BE’LAKOR impressed me with their latest album. So much that I wonder why I haven’t heard/checked them out before. But as they say there’s no time like now. Anders Ekdahl ©2012
You are being described as the no 1 Aussie death metal act. Are you guys really the great white hope for Aussie metal?
-I certainly would not describe us as the number one Australia death metal act – there’s no doubt that Psycroptic hold that position! I think we’re part of a large group of upcoming Australian metal bands that are doing fairly well. It’s great that the rest of the world is starting to pay a bit of attention to the Aussie scene.
We live in an age where people get signed based on how many “likes” they have on Facebook or how hits they got on Myspace. How fragile is the success of social media and what does it really mean in the real world?
-I think the success of social media is actually quite tangible – it provides a direct connection between a band’s music and their listeners. The great thing about it is that bands can grow and promote their music without being dependent on labels (who take most of their money).
When you are on your third album and the really great success hasn’t really happen where do you find motivation to carry on?
-We’re very pleased with the level of success we’ve had to date. We never set out to become massive rock stars anyway (which, incidentally, is hardly possible for a death metal band!) – we just wanted to make music we enjoyed listening to and that was well received by others. So far, the band has let us tour Europe twice and meet lots of great people. That’s more than enough motivation for us to keep doing what we do.
We live in an age where there are no borders thanks to the net. But what physical difficulties are there to be on the other side of world?
-Without a doubt, time and money. When we want to play overseas we need to take about 50% of our year’s annual leave from work and spend a tremendous amount of money on flights. It’s very expensive to fly five band members across the world!
When you play shows in Europe do you feel that you get more attention simply because you are from Australia? You must be an exotic part of any festival.
-We certainly have been blown away by the welcome we’ve received from European metal heads. Whether this is due to the novelty of us being Australian, or the fact that our music simply resonates with Europeans – it’s hard to say. I don’t think being Australian is particularly exotic though – we’re all of European heritage anyway.
How important is it to find the right album title? What does “of Breath and Bone” mean to you guys?
-It’s very important. It took us a long time (and a lot of debate) before we arrived at ‘Of Breath and Bone’. It reflects the duality of the album cover and the underlying duality of our lyrics, which often explore the way in which we are driven to act, create and destroy while the knowledge and possibility of nothingness sits beneath each of our thoughts. The question it raises is whether death gives life absolute meaning or renders everything meaningless. I think the listener could draw any number of conclusions.
Do you feel that you have to follow a certain code when you write lyrics? What are you main themes for lyrics?
-Not at all – we write about any idea or concept which we find interesting. We will often explore those ideas by telling a story, rather than directly. The main themes of our music are those set out in my earlier answer; the nature of reality, death and the often false assumptions that underpin life.
Has it been important to you guys to have a band name that people have to look for the explanation to instead of a common and easy to decipher word?
-I would have to say not really. ‘Be’lakor’ has no particular meaning or special relevance – it’s just a name that we thought sounded unique and compelling. If people spend time looking for an explanation, they’re certainly on the wrong track!
When you play melodic death metal what is the single most important thing to think about? Do you set rules that you must follow or can anything go?
-Melodic death metal, for us anyway, is without a doubt music that people listen to for its emotive capacity. It’s therefore critical that the music has plenty of feeling and moves the listener emotionally. We don’t have any rules, but we always set out to create compelling melodies and harmonies.
What future is there for you guys?
-A fourth album and hopefully a few more overseas tours! It goes without saying that we’d like to return to Europe, but we’d also love to play in the USA (where we’ve never been) and perhaps in Asia. We’re really enjoying the band at the moment, so it’s something we’d like to keep going as long as possible.