Today I had the rare opportunity to sit down with uprising Jacksonville/Waycross five piece band, Bellum. Though you may not have heard of them, you won't have a chance to ignore them soon. To have only been playing as a complete band for six months, these "anti-hillbilly" metalheads have been in the works and scheming for a year. Writing music and compiling their love for The Metal Greats, lead vocalist Eric and guitarist Jared have been forming this mix of metal influences from the start. Bonded together by legends like Impending Doom and With Blood Comes Cleansing, Eric and Jared have developed a writing style all their own. When they asked Austin to join as their drummer, they knew they were up to something heavy. Austin's heavy hitting, powerhouse legs drive the band through sick complementing riffs that Jared writes up for a cohesive sound. Logan, guitarist, and Ryan, bassist, also joined up in the band to contribute talented and skillful guitar techniques.
After about an hour of amped up conversation about our favorite tours and bands, Eric and Jared developed a "dream team" venue and set consisting of opening up for Oceano, Thy Art is Murder, Impending Doom, Fit For An Autopsy, and I Declare War, playing a venue near and dear to Oceano in their hometown of Chicago, Illinois.
So for all of you that have parents, friends, and "sig figs" that just don't quite understand your taste in genres, I asked Eric and Jared for their drive and explanation of why they perform the music that they do. For Eric, a vocalist since 2006, it's about the release, the sheer brutality of it all. He said, "I feel tired after a set, but it's a cleansing tired...being able to rid myself of all the aggression built from the world around." Jared, who originally learned drums from his father and now plays guitar for Bellum, says he feels the vocals and the sound in general has to "keep up with one another...Metal's progressed and the vocals have to do the same." Throughout this conversation, Jared referred back to Slipknot and Impending Doom, who were in the forefront of their day, stepping out and doing something completely different, and sticking to it, and the rest just followed. Their musical influences have been obvious and showed face at an early age for the both of them.
So, to keep up with these guys (in case you missed them at the Bleeding Through show a few weeks back) and some upcoming live dates (which I know you'll do), check out their Facebook page Bellum. Their next show will be playing alongside some of you locals' favorite, For Today at The Roc Bar on February 23. Get your tickets as soon as you can! You know how this works. See you at the show!