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Bella Lune - Interview

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Interview with: Fuchsia

Conducted by: T.V.

Bella Lune have became one of the most fascinating acts in todays goth scene. Two founders, charismatic Fuchsia and Kal3id have actually met on Fetish Ball in Phoenix and since then released two albums, five videos and one fantastic maxi single. We talked with Fuchsia about many things concerning the band and also other stuff...

T.R.: Can you represent Bella Lune to our readers?
Fuchsia: Bella Lune is an electronica band from the USA that officially began in 2007. The name translated to English means "beautiful moon". Our songs range in style from synthpop to post punk, dreampop, trip hop, new wave, dark wave, shoegaze, indie (and even some dubstep, dnb & electro house on our most recent release). The common element that ties all of the sounds together is what reviewers describe as "angelic female vocals". So far we have released three CDs and 5 music videos and have toured the west coast USA and in Japan.
T.R.: What does the name Bella Lune (beautifull moon) meaning to you, anything special?
Fuchsia: It represents the sound that we set out to create when we first began writing songs. Dark, feminine, dreamy and mysterious.
T.R.: Your latest work Ophelia got quite good response from reviewers. How are you satisfied with it?
Fuchsia: Ophelia is my favorite release of ours so far, because it has so many different styles on one cd. We also got to work with the talented Daniel Myer of Haujobb and Destroid, so that was cool.
T.R.: Ophelia from your lyrics must be a character from Hamlet. Are you fascinated by the works of William Shakespeare?
Fuchsia: The initial inspiration for our song 'Ophelia' was actually a painting by Paul Delaroche entitled 'The Young Martyr'. I bought it at The Louvre in Paris and had it hanging in our studio during the recording of the first two albums. In terms of the lyrics, I would say that our Ophelia was somewhat inspired by Shakespeare's Ophelia. He was an incredible writer. If I ever want to  ponder for awhile I will read his "Cowards of us all".
T.R.: Your lyrics are always very dramatic,... where do you get all those inspirations?
Fuchsia: I will take that as a compliment for our genre. Haha. The lyrical  inspiration is random. I pull from friends lives, my life, history and also other music, art, classic literature, film, etc. I recently put up a page on our website about my song inspirations.
T.R.: It seems that you take Ophelia maxi single very seriously, like it is a proper album,... don't take this as a critic, because I find it very good, but the truth is that except from the Joy Divisios cover song "Dead Souls" there is no new song from the band...
Fuchsia: Synesthesia just came out last year, so I still consider those songs to be pretty new. I speak highly of the new maxi single because it has a good mix of songs, old and new, with a twist. Its about as long as a full album and we put a lot of work into it. Bella Lune remixed and recorded half of the new tracks ourselves, including "The Dolly Pop Song (Deviate Mix)" , "Ophelia (Video Mix)", "Dead Souls" & "Ophelia (Riddles and Rhymes Mix)". I also re-recorded the vocals for "Underwater (The Captives Mix)" and "Ophelia (Ask For Joy Mix)". Don't worry, we are currently working on brand new material for album #3 as well.
T.R.: I find more variety in song structures on your second album Synesthesia than on your debut album. How do you describe the difference between this two albums?
Fuchsia: After we started playing live (in 2009), we realized that we needed to pay more attention to the structures and length of the songs. We started writing more for a live environment at that time. We were also more experimental with Synesthesia, which was liberating. I still like both albums equally though. They both have some really special songs.
T.R.: And which are those songs that you especially like from this two albums?
Fuchsia: If I had to choose a top 3 on each album, they would probably be: 'Transmissions', 'Silent and Still' and 'Underwater' on Abstracted Visions; And 'Denial', 'Ophelia' and 'Who Knows' on Synesthesia. This may change later based on my mood.
T.R.: I'm seeing that it has become very popular to make remixes of own successful tracks, especially in goth, synthpop, etc. genre. Why do you think it's this necessary?
Fuchsia: Remixes are fun for everyone. For the original artist, it is a real treat to hear your work reinterpreted into a new style. It gives you the chance to enjoy it with fresh ears, and hear it for the first time as a listener. For the remixer, it can lead to more exposure and/or revenue. For the fans, it gives them more new material by their favourite bands in a shorter timeframe than they would have had to wait in the past... I like it for Bella Lune specifically because it gives our music a chance to be heard and danced to in clubs, even though we are not Industrial, Dubstep, EBM, Power Noise, etc.   
T.R.: Have you already finished any new songs for third album? What can you say about them?
Fuchsia: I wouldn't say that any of the new songs are "finished", but we have a handful that are written, have lyrics and vocals and are pretty close to being done. I think the third album is going to be even more diverse than Synesthesia. Also, for the first time, Kal3id and I are encouraging our live band members to contribute to the song writing process. Dy just sent me a demo for new ballad that he wrote that is going to be incredible. It reminded me of U2 meets Curve, and ironically Dy hasn't listened to much from either of those bands!
T.R.: Do you consider Bella Lune a gothic band?
Fuchsia: I guess you could say that. We lean more toward the early/traditional/romantic side of the genre though as a basis, and expand beyond that into the realm of modern indie and electronica.
T.R.: I'll mention four bands which I believe have a big impact on your music. Please tell me what you think about each one. a) The Cure, b) Joy Division, c) Depeche Mode, d) The Sisters Of Mercy
Fuchsia: I LOVE The Cure! I have seen them live over 50 times. My ultimate goal would be to share the stage with The Cure. Joy Division is awesome, though I personally prefer their later project New Order. Kal3id and I visited Ian Curtis' grave in England in 2006. Depeche Mode is a huge influence as well. We are working on a Depeche Mode and a New Order cover currently. Sisters Of Mercy are cool. They definitely had a big impact on early gothic music in general.
T.R.: You put quite a lot of effort in making videos. How do you enjoy this process and which one was the most challenging for you?
Fuchsia: Making videos is a blast, but also very time consuming. It is worth it though on so many levels. We are fortunate enough to have a great friend, Chuck at Light Pulse Studios, who has directed and edited all of our official music videos. He is very talented and generous and none of it would be possible without him. Getting back to your question, they are all very challenging in their own way. "The Dolly Pop Song" involved a lot of planning (huge party, huge cast and crew, professional hair and makeup, green screen work, choreographed dance, costumes, getting a hearse, etc) and tons of post production, but was also the most fun to film.
T.R.: In the video mix for song "Ophelia" you used some heavier guitar riffs and in the Daniel Myers mix for the song "Blissful Escape" some industrial vibes. Are you going to use those elements more often in the future?
Fuchsia: I expected an industrial vibe from Daniel Myer and love his remix. I can see us continuing to use heavier elements on future work, but we will never abandon the ethereal and floaty side of our music either. The bands Curve and The Birthday Massacre prove that music can be pretty and heavy at the same time.
T.R.: The visual side of the band seems to be very important for you...
Fuchsia: Of course we want to look our best for photo and video shoots and performances. Its been a good excuse to get the hook up on custom couture fashions from amazing designers such as Torture Couture, Miss Construed Boutique, Vital Vein Latex, Catrina Ladell Custom Couture, Pierced Heart Fashions, etc.
T.R.: Tell me, who are the singers that had biggest influence on you?
Fuchsia: Influential female singers: Liz Fraser (Cocteau Twins), Toni Halliday (Curve), Siouxsie Sioux (Banshees), Madonna, Ali Shaw (Cranes), Kristy Thirsk (Delerium/Balligomingo), Geike Arnaert (Hooverphonic), Tori Amos, KaRIN (Collide), Miki Berenyi (Lush), Rebecca Coseboom (Halou/Stripmall Architecture), Chibi (The Birthday Massacre)... And so many more.
T.R.: Have Bella Lune a steady line up now?
Fuchsia: I believe so. I love our current lineup and the live sound. Nearly everyone is on board for the European tour this year.
T.R.: Will this tour be your first live appearance in Europe and can you already give us some details about dates and venues?
Fuchsia: This will be our second time playing overseas, but first time playing in Europe. So far we have confirmed the Bram Stoker Film Festival Vampire Ball at the Whitby Pavilion in Whitby, England on Sat. Oct 27. More to come...
T.R.: Beside Bella Lune you are also a member of another fantastic band Dreamgaze. Can you tell me something about Dreamgaze?
Fuchsia: Thank you. I personally love the sound of Dreamgaze. Its a mellow, sensual and dreamy mix of shoegaze, trip hop, and dream pop. The interesting thing about that project is it was written and recorded in two locations on opposite sides of the US. Mike Wooley lives in Detroit, MI and I live in Phoenix, AZ. We used the internet to share files and collaborate. If I recall right, we did not meet in person until after the album was done.
T.R.: I suppose that the Dreamgaze aren't a live band or am I wrong? Have you any other plans in the future with Dreamgaze?
Fuchsia: Unfortunately, Dreamgaze can never be a live band, due to our geographical challenges. Bella Lune did do a Dreamgaze song live once ("Dark Slow Deep"). Wooley and I will probably release more music in the future when the time is right. He currently has band in Detroit called The Last Ghost that sounds like The Smiths, The Cure, and the likes.
T.R.: Were you involved in any other musical project or band before you founded Bella Lune?
Fuchsia: I was in a band/duo prior to Bella Lune, but unfortunately none of those songs will ever be released (not by my choice). The other member and I wrote some amazing music together. Its unfortunate that the world will never hear it, but I did learn a lot from the experience, including how to play guitar. It also gave me the courage to create melodies and lyrics and record my vocals for the first time.
T.R.: I see that in US  the goth scene is really growing, a lot of new bands, shows, web sites, etc. How it's with this in your local area?
Fuchsia: We actually have a pretty decent goth scene here. When I go out lately though, I prefer to go to the indie/electro/dubstep club Sticky Fingers and Alternative 80s clubs like Retro and Beyond and Shadowplay. Although I never miss the quarterly AZ Fetish Ball, which is where I met Kal3id, thus making Bella Lune possible. We have opened for many dark bands here including Peter Murphy, Ohgr, Icon of Coil, My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult, Ayria, Cruxshadows, Julien K, Bella Morte, and lots more. I also run a website in my spare time which is a directory of goth related clubs, stores, local bands and performers, art galleries, cemeteries, etc.
T.R.: You mentioned before that you played in Japan. What kind of response from fans have you had there and what's the difference between Japanese and American goth scene?
Fuchsia: The people in Japan were very sweet and welcoming. We've received some great album reviews over there, and they continue to buy/support our music, which is a plus. After playing a show in a town called Niigata, we were in the train station waiting to go back to Tokyo. Out of nowhere this group of young girls in matching plaid skirts came at us and started screaming and freaking out like we were The Beatles. It was cute. There isn't that much of a difference between the Tokyo goth scene and American goth scenes. Their style ranges from the trad goths (they call it Batcave), to the more Tokyo Decadence/Takuya Angel/cyber look including lots of bright colours, fabulous makeup, hair falls and giant boots. So many people in Tokyo look goth, but they dont listen to goth music at all, such as the visual kei and lolita styles. I love their fashion, especially in Harajuku!
T.R.: Anything that you would like to say at the end of this interview?
Fuchsia: Keep an eye out for Bella Lune in Gothic Magazine this year. They are doing a review, article and interview with us soon. We are also going to be on their gothic compilation cd as well. Thank you for having us. Its been fun.