Words and Interview | Lola Odetola
Meet The Belligerents, an Australian indie pop rock band based in Brisbane, Australia are a group of lively lads whose music is beautifully composed with thought provoking lyrics to match. They first snatched my attention in 2012 with their debut EP, Less Arty More Party and have remained an extremely important part of my iTunes library ever since. We at XO wanted to explore what makes them tick, who produces their work, where they’d love to perform next, and the wonders of kangaroo jerky! Bass player Konstantin Kersting was kind enough to answer all of our questions and more, take a look.
Lola: What is your creative process like? What comes first? Music or lyrics?
Konstantin: Music generally, then lyrics. Sometimes the lyrics happen at the same time though.
L: Before a show do you have any strange rituals or anything you do for good luck?
K: We sacrifice a goat generally, it’s for good luck. (editor’s note: everyone’s a comedian, eh?)
L: What cities do you plan on visiting? Any chance of a US tour in the near future?
K: Hopefully, but probably not anytime soon. We’d love to come over and play there but we don’t really have a big enough fan base in the States to be talking about doing a tour unfortunately.
L: This one is for each member: If you weren’t currently in this band, what would you be doing right now?
K: Well, Andy has a local tourism company called Banana Life, Stag is a carpenter who makes really sweet furniture, Lowis plays in three other bands (Orphans Orphans, Morning Harvey, Moses Gunnn Collective), Jimmy plays in two other bands (The Furrs, Morning Harvey) and I myself am a sound engineer/producer here in Brisbane working with a whole bunch of awesome bands all the time. We’re all busy boys.
L: What is the music scene like in Brisbane, Australia? Would you say that your sound is a product of your environment or does it rebel against?
K: The music scene here is awesome at the moment. I think your music is bound to be inspired by your environment but I’m not sure that you can say our music is a direct product of it. There is lots of lo-fi garage pop coming out of Brisbane at the moment, so if anything our sound might be rebelling against it?
L: Do you have any favorite artists that are specifically popular in Australia, but unknown to the rest of the world?
K: Not really, most of the bands that we like and that we’ve liked for a while are doing extremely well in the States and in the rest of the world: Pond, Tame Impala, The Preatures, Worlds End Press. The only band we love that hasn’t toured overseas (although they should have) are Mitzi.
L: Your first EP Less Arty More Party was a brilliant EP but the growth is undeniably audible in the second EP She Calls the Shots. What would you say was the biggest difference between the creative processes of the two?
K: There wasn’t much thought put into the first EP at all. We just went and did it. With the second EP we went to a nice studio with a great producer and picked apart the songs and the individual parts. It was a more time consuming process but I think you can hear the difference in the recordings.
L: Ghost VS is such a great record. The Music Video fits it so perfectly as well. Where did the inspiration for the lyrics and sound come from?
K: I wrote the original song a few years ago and we played it in different versions for about a year. We all weren’t 100% happy with it so we decided to change a few chords and add a bridge that Lowis had written ages ago and suddenly the song fell into place. I wrote the lyrics about a break up I went through. It’s about seeing someone you love slowly drift away to a place where you can’t hold onto them anymore. Or something like that, anyway. It’s a bit of a bummer lyrically but hopefully the music masks that a little bit.
L: This one is for each member: What makes you belligerent and why?
K: Nothing. We are literally the most non-belligerent group of people you’ll ever meet. I really don’t know why we chose that name!
L: Are there any new projects n the works for us to get excited about?
K: We’ve got six new songs that have already been recorded and mixed. First single and film clip should be dropping soon!
L: What non-music related activity do you guys LOVE to do? Either together or individually? Get as weird as you want. Well…maybe not so weird lol.
K: First of all we love to party. Lowis is a professional equestrian so he spends most of his downtime riding horses. Jimmy runs half marathons regularly and also has a passion for dirtbikes. Stag is really into collecting stamps (weird, I know), Andy is a semi-professional Greco wrestler and I’m just a regular guy, I like to eat ice cream and enjoy a nice pair of slacks.
L: Food. What fuels you guys best when you’re making music? Any Aussie delicacies or oddities you gorge on regularly?
K: We all love Vegemite and kangaroo jerky. You should give it a try sometime.