Interview with Be'lakor
By: Joey Jadam - 2013-01-20
Interview with George Cosmas (The Vocalist) of Be'lakor
1. To start off, your music is very progressive and technical, with a style much different than any other death metal band. How did this musical direction come together?
It wasn't a conscious choice on anybody's part - it simply represented all of our various interests and tastes coming together. The one thing that really linked us all together as songwriters was a love of interesting, powerful melodies. This meant we would often experiment with quite complex layers of melodies/harmonies to try and come up with something cool. I think this is where the progressive/technical edge comes from.
2. Your choice of album art, especially for the last two albums, has been quite different and far from direct. How do these album covers reflect your music and the main message you want to transmit?
The link between our album art and the music is nearly always thematic rather than a direct depiction. That is, the album art represents the same themes and concepts that we explore on the album rather than directly showing something from the lyrics. We're not really a band that has ever tried to transmit a message - we like to instead explore ideas we find interesting through stories.
3. What is your main goal as a band?
To keep making albums, playing shows and enjoying life!
4. Your dream accomplishment?
I think we're quite an ambitious band - we've always tried to grow and expand our listener base. But I think the main reason for this is that we get a buzz out of people enjoying our music. It's very satisfying to know that some people love what you're doing (even if others don't!).
5. With the start of the New Year, what are some of Be’lakor’s plans for 2013?
Write and begin making album number three! We're trying a few different things out with respect to how we rehearse as a band, and record our music, so there will be a lot of new things for us to learn this year. We're really looking forward to it!
6. I understand you guys are all good friends and hang out together outside the band. Can you walk me through Be’lakor’s atmosphere outside the band and the usual things you do together?
That is correct - we're all good friends. We do normal stuff, really. Go out for coffee, food, see movies, play games, go to the gym etc. We also love to star gaze from time to time - John has a rather nice telescope.
7. What is your favorite show that you have played so far and what made it so special?
I am afraid I am going to be a bit boring and obvious and say Summer Breeze in 2012 - for the simple reason it was so much bigger than anything we'd played before. It was a a great experience.
8. What was it like coming up as a death metal band in Australia? How do you think it would have been different coming from another country?
It was great - lots of cool people and shows. I think it's much more difficult to grow internationally from Australia than other countries - for the simple reason that you can't play shows anywhere else. You have to be persistent. I am not sure about any other differences.
9. What qualities do you share with other death metal bands from your home country? Are you friends with any?
Yes, we're friends with quite a few other bands - particularly Okera and Arbrynth from Melbourne. We all share similar qualities in the feel of our music - I think there's a great (albeit small) melodic scene in Melbourne at the moment. We also have a lot of respect for other local bands like Eyefear and Ne Obliviscaris.
10. From a previous interview, Steven mentioned that “much of our inspiration comes from thoughts on mortality, our place in the universe and the harsh and unforgiving nature of life itself.” What made you pick these as the main influence for your lyrics?
I think it's very difficult for any curious/thoughtful person not to explore these issues - they really strike at the core of human attempts to understand reality. I couldn't imagine leaving them out.
11. How do you think you have matured as a band since your formation?
We've definitely become far more discerning and tough on our own music. When we made The Frail Tide, we were just so pleased to be doing something that nearly every riff we wrote was included. Now, we throw out the majority of our ideas. We'll often pull apart a riff or a song and re-write it. It takes much longer to write music this way, but I think the quality of our songs has improved because of it.
12. Moving on to Jorzine’s favorite questions that have to do with the Middle East, is there any specific country you would like to visit or do a show in in the Middle East?
We're open to playing in any country. In the Middle East, Jordan would certainly be high on our list - it seems to have a very strong scene. BILOCATE are on the same label as us (Kolony Records) and are an excellent band.
13. Finally, any message to your fans in the region?
Deepest thanks for your support. Please keep in touch and, hopefully, we'll play a show for you soon!
Thanks a lot for your time!
Thanks Joseph - much appreciated.