Bella Morte is a gothic band formed in Charlottesville, Virginia, back in 1996. A complex act, with a style of their own, which combines stories about love and loss, graveyard ballads and guitar riffs typical to their sound. Today, singer Andy Deane was nice as always and gave us some of his time!
pdn: Hello, Andy! Please tell me, how did you
get the idea of 'Bella Morte' as the band's name?
Andy: Actually, Gopal came up with Bella Morte after a month or so of brainstorming for a name. And it fit us perfectly, described our sound to an extent. I think I spent a couple of weeks mispronouncing it after we’d made the decision. I love the name, wouldn’t change it for anything.
pdn: I know there were some line-up changes in the band's history. Did that affect the band's activity in any way?
Andy: Line-up changes have sometimes left a mark. The most telling would be the addition of a live drummer. We made the decision several years ago to add live drums to the show to add a boost of energy to our performances. And it worked. The drums obviously sound quite different than what comes out of a drum machine, and this affected the way we craft songs. But the heart of the band has remained the same throughout the years, and I’m still writing sad and hopeful songs with a very dark twist. That will never change.
pdn: You have a side-project called The Rain Within. How did you decide to start that project and how did you get the idea?
Andy: It had a lot to do with Bella Morte acquiring a drummer. Though I love live drums, I missed playing synthetic songs like Relics and The Rain Within Her Hands (which is obviously where I got the name for this project). And I had several finished tracks that weren’t going to work for Bella, so The Rain Within happened. I wrote and recorded everything by myself, and the first album, Pain Management was a huge success for me. I just finished a second album, which will be released in 2012 if the world doesn’t explode first.
pdn: How can you describe your work as a writer in a few words, and what are the main elements you use? Also, who are your favourite authors?
Andy: I love using metaphors… maybe too much in some people’s eyes. And with most of what I’ve written there’s a good dose of humor involved, but not enough to detract from the scary elements of the story. My novels are horrific tales told through the words of someone with a sense of humor. I like to be straight forward with my storytelling as well, and want the reader to feel like I’m sitting beside them reciting from memory. I’m proud of what I’ve written, and the feedback on my books has been incredibly encouraging. My favorite author is Joe Lansdale, and I’m also a fan of George Oliver, Brian Keene, Clive Barker, Mary Shelley, and many, many more.
pdn: I know what it's like to be an artist with multiple interests and outlets; so I'm curious, what are some of your other preoccupations, besides making music and writing?
Andy: I’m a huge fan of horror films. Movies like Halloween (the original John Carpenter film), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (again, the original), and more recently, Martyrs have all had an influence on what I create. I have a huge collection of films and love scouring the internet for rare films. I also love the hell out of video games, and spend too much time playing Halo and more recently, Skyrim.
pdn: What bands/ people, things have influenced you in becoming who you are today?
Andy: Too many to name. I’ve been told many times that my voice reminds people of Mike Patton, Danzig, and Anthony Kiedis, and that makes sense to me seeing as I’m a fan of all three. But there are so many others in the mix that the list would go a mile or two. More than anyone, my dad played a huge part in making me who I am today, and that has had the greatest effect on my art.
pdn: Any plans for the near future, for both Bella Morte and The Rain Within? New material, tours?
Andy: There will be new albums from both Bella Morte and The Rain Within in 2012, and Bella Morte will definitely be hitting the road to play shows. Seeing as Bella just released “Before the Flood” this summer our next album won’t be available until next fall. On top of all that, Gopal and I recently started a new band called Brighter Fires, and released our debut self-titled album earlier this year. Our first show will take place on New Year’s Eve in New York City, and we’ll be playing live more often after that.
pdn: What band would you love to share the stage with in the future?
Andy: We’d love to tour with our friends in The Cruxshadows again, because it’s been too long since we got to hang out with those guys! I’d love to line up something with The 69 Eyes or AFI as well, and feel we’d fit well with either.
pdn: Thank you so much for your time! Any final words you would like to add for your friends and fans?
Andy: No problem, glad to be here! To fans and friends; buy my books and albums, because I know where you sleep! ;)