A few years back, Dom Liberati was our featured cover artist and we predicted big things for the singer/songwriter from Ohio. Today, still based in Los Angeles, the Ohioan is about to embark on a huge late summer tour with 5 Seconds of Summer and Roy English. His new project, BEL HAVEN, is on the cusp of a huge breakout. Thankfully, and fortunately, Dom took the time to chat with us again about his goings on, new music and the big tour!
Lemonade Magazine: Hey, Dom, it’s been, wow, almost 2 years since we last chatted. Thanks for chatting with us again! Tell us what is going on with your new project.
Dom Liberati: Hey, Rome wasn’t built in a day, right? Haha, well I’ve been hard at work putting together a new alt/electro pop project called BEL HAVEN. It’s a more cinematic and 80’s sounding diversion from any of my solo material. I am gearing up to release an EP late this summer. CAN’T WAIT!
LM: Pretty exciting to know that there is a new EP coming out soon! There was a name change a little while back from Tides to BEL HAVEN. Why the name change and is there a significance to the new band name?
Well, long story short, we kept getting confused by labels and radio for this band in the UK when we first launched. I figured it best to be as clear and concise about who “we” are before we officially released anything.
I wanted the name to be really unique and have a tie to my childhood, since the music reflected influences from my childhood. After several days of frustration racking my brain over what to be called, BEL HAVEN came to me over coffee one morning. It was the name of the street and neighborhood in which I grew up and have all my best childhood memories. The name also means “beautiful landscape.” That’s what I try to create sonically…a “beautiful soundscape” if you will, so it fit perfectly!
LM: I’ve had a chance to listen to a few of your new tracks and they are fantastic! I think BEL HAVEN is a solid name choice. What prompted the style change and what kind feel were you going for on these new songs?
DL: Thanks, man. I’m honored you’re digging on them! I started writing with Darren Elder of The Wrecking up at The Halo studio in Portland, ME in late 2014. The first two tracks we wrote were “Volta” and “X Ray” and the chemistry was on fire. We actually started writing new tunes for The Wrecking, but we somehow came out with a totally different and unique vibe. We didn’t want to go for the typical, predictable rock vibe, and were searching for something a little less heavy. We decided to go 80s since everyone is digging that sound, but I didn’t realize just how instinctual that whole vibe was for me as a performer and producer.
LM: How does this type of change affect your songwriting process?
DL: Oddly enough I felt like I had finally taken off the chains. Chains I never knew were there. It’s funny how it takes wiring or collaborating with someone else to see that. So, I felt like I had hit a stride as a writer and producer and had become completely unhinged. Now, I could show off a little more as a bassist/frontman in a tasteful manner, and add a whole new cinematic element to everything. Once we started showcasing the material live, it was insane to see how infectious it was. I was like, “Wait, everyone is dancing…like…losing themselves. I think I’m on to something!”
LM: I have to agree that the tracks are infectious! I was lucky to hear a few tracks early, but when can we expect to be able to buy the finished product?
DL: We are planning to release our first single in mid-August, with the EP to follow in September. It will be available basically everywhere online.
LM: So on top of the new EP, the other big news is that you are going to be going on tour with 5 Seconds of Summer and Roy English. What was it like getting the news that you get to tour with those guys?
DL: Definitely a huge honor. Roy and I connected about a year ago through a mutual friend and really hit it off in the studio. He has a great ear for melody and a killer voice. I’ve heard nothing but great things about the 5SOS guys too, so I’m excited to be doing a tour this big which such great company.
LM: How do you prepare for a tour like this?
DL: We’ve been in rehearsals for weeks now, but I think the trickiest part has been coordinating all the gear and set flow. I am playing bass, guitar, keys, singing, and doing some programming and loops, so it will be quite an athletic experience as well! Haha! There’s a lot of mental prep too in terms of getting your affairs in order pre and post tour as well as the most important element…”What do I wear?”
LM: Gotta love the all important wardrobe choices! You have a number of bigger venues coming up, including White River Amphitheater in Auburn, WA. What, so far, has been your favorite venue to play? And which venue are you looking forward to playing the most on the upcoming tour?
DL: Pretty much every venue on this tour will be a first for me. I am most excited about playing The Forum in L.A. just because it’s home for me, and it has so much history. But, a national tour in late summer is about every musician’s dream come true, so all of these venues will have their own magic.
LM: That is awesome! We absolutely look forward to seeing you play in our neck of the woods! Thanks again for taking the time to chat with us and good luck with the tour.
For details regarding upcoming tour and music release dates, go to BEL HAVEN’s website: HERE!
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