Contributed by angele, Posted by Union Label Group Interviews

From the girl who brought you the Guttermouth interview, here's one with Steve, singer of Canadian skatepunk band Belvedere. Click READ MORE for the goods, and click here to read a review of the concert this interview came from.

ANGIE: First, you guys have been really busy right, Warped Tour and also Europe with the Satanic Surfers. Is that how you met Snitch, in Europe for this tour?
STEVE: Yeah, well the Union label go over there quite often and Snitch is from Switzerland and they kind of all work together so they brought them over a few times. They were supposed to come with us on this tour but didn’t make it.
A: Yeah, I heard. What happened?
S: I think one of them got really sick but I’m not exactly sure about the whole story.
A: So they didn’t even play any dates?
S: No, which is really too bad cause they’re a really good band.
A: Damn, I would have liked to have seen them. So right now you guys are working on a split with Downway.
S: Yes, we just finished recording it; I actually have a copy of it in the van.
A: You and Downway have always been close bands right. One of your first tours was with them right…
S: Oh yeah, we’re really good friends with those guys we both live in Calgary and they’re the first band that we really got along with and we just kind of started touring.
A: And I heard the split is being produced by Brian Baker (Bad Religion) and Steve Hansgen (Minor Threat) was it cool working with them?
S: Yeah, it was great, they were really cool guys. They were so mellow and laidback and we were just all stressed out and we didn’t know what to do, they were just like whatever. Yeah, they did a great job at everything, I know it’s probably sound wise, are best stuff yet, so…
A: I can’t wait to hear it. So after this tour, what’s next for Belvedere, any missions?
S: Umm, after this tour it’s vacation time cause, we never have a vacation really, I don’t know if you noticed but we’re always on tour so yeah, we go home until probably mid February and then we’re going back to Europe.
A: Are you releasing anything else soon, aside from the split?
S: Well, the split will be out the third week of February but January we’re right back to work and we’re going to start writing another full length album that will probably be out before the summer, hopefully so yeah we’re pretty busy…
A: Yeah you are, it’s insane and your drummer situation…
S: It’s all taken care of, Graham. He’s totally in this, he’s permanent and he’s by far the best drummer we’ve ever played with.
A: Cause it’s kind of always been a problem for you guys right?
S: It has been for the last year and a half to two years, since Jason Walters left. We had Chris then Chris didn’t work out, so we had a replacement, hey that’s Graham, say hi! Um yeah we had a replacement from Pennsylvania Joey, he was on the tours with the Suicide Machines, Warped Tour and Europe and he was really cool. He filled in for us while we were on the search and we tried out about a dozen different drummers and Graham won! He made it, I don’t know if that’s a good thing to him or not but he’s in either way.
A: I heard too, that you do all your bookings and you don’t have an agent?
S: We used too up until recently. But we’ve had a couple now actually for awhile now. I still book shows but Duncan from Union Label Group books all our shows in Canada and Royal Flush Entertainment does all our stuff in the States. But I still do some shows and I helped with a chunk of this tour so…
A: That’s means you deal with the promoters everything, the shit of it all…
S: Yes, I keep busy, so when I’m not on tour I usually do that so…
A: Are any of the fans surprised to hear you’re from Canada?
S: I wouldn’t say their surprised but they definitely had a good time. Every show in Europe was amazing. The Satanic Surfer shows were good the No Use For A Name shows were great, all the shows were great. We really had fun and the kids were just going crazy and I’d never been to Europe before so we were all stocked about it.
A: Your big cross Canadian tour was with Strung Out and Bad Religion…
S: Yeah, that was the first big one back in 1999, we had done a lot of Western U.S touring and Canadian touring, we had probably been on the road almost a year and a half before that but it was the first time we went all the way out to Nova Scotia.
A: I heard that Strung Out were infamous for pulling pranks, did you guys ever become victims?
S: I think they probably became more victims to our pranks, lol. No, they were cool, we didn’t really have a whole prank session but all those guys were such great guys, Chris, Jordan, Jake they’re really cool guys. They played the Sno Jam in Calgary and we keep in touch as much as possible.
A: Um, your new songs off ‘T’was Hell Said Former Child’ are so fucking technical, I’m sorry but you blew away your other albums…
S: Thanks…
A: Do you think that’s cause you work so much more on your songs now being that music is such a big part of your lifestyle now or you’ve all just grown as musicians, got better on guitar?
S: I mean, I think it’s a few different things. We’re not really trying to go out and make a technical album, cause I don’t think that’s our thing, we have a really nice balance between catchy songs but also with technical stuff in it too, but I mean when ‘Because No One Stopped Us’ that was 1998 and that’s quite awhile ago, almost 5 years ago. Every album we’re trying to do things differently, we don’t want to put out the same album. I think when people listen to our albums it still sounds like us but it’s just different.
A: You are one of the only bands, were you usually hear their first album and you’re like, this is the best and the other albums aren’t as good, but with you guys I’m just like what’s going to be next!
S: That’s cool, I’m glad to hear people think our stuff gets better, because I feel it gets better too.
A: I’ve never seen a band grow so much from one album to the next.
S: We spend a lot of time separately writing, I have an 8-track at home and I write stuff, and when Jason’s home he writes all the time and Scott too. It works out really good that way cause then we all have a lot of ideas. We’ll write stuff then bring it to the rest of the band and we’ll all throw are two cents in and it’s always a better song after everybody’s kind of tossed into it. We work really well together and I’m really stocked about how the new stuff is going to turn out. I hope kids like the new stuff, it is different than the stuff we put out before but every album is different, I think its stuff that maybe people might not expect but at the same time I think they’ll probably expect it. I don’t think it’s too far off.
A: To elaborate on ‘Repetition Rejection’ do wish you ever could sign off, just say fuck it all…
S: Sign off, um, just get out of it?
A: Yeah.
S: No it’s too much fun, it really is, I mean you get home sick, you get tired and I mean you get burned out cause pretty much since the Mad Caddies tour last year we’ve been on tour so we’re definitely burnt out. But there’s so many opportunities coming up, we’ve had offers to go to Japan and Brazil it’s kind of like why not just to keep going but it’s not a serious thought as of yet.
A: Do you think it will happen though?!
S: I think we might go to Japan before the summer but… We have two records out in Japan and our new one got released in Brazil, so we’re hoping that they’ll bring us down.
A: Umm, well that’s about it, any final words of wisdom before signing off…
S: I don’t know, maybe if you’re going to be in a band definitely tour because you like it cause it usually takes about 10yrs to get anywhere which is pretty much where we’re headed so, it’s been about seven years now and you just really have to love it, we’ve been playing shows on the road for so many years now and everyday we still love it, if not go and find something else to do and for god sakes play fast, I’m sick of bands slowing down…
A: That’s awesome and why we all admire Belvedere! Well, thank you so much…
S: Thank you.
A: And good luck on your tour.