Since releasing their sophomore album ‘You, Me and Everything in Between’ just over a year ago, Belle Haven have been soaring to drastic new heights. Not only have they supported In Hearts Wake and Silverstein, they also performed at Unify 2018! Deciding to draw the ‘YMEB’ chapter of Belle Haven to a close, the five-piece are heading back out on the road for one last tour. This time they’re doing their own headline tour and are bringing along Stateside AND Casey for the ride!
Speaking to guitarist Chris Vernon about the upcoming run of shows, the first topic of conversation was about the excitement within the band. After opening with “the excitement is very different doing a headline tour compared to doing a support tour!”, Vernon enthusiastically explains “doing a support tour, you don’t know how many people are going to be there for you or know your songs; when you do a headline tour, generally people buying tickets are coming to see you play. Even though I’m answering personally, I’m pretty sure I also speak for David (Vocals) and Mara (Guitar) as we all think headlining is so much better than supporting… I wouldn’t say I speak for Tom (Bass) and Jake (Drums), because they just love playing music regardless!”
Giving insight into how Belle Haven chose their supports, Vernon points out “our booking agent Jayden had wanted to do a tour with Stateside for a while; we figured ‘why not put them as the national support?’ We pitched the idea and they were keen!” before going into greater depth about how Casey were chosen:
“We had to find an international band we liked that was small enough, but big enough to play under us on a bill that we could make work on our budget! We had a couple of other ideas that didn’t quite work out, one of which was Crooks but they were unfortunately out of our budget. We started running out of ideas and at the last minute Jayden mentioned Casey because of the interest they have on social media; it was hard to convince them at first, but once they realised things would work out and they could come play Australia they were super keen.
Since the release of ‘YMEB’, not only have Belle Haven been launched into the spotlight more, but they’ve been touching a lot of people along the way! Taking time to reflect on just how Belle Haven has been touching lives, Vernon proudly quipped “I think we played four or five shows for the Selfmade tour and after all bar one show, one or two people would come up and share stories about how the record gave them the courage to stand up for themselves. The record has an underlying theme about needing to care for yourself and not let people walk over you; not in an aggressive manner, but more from a self-preservation perspective.”
Taking time to speak to Vernon on a personal level, the interviewer was curious to find out which song was his personal favourite to perform; after explaining “I really love playing The Carving Knife live. Not only because everyone always gets into it, but there’s something about the heavier sections about that song; it just feels physically good to perform and I can express myself on stage without it feeling forced or out of time!”, Vernon than lifted the personal moment to another level as he unexpectedly gave insight into his favourite song to listen to:
“That would be By Hook Or By Crook BUT before it was mixed. I know that might sound weird but the tracking version was super raw, next to no mixing effects, very dry and super intense to listen to! Part of it is because it’s also about mine and David’s grandpa passing away; the way it’s articulated in the song was the first song in a while that genuinely made me cry.”
After finding out that Belle Haven supported Don Broco at the Corner Hotel last year, this led into Vernon proclaiming they are the best international band Belle Haven has supported since ‘YMEB’ was released. Vernon couldn’t state fast enough “those guys are really good performers and they genuinely blew my mind; I’ve been to a lot of shows and I’ve never seen a show that great before! They were also super nice guys and there were so many funny stories; one of which was the TM being real grumpy in Melbourne and yelling at everybody over absolutely nothing. Mind you, that just made for some great entertainment!
When asked about the growth that Belle Haven have undergone over the last twelve months, Vernon took us on a deeper reflection as he explains “something that Belle Haven decided a year or two ago was we needed to stop just getting up on stage and playing songs; people pay money to come see a show and there’s nothing wrong with doing more than just playing the songs. For example when we did the Selfmade tour, not only did we wear the uniforms from the video, but we also kept changing the number of the experiment on the chess piece every show. Another example is at the Northcote Social Club album launch, we did a couple of drum solos and a weird dance section along with interludes; we’ve always had this concept of adding extras to the set without taking away from what people like about the songs.”
Drawing the interview to a close, Vernon delivered one final message for fans before Belle Haven hit the road next month:
“If you haven’t already seen, this is the last tour for Jake; come down and give him a great send off! Apart from that, the only thing is I hope that people who like any song off ‘YMEB’ actually come out the shows. I can’t say it’s the last time we’re playing them, but when you play your album tour, it’s the end of the cycle and they might not get played again for a long time. So if you do like the song, don’t miss out on the chance to see them; especially in a headline aspect where it’s a full blown show!”
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