Locals and label mates Belle Haven and Caulfield are currently touring as part of a double bill this month. Now halfway through the run of dates, the respective bands sat down recently to grill, quiz and ask each other the pressing (and, perhaps, not so heavy) questions.
Caulfield: Who is the worst person in the band? Can you rank your members from least favourite to don’t mind so much?
Belle Haven: Mara. It has to be Mara. Maybe it’s because he’s new. Maybe it’s because he’s clumsy and always knocks things over. Maybe it’s because he recently shaved his beard. I don’t know. But I think it’s the beard shaving thing.
Worst to best is probably as follows:
Mara, Christopher, David, Tom. James.
Caulfield: Who are Belle Haven most likely to have band beef with in the near future (besides Caulfield)?
Belle Haven: Most of us are vegetarian, so we’re not really that great at beef! But if we had to have any disagreements with any other band, it would be Glorified. Those guys are so good it makes us angry.
Caulfield: How do you classify your/our genre of music – which label do you hate most? (Eg. Hardcore, emo, screamo, metalcore, post-hardcore)
Belle Haven: Loud and hard! ‘Screamo’ definitely has the worst stigma attached to it, for certain. It’s hard to go a day without someone getting upset on the internet about someone else having used the term ‘screamo’.
Caulfield: TWO PART QUESTION
1. If you could travel back in time and watch Belle Haven’s first gig – how do you think you would take it? Would you give yourself advice (is the gig on YouTube?)
Belle Haven: Pretty sure we’d laugh a lot at some of us trying to be major rock stars and also laugh at our inability to play our songs correctly. It would be swell to be able to watch it, but it’s not on YouTube sadly.
Caulfield: 2. That same night, If you could show your old self your current album, what would your/(his) response be?
Belle Haven: ‘How do you write that?!’ or ‘There isn’t 3 breakdowns per song? This sucks.’
Caulfield: Jobs – what do guys in the band do, how do you find balancing a job that provides income with the band? Are co-workers into what you do?
Belle Haven: Everyone has different jobs. David works for a Health Insurance Company, James works for a Lighting Company, Mara works for an AV company, Tom works as a chef and Christopher works as an Audio Engineer/Producer. Depending on what’s coming up, balancing jobs and [the] band can definitely be intense. But for most of the time it’s alright. It really depends on how busy the bands schedule is. I think for everyone at their jobs, their co workers dig that we play in bands. Several people from our work places came to our hometown show at The Workers Club recently, so that was awesome!
Caulfield: You guys put out two EPs and followed up with an album, how did you/ the band find stepping up for the full length?
Belle Haven: Despite Christopher having a somewhat writing block for a big part of the LP writing, we did just fine. It got a bit hectic at times trying to meet a deadline, but Tom really took the reins and got some solid writing done and we actually ended up canning some songs because we had too many. We’ve always done a lot of writing though, so it’s ultimately pretty natural for us to write albums.
Caulfield: How would you explain the difference between doing EP and album to a band starting out trying to figure what to do and when to do it?
Belle Haven: I think you just know that it’s time to do an LP vs doing an EP. We knew we were ready for it. We were probably ready for it way before we did it honestly. A lot of us have been writing music for years and years, so I think when your songwriting reaches a certain point it kind of hits you that you’re like “We could really make this work with what we’re churning out.’
Caulfield: Fuck/kill/marry? Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Rihanna
Belle Haven: This is a hard one as the same with the band beef question. But again, for the sake of the question, probably as follows:
Fuck – Taylor Swift
Marry – Katy Perry
Kill – Rihanna
Truthfully though, we’d feel pretty lucky to spend any time at all with any of these three talents.
Caulfield: David, how do you find balancing screaming and clean singing live?
Belle Haven: I get asked this a lot, but thankfully it’s actually quite natural for me.
Caulfield: How much can your voice take?
Belle Haven: My voice is fine until I start trying to have conversations with people in loud venues after we’ve played a show. That’s the real strain, and that’s definitely my biggest weakness.
Caulfield: Do you find how hard you scream impacts on your ability to clean sing live?
Belle Haven: Yes, definitely. It’s important to moderate how much effort and energy is going into which sections otherwise I end up in trouble. But that’s less to do with my voice and just more to do with stamina. Whilst screaming, I instinctively get a little bit wilder on stage, so that when it winds down to more gentle singing, I end up out of breath and unable to hold higher or longer notes. Practice makes perfect though.
Caulfield: Have you ever pushed yourself too far, and if so what were consequences?
Belle Haven: On our tour with Norma Jean back in March, we went out to a club after one of the shows one night, and that really messed me up. I spent all night shouting and laughing to the point that I almost had no voice the next day. Never underestimate the power of vocal rest!
Belle Haven: Do you find Kmart plastic containers or Big W containers to be better pedal boards?
Caulfield: I like my pedal boards the same as my women: cheap, nasty with a little bit of thickness to them, and I don’t mind leaving a mark if it’s someone else’s property.
Belle Haven: What’s it like being named after a town?
Caulfield: It keeps me sane. I feel like when I question myself and my sanity, I know I’m on the right path. First stop Caulfield, next stop Hell. Plus, one of us is due for a name change and it is not this band.
Belle Haven: Did your tattoos hurt?
Caulfield: Everyone will tell you their tattoos hurt, and whenever you see someone with large pieces you appreciate the hours/effort they’ve put in. Unless they’re stupid enough like me to get a full back piece done mid tour, leave the appointment to jump straight into the van for 3 hours and go play a show, to then throw up everywhere after the set in the gutter and fall over into the road onto my back. Being ginger and having no soul, I feel no pain.
Belle Haven: Do you guys have jobs?
Caulfield: As much as I dream of being in a band full time, and have tried on a number of occasions to quit my job I still find myself with my head down walking into work most days. I (Jarrod) work in an organic kitchen making juices and smoothies for cleanse diets.
Cole is a flexographic printer. Laurent is a whitegoods repair technician. Andrew is an analyst and Matty is a videographer/designer.
Belle Haven: All Aussie Adventures or Wolf Creek?
Caulfield: Caulfield are a band who enjoy a laugh, so All Aussie Adventures for first pick. Unless we’re in the mood for killing people in the outback, then it’s Wolf Creek.
Belle Haven: Worst tour experiences summarised in 8 words.
Caulfield: Matty broke his arm one day before tour.
Belle Haven: Your new record ‘Outcast’ (out on August 7) summarised in 8 words.
Caulfield: Younger faces covering classic Caulfield songs people hate.
Belle Haven: On a scale of one to ten, how excited are you to release ‘Outcast’ in August?
Belle Haven: Do you like memes? If so, what is your favourite meme?
Caulfield: I love memes, I even had one created about me.
Belle Haven: Have you ever taken your shirts off on stage all at once?
Caulfield: It’s like Brian Fantana’s Sex Panther: “60% of the time, it works everytime.”
Belle Haven: Do you even like being on tour with Belle Haven?
Caulfield: WE ARE BELLE HAVEN, YOU ARE BELLE HAVEN, so I guess that means ‘Yes’.
Caulfield‘s new album, ‘Outcast’, is out August 7 via Halfcut.
Belle Haven’s ‘Everything Ablaze‘ is out now.
Catch the bands on the remaining tour dates below: