Justin Greaves & Belinda Kordic – Se Delan

Interview by Miriam C.

Se Delan is undoubtedly THE revelation of the year, not only for the quality of their artist behind this project ( like Justin Graeves from Crippled Black Pheonix)  but mainly for their indefinable musical proposal. Discover with us what was the sparkle that made ignited this creative fire…
 
Hi there, welcome to Femme Metal Webzine.

Hello and thanx for having us! We are doing fine, apart from this damned flu bug that´s got us both. Also recuperating from the gigs from hell ( on the morning of departure, a van that didn´t turn up  a driver that didn´t turn up, a bass amp that didn’t turn up, water that didn´t turn up..Sound problems etc etc…etc.  But not moaning or nothing 😉

First of all, do you mind introduce yourself and tell us more about the birth of this duo? For what I get you have previously worked together for a CBP song…

Justin: This thing was given life because Belinda and I felt like doing something. We met because I asked her to sing on a song for my other band, that happened a couple more times, so I guess it’s the natural thing to do when it feels right, to go and make music you want to hear and you’re inspired to make. We talked about doing something for a while, and we knew it wouldn’t be like our other bands… you can’t really plan something like this, it’s one of those things that just seem to happen… and they’re always the best.

Belinda:  Yes, I have guested on three CBP albums, and  the topic of us doing something came up really early during the time we got to know each other. It was something that came very naturally. We just felt we had to do this, and we had a spookily shared vision for the sound of what we wanted Se Delan to be and  sound like. So I guess it was always going to happen.

23112011523(1)On April 14 was released your debut “The Fall”, what you can about its genesis? When you have started to compose its first lyric?

Belinda: The first lyrics I started scribbling down, were the words for “Little One”. It is a little letter to Toad, a very special tiny little cat  who fought for life like a tiger even though the odds were very much against him, from the day he was born. Sadly he is no longer with us..

Justin: Yeah, the song for Toad was the first thing we wrote together and from that moment on it kept falling into place. I knew we were on to something quite special in our own eyes.

Justin, the fans already know you for being part of the sludge metal band Crippled Black Phoenix, as the press release states: “Se Delan’s debut album “The Fall” feels distinct from anything Greaves has worked on before” – in what way and how, in your opinion, Se Delan puts a defined boundary between CBP and this new project?

Justin: It’s difficult to be objective about your own music, so I see it in a pretty similar way to other things I’ve done, but having said that, the one thing we both wanted to make sure of, was to make it different to CBP. I believe we achieved that, but it was a bit tricky for me, I had to listen to Belinda when she told me that something I wrote was “too much like CBP”. I guess the way it differs the most is the approach to the song structures, we made everything simpler and took more care over the atmosphere rather than the massive sounds I’m used to. Obviously the vocals are waaay different and that’s also something that makes Se Delan work, it couldn’t exist without one or the other, I think Belinda is spell-binding, and that in itself is one massive boundary between us and them.

Belinda, instead you’re known with the moniker Killing Mood and we’ve also released in 2010 an well-appreciated album called “Just Another Love Song”. First of all, do you still any plans in the foreseeable future to release some other stuff under KM? And also how your previous musical experiences helped you shape/mold “The Fall” musically speaking?

Belinda: I am in my element with Se Delan.  It is my main focus. I love working with Justin and sharing the creative responsibility with him. I don´t think I would have taken up music any time soon if I hadn´t met him.  I have found the creative spark again. It all makes sense now. At the moment I feel no urge to be the main composer of music like I was with KM, I am content with sharing the vision of producing the music. But with that said, I would love to experiment more with my voice as an instrument. I would love to sing in classic “old school” Disney movies, Tim Burton movies you know that kind of thing.

As said before, “The Fall” was released on 14 April under Kscope, how was and when it happened the first approach with your label?

Belinda: Almost a year ago, our manager Rob coughed up his hard earned money so we could go in and record this album. The first intention was that he was gonna release it on his own little label. But he kind of thought that it deserved a proper release (bless you Rob!). Enter Kscope! Even though Kscope is a “prog rock” label, they took a chance on us…as we on them. We do respect them for “thinking outside the box” and going with an act that is pretty far from the “safety” of the general Kscope acts and its audience

Justin: We’re not the usual Kscope act, so like Belinda says, we have a lot of respect for the fact they took a chance on us. But there is a meeting of minds, it’s not just about the music sometimes… In this case for certain there’s a very similar approach to how we like to release albums and present things. We also like the grass-roots style of running a label, I mean compared to a lot of other labels nowadays.

What I really love, besides its contents, is the cover – this little baby crying and flying. Such a peculiar choice – who’s the author of it and I think that each of you have its vision/idea about it, do you mind share it?

Belinda: Well thank you!  It´s cool, isn´t it :-)?!  The picture is actually a still from an old silent movie called “Rescued From An Eagles Nest”. Myself, I love photography. Especially oldish photographs that tell a story. The original still has only one bird and baby in it, but we added a couple more to make it even more quirky. Matthew Dunn added the beautiful artwork to it.

Justin: It’s both weird and old which we both like and by using such an image for the album cover, it kinda reminds us of those surreal Psygnosis photo covers.

What I’m curious to know is how your different musical backgrounds were able on “The Fall” to mix/blend together in such perfect way?

Justin: I think it is quite simple really. Both Belinda and myself have grown up listening to very similar music and at the same time we like very different styles of music too, but we have that essential glue that holds our vision together, because what connects us is the attitude, we’re both basically punk rockers at heart, and a little bit hippy in places, we’re both wanderers that have gone from place to place like tramps with lost souls for a long time, experiencing life for ourselves and being pretty stubborn in our quest for expression. It took a little too long to find each other, but I guess if you do believe in all that fate shit, this would be something like that. Like I said before, sometimes it’s not all about the music, sure we like the same music but also films and art, we both love animals and even though we’re both a little twisted, we see the same visions….. or something.

Belinda: I think it is the meeting of minds…

Recently you have played as a support in UK for Norwegian prog rock band Gazpacho, how did you feel for the first time perform live your new stuff? And are you planning a full EU tour?

Belinda: For me it was bittersweet. We had such a great time with the guys and gal in the live band (and with friends backstage). It was a blast. But to be honest, I have never been comfortable on stage. The few times I have played live with any of my earlier projects (can count them on my 10 fingers) I at least had my guitar to hide behind. So these 2 last gigs with only handling the vocals, was new for me. I did love playing with this great bunch of people and I guess the more we play maybe one day I’ll find my way. I’m definitely up for the challenge.

Justin: We never say never, so, we’ll play more shows, but we’re going to do what we feel is right at the right time. I think at this stage in life, we’re not desperate to go out and brutalize ourselves on stage or anything, but we’re up for adventure! I did enjoy the two shows we just played, but it’s the first steps for us and the live band, it’s not like we’ve ever played the songs live before now, so it’s not like the usual kind of band, we were thrown to the Prog lions! We took a few bites but we survived and earned some positive response, so I’d say it was a victory!

Credit Photo

Photos by Alex Pavlou

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