Q&A Scene: Dominic Phillips – Bell X1

Tell us about your new album release ‘Arms’ ?

Written and recorded over the last 2 years, it’s probably the album that’s taken us the longest to make. It’s a more groove based record than the last, and features the lovely retro syth vibes of Glenn Keating. Although quite a long process, it’s been fun to make and we’re excited about getting out and playing it live in the full band set up.

What’s your favourite work at this point in time? 

The latest stuff should really be your favourite, I think, or there’s something wrong. Fireking and Suns & Daughters off Arms are probably my current favourites. For me, they encapsulate what we were doing for this record.

Tell us a quick, on the road or studio, anecdote.

A few years back we were on a sleeper bus in the US. On one particular night we were staying in a hotel outside Boston. This was unusual given that we had a sleeper bus, but lucky as it turns out, as the bus engine caught fire and destroyed the whole thing. There was a few people on board, but they were awake, got out and raised the alarm. We managed to get our gear out of the hold, but anything inside in the living section was ruined.

What, or who, inspires you?

Radiohead. Pure genius. And music of a different genre to our own. From classical to hip-hop, it’s good to take inspiration from areas which are unfamiliar. We went to see some jazz at the Cork Jazz festival after a recent gig. It’s full on, and you can’t help but be awed at a double bass player in top gear.

Which song do you wish you wrote?

Everybody’s got to love sometime (The Korgis), if I could have recorded it like Beck. Love that recording.

What’s next for you?

After the upcoming Oz shows we stop off in UAE for a couple of gigs. Then home for Christmas, and some Dublin shows in the new year.

What’s your scene?

After a gig, I love hanging with the guys (band & crew) for a few jars, in that full on city madness. Otherwise, I live in the middle of nowhere so it’s a quite country pub, pint of Guinness, and maybe a whiskey chaser.

After an impressive nation-wide tour in 2014, Irish rockers Bell X1 return to Australia for 3 special shows this December in support of their impressive new album “Arms”.

Known for their wide range of styles, powerful live performances, intelligent and witty lyrics and a dedication to touring. NPR Music says Bell X1 deliver “a brilliant co-mingling of electronic music and anthemic pop rock”.  The group are festival and arena headliners in their native Ireland and play to ever growing numbers on their regular North American and European tours. Aside from U2, they are the Irish band with the most airplay in their native country and, according to Billboard, also the second biggest live performers.

Four of their albums have been nominated for the Choice Music Prize for Irish Album of the Year and three of them debuted at #1 on the Irish Album Charts.  2015 saw them keeping busy on a fully sold out acoustic tour and supporting Ed Sheeran at Croke Park.

Fast-forward to Summer 2016 and “Arms” is a Bell X1 album in name and breeding, but which sounds like nothing else in their canon. The depth and width, the colours and shades, are familiar, but there’s a new space and sense to the songs which speaks volumes about what the band have achieved.  The songs here possess a shabby grace and soft-focus elegance, but there’s also a bruised, bittersweet, romantic mood throughout.  It’s what a band should be doing on their seventh album.

“Their live performances have been described as a “communal, uplifting experience” from a band “at the height of their songwriting powers.” – Hot Press.

This tour will see Bell X1 exhibit new material alongside their much-loved previous singles & hits. Lock down your tickets immediately to avoid disappointment.

Troubadour Music, The Music & Happy proudly present…
BELL X1 – “Arms” Australian Tour 2016

Friday 2nd December 2016
Prince Bandroom, Melbourne – VIC

Saturday 3rd December 2016
Factory Theatre, Sydney – NSW

Sunday 4th December 2016
Amplifier, Perth – WA

Tickets available here.

About Mary Boukouvalas 1539 Articles
Mary is a photographer and a writer, specialising in music. She runs Rocklust.com where she endeavours to capture the passion of music in her photos whether it's live music photography, promotional band photos or portraits. She has photographed The Rolling Stones, KISS, Iggy Pop, AC/DC, Patti Smith, Joe Strummer, PULP, The Cult, The Damned, The Cure, Ian Brown, Interpol, MUDHONEY, The MELVINS, The Living End, Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumpkins, Rage Against The Machine, The Stone Roses –just to name a few - in Australia, USA, Europe and the Middle East. Her work has been published in Beat magazine, Rolling Stone magazine, Triple J magazine, The Age Newspaper, The Herald Sun, The Australian, Neos Kosmos, blistering.com, theaureview.com, noise11.com, music-news.com. She has a permanent photographic exhibition at The Corner Hotel in Richmond, Victoria Australia.

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