Bella Muerte's Bret Talks Of New Music and Future Activity

Bella Muerte is becoming the perfect embodiment of "DIY", vocalist/keytarist Bret Liber, vocalist/guitarist Josh Hurst, bassist Chris Goodman, and drummer Mace May have gone from a modest group of players to a well-oiled machine and business. The four have used their individual talents for the benefit of the group, from booking their own cross-country tours to screen printing their own shirts and merchandise. This past spring of 2013 the four have worked hard self producing their own music and graphic arts which will be released soon!

Despite various setbacks such as lineup changes, lost/stolen gear, and broken tour vans, the members of Bella Muerte have taken their experiences and matured as musicians and songwriters. Starting with their new single "Ice King", Bella Muerte is pushing the envelope and their fans's expectations for style and sound. The combination of adrenaline-pumping tracks with soaring electronics serve as the perfect chaotic backdrop for their newfound vocals. Bret and Josh now sing, scream, and harmonize their way through the Bella Muerte repertoire in addition to their duties as musicians and songwriters.

With new music recorded and ready to be released, Bella Muerte will soon convert new listeners into die-hard fans with their eclectic brand of metalcore and electronic pop/punk. Keyboardist and vocalist Bret discusses the upcoming new material to soon be released and a little background on the band themselves.

1. Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.

Bret: I met our drummer Mace in 2008 through mutual friends, we were both looking for musicians to play with so we joined up and started playing some weird pop punk type of stuff, though we really didn't know what it was at the time, I was just playing keys back then.  We found our guitarist Josh online, he was more influenced by metalcore so he got us listening to and writing heavier music.  I met our bassist Chris in a college class, he wore band shirts that I liked and said he played bass so I asked him to come out and luckily it worked out pretty well.  We went through a few singers and guitarists but got fed up looking for more members so we decided to stay a four-piece and Josh and I would both take up the vocal work in addition to our instrumental duties.  Musically we've grown from pop punk to metal to electronica and a lot of random 80s tunes thrown in between so we try to make our current sound a nice blend of all that.

2. Why did you want to call the band Bella Muerte? Does it have a meaning to it?

Bret: Shortly after forming we were booking our first few shows and didn't have a name yet, so one night after practice we all sat down and tried to think of every band name we could, Josh was skimming his copy of "American Psycho" for inspiration, Mace was looking online for ideas, and I was reading through band lyrics for something that might sound like a good band name.  We came up with a long list of mediocre names and went through crossing them out until we got down to Bella Muerte, which I took from a My Chemical Romance lyric.  Over time I wasn't sure if anyone would like it or remember the name, but thanks to the huge popularity of MCR most people caught on and it worked out.

3. Where is the band from and what is the music scene like there?

Bret: We're from Kansas City, the music scene here isn't huge but it's growing, new bands seem to pop up out of nowhere overnight.  Most of the bands here are metal or hardcore, which can be kind of tough sometimes to fit in but we're happy to stand out from the crowd when we can.

4. How would you describe your style? Which bands influenced your music?

Bret: Our current style is somewhere in the realm of pop punk, metalcore, and post hardcore.  We're not super heavy, but our music doesn't sound like a lot of pop punk bands, I know I always have a hard time choosing a specific genre to call us.  Besides that, every time we write a new song we bounce around from creepy and theatrical to synthy electronica.  It's fun to work within a wide range of styles, we don't have to keep ourselves stuck within one certain sound.

5. Do you play live as well? How's your live activity so far?

Bret:We take our live shows very seriously, we've been on several self-booked tours and every night we aim to be the most exciting band in the venue.  We're always looking for ways to push our performance further every time we go out, it's been the biggest factor for us to gain new fans.  It's not just about getting on stage and playing our music, it's about the experience for the audience, we work out every detail of our show from specific guitar spins to interacting with the crowd.

6. What have you released so far and how were your releases received by the public/media?

Bret: We released a couple EPs in 2011 and 2012 with our old lineups, but since Josh and I took over vocals we've been creating a new sound and style for Bella.  We've put out two singles, "Ice King" and "Oh! The Horror" and a remix and we've got an album's worth of material in the works.  We've had a lot of good responses from our singles so far which tells us we must be on to something good.

7. Why did you want to have "Ice King" be remixed and why was it done by Star Harvest?

Bret: We actually didn't plan on having the song remixed, Kyle from Star Harvest heard the song and loved it so he came to us wanting to remix it.  We've never had our music remixed before so we were anxious to see how it would turn out, Star Harvest did an awesome job and we couldn't be happier with the result.

8. Tell me about your Halloween single and video for "Guilty Pleasures, Desperate Measures".

Bret: Josh wanted to do a special song and video for Halloween and was having trouble coming up with ideas, one day he heard me playing a creepy melody on the piano and loved it, starting from that we ended up writing "Guilty Pleasures, Desperate Measures" in about a week.  The song is very theatrical in style and it's about being in a relationship you know is bad for you but not wanting to quit.  The song and video are completely produced by us, we shot the Halloween-themed video in our very own studio.  It'll be our first music video and we're excited to get it out.

9. What should labels/zines/promoters know about your band? Why should they be interested in it?

Bret: Labels, zines, and promoters should know that our band and music is a full time career for us and we have the drive and passion to create something that cannot be ignored.  They should be interested in us because we're not going to settle for any regular sound or live performance, we're always going to push ourselves farther and set the bar higher.  Once we reach our current goals and meet our expectations we're going to set even higher goals and expectations.  We're in this for the long haul.

10. Why should a someone buy your demos/albums?

They shouldn't buy them, they should download them for free on our Facebook or Bandcamp at or  They should download them because we feel our music isn't just solid metal or pop punk, we try hard to make each track it's own unique experience that you can't get from listening to any other band.

11. Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?

Bret: Our YouTube channel is a great place to listen to our stuff as well as our Facebook, our music can be downloaded from our Facebook or Bandcamp for free.  (Also available on iTunes and all major online music retailers if you're so inclined).

12. What is it you'd like a listener to remember the most when hearing your music for the first time?

Bret: I'd like them to remember their experience when listening to our music, I want them to remember how they felt about the songwriting and emotions behind the lyrics and hopefully our blend of styles will leave them wanting more.

13. What plans do you have for the near future as a band?

Bret: Our future plans include several singles and videos to be released over the winter months in addition to keeping busy on the stage.

14. Any final words of wisdom?

Bret: The best thing anyone could do for an independent band like us is to share the music, if you like our style and what you hear please consider telling a friend, it makes a huge difference.  Thanks!

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