The Southern Belles – Band of The Week
By Matthew Bowers
Fresh off the release of their fantastic new album and an extensive tour, Richmond based band The Southern Belles are really starting to make some noise up and down the east coast. Being a relatively new band that was formed in 2011, the band’s high energy and chemistry that is displayed on stage would lead you to believe these guys have been playing together a lot longer. Their monthly residencies at The Camel in Richmond have helped create an extremely loyal core fan base; relentless touring and dedication to their craft have created a buzz that people are really starting to take notice of. Not to mention that their two albums are overflowing with really great original material. Playing a unique blend of funk and southern psychedelic rock, the band’s sound makes it impossible to sit still while listening to their music. When asked about the band’s growth over the past four years, Adrian said “Watching us grow as a group and individually over the years has been a pleasure. This band is made up of very old friends, elementary school old. We were kids when we started playing together and have always pushed each other to be better. This feels very grown up.”
The quartet is comprised by guitarist Adrian Ciucci, keys player Tommy Booker, Raphael Katchinoff on drums, and Andrew Carper on bass. Each one bringing extremely strong chops to the mix, they are more than capable of creating on the spot magic through their live improvisation. When asked about how they approach their songwriting and playing live, Adrian said “We take great pleasure and effort in the songwriting process. In that process we always intend to leave room for the song to develop and leave space for us to be able to improvise as a group and individually. There are so many aspects to what we do. When we are in the studio we are all about efficiency and try to never leave excessive content that is better portrayed live. Live music is theater, entertainment and now and days a band in our circuit has to be able to provide a well-executed, high-energy performance…… Show something human, try to achieve something super human. Play something familiar, surprise them.”
It’s safe to say that anyone who is seeing them for the first time will be extremely surprised, and the band is sure to hit at least a few superhuman moments at every show. This keeps people coming back to see them play, and it’s a good recipe for success. Live shows and touring are how bands make a living these days, and the bands that have great material and put on good shows will reap the rewards.
The Southern Belles are already starting to see the benefits of their hard work, receiving an afternoon spot at this past weekend’s Lockn Festival in Virginia. They took full advantage of this opportunity and played a beautiful set that delighted their huge audience. Adrian had this to say when asked about the opportunity, “We have played a huge variety of shows over the years, some to terrifyingly huge crowds. Even so, Lockn feels like the biggest opportunity we have been presented with. It is rare when you can see that the universe has given you exactly what you asked it for in a given moment.”
The universe is sure to have much more in store for the Belles. When asked about the band’s goals for the future Adrian answered, “I am a planner and a dreamer. My aspirations for this band goes all the way until the end. Part of coping with this business is having the ability to constantly re evaluate what reasonable expectations of yourself are within a certain time frame. We are lifers so time is on our side. Much more to come.”
Keep your ears and eyes on these guys from Richmond, they are a very special band.