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SPOTLIGHT ON THE BELLIGERENTS

Another Way Of Living is out now!

Image: Supplied.


Brisbane five-piece The Belligerents recently unveiled their new EP, Another Way Of Living, marking their first body of work in five years. We caught up with the band to unpack the release and more!


Produced by front man Lewis Stephenson and ARIA Award winning producer and bassist Konstantin Kersting, Another Way Of Living is driven by euphoric melodies, heralded by shimmering synth work. Bringing a newfound maturity and confidence to the body of work, the songs vividly documents memories of growing up, with vivid lyricism capturing universally relatable moments of the human existence.


Forming in 2010, the band released their debut album SCIENCE FICTION in 2017, and went on hiatus following their 2018 run of live shows. Now, they're back and better than ever!



Congratulations on the release of your new EP, Another Way Of Living. The release documents memories of growing up as well as capturing universal moments of human existence. What prompted this conceptual exploration for these tracks?


I think this is probably the first release for Belligerents where Lewi has really put a lot of effort into the lyrics and has written about his own experiences rather than having concept driven tracks or phonetically nice sounding songs. To me it feels like it’s the most personal release, dealing with things like relationships and the melancholic feeling of growing up and the growing pains that comes with. I think when people listen to this one it’ll most likely be the most immediately relatable release we’ve put out.




How did the EP involve throughout its creation, from initial ideas to the body of work we hear today?


Lewi started the EP in his home studio in Melbourne, he recorded a lot of it down there. He flew up to Brisbane to my studio and I added a bunch of stuff on a few of the tracks, some of the other ones we mixed straight away. It was less of a full band effort on this one, which is a new process for us - on our previous EP’s we had the whole band in the studio playing in parts and recording lots of stuff live, for this one we switched to a more modern sample based production approach.




The EP arrives after a hiatus from working together. How do you think that time apart helped your creative process evolve when it came to penning this new collection of songs?


I can’t speak for Lewi but I think he’s really come into his own as a writer. Whereas in the past he’s maybe shied away from getting too personal in his songs I feel like that’s exactly what he’s done on this release. Creatively the time apart meant that both Lewi and I had worked on a ton of other releases in the meantime and we were both a lot more confident in our writing and production capabilities than we were on the last album.




You’ve shared some great music videos for Emily and 9 Times Out Of 10. How important are the visuals to you in terms of creating a visual identity for your music?


Visuals are super important to us - I’ve always loved having a really late night and ending up on someone’s couch at 4am watching great music videos. We wanted to make sure that the videos we put out would be videos that we’d personally put on to show our friends, not just a lazy accompaniment to the music.




How did you arrive at the euphoric synth-laden sonic realm the EP exists within?


Not sure, I think that’s just the way Lewi tends to write. Euphoric with a hint of melancholy.




If Another Way Of Living was a piece of pre-existing visual art, which artwork would best capture the EP?


Maybe one of the colourful Jackson Pollock paintings?




Which song off the EP would you pick to play to someone who had never heard your music, to make them an instant fan and why?


9 Times Out Of 10 - I feel like that one sums up what we do as a band the best in the shortest amount of time possible.




Is there a particular line or lyric from the album you’re most proud of, or one that you return to more often than the rest?


I like - "Oh I, I wanna be your handsome man, so just tell me I’m good enough".




Will fans be able to catch you on tour, and what can audiences expect from one of your live shows?


We’ll be playing a run of dates later in the year and you can expect all of us to be absolutely bricking it because we haven’t played a show in 4 years.




How important do you think live music is not only for yourself as a musician showcasing your art, but also for the audience members who resonate with your music?


We haven’t been a live band for a little while so we weren’t directly affected by the last two years. I think live music is incredibly important, both for the artists and for the fans - it’s a different type of energy than just listening to a record at home. More of a full body experience?



RAPID FIRE


Best song of 2021 so far?

Easy - The Game feat Kanye.


Hannah Montana or Miley Cyrus?

Miley.


What was the first song you loved to sing?

Quit Playing Games With My Heart by The Backstreet Boys.


A song you would love to cover on tour?

Perfect Stranger - Madonna.


Album you would listen to on repeat on a road trip?

A Deeper Kind Of Understanding - War On Drugs.

First concert you went to?

Backstreet Boys.


First album you ever bought?

Spice Girls debut.


Guilty music pleasure?

No such thing. All music is good.


An artist you think has had the most influence on the music industry.

Kanye West.


The moment you knew you wanted to be a musician?

When I realised I wasn’t very good at anything else.



Another Way Of Living is out now!