RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW BIRMINGHAM BAND FINDING BELLA
Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.
What made you decide to start the band?
Oli: The band originally formed in the latter half of 2020 in the middle of the pandemic. Si had watched some of my covers on YouTube and asked to get together for a jam, which we did. We then added Liam and John into the mix and started playing a few cover gigs. A year later we got Ben on board just as we started cracking on with original material and he added some serious quality to the sound!
Introduce us to all the members and your musical history?
Oli: I’m Oli, lead singer and rhythm guitar. I’ve been playing the guitar since I was 5 and it’s never out of reach, especially working from home during the pandemic.
Simon: I’m the lead guitarist and rumour has it I came out the womb with a guitar to hand and a riff being belted out. I’ve been in bands and the acoustic duo’s before, but Finding Bella has been a completely new experience.
Ben: I play keyboards/synth. I was brought up on the classical piano and so now adding an indie twang to that base is great fun.
Liam: I’ve been playing bass since the band formed. I tickle an acoustic from time to time and have been loving the journey so far.
John: I’ve been hitting the pots and pans since I can remember. I was in a band with Si a few years ago so it’s nice to be together again making music.
What’s one question you’re sick of being asked when interviewed?
Liam: How did we come up with the name. It is symbolic of the area we are all from but there’s no getting away from the dark roots, quite literally.
Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories?
John: I would tell you, but the CIA is tracking my phone. I’ll tell you in a dimly lit car park, bring a tin foil hat.
Did you buy anything you don’t need in the pandemic?
Liam: A pool table – it barely fit in the lounge and had to go once the pubs re-opened.
What useless party trick do you have?
Oli: Professional beer mat flipper, no stack is too high.
What was the most fun you have had on stage?
Oli: Our gig in February at the 02 Academy was pretty mental. The crowd were pretty vocal and the adrenaline was pumping on stage.
What was the worst experience on stage?
Ben: We played a gig at the HMV Empire Coventry and didn’t get to sound check. That was a pretty tough gig.
Tell us something about each member that you think people would be surprised about?
Oli – set up a Chicken Wing delivery service during the lockdown, but most of the orders never left his kitchen. Ben – auditioned for a role in BBC Line of Duty as a 10 year. Sadly, got pipped at the post for the role…. what could have been! Liam – once played Tennis at Wimbledon in a U14 tournament, sadly not the championships. Si – Skateboarded to Reading from Birmingham in 2004. Probably why I now have both hips replaced. John – once accidentally evacuated a hospital, my legal team advised me not to comment further.
If you had to describe your band to an alien how would you describe it?
Simon: I would communicate directly through my Boss’s space echo pedal. A whole new planet of fans.
What makes you stand out as a band?
Liam: I think the organic way in which we formed really sets us apart. We’re ultimately 5 friends who enjoy listening to and playing music and have a passion for making the best music we can. The natural chemistry really comes across when we play live.
Right now, what’s pissing you off the most?
John: The price of Freddo’s.
What’s your favourite song to play live and why?
John: some drummers are quite measured in their performance, me not so much. My favourite song to play is our debut single “Good right now”, it’s fast-paced with a lot of energy and loads of fills, so I can really let loose while playing it.
Liam: We’ve just added another three original songs to our setlist ahead of the summer. Not to give much away, but I’m super excited to play Take Me Away.
I hear you have a new single, what can you tell us about it?
Oli: Set It Off is basically about going out with your mates and having a good time. And that was where the message and theme of the single came from really. Whether it be going to a gig, out in a bar or even in the club, Set It Off is all about that massive buzz and excitement you get when going out on the town.
Talk me through the thought process of the single?
Ben: After Good Right Now we mutually agreed this was the next banger. We took the song to Ryan at RML Studio in Wolverhampton, the same studio that recorded The Assist’s debut album, and smashed it out in a day. After that, we wanted a touch-up on the mastering so we sent it off to the famous Abbey Road Studios to finalise the track for us.
What was the recording process like?
Oli: As with most of the tunes we play, I’d written a chord progression and lyrics which were then taken to the lads in the rehearsal room. All of us then add our parts and have a play with the structure. Ben: After Good Right Now we mutually agreed this was the next banger. We took the song to Ryan at RML Studio in Wolverhampton, the same studio that recorded The Assist’s debut album, and smashed it out in a day. After that, we wanted a touch-up on the mastering so we sent it off to the famous Abbey Road Studios to finalise the track for us.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the single?
Simon: I think we’ve all learnt how to get the best out of our instruments through the recording processes. More than anything, the arrangement throughout the ebbs and flow of a song, with instruments dropping out and coming back in has been a big learning curve.
Would you change anything now it’s finished?
John: We worked tirelessly with RML and Abbey Road. We spent longer tweaking the track than it took to record, so I don’t think I’d change anything. At the end of the track, you’ll hear some bends on the hanging guitar, Oli slightly bent the neck to achieve those sounds. 3 weeks later the neck of that guitar snapped… I imagine Oli would want to avoid that In the future!
What are your plans for the year ahead?
Oli: We’ve definitely got another single after this one before we wrap it up and look forward to a massive 2023. There are loads of gigs lined up as well. We’re over in Derby and Sheffield as well of lots of local gigs in Birmingham and Worcester.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?