After seven long years of busily keeping up with all the different band members’ different side projects, The Belligerents have finally dropped their debut album Science Fiction. Delivering 11 tracks of synth heavy disco-psych, the lads have really come into their own and crafted a genuinely unique sound. According to the bands softly spoken lead-singer Lewis Stephenson, as exciting as the album release is, it’s no time to slow down.
“It feels good that it’s finally out, it took us long enough!” he laughs before continuing, “the second Belligerents record is actually about halfway through being written as well so that’s cool. I’ve had a bit of a jump-start on that one and have been working on demos for the last six months.
“It’ll be a bit different to Science Fiction but there is definitely similarities, mainly to the song ‘Flash’. ‘Flash’ came from the new bunch of demo’s I had been making and was written a year after the rest of the record and we ended up putting it on the record because we wanted to add something new to it,” Stephenson reveals.
After booking a house for some relaxing time to record, the guys made a specific effort to make the album completely self-sufficiently.
“We finished the whole record ourselves without any outside voices telling us what to do,” he says. “So when we recorded the album we didn’t have a manager or a label or anything like that, so we just recorded the record and everything kind of fell into place.
“For the actual recording, we hired a bunch of gear and went to a farmhouse on Stradbroke Island off the coast of Brisbane and spent a couple of weeks out there recording, and then Constantine and I did the production and Constantine did all the mixing.”
Science Fiction saw the Belligerents step into uncharted territory as a band, experimenting with instruments such as recorder and synth. One song that really resonated with Stephenson was ‘Sleeping For Days’, the album’s sombre and melodic closer.
“That song is quite different, it’s actually my dad’s favourite on the album as well,” he says. “I’m really proud of the guitar lines in it because it has a lot of finger picking, which I don’t usually use when I write songs. It took ages to come together because I just had this 30 second guitar loop and a chorus stuck in my head, and I didn’t know what direction to take it in, but I am really happy with how it turned out.”
With the Science Fiction album tour about to kick off, The Belligerents will be rounding off their year by delivering a set at Beyond the Valley. According to Stephenson, the band cannot wait to get there, but just hope the weather isn’t too severe.
“I went to one a few years ago and I just remember it being 40 degrees all weekend and it was super dusty and hot, but I think they have added in shade so I’m really looking forward to it this year,” he laughs.
“It will be the first big festival we are doing with the album out so that’s sweet, we are all super keen to play something new!”
When & Where: Beyond The Valley @ Lardner Park, in Warragul – Thursday, December 28 2017 — Monday January 1 2018
Release: Science Fiction is out now.
Written by Alex Callan