Bellhead's duo of Karen and Ivan are once again touring the U.S.A and recently released this latest dark EP. Here you can find the tour date, a short interview and a mini review.
CHICAGO’S POST-PUNK DUO BELLHEAD RELEASED THE HIGHLY ANTICIPATED EP ‘GOOD INTENTIONS’ ON FRIDAY MAY 5TH ACROSS ALL PLATFORMS
After spending most of 2022 on the road supporting their critically acclaimed sophomore release, ‘Dead Lights’, Chicago’s post-punk demolition duo BELLHEAD released their newest EP ‘Good Intentions’ on May 5th. For BELLHEAD’s third release, the band returned to their trusty production team of audio engineer Neil Strauch (Iron and Wine / Counting Crows / Owls / Joan of Arc / Walking Bicycles / Slow Mass) mastering engineer Carl Saff (Acid Mothers Temple / Smoking Popes / Red Fang / Guided by Voices), and management team David Schock (WTII Records). The new EP ‘Good Intentions’ features six songs which explore a newfound “POP” sensibility giving nods to New Order and a wink to Jesus and Mary Chain. Starting with the lead single “Valentine”, Karen and Ivan conjure up a sad love song evoking Depeche Mode synth lines juxtaposed with a Placebo style bass groove. “Valentine” will leave the listener wondering if it's a song about loss and hope or moreover about death and forgiveness. Songs such as “Bad Taste” and “Into the Deep” tackle topics about unsavory stalkers, unreliable narrators, and blood thirsty sirens at sea. Who wants to start a fight in a motorcycle bar with leather jackets and fuzzed out bass? The last half of the EP is just for you, including their take on the Love and Rockets hit “No Big Deal”. ‘Good Intentions’ is releasing just a few months after BELLHEAD’s surprise stand alone single- a cover of Prince’s “I Would Die 4 U” which gained quick popularity taking a pop love song and spinning BELLHEAD’s dark twist to it. “I Would Die 4 U” earned 6,000+ Spotify plays in the first 30 days of release and has become a constant spin for DJ’s.
BELLHEAD spent 2022 touring alongside international and national touring artists Powerman 5000, Holy Wars, Then Comes Silence, The Bellwether Syndicate, Hate Dept, China Crisis, and Night Club. 2023 is even more explosive with touring plans to include two dates with legendary gothic acts Clan of Xymox and The Bellwether Syndicate as a warm up before heading back out on the road in May co-headlining nine dates with NYC’S coldwave artists, The Clay People. BELLHEAD ends the month of May as direct support for LA’s dark electronic duo, Night Club in Chicago.
BELLHEAD 2023 SPRING DATES
3/19 Eastside Bowl - Nashville, TN w/ Clan of Xymox / The Bellwether Syndicate
3/23 Cactus Club - Milwaukee, WI w/ Clan of Xymox / The Bellwether Syndicate
4/15 The Ruin - Fort Wayne, IN w/ Vazum / Observer
4/21 Blockhouse Bar - Bloomington, IN w/ Pilgrims of Yearning / Freeze Etch
4/22 Mag Bar - Louisville, KY w/ Gentleman Pig / Star Guided Vessel / Village Elder
5/6 Livewire Lounge - Chicago, IL w/ The Clay People / Melter
5/7 Mac’s Bar - Lansing, MI w/ The Clay People / Zombie Apocalypse / No Skull
5/8 Black Circle - Indianapolis, IN w/ The Clay People / Broken Nails
5/9 The Foundry - Lakewood, OH w/ The Clay People / Bonded by Darkness / Temple Witch
5/10 The Runaway - Washington, DC w/ The Clay People / High Horse Cavalry / Raw Dawgs
5/11 Bar Freda - Queens, NY w/ The Clay People / The Amatory Murder / Chroma
5/12 Darq @ Koto - Salem, MA w/ The Clay People / Acheron
5/13 Harrisburg Midtown Arts Centre - Harrisburg, PA w/ The Amatory Murder, Faux Fear, Goth Goth, Sugar Hysteria
5/14 Buzzbin - Akron, OH w/ Night Goat / Bonded By Darkness / Temple Witch
5/26 Reggie’s - Chicago, IL w/ Night Club / Iron Years / Plasmata ’Good Intentions’ can be purchased here: https://bellhead.bandcamp.com/album/good-intentions Band Links: https://www.bellheadband.com https://bellhead.bandcamp.com/ https://www.facebook.com/bellheadband/
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Q. Hello Karen and Ivan it's been a while. How have the last couple of years treated you and how has Bellhead's journey been since then?
Karen: Last time we talked I believe was in 2021 for our Dead Lights EP release, and we have been full steam ahead since then! We've Released a few songs on compilations, had some remixes come out, and have been pretty much touring non stop. We’re learning a lot about ourselves as well as the music scene and touring life. We continue to do our best to put out music and perform shows people enjoy!
Q. You both toured quite a bit last year and are doing so again now so where have been your favourite places to play so far and where are you looking forward to playing most this year?
Karen: All of our shows we’ve done have been fun, so it’s really hard to pick specific places. I think a highlight for me this year was playing in Nashville with Clan of Xymox and Bellwether Syndicate. It was a great room and everyone was super nice. As for looking ahead, I am excited to play all of our shows and can’t wait to meet everyone on the road.
Q. Have there been any places you would rather not play again and if so, what makes you say so?
Ivan: Some situations are not ideal but we are scrappy and rise to the occasion no matter what shortcomings may be put in our way. We always strive to put on the best show possible and entertain.
Q. Last we spoke I asked about the more sinister side of life that you both sing about, with this new EP you certainly continue that vibe with stalkers, death, and more. Where has the inspiration and story for these tracks come from for you both?
Ivan: I like unreliable narrators. When there is a soul survivor of a shipwreck do you take him at his word? I wanted to go all in on song lyrics that were open to interpretation. Are the intentions truly good or is there something else unseen?
Q. Which tracks are your favourite to play live, and which ones go down best with crowds?
Ivan: music is a lot like comedy. You try material out and see how it goes with an audience. You get feedback and you adjust accordingly. We have more songs then we can play live. We put the best set together for maximum entertainment based on where we are playing and how long the set is.
Q. What are some of your favourite things about the Gothic scene?
Ivan: We get great one on one engagement at the merch table. We love the audience's feedback and engagement. They provide wonderful feedback, turn us on to bands we have not yet heard, and the smiles are infectious.
Q. Who are some artists you'd love to collaborate with or play alongside on tour with?
Karen: Ivan and I have a dream to work with someone mainstream out of our genre. I think a collaboration with Will.I.Am or Linda Perry would be life-changing.
We’d love to be considered for a run of shows with bands like Pig, Stabbing Westward, 3teeth, Blood Red Shoes, or Poppy, and are hoping next year we could do more shows with our friends in Then Comes Silence, Holy Wars, Night Club or the Bellwether Syndicate.
Q. What's next for Bellhead after the tour?
Karen: We have a LOT more dates for 2023 including supporting such diverse acts as Voltaire, S0lve,Korine, Palm Ghosts and even the American nu-metal act Flaw, plus we have several more not announced yet. After it’s all said and done we will probably have 25 shows in 2023. We’re also trying to release 2 music videos in the upcoming months. We shut down live shows starting November and won’t pick back up until May of 2024 so we can focus on writing new music.
Q. Anything you'd like to say to your fans?
Ivan: Stay excellent to each other
Karen: Party on dudes
'Bad Taste' open up the EP with that signature Gothic bass and Ivan's low but dangerous feeling vocals setting a feeling of a thriller, do we believe Ivan's lyrics, or is it all part of an illusion? Karen kicks us in to a catchy chorus with a slightly jarring guitar that further adds to that darker atmosphere.
'Into the Deep' is a rather interesting track lyrically. Ivan tells a narrative of affairs, lust, death, and horrors at sea. Once again Karen has nailed a catchy chorus that really suits the overall feel of the track.
'Valentine' really does have that quick bass sound Placebo are well known for. This has the feel of a track that sounds all romantic and lovely but lyrically it is much darker than it seems. A bit of brain tingler this one, it hits quite a few different spots in your mind as the songs washes over you.
'Apathy' is a grungy punch drunk anthem where Karen sounds like a badass ready to take on anyone and 'No Big Deal' is a gritty, gravel bound spoken track. 'Drugstore Keri' is a punk as hell shout along song that no doubt goes don't incredibly live well with the heavy bass and easily repeated lyrics hooks and round the EP off very nicely indeed.
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