Monday 22 February 2016

An Interview with Beloved (US)

There might so people reading this who recognise the picture above. It appeared on the back of Beloved (US)'s 2003 album Failure On, which was initially release by Solid State Records and the licenced and distributed by Golf Records a year later. A year after the release of the record, Beloved (US) ceased as a band. In 2003 I was 17 and it was a time in my life where I was discovering a whole host of new bands (to me anyway). I was reading Metal Hammer, Terrorizer and Rock Sounds magazine, which incidentally was the publication where I first learnt about this band. As well reading the article, I listened to Death To Traitors over and over again on the cover mount CD. It's been twelve years since Beloved (US) stopped playing and I was feeling nostalgic, so after a quick message via social media, Dusty Redmon graciously agreed to do a short e-mail interview. 

Beloved (US) formed just before the turn of the Millennium. What made you guys decide to form the band and what did you want to achieve at the time? 

We were just a bunch of friends who all went to the same high school, and were all sort of into the punk rock and hardcore scene that was brewing in our state at the time. We had some really killer local bands, and we all shared a love for aggressive music. This sorta made us want to get something going, get out in our scene, and really be a part of what was going on. We were so terrible at the start, like most bands, but once we found our footing, we started to gain some real ground locally. Bands like Hopesfall and Codeseven were big inspirations for us, and being able to become friends and share stages with them was a big deal to us. 

Shortly after releasing The Running EP, you signed with Solid State Records. What do you remember about that time and what did it feel like to work with a label like Solid State?

Signing with Solid State was huge for us. They were doing so much in the underground scene at that time, and releasing some really quality records. We were so excited to sign. Once we did, we had to nail down a producer for our first full length, which was harder than we thought. Brian McTernan was our first choice.. Unfortunately he was lined up to do a little record called "The Artist in the Ambulance" by Thrice, so he wound up ok. For us, we got the chance to record in Canada with GGGarth Richardson, which turned out amazing. We had a blast and released a record we were proud of on a label we were into. It was a good fit! 

Like a lot of people, I first heard about Beloved (US) around the release of Failure On when you were featured in Rock Sound Magazine in the UK. Did that album and that time give you a greater push in terms of fans and touring opportunities?

I remember the Rock Sound write up! That was really cool, because I had a lot of respect for the publication then. Once we got to the UK for what turned out to be our last tour, I think that magazine helped get some attention on us, credibly. 

Did you manage to tour outside of the US? Where were your favourite places and do you have any interesting touring stories from that time? 

We just did a few shows in Canada. Montreal was our first out-of-the-country show. Everything was French. We saw "Kill Bill" there and were SO scared it would be overdubbed in French, with English subtitles. Thankfully it wasn't. The UK tour was awesome. It was super hard though. Lots of dirty floors, tight travel, but great shows! Always loved going international. 

What were the main lyrical themes and influences that went into the writing of Failure On? 

Joe and Josh shared lyric writing duties. They each took their own parts and somehow everything really tied together. 

It’s been over ten years since the album’s release. Do you think it’s stood the test of time? How do you feel when people still talk or write about it or Beloved (US) in general?

It's the record I'm most proud of, out of all the bands I've been a part of. I still listen to it. I still love the production and the songs. Hopefully people still think fondly of it as well. We wrote an honest record, and just wanted to share it with everyone. 

More recently both The Running EP and Failure On were released on vinyl by Broken Circles. How did that come about and how happy were you with the end result?

It was all done without our knowing, really. It was a licensing thing between the two labels. However, I was very stoked with the releases. The coloured vinyl for "Failure On" was pretty gorgeous. 

What were your highlights and what would you have done differently as a band, if you had your time again?

We just had a great time. There wasn't really any drama at all with us until the end. We did some awesome tours with some great bands, for sure. We made a few business decisions that, in hindsight, would've probably been different if we could do it over. No remorse though. 

What are you doing now? Are any of you still involved in music?

Joe and I were doing the Almost for the past five and a half years, but just now sort of went into a semi-perm break with it. He and I are both writing music at our church in North Carolina. Josh is writing songs and performing a lot in the state. Joe is also working with Johnny and the rest of the Advent guys, writing some stuff. 

Here's the video for "Death To Traitors", the song that started it all off for me:-

That's it. I little interview with a band that meant a lot to me growing up and one that still means a lot. You can find links to their Facebook page as well those of The Almost and Advent below.

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