When did Bella Morte form? What is the origin behind the band name?
We got started way back in 1995. It was just me and Gopal in an old warehouse with a drum machine and some halfway broken amps. I remember having to kick the guitar amp now and then on stage because it had a short somewhere in it. Gopal came up with the band name. We had made a long list of possibilities and that one and Stygian Shores were the final two standing after a long process. But Bella Morte just fit what we were trying to convey... that beauty can be found everywhere, even in darkness and tragedy,
Dead Bettie: oh my gosh! I remember Gopal Metro!
How many band members are there and what are their stances in the band?
The band is now just me (Andy Deane) and Tony Lechmanski. I sing and he plays guitar when we're performing live, though in the studio he handles all the bass guitar parts and I do most of the drum and synth work. We collaborate on everything, even write one another's parts from time to time. There are no egos at play, just two guys who work really well together.
What are band practices like? Do you have a set time each week?
We don't get to rehearse often because we don't have a permanent drummer or bass player at the time. So basically when a tour gets set up we try to rehearse once or twice before we go, but sometimes that isn't even possible. So we have to learn our parts separately and bring it together on stage. It's worked out well so far! Most recently we had the pleasure of having Cristian Carver on drums when we toured with Voltaire over the summer. When we stepped on stage in Pittsburgh for the first show of the tour it was the first time we'd played together and he killed it!
What has been your biggest challenge as a band?
It was really hard when we were a five piece. Just managing all those personalities and schedules could sometimes be a nightmare. But there were tons of great times then as well. Ironically, our biggest challenge now involves not having permanent members aside from Tony and I. Having to hire new guys for each show can be a hassle and can even make some gigs impossible because of the cost.
If you guys could play at any venue anywhere, where would it be?
We always have the best time at Whitby Gothic Weekend and are working on getting back there as soon as possible. But honestly there's no one place. Our longevity as a band has meant we've gained fans all over the globe, so everywhere we go is a good time for different reasons.
Do you have a Motto for the band? Or a superstition?
After all these years you'd think we'd have a motto, but no. And I can't think of a single superstition outside of a good practice the night before a show often means a terrible show! What the hell is that all about anyway?