Chris Belson is the new kid on the block in the music scene. I had the opportunity to interview him about his debut EP Moon Songs and about his influences in music.
Tell me a little bit about the EP.
It’s a collection of 5 new songs, all of which seem to have a kind of natural kinship and felt as though they belonged together in some way. They all share similar themes and tones, and were written in much the same sort of headspace and context. It was a period of time where I often had to write at night, and I used to sit and work on by my window. It felt right to call the record Moon Songs.
I was really lucky to be able to record it with some of my good friends, who are excellent musicians in their own right, and then go on to release it thanks to the support and encouragement from them and of course people like Rami who runs Laid Bare Records.
How does it feel to launch your first EP?
It feels great. There’s a strong sense of relief to be honest. You can fall into a trap of being very productive about songs, but it feels nice to let go and experience them as part of a conversation, rather than just trapped in your own mind. Generally, I feel incredibly grateful and very lucky to have had people who believed in me and the record enough to help send it out into the world.
What are some of the thoughts and feelings behind your songs?
I suppose they’re all songs that stem from the kind of things that creep into your mind at night, after you’ve shaken off the days thoughts. [They are] songs about loneliness, longing, loss. The song, Dogs Are Howling At The Moon, I guess sums things up in a way – in that they’re all songs about pining/lamenting to something or someone who can’t necessarily give you an answer back – whether its a sense of parenthood that you’ve lost after your children grow up, or the absence of someone/something you love and can’t stand being apart from.
Who has inspired your music? How have they inspired your music?
I always find this question hard to answer. I think it’s a big swirling pool of different pieces of music, songwriters, musicians and bands. Lots of different people and things all for very different reasons, and not just music either. There are lots of specific examples but I could talk about them for a very long time and I’m likely to get carried away! Generally though, they inspire my own music by making be go ‘wow!’ and continuing to fuel the fire and love that I have for what music and song is possible of doing.
What was your favourite track to create on the EP and why?
The Planets Align, maybe. It was recorded with some great musicians and friends, Ben, Nicholas and Lee, in a brilliant studio called ‘Soup Studios’ in Cable Street Limehouse. It was a fun day and it’s always good to play and collaborate with other people.
What was the best/hardest part of making the EP?
Deciding when to stop. There were originally lots of ideas and arrangements in my head that i wanted to explore – different layers and instruments. In the end, it felt right to strip things back and keep things sparse and exposed. It felt truthful to the songs
Can you play any other instruments?
The harmonica, badly. Does that count? It would be cool to be able to play it as well as someone like Rory Mcleod though. I’d love to learn to play the piano too.
Do you have anything else planned?
I’m in the midst of planning some shows to follow-on from the EP. Maybe a mini UK tour, and possibly some dates in Spain and France too. You’ll have to check out the website and facebook etc to get updates and news on that. I’m also writing, hopefully towards a full album in the near future. I might also be doing a collaboration at some point, which i’m excited about.
I did a review of Chris’ album which you can view here.
You can visit Chris’ website here, to listen to his debut EP.
Chris is also on Twitter @ChrisBelson.