BEL HAVEN Talks About New Projects Before Shining On the Madame Siam Stage Listen to their latest single "Call It In The Air" on Blurred Culture!
LOS ANGELES, CA- BEL HAVEN is the musical expressions of the extremely talented, and epically hard working, Dom Liberati. On September 15th, 2018, Blurred Culture and no season was able to host this multi-faceted musician at Madame Siam in Hollywood for a performance celebrating the release of his band’s latest single “Call It In The Air”, an infectious indie rock/pop jam and was able to chat with him a for a little bit before he took the stage to learn about his background in music and what’s to come.
What does the name BEL HAVEN mean?
was the name of the street that I grew up on as a kid. When I started this [project], I wanted something musical to grab the nostalgia and all the musical influences that I grew up with … so everything 80’s and 90’s. I think the street Bel Haven, in some translations, means “beautiful landscape”, so to me it meant “beautiful soundscape”. A lot of people were saying early on that it sounded like cinematic pop, so to me it was capturing that entire feel and capturing the nostalgia of my youth.
Where is Bel Haven?
Bel Haven is a neighborhood in the very small town in Bellaire, Ohio.
Ok, so you’re a Midwest guy!
When did you come to LA?
So I’ve been out in LA almost a decade, just working on music since I got out here. I’ve done everything from Guitar Hero, video games, to work for some FX companies.
Hold on a second. What do you do for Guitar Hero?
So I was what they called a “MIDI-designer” and I would basically transcribed what was real guitar into the little colored buttons you pushed to make –
So you’re the reason why I failed all the hard levels.
You work in a really specific niche of the music industry.
Yeah, I’ve jumped around and fortunately now I”m producing other artists as much as my own material
Ok, and so tonight we are celebrating your latest single. You want to tell us a little bit about that?
I started working on this new album concept called Endless Summer when I moved out to Malibu in last December, and to me it was the same thing as tying back to my youth and capturing that feeling when you’re a kid of having that endless summer in front of you. All that freedom and all the new relationships and the new memories that you create. So, I started that in December and then it wasn’t until now that I felt comfortable … okay this is going to be the first single.. which actually came way after recording a bunch of other songs. But the concept is two lovers basically starting a relationship and getting to the point of where it’s getting really serious or it’s going to go friend zone and just be done with, so “Call it in the Air.”
Ok, so that’s the theme of the single, right?
And the rest of the album that you are working on, is it all kind of telling a story related to that concept?
Yeah, it is. It’s not so much that every single song pertains to the same character, but it’s basically a bunch of different characters and different themes of different times of my life.
Ok, and this is your first single?
This is the first single of the new album, [it’s like a] new wave [for] the new album. I have an EP out called First Kiss and a few singles I’ve released since then.
So how’s the progress going on this new album?
It’s been great. We started out in 2016 and we did a year residency at Sayers Club and that was really our kick off point. We started debuting new songs. Actually, the first gig that I did there was still under my solo act named “Dom Liberati”[.] [S]eeing everybody dance and sing just a [put out a] different vibe and a different aesthetic from that and the reaction, I wanted to kind of go a different route and go with a band name. So we started auditioning songs there and then we released the full EP and it’s just been steady progress since. It’s really great.
Are there any permanent members in your band or is it basically just you and you pull in players?
So far it’s me and I just pull in different guys, pretty much the same guys. But I started the project writing with a writing partner of mine, Darren Elder out of the band The Wrecking in Portland, Maine of all places. I did a session up there and we just started collaborating and the first two songs we wrote were “X-Ray” and “Volta” which we’ll be playing tonight.
What can we expect tonight?
We’ll be playing two tonight that will be on the new one.
So how do you find the time to pursue your individual music on top of doing all the legit corporate music work?
That’s a great question! I don’t sleep much. Just got to fit it in. That’s why it’s taking a little longer than I wanted to this year, but I’m glad that I waited until everything’s really right and proper to put out.
You’ve been in LA for 10 years, was there ever a moment that you wanted to say, “Oh, I’ll just focus on the day job…”
Oh, there have been thousands, thousands upon thousands of moments that I wanted to just pack up, move home and do the simple country life and call it a day. And there’s just something in me that just keeps it going. There’s a joy when somebody says, “I listened to your song and it got me through this” or somebody posts about “there’s this new artist and this is amazing and I love this” or you go play at shows like tonight and you see people smiling, even as simple as being part of someone’s Saturday night in Hollywood. The fact that anybody can come and see me above the millions of other things that are going on in the city that connection just keeps me going.
Any parting shots? What do we have to look forward to? When is the release date? Videos?
We have another single coming out on Halloween and I’m most excited about that one because I feel like people, when we played it live, have really really gravitated towards that song. And then the first wave, so I’m releasing the album in 2 EP’s, Endless Summer Volume 1, I’m guessing will come out in January, and Endless Summer Volume 2 maybe next summer, so… spreading it out.
When are you going to find time to do more shows and tour? I’ll be honest with you man, that’s the only way you can get your music out there …
Yeah, the days of just hopping in a van and grinding it out on the road on your own kind of faded in the last few years with the industry changing. Economically, that’s a bit tougher to do. I’ve had some opportunities either opening for different artists or being a music director on different tours for other bigger artists too so I’m constantly on the look for getting on the road and getting out. Right now, the main thing with us is getting some big sync licenses and placement there in TV and Film so that builds a fan base that we can go play to.
Get something on the next Guitar Hero!
That’s right! That’s right!
Actually, so I have a song called “Love Holds It Down” on Guitar Hero 5 and 6.
Oh, it is?
Yeah, go check it out. I can’t play it on Guitar Hero I’m terrible at it.
Even though you programmed it?
Even though I programmed it, I can’t play it on anything but medium.