Belly Belt is a mondo bizarro 3/three/tree/trio piece pop-R&B-dance outfit consisting of Kate Belly Feldmann, Sister Erika Lawson and Nastya Death Valentine. Putting the WHY in DIY, I’ve heard it said they capture the essence of the weirdo Los Angeles music scene. One thing is certain they know how to write great pop tunes. They have a pizza fetish too (hold the cheese). We featured their excellent LP “Stay True” towards the rear of last year. Here’s the wonderful Kate talking about stuff. Bang a gong.
Why did you decide to be in a band?
I decided to be in a band to be cool like my friends and family. Not sure if I stuck with it because I have a sick need to be considered cool or because expressing myself through song and sounds became essential to my sanity and existence.
What was the first piece of music you loved, and why?
I cried at a Michelle Branch concert when I was 12.
What is your favourite song that you’ve written and why?
It’s very hard to choose a favorite song that I’ve ever written. I think my new album Stay True has some of the best songs I’ve ever written. They might be my favorite. I’m also very proud of some rock and roll songs I’ve written in my youth.
How do you know when a song you’ve working on is complete?
I know when a song is complete when it sounds like it did when I imagined it. I don’t necessarily hear things in my head, but I know what I want a song to sound like upon creation- I immediately fill in all the blanks. I’m lucky to be my own engineer because the final studio recording of a song is, I guess, what I consider to be the final product and when a song is *complete*. I am able to imagine what my brain should feel like when I hear the song correctly and I can turn my own knobs until that happens. They gotta sound pop and crisp so people can eat it real smooth.
Do your songs change much when played in front of a live audience?
My songs don’t change much when we play live, maybe not at all because I use the recordings as a backing track. Though, the live experience is completely different than that of the at home listener and that is intentional. The kind of music I make is not necessarily what I want to be performing in front of people by just playing the keyboards or the guitars. When we play live, we are a dance crew. We have dance routines for every song. We are pop stars and pop stars are famous, and we milk that role and it’s goofy and fun.
What song by another artist do you wish you had written and why?
I wish I wrote all the number one hits on the charts.
What artist(s) has been your biggest influence and in what way?
My friends influence me most. My friends and my community. New and old. Also Leslie and the Lys and 3LW. Hannah Montana.
Name a song that makes you happy and why does it have that effect?
I have a list of Karaoke songs I sing when I’m down that make me happy. I don’t know if it’s the actual song that makes me happy or the way it feels when I sing them cause they are good for my range or type of voice… but these songs include… Everyday is a Winding Road by Sheryl Crow. Call Me Anymore by Alicia Keys. Uh, and… Clumsy by Fergie.
What is the best new band that you’ve heard recently?
The best new band is Girl Pusher.
What do you think of music streaming sites like Spotify and Deezer?
I don’t know what Deezer is… they have that one sweater song? But ya Spotify is cool and streaming sites are cool. I think music should be free, but also that I should be paid. So… I don’t know what to do about that, it’s kind of a conflict of interest.
What’s your idea of success?
My idea of success is good friends and being happy and doing whatever you want and not having to pay for so much stuff.