Interview: The Belle Game

The Belle Game From left: Alex Andrews, Rob Chursinoff, Andrea Lo, Adam Nanji, Katrina Jones
The Belle Game
From left: Alex Andrews, Rob Chursinoff, Andrea Lo, Adam Nanji, Katrina Jones

We caught Andrea Lo, one fifth of dark pop act the Belle Game, on the road in between shows to talk about touring and the new music video for “River.”

LotusLand: Hey there, polar bear! Your first task is to briefly introduce yourself.

Andrea Lo: [Laughter] Hi! I’m Andrea from the Belle Game. Well, I’m the singer in the Belle Game.

LL: So you’re in the midst of a crazy tour right now. How’s that going?

AL: It’s going really, really well. We’re currently in the car, driving from Montreal to Quebec City, where we’re going to be joining up with Bear Mountain, our friends from back in Vancouver, to finish up our tour. So we’re really excited.

LL: Awesome! So what made you decide to tour together?

AL: Well, we’re friends, and we just love their music, we get along, and it seems like a good recipe.

LL: We’re looking forward to seeing you in Vancouver on November 9th. On any given night, what songs do you look forward to playing the most?

AL: We just had this really cool opportunity out in Banff, where we had the chance to work with Kevin Drew and Charles Spearin from Broken Social Scene. When we were out there we managed to work on a couple songs that we’ll hopefully add to our next album, and we’re test driving them right now. We’ll test them when we get back home, and I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone’s reaction.

LL: Sounds like it’s going to be a solid set. What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened during one of your shows?

AL: Oh, jeez. I can’t even remember, it’s all sort of a blur. [Laughter] Just recently we played in Philadelphia and Adam whacked his guitar against one of the monitors and then one of the tuning knobs fell off. So that was an interesting one to deal with.

LL: Lots of fun. You’ve just released your music video for “River,” which came out super recently. Did you have any hand in creating the video?

AL: We left it up to Kheaven Lewandowski, who basically directed and came up with the whole concept. We worked with him previously in “Wait Up For You,” where we were more involved in the plot of the music video. Working with him on “River,” we just decided that he’s such a genius and we trust his instincts and his art, so we let him take the lyrics and interpret them in whatever way he thought represented them best.

LL: When you hear “River,” the first thought in your mind isn’t “Japanese rent boys,” but seeing it presented that way it does match up.

AL: Yeah, it does, definitely.

LL: Besides the usual excitement surrounding a music video release, you’ve recently earned a lot of attention with glowing reviews of Ritual Tradition Habit from all over, you had some of your music on Grey’s Anatomy… How has the buzz affected you as a band?

AL: The buzz has been really good. It’s been really important in keeping the momentum going for us, it’s beneficial in the sense that we’re going out on the road now and we have this buzz supporting us. Hopefully we’ll have some more people coming out to our shows. We’ve also seen a steady increase in our Facebook and Twitter followers, which is always a good thing. Our music is reaching more people thanks to these things like Grey’s Anatomy and Pitchfork and Rolling Stone and whatnot. It’s great.

LL: Speaking of getting new listeners to hear your music, if you wanted to introduce someone to your sound what would be the best song and the best way to make them listen to it?

AL: Man, I think the “River” music video is pretty spot on. That’s a good introduction.

LL: Sweet. Now, the Belle Game is a super cool band name, but most groups take quite a bit of time to come up with something good to call themselves. In the process, they tend to create some of the worst possible band names. Did you come up with anything truly awful before choosing yours?

AL: No, it was actually quite impulsive, the way that we came up with the Belle Game. We didn’t have lots of time for error before that. But there have been some really awful working names in the process of creating songs. For example one of older songs was “Neck Brace.”

LL: [Laughter]

AL: [Laughter] Pretty much anything goes, nothing serious. We were lucky enough not to have to struggle through a bunch of really terrible band names, though. I remember once in high school I had a little cover band with Adam [Nanji] and we named it Radikool—with a “k”—after my guitar teacher’s old 80s rock band. That’s pretty embarrassing.

LL: [Laughter] That’s… that’s wonderful.

AL: [Laughter] It was very short lived.

LL: That’s a shame. Is there anything you’d like to say before we wrap up?

AL: No, that about covers it. We’re really looking forward to continuing our tour and hoping that people decide to come out and join us, we’re excited to be on the road with Bear Mountain, and we’re excited get out to the US for the first time.

LL: Well, thank you muchly for taking the time to talk to us!

AL: Thanks for chatting!

LL: Peace out, bean sprout.

AL: Take care.

The Belle Game play the Vogue Theatre on November 9th with Bear Mountain.

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