pics of the heineken yoke!
How did ye decide to reform as BellX1? Was it a hard decision?
"Emm....throwing myself back to then-it was inevitable within Juniper I suppose-we'd started to kind of work in different groups anyway, and myself and Brian were doing a lot of work, and Dave was doing a lot of his own work and stuff, so when Damien said finally that he was leaving , we said-ok lets continue. Cos we had a record deal and we had good songs, and we had a good album, and hopefully a future.
Did ye find the changeover from one name and sound to another difficult? The BellX1 sound is more relaxed, apart from the few "heavy" songs.
The album is actually far more relaxed than how we are live. I mean it's essentially some of the same people making the music, so there are similarities. I don't think anything released by Juniper was representative of the band. The b-sides kinda were, but I think we learnt a lot, in terms of sticking to your guns. In some ways we've paid for it as well, because on paper, Juniper were far more successful than we've been. But you know, I think we're much happier now that we're making the music we want to make.
Did ye get the name BellX1 from the aeroplane or where?
We did, from a movie called The Right Stuff featuring Chuck Yeagar in 19something. I forget! It's an oldie-itís a film about one of the Apollo missions, and a kind of kind of splinter story was about the BellX1-it was dropped out of a B-52 bomber, and then broke the speed of sound.
Where do ye get the inspiration for your songs?
I have no idea...they just happen. Some of it's my life, some of it's others. I don't tend to have an eclectic, or interesting life, as to have had all these experiences, so I steal other peoples.
Favourite and least favourite song of your own, and why?
I dunno-it kinda varies. I'd say "Godsong" is something I still enjoy playing, and we don't like doing "Face"-we just don't do it well-I mean it was a really hard song to record and we kinda got something out of it, but it's one of the kinda things we left behind I think, so.
Who did ye listen to when ye were growing up and did this affect your music in anyway?
Yeah I think so. Bruce Springsteen was my first love. I have no older siblings, so I was kind of introduced to music through older siblings of friends, and this one guy's older brother was a huge Sprinsgsteen fan so I really got into him. I wasn't really into it-I was never a goth, I was never a punk, I was never a mod. I think our generation, or certainly my generation, when I was 15 or 16, there wasn't as many factions. I remember there were a few two-tone boys-ska-heads. I'm from classic middle-class suburban Dublin, which is a breeding ground for the stuff. So, it was kinda strange that we kinda missed it, cos I've seen it since, and I've seen it before, but round the time we were there, it was just about fighting other peoples estates
Whats been your best and worst experience at gigs?
I'd say it was the one gig actually, the best and worst gig was-we did a gig the day of Uaneens funeral in Vicar street, which as I say, was the best and worst of times, in terms of a gig. I really didn't want to do it, but actually doing it, I found really cathartic.
Funniest band member? Would be Domnic Philips...
Laziest? would be me.
Strangest? Brian Crosby- this is good, this is all spontaneous.
Do ye get a lot of feedback from the fans?
Yeah, especially through the webpage. It's great having that-I keep saying we're going to make improvements to it and don't. I have a degree in computer engineering and I cant do anything with the webpages. Itís just a great medium to have- we get all the mails ourselves, myself and Brian do. So you do actually get to communicate with people. It's not like your office is getting loads of postcards, or letters which ye never get.
Are ye aiming for airplay and fame in Britain, or are ye gonna be sticking to Ireland ?
Yeah, we're doing a gig in London, so we're recording some new songs when we're finished this tour, and playing outside of Ireland as much as we can, cos all we've ever known is Ireland-we haven't released anything outside of Ireland yet, so try and change that.
Have any of ye changed in any way since the start of the band, or are ye still the same bunch of guys ye were a few years ago?
Yeah, course we have. We're fundamental people, probably....we have the same kind of values and stuff-so much has happened. Damien is making a solo album-it should be out at some stage this year-he's doing everything himself. He's played most things on the album. I mean, I prefer being in a band. He didn't so he left. Simple as that.
Do ye still rehearse before gigs?
No-especially this tour, we've been gigging so often, that...
Ye know it by rote?
What do you guys think of the whole Napster thing going on? Do ye reckon it's a good or a bad thing?
Yeah, they're being shutdown aren't they?
They're trying to introduce a fee, I think.
Emm....I'm all for free exchanging music, but I mean its about money at the end of the day, and Napster carries advertising and makes money from being a portal site for exchanging music, and I dont like that about it. I donít mind people exchanging our music over the web and we make nothing from it. As long as no-one else makes anything from it.
Overall your favourite:
Time of Day: Midnight
Piece of clothing: My new shoes
Word association game:
Pub: Themed Irish
Fame: passed me by...
Table : pine
Beauty : beholder
Mobile phone: death of the table quiz
these are some questions suggested by others....
Maybe ask them if they have any early plans for album two yet.
Yeah, we're recording some new songs, when we finish this tour, and then see what happens. We want to release something outside of Ireland and get to tour outside of Ireland. And they're the priorities. I feel weíre getting a bit lazy here, ands you can very easily get complacent about what we do and you can find yourself being dumped kinda, If you donít keep challenging.
Do you really believe slowset is dead, and is there a true story behind the song?
No I don't. I would imagine at junior disco's there are still slowsets, and at suburban and provincial disco's, there are still slowsets. It's just an era in my life thatís passed but I do remember thinking that the kinda standard format of a disco that everyone went to was the fast sets punctuated by slowsets. The whole club culture was so alien to me that I didnít really see beyond that. So when I was introduced to club culture, one of the glaring omissions was the slowset!
"Allright Fiens !!How many rullia songs are you pikin onto the next mosh and do you rullia fiens gonna write a mosh about the rullia gammen language Hopper uses?"
And the answer to that...noÖ.because I found out that itís not actually his language, it's Gammen-it's a travellers language-I've lost all respect. We've met the Hopper-well, I haven't , Brian has. I don't want to meet him-he should retain a sense of mystery.
Where do you`s go from here? Tour extensively or record another album? Use Nick again or someone else?
Don't know. We're not going to be touring anymore really. I mean you cant really do a more extensive tour than what we've done in Ireland and we'll definitely make more music with Nick yeah.
When have you 'made it'? What's the ultimate goal?
Oh I donít know. I donít think itís even when we're happy cos you can be happy for a million other reasons. We haven't properly entered the cycle yet of writing, recording and touring, writing, recording and touring, cos we've only done it here. When we finally properly do that, then I'll be happy.