Chatting With Brian Bell of The Relationship

By Haley Helenbrook
Music Journalist

Q: It appears that you guys are on the festival circuit. What are some of the highlights and lowlights of being on the festival circuit?

A: Well, we’re on the SXSW festival circuit which is a kind of a different thing than what your typical festival is like.  It’s a really great experience. The worst part of it is that you don’t… you’re not dealing with your correct sound ever.  It’s just so fast, it’s just barely to make sure you hear everything. It’s not gonna be balanced correctly which will affect how you play, but you just have to kind of be pro and just work with it. Work with what you got. And music is not necessarily all about perfect sound. There’s other elements involved like the energy and feeling you put behind it, so that’s, you know, that’s what I try to compensate with.

Q: What is your favorite part of performing in front of an audience, like being in front of people, like what is your absolute favorite thing?  

brian bell performing at barracuda
Brian Bell mid-performance at Barracuda. Photo by Janelle Abad.

A: Well, if I’m close enough to see smiling faces, that’s really great…. This will sound kind of corny, but being outside on a festival stage and when the wind blows through your hair when you’re playing a guitar solo actually is pretty cool.

Q: Seems as though you are constantly creating/working on music.  What were you looking for in terms of feeling and fulfillment when creating the band The Relationship?

A: I had just stockpiled a bunch of songs and it was originally just something fun to do. Just the act of creating, being in the moment of starting from scratch and watching it grow is really exciting, it’s a great feeling and I hope everybody gets to experience it in some way or another.

Q: So this show right here, you just announced your new album title Clara Obscura?

A: Well, yeah.  You could say that, but I pronounce it “Clada” Obscura just so it kind of rhymes, Clara Obscura. It’s a fictitious female character which means clear and obscure. Which actually I think sums up all females that I know and it also sums up the vibe of the record. I was looking for a sound, a word that kind of described the sounds, and that’s what I came up with.

Q: So you studied at UCLA. Describe to me what was that like, studying there, going to college and studying classical music?

A:  Well, UCLA is beautiful, I live right next to UCLA. I love that part of town and my dad is a professor so I feel very comfortable around the university environment and inspired by it. And I feel like I’m maybe I’m getting knowledge by osmosis, by being close to it. It’s just great, I’ve met so many great people. The classes I take are pretty much for adults, they’re like night classes and you find people that are professionals and who don’t need to, don’t have to be taking classes, but they want to learn more, that’s the kind of people I’m interested in.

Q: I like that “knowledge by osmosis”, that was really cool, I’ve never heard that before.

A: I don’t know if you can do that, but if it’s true then I’m gonna get it because I’m right next to it.

Q:  What would you be doing now days if you weren’t a musician?

A: It’s a really impossible question to answer now because this has become my reality and um, I don’t know honestly, I’m sure I would have… I would hate to know actually.

Featured image by Janelle Abad.

hannahwist

ktsw web content editor & music journalist. finding magic every day.

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