Belvedere (14 novembre 2005)

Julien et moi avons en la chance de discuter avec Steve Rawles, le chanteur-guitariste de BELVEDERE, lorsque leu groupe était de passage au El Salon jeudi dernier. Comme vous le savez probablement déjà, les punk-rockers canadiens on décidé qu'après dix ans de travail, il était temps de mettre fin au groupe. BELVEDERE a tout de même insisté pour offrir à ses fans une tournée d'adieu comprenant une dizaine de dates au Quebec et en Ontario, sans oublier un spectacle de clôture prévu dans leur ville d'origine de Calgary le 19 novembre prochain.

[CATH] Ok, so as everybody knows, you guys are splitting up.

[STEVE] That's right!

[CATH] The only short statement that we got from you guys was, ''Time has come to put this lame horse know as BELVEDERE to rest''. Can you explain a bit further?

[STEVE] It was just kind of a term more than anything. We just said that it was time for us to move on, everybody had things going on in their lives – after ten years of touring, we just decided we wanted to do other things so we decided to call it quits and end on a high note.

[CATH] And when you announced that it was all over, was everybody else around you aware that this was going to happen?

[STEVE] It was pretty suddden. I think everybody just kind of looked at eachother and said, yeah that's pretty much it.

[CATH] So as you were saying, it was just time to move on; there wasn't anything that you would've done differently that could've saved this band?

[STEVE] I don't think so. I mean, we've just had enough of this, you know? It's not so much the whole music thing and touring, but we've had enough of playing in BELVEDERE together. People are getting married and having real lives and stuff, and it's time to move on.

[CATH] You guys have ben all over the place; What's your favorite city to play in?

[STEVE] I'd say Montreal, Caracas (Venezuela)... Italy is probably one of our favorite countries, Belguim, Holland, Japan's fun, there's lots of good ones.

[CATH] And how does it feel to know that this is your final tour and that wherever you're going, it's the last time you'll be playing as Belvedere in these venues?

[STEVE] Yeah, well it's mixed feelings. I probably won't see much of these people again and that makes me sad, but i'm happy that we can go out on such a high note. All the shows have been great and everyone's been really supportive, people at the shows have been really excited, so... I wanted to end it on that note.

[CATH] A lot of bands that decide to just split up, it just ends there; what made you want to go out and do one last tour?

[STEVE] We just figured it was best to end it on a high note, we had a bunch of stuff left that we had to do and people that we wanted to see one more time so we thought, let's just do this one more time for a week and call it a day.

[CATH] Is there anything special you're doing on this tour since it's the last one?

[STEVE] Scott and I went rock climbing in Kitchener a few days ago so that was pretty exciting, we'd never done that before. We did some batting cages, played baseball – just stuff you don't normally have time to do on tour, we made time for it this time.

[CATH] I heard that you have these crazy Japanese fans that cross the ocean to come out here and see you play; have you seen them yet on this tour?

[STEVE] I haven't seen them on this tour, but they have come out here a few times, they've flown to Europe a couple times. They're great and I wish them all the best and I hope I see them again.

[CATH] The tour ends in Calgary which is your home town. Do you remember the very first show you played there?

[STEVE] I do remember the first show, I can't remember the venue but it was on a stage that looked like a pirate ship, it had smoke coming out of it, it was so gnarly! There was like fifty of our friends there... I'd like to end it on that pirate ship, but I don't think we're gonna get a chance to do that.

[CATH] Any memorable moments you've had with this band?

[STEVE] We've had so many memorable moments. I mean, how can you take ten years of your life and summarize it, you know? I've had some of the best and worst experiences of my life being on tour, from seeing everything, some of the greatest crowds and the greatest people, to starving in the middle of the States, playing in front of nobody and being on tour for three straight months and thinking you're never going to go home; almost getting hit by lightning, tornados... They're all things I'd never trade for. Great memories.

[CATH] Has this band changed you as an individual?

[STEVE] Oh yeah, i'm a totally different person. You don't go to four continents and not change as a person. It's made me grow and I think of all the choices that I've made that made me be in a band instead of doing other things and I'm so glad that I chose to do this.

[CATH] And are there any of your aspirations that were met?

[STEVE] Playing Japan and Europe was always a big thing for me. I never thought we'd play South America, that was amazing. Also, the types of bands we toureded with – I never thought we'd be in a position to tour with a band like BAD RELIGION or MAD CADDIES or SATANIC SURFERS or do the Warped Tour. We just got a chance to do so many things that I never thought we'd be able to do. In my eyes, as a band, we've really made it. It was never about fame or getting rich, just about being able to do things I dreamed of as a kid and we got to do that and more.

[CATH] What's the most important proof of respect or affection you've received from fans?

[STEVE] There's been a few kids on this tour that have gotten really upset and it makes me upset almost. It actually gets pretty real sometimes. It's really exciting and I'm glad that kids come up and give us a hug and say ''thanks, I'll always listen to you rmusic, you've made a real impact on my life'', so that makes me happy.

[CATH] And how do you want this band to be remembered?

[STEVE] Just as a band that tried really hard. We never did huge things but we did things our way and we did it with the help of some great people: The Union Label Group, House Hold Name Records, Bullion Records in Japan, 2 Many Records in South America, Jump Start Records in the States – there's just so many people that have helped us along the way. I want to be remembered as the band that maybe shouldn't have gotten where they were but did anyways, because we tried hard.

[CATH] And do you guys plan on releasing anything post-BELVEDERE?

[STEVE] There's no plans right now, but stranger things have happened!

[CATH] As this band's been going on for over ten years, have your thoughts on the music industry changed since you first started out?

[STEVE] Well, I mean, just like any other person that's done something in the music industry... it's got a very jaded attitude and it's one of the toughest industries to actually excel in. But I love it though, I've done all the band business. It's been exciting just to make so many mistakes and learn from that, to meet people and learn the kind of game you have to play with this stuff. A lot of people get pissed off about it but I'm excited about it. Sometimes I wish the music industry would go to hell... but that's ok!

[CATH] What's your favorite song that you like to play with BELVEDERE?

[STEVE] I think 2nd Column has always been one of my favorite songs, Brandy Wine, High School Heroics, there's so many... I probably have five or six that I think are really fun songs and that I'm really happy that my band made them.

[CATH] We were talking with Matt from Union and he was mentionning something about how you guys are kind of already involved in other things...

[STEVE] Well, we'll see that happens. It's a long ways away, but we'll see if new bands arise from this. Graham's new band [THIRTY NIGHTS OF VIOLENCE] is playing right now; Jay has a band back home called FALLOUT FREQUENCY, Scott's playing jazz with some of his old friends so we're all keeping busy. You might hear something from me soon.

[CATH] And what's going on in Alberta? You guys don't spend that much time there at all, do you?...

[STEVE] I've been working on houses... I can tell you there's a lot of houses being built in Calgary right now, but I couldn't tell you how many bands are in there right now. I've ben wirking so much working contruction, and any moment we do spend at home I just go right to work, so.... I'm sure there's some great bands out there but I couldn't tell you cause I'm out there building homes... building dreams - other people's dreams!

[CATH] Is there any last words you'd like to address to people that have supported you along the way and those who didn't?

[STEVE] I just want to say thank you so much for making so many of my dreams come true and I hope to see you guys all again someday, who knows when...

[CATH] Cool, thanks a lot man, we really appreciate it and have a great rest of the tour.

[STEVE] Thank you very much.

Merci à Steve d'avoir pris le temps de discuter avec nous, à Union Label Group pour avoir rendu cette entrevue possible, et à Math pour avoir préparé les questions de cet entretien.

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