” It is more of a song that I will add to my playlist when I am cooking and dance around while listening. Is there a story behind the meaning of this song? It is stuck in my head now! I like that!

P – Again, I don’t like to give anything away, but I was watching a VICE documentary on erotic quicksand at the time.

 J – Paul writes the catchiest songs! I go to sleep with them in my head and wake up with them still in there in the morning. The response to Skeleton has been unexpectedly positive. Josh, who recorded our tracks, really liked it so we decided to record it and release it as a B-side.  Saturday got a great reaction but Skeleton has blown it out of the water. It’s a lovely surprise. 

 You are heading off to bunker down for the Winter, hopefully somewhere with a very good heater, being in Melbourne you will need one!

Where are you planning on bunkering down? 

We’re actually going to do some recording with a friend of ours in Cairns. No heater required! He has recorded and produced some bands we really like and we’re super excited to work with him.

I would love to join you just for the weather and the beach! Do you find that your writing process is much easier when there are no other distractions? 

J – We write music in our attic, sometimes Paul does it when I’m sleeping. I’m pretty sure I’m the biggest distraction!

Live BF

 

The aim is to compete your EP. You have five tracks planned, so you already have two great songs, Do you think the other songs will have a different sound?

J – We have over twenty tracks written already. We are recording a six song EP with all new material. We have so much stuff we’re keen to share.

 P – There’s a lot of songs we have to choose from, but I think we’ll end up making an EP that shows all of the different angles we’re coming from. The word “country-esque” has been bandied about.

Once you have finished writing you are hopping into a van and then heading up the east coast of Australia to get your music out there. Can you tell us about the tour? Are you having support bands?

P – The tour is going from the top (Cairns), right down back to Melbourne. We’re stopping in Brisbane and Sydney on the way too. We’re lining up the support bands as we speak, but at the moment we have a healthy network of friends in these cities that have rad bands of their own. 

After your tour what are your plans for the rest of the year? Maybe a rest sometime!

P – The tour is going to include the recording of our EP, so as soon as it’s mixed and mastered we’ll try to get a physical release happening, and then it’s back on to promoting again!

Thanks for your time, I wish you all the best with all your plans this year and beyond. I do hope you get a rest sometime as well!

Jen

 

 

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