San Jose quintet Belle Noire are currently celebrating the release of their new album, What It Means To Be, and for good reason. In the four year gap between the band's self-titled EP and their new full-length, they have not only grown considerably and overcome many hardships, but have also honed in on a sound that is all their own. With What It Means To Be out now and tour dates coming up with Hail The Sun and Eidola, this summer promises to be a great one for Belle Noire.
Interview by Dom Vigil
Can you tell us a little bit about Belle Noire for anyone who may not be familiar?
We are an alternative reverb rock quintet from San Jose, CA!
You guys just released your new full-length, What it Means to Be on July 15th. What can listeners expect to hear on this release?
You can expect to hear an honest crack to make the most heartfelt collection of songs we were able to make.
For What it Means to Be, you teamed up with Dryw Owens, who also recorded your single, “Sleep.” What do you feel Dryw was able to bring to the table when working on the full-length? How do you feel he affected the album?
He has become a 6th member of the band essentially. He's a dear friend of ours, and an exceptional talent. He has the ability to know when to make suggestions, and it's never a personal kind of thing, it's a mutual respect and common goal to make the best music we can make.
You recently released “Green” from the album. What does this track mean to you?
"Green" was easily the hardest song for me to lay down, both vocally and on guitar. Not to mention that I rewrote the vocals a few times. We wanted to write a song that didn't repeat a part instead of the whole verse chorus thing, but still make it memorable and catchy.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome when working on What it Means to Be?
We went through several personal things on this record away from the band that made progress very hard to make. But we saw it through and I believe we are stronger for it.
What was the highlight or the best part about working on the album?
For me it was the hours and hours spent dialing In guitar tones. Dryw and I both are singing guitar players, and we have a lot in common stylistically, musical taste and tonal preferences. So honestly it didn't feel like we were spending a ton of time on tones, but before we knew it hours had passed. Vocals were fun too. Non musical related- rolling rocks, and dollar tree/Popeyes snack trips.
There’s a four year gap between your self-titled EP and What it Means to Be - how do you feel you’ve grown or evolved between these two albums?
We were such a new band when we wrote and released the EP. We still love those songs, but I feel we've progressed and improved as songwriters. We are a fortunate group to have what we have, 3 guitarists and no one putting "their part" over what's good for the song as a whole.
What would you like listeners to be able to take away from What it Means to Be or your live performances?
We put everything into our live show. It means everything to us. These songs are all written from personal events, and feel it translates live.
After What it Means to Be drops, you’ll be hitting the road with Hail The Sun and Eidola for a few dates! What are you most excited about on these upcoming shows?
Seeing a bunch of new places with our friends! We are thrilled that this record is finally happening, and we are pumped to play it!
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Thanks for having us! Please buy "what it means to be" available at most online retailers July 15th!! Thank you to anyone who's supported us over the years!