So here we are February 2nd. I know that we are a music based company, but I am very excited for Sunday as the Patriots play the Falcons. Go Pats is all I will say. We have got an amazing duo today by the name Belle of the Fall. Tracy Walton & Julia Autumn Ford are musical soulmates and their sound just takes over you. Before we get to chat with them lets check some music news. First up, Three-month-old Indie music streaming service Radical Indie –http://www.radicalindie.com – has seen exponential growth month-over-month every month since launch. “Even with our phenomenal user uptake, most of our artists are missing out on the best promotional hack ever, Radical’s one-touch live BroadCast feature,” said CEO Thomas McAlevey.”To call attention to how Radical can combine its global reach with this unique BroadCasting functionality to help grow an artist’s fanbase, we figured the most fun way was to launch a modern version of an old-school radio-style promotion.” In other news, Twickets, the fan-to-fan face-value ticket reseller, today hired its first staff member outside the UK to kick off its Australian operation. Twickets has hired Danny Hannaford, former Head of Ticketing at Global Live, a major national promoter and part of Ashley Tabor’s Global Entertainment, to head its Australian operation. Relocating from the UK to Melbourne, Hannaford has worked in the live industry for eight years and is tasked with forging partnerships with Australia’s leading promoters, artist managers and venues – https://www.twickets.co.uk. So now lets get to Belle Of The Fall. As we noted this group is a duo and their music speaks volumes. Their new album, ‘Earthbound’ is out now and it is well worth a listen. Join me today as we speak on Pres Trump, how Tracy and Julia came together, streaming revenue, and much more!
Stoli: Where are we talking from today and how is 2017 so far?
BF: We are in CT. Things are good so far. We are in the studio working on our second album and shooting some videos. We have some great shows coming up so it will be good to get back out on the road. We did 133 shows in 21 states last year so the goal is to surpass those numbers.
Stoli: Today we swear in Trump as POTUS. How do you feel about that if anything at all?
BF: It still hasn’t really sunk in. It’s crazy to think people became so angry with the status quo that they would actually vote for Trump. Hopefully he will surround himself with good people and do good things. It is sad how divided the country is. On our end we try to work with kids through songwriting programs. Hopefully if we can get kids to be empathetic and kind we can actually have change. I am not very hopeful that any politician is going to change things for the better.
Stoli: When did Belle Of The Fall form and how did you decide on that name?
BF: We formed in July of 2015. The name just randomly came to me as I was driving one day. The fact that it can mean something different to everyone was attractive to us.
Stoli: Both Tracy and Julia are amazing musicians. What is your secret to keeping that musical chemistry and creativity alive?
BF: We both genuinely like to sing and make music together so it just stays fresh. We never actually sit down to rehearse. We just hang out most days working on new music or videos so we end up playing a bunch of songs. We like to learn songs and write harmonies. The challenge of getting intricate vocal harmonies is satisfying for both of us. I actually still practice bass, where Julia does not actually sit down to practice on her own. She just constantly sings so it’s a form of practice.
Stoli: You play shows very frequently which is awesome. Who takes care of booking and what do you love most about playing live?
BF: I take care of all the booking and business. Julia is not very business minded.
I like the sense that we are all part of a shared experience that we get when playing live. That moment when we hit that spot where we are channeling the music and you can feel it in the room. It’s hard to get there, but when we do it’s magic. I like seeing people’s reaction to it when it happens. There is an acknowledgment between us and the audience that something special just happened.
Stoli: I really am enjoying your album, ‘Earthbound.’ How long did you write/record and what studio did you use?
BF: We recorded most of it in January and February of 2016 and released it in April. Most of the songs were written in 2016 with Many Worlds Collide and Don’t Give Up One Me, being hold overs from our respective solo work.
I own On Deck Sound Studio in CT so we do all off our recording here. It’s a nice luxury to have a studio at our disposal. Julia works here as well so it’s nice that she can engineer while I play. John Roper who also works here usually comes in to mix for us as we tend to get a bit too close to the tunes and it’s nice to have a 3rd set of ears.
Stoli: I love your song, “This Time.” What does that song mean and how did that come to be?
BF: That was the last song written for the album. We sing a lot of harmonies live and the new album features a bunch of songs that have two part harmony though the entire song. We realized when we thought we were done with Earthbound that there weren’t any songs where we sang the entire thing together. I picked up my guitar and it just kind of came all at once. We wrote the harmony vocals the next day and recorded it keeping it real stripped down and close to our live version. I never like to say what my songs mean as I think they are open to interpretation. I like the thought that songs can mean different things to different people.
Stoli: What are your thought on streaming sites like Spotify & Soundcloud. You get to expose your music to masses, but it can be tough to generate revenue. What say you?
BF: We are in the mode of building a fan base right now so the more people that hear our songs the better. We have had people that come to shows that found us randomly through spotify so in that way it’s a good thing. It would be nice to see the royalty rate be a little more artist friendly at some point.
Stoli: When you are not making music what other passions do you have and how much time per week goes to the band?
BF: We like watching Christopher Guest movies. Right now Waiting for Guffman is our favorite. Other than that it’s pretty much all music, although Julia has a dog that she likes to play with. We usually work 5 days per week. Usually 7 hours per day on average. Even then it seems like there is never enough time.
Stoli: If President Trump can fix one issue in the US, what is most important issue to you?
BF: It would be nice if he could bring the country together. Democrats/Republicans, Liberal/ Conservative… It feels like we have never been so divided and unwilling to accept the views of others.
Stoli: What is coming up for Belle of the Fall and where you @ online?
BF: We hope to wrestle this new album to the ground soon and release it in the Spring. We have some videos coming out including a new live series where we are going out with a mobile rig and filming one take versions of songs on top of mountains or anywhere that seems appealing. We have some festivals coming up and we will be out traveling the country playing shows. Go to www.belleofthefall.com to find out more than you want to know about us.