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An Interview with the Bellamy Brothers
By CSO European Contributing Journalist, Christian Lamitschka.

Bellamy brothers: 40 hits, 6000 concerts played, 45 countries toured, 1st hit ‚’let your love flow’’ 1976, this is there 30th anniversary ‚’but they don’t like to brag’’

CL: How was the last year for you? Where there any highlights?

BB: '04 was a very good year... we completed our ’’angels and outlaws’’ album and we did 180 concert dates. 

CL: What did you do before you got into the music business? 

BB: We’ve been in the music business most of our lives so we haven’t had a lot of jobs prior to getting into the business, we grew up on a cattle ranch in central Florida so ranching is really all we knew before we had our first hit record.

CL: Country music has many new fans in Europe who may be learning about you for the first time. How would you describe the music you play to someone who's never seen or heard you before?

BB: We still think of our music as country rock, that term is either outdated or has been around so long that its new again but we think it best describes what we do.

CL: What is your current CD and how is it doing?

BB: Our current CD is ‚ Angels and Outlaws and it’s just coming out in March '05 so were not sure yet how its doing, but were optimistic that it will do very well.

CL: How did you find the title for the CD and what inspired you?

BB: The title of the CD came from all the guest artist the are on the album,,,,,,,Alan Jackson, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, George Jones, Tanya Tucker, David Alan Coe, Montgomery Gentry, Pat Green, John Anderson and many more.

CL: Do you write the songs yourself and if not, how do you go about finding songs for your albums?

BB: Most of the hits we’ve had we’ve written but we’ve also had people send us songs that we’ve recorded, you never know where you’re gonna find a good song.

CL: Please tell us about the songs on your album.

BB: Most of the songs on the new album are our biggest hits re-recorded with all the guest artist we mentioned above, Dolly Parton is singing, ‚’If I Said You Have A Beautiful Body, Would You Hold It Against Me’’, etc. There are also 2 new songs, ’’Guardian Angel’’ with Willie Nelson and ‚’Alligator Alley’’ with John Anderson.

CL: What is the different between your last and your current album?

BB: The new album is different from anything we’ve ever done because of the number of guest that participated, there will be 2 volumes and over 30 artist by the time the second volume is finished.

CL: What kind of songs do you like to record the most?

BB: Hits!

CL: What's your favorite song among all the songs you've recorded and what's the story behind it?

BB: ‚’Let Your Love Flow’’ is probably the most famous song we’ve recorded because it was a very big hit in so many different countries, we were recording demos with Neil Diamond band in Los Angeles when Neil's Drummer said their roadie had written a song that sounded like something we would record, he brought it by and played it for us and we recorded it and it became #1 in 15 countries.

CL: How much creative control do you have over your music?

BB: We have more than most acts, we ran our own record company for 12 years and recorded mostly what we wanted to. The new album was done with curb records so they had certain things they wanted us to do but most of it is still the way we wanted to do it. 

CL: There's a lot of work that goes into a number one hit ... What does it take to make it?

BB: Usually a great song and a label that's willing to kill for it.

CL: How much do your songs influence your audience?

BB: Were not sure

CL: The Internet is playing a bigger and bigger part in the world of music. Has the internet hurt or helped you and how would you like to see it evolve?

BB: We think the Internet has helped and hurt depending on who you ask.

CL: Who do you look up to musically and where do your musical roots come from?

BB: We like a wide variety of artist, Merle Haggard is our favorite country singer, Bob Dylan is our favorite writer, the Everlys, the Beatles, Buck Owens, ,Joni Mitchell, Otis Redding, Johnny Cash, all the good ones. 

CL: What did you do before you got into the music business?

BB: Not much. 

CL: What do you think about today's country music versus its roots and where do you see it going in the future? 

BB: We don’t like most new country, we tend to still listen to Merle Haggard, George Jones, Tammy Wynette, Dolly Parton.

CL: In your opinion, what is the biggest difference between "traditional" and "new" country music?

BB: The songs are better in traditional country music, also the artist voices have identity. 

CL: If you had the chance to change something about the music industry, what would it be? 

BB: We let it be run by creative people instead of Managers and lawyers. 

CL: As an artist you have to do so many different things such as recording, touring, doing interviews etc. What do you like best, what's your favorite activity?

BB: Songwriting

CL: Are you doing anything to take country music beyond it’s current borders or are you happy where it is?

BB: We try to take the Bellamy Brothers beyond their current borders, country music sort of goes where it goes.

CL: How did you get into country music ... Is there a story behind it?

BB: We grew up playing music of all kinds with our father.

CL: Before you became a star, where your friends and family supportive or was it a struggle?

BB: It was a struggle but our family was always supportive.

CL: Has your journey to success been a hard or an easy road?

BB: Both at different times.

CL: What drives you? What inspired you to become an artist?

BB: We’re still looking for the next hit.

CL: What does it take to be a country star?

BB: Persistence

CL: What's unique about you that differentiates you from other artists?

BB: We try not to follow trends and try to sound like we sound and to record the best songs we can write or find.

CL: What's the best thing about being a star and what's the hardest thing?

BB: Best thing is someone's always buying you dinner, hardest thing, perpetual motion.

CL: What has been your greatest challenge in music business?

BB: Record companies.

CL: What moments in your career stand out in your memory as highlights and achievements which you're proud of?

BB: We’ve won a lot of awards, gold and platinum albums, etc, most of all we just like to play for the people who like to hear us.

CL: Who's your biggest critic, yourself or others?

BB: We are.

CL: When you get time off, how do you like to relax?

BB: We just kick back on the ranch or go to the beach.

CL: Is there anything in your life that you would change if you could?

BB: Probably not.

CL: What private hopes and desires do you have?

BB: That our family and friends will stay well and prosper.

CL: What has been the biggest disappointment in your life?

BB: We’ve had a few but there's no use to mention them because we’ve had so many good things happen to us. 

CL: Many European fans travel to Nashville for fan fair because of the opportunity to see so many of their favorite stars at the same time. Will you be participating and how will the fans be able to find you?

BB: We usually play at the river stage once a year at fan fair.

CL: Is there anyplace you haven’t played that you would like to?

BB: We would like to tour China.

CL: Can your European fans look forward to seeing you in concert in the future?

BB: We are playing in Switzerland and England in July 05, Holland, Germany and Denmark in Aug. 05 

CL: What can your fans expect to see when they see you in concert?

BB: lots of hits 

CL: When you're on tour, do you have time to play tourist?

BB: Sometimes we do,,,,,other times we’re moving too fast to be tourist.

CL: Do fans mob you everywhere you go or do they allow you a private life?

BB: Most fans are pretty nice,,,,,,we’ve been mobbed a few times.

CL: Many music fans today get their information about artists via the internet. Do you have your own website and what will fans find there?

BB: www.bellamybrothers.com

CL: Tell us about your fan club and how people can join it.

BB: They can join thru the website.

CL: What are your plans for the future?

BB: To keep on keepin' on.

CL: What's the best compliment a fan has ever given you?

BB: We had a couple tell us that they got married because of one of our songs.

CL: What's your favorite song that you didn't record and why?

BB: There are a lot of songs we would have liked to record, "Bridge Over Troubled Waters", "Hey Jude", "He Stopped Loving Her Today"... just to name a few.

CL: What message would you like to send your European fans?

BB: We love to tour Europe and we love to see all the fans come out to the shows.

CL: Is there anything you’d like to say to your fans that we haven’t covered?

BB: Just that we hope to see them soon in
Europe.

CL: What is the latest news in your career?

BB: The new album ‚ Angels And Outlaws Vol 1, released in the U.S. on March 29th.

Christian Lamitschka ( Christian@CountryStarsOnline.com )

 

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