It’s the end of November and the start of the fresh decade is drawing to a close. It definitely wasn’t the year we wanted but it's the one that we were thrust with both hands. However it seems that Bellevue Days have received the last 12 months with open arms as they make an awaited comeback with a new lineup and a brand new single.
Since the release of their 2015 EP The Sun Came Up When We Were Young south London four piece have been winning hearts all across the country with their unique brand of sludge pop. The release of their debut LP It Can’t Possibly Go Wrong Ever saw an enormous influx to their fanbase & an even bigger release tour, before the band went quiet shortly after. Now just over a year since release day, Bellevue Days make a stunning comeback with a sudden dose of alt-pop prowess in the form of 2020 Vision. With some new players behind the kit and bass - from fellow underground stalwarts Best Of Enemies no less - the new single jumps in on a slightly heavier angle and an engulfing visual to match.
Aptly titled, the quintet dive in at the deep end with big riffs and meaning taking the ball straight back into the game following Octobers ‘Remix Tapes’ - a reinvigorating take on some of their back catalogue and the first play to tantalise their fans. Tinged with grunge and enough guitar licks to make any listener tap their feet, '2020 Vision’ is yet another stellar product from the alternative heavy weights.
We sat down with frontman & vocalist Alan Smith to chat about the bands new recruits, impending releases and the future plans of Bellevue Days.
After such a quiet year it's great to have had a fresh injection of new music from the Bellevue Days camp. How have you found having to adapt to this new way of life in terms of your music?
Alan: "This year we were planning on recording new songs in some studios with producers and that, but due to the ongoing situation, we was finding it hard in booking time/ making solid plans. So we thought we’d try recording and mixing some Bellevue Days tracks for the first time in our home studios. Joe and I have been recording bits and bobs for a good 5-10 years so it was nice to work on a project which means so much to us both."
'2020 Vision' seemed to drop out of nowhere, in the hours since its release have you received much feedback from your fanbase?
Alan: "It did in a way, although I wrote the original track back in February, it took a while to get the track where we wanted in terms of direction. Man, it’s been great so far, people seem to be digging it which is more than we can ask for."
Does the release of a new single mean that album number two is in the works?
Alan: "We’re gonna be bringing out two EP’s next year, so keep an eye out for them!"
You guys have been releasing music for 5 years since your first EP and this is the first major lineup change that we’ve seen from you guys. Can you tell us a bit about that?
Alan: "I guess all I can really say about it is that people’s lives are ever changing and going in different directions, you can’t expect people to stay in the same job forever whether it be in a band or working in a bank, we had a good time with those boys and remain good friends."
Following on from this, do you feel like your change in lineup promoted the shift in sound?
Alan: "I feel like our sound has been naturally changing since the release of our debut album, I’d put this down to what our influences are these days, I’m big into all sorts of sounds and genres so it’ll be nice exploring some new sides of the band."
After working in such a tight unit for so long, how have you found transitioning into working with new musicians? Can you talk to us about how you came about recruiting the guys from Best of Enemies?
Alan: "It’s never going to be the easiest finding people who fit the exact mould of the previous guys. Saying that, these guys have added their own flair and unique quirks to the band which is positive for sure. We’ve been friends with the guys from Best Of Enemies for about 6-7 years now and have always had a close relationship with them, both very talented guys."
On a slightly different note, last months ‘Remix Tapes’ was an interesting take on some of your back catalogue and must have been a lot of fun to make - Could you see yourself knocking out any of your other older tunes in a similar fashion?
Alan: "Thank you! It was so fun just completely re-working the songs into a variety of styles, like I never thought I’d write a drum n' bass version of Ripped Jeans, or Joe would record a House/ Dance version of 'Jouska', but they turned out pretty well I’d say. For the time being we’re going to be focusing on the newer stuff but maybe in the future we will rework some more tracks."
Was 'Y.O.U.N.G' specifically written for that EP or can we expect a full band/heavier rendition in the not so distant future?
Alan: "It was originally going to be our first single back, but we wanted to come back with something a bit more heavy in sound. 'Y.O.U.N.G' isn’t really going to be the direction we are going in so thought we’d chuck it onto the rework tapes as a kind of exclusive b side."
Lastly, we know it’s all a bit up in the air at the moment with Covid & how it’s affecting the industry dynamic - but can you tell us if you’ve got any touring plans for 2021? We’re sure a lot of fans are eager to see you back out on the road.
Alan: "Really, really, really want to get back out on the road, hoping to do some shows in may next year, so fingers crossed for that."
Bellevue Days latest single ‘2020 Vision’ is out now.