Although Belle Histoire recently celebrated its year anniversary as a band, it has a lot to be proud of in the last 12 months. The Cincinnati-based quintet already has two EPs under its belt, with a full-length due this summer on InVogue Records (yes, the band has already been signed). In addition, the indie-pop outfit filmed a music video for its single, “Stay Awhile,” toured the East Coast and Midwest with labelmate Before Their Eyes and is gearing up to play the Bunbury Festival in July. With so much on its plate right now, the band was nice enough to chat with me about the Belle Histoire’s beginnings, signing to InVouge, and where the band sees itself a year from now.
Katrina Nattress: How did the band come about?
Jane Smith: My brother told me that he loved some of my music that I didn't use for the group that I was apart of at the time, and that he would pay for me to record an EP with my good friend Aaron. Before we knew it, Wes, our drummer, loved it and wanted to be apart of it, with Mitch and Austin soon to follow!
KN: Your band defines itself as “a band with the purpose of reinventing indie rock music while gracefully making art that is universal.” How do you feel your band is unique to other indie rock groups out right now?
Mitch Winsett: I think having a strong female lead vocalist makes us stand out a little more than we normally would, but what really sets our music apart is the positivity we try to bring into our music as well as outside of it. Obviously, not all of our music is upbeat and uplifting, but one of our goals as a band is to truly connect with those who are influenced by our music and build relationships with our fan base.
Austin Livingood: So, I guess, in a nutshell, we may not look any different on paper in comparison to other bands, but when you come to a show, you’ll see that we just really want to connect with people.
KN: Tell me about signing with InVogue Records. How do you feel this will help your future as a band?
AL: Jane had been friends with Nick Moore (Before Their Eyes, IVR owner) for a while [because of] her previous band. When he heard our stuff, he came to us and we felt really at home with him. It’s funny, because we’re the only group that isn’t either Pop Punk or Metal on the label, so I think this definitely helps us stand out in that community, and it really helps us reach to people we wouldn’t have had the opportunity to if we weren’t involved with InVogue. So, thanks Nick!
KN: You are playing the Bunbury music festival this year. Will this be the largest show you’ve played so far?
AL: I’m not sure how many people are going to be there, but from the lineup I’ve seen, I think it will definitely top our prior shows. Gaslight Anthem, Wheezer, Janes Addiction, Passion Pit, Neon Trees, and Death Cab for Cutie are all playing this festival. It’s going to be awesome and we’re very thankful for the opportunity.
KN: Tell me about the music scene in Ohio. What are some local bands we should be listening to?
AL: Ohio actually has some really great talent, and you become a part of a big community once you get involved. Some bands I would recommend listening to are Twenty One Pilots, The Yugos, Let It Happen, and Canoes. Also, we’ll be on tour with a band called The Orphan, The Poet this July, and they are an incredible.
KN: What would you say are your largest influences as a band?
AL: I think our influences all derive from a bunch of different styles. But, I’m a HUGE Bruce Springsteen fan. Da Boss!
MW: I'm really into singer/songwriters like Josh Ritter, James Taylor, Sara Bareilles as well as Jazz music. But as a band when we're jamming in the van together on the road I think we all enjoy bands like Coldplay, Young the Giant, Phantom Planet, Fun., and The Civil Wars.
Wes Comer: Personally, it doesn’t matter to me if it’s Maroon 5 or Metallica, I’m influenced by it all! MUSIC RULES!
KN: Where do you hope the band to be a year from now?
JS: Touring more! Writing lots more material! We’re very excited for the future as a band and with our fans!
MW: A year from now, my hope is that first, we all love being in each other's company as much as we do now, and second, that we are still very focused and driven to accomplish the goals we've set for ourselves: play more shows, meet people, create good music, and make a living doing what we love!