AngelDevil: Hi Amir, how are you doing?
AMIR: Doing great, thanks! Happy 2009!
AngelDevil: So tell me a little bit about the band. How was it formed and how did it first get started? And tell me a little about the musicians who play with you.
AMIR: Well, ErinMarie is the founder of the band. I think she started it at a pretty young age back in 1998. I joined back in 2001 (yeah, time flies!) and after a couple of personnel changes, we ended up with the line up we have today which is: ErinMarie on vocals, myself on the bass, backup vocals, and synthesizer, Cristian on the drums, and Noah on the guitar and backups.
AngelDevil: Where did the name Mr. Bella come from?
AMIR: When Mr. Bella was first formed, half the band were girls, so EM came up with the name, which kinda meant “Mr. Pretty Girl” or something like that. Personally, I hate picking band names, so I was glad they already had a name when they adopted me! LOL!
AngelDevil: Speaking of the latest CD release, titled "Too Far". The songs are really good! How do you work to write a song?
AMIR: Thanks! Actually “Too Far” has been out a couple of years now. The new upcoming CD which is almost finished really shows a big growth in the band’s song writing ability. But generally, it starts with usually me or Noah coming up with a riff. I have a home studio, and I will usually create a beat on the computer, then start tracking guitars, bass, etc… then email the mp3 to the rest of the band so they become familiar with the idea. Then at practice, we start kicking it around, and EM will start coming up with vocals and melodies.
Our producer, Brett Hestla of the band Dark New Day, has helped us a lot with the lyrics and melody ideas in the upcoming CD.
AngelDevil: How would you define your sound and what are your main sources of inspiration?
AMIR: Hmmm, I would say thick, heavy, groove-oriented riffs with melodic, yet haunting, female vocals. As far as sources of inspiration, we write about life and happenings in our personal lives. I write some of my best ideas when I’m either sad or mad…lol!
AngelDevil: You released a self-produced album. You've recorded and released the album all on your own. How did you fund it, you have not been contacted by one label or another yet?
AMIR: It wasn’t easy. We really never have had an investor. So the band has worked hard and paid for everything from shows, merch sales, and side jobs that we each have. Until just recently, we have not been contacted directly by a label, but we’re pretty excited about what’s going on now.
AngelDevil: How much time do you put into myspace and the internet with regards to your musical endeavours?
AMIR: Usually a couple of hours daily. My Space and the internet have been huge in promoting the band and spreading the word. At the same time, file sharing has made making a living from selling your music a little more difficult than the past.
AngelDevil: What can you tell me about the music scene in your country? AMIR: The music scene in the U.S. is so diverse. Rock used to be huge back in the 80’s and even early 90’s. Then hip hop kinda took over. But now rock is become a big part of the music scene again, even though it’s a minority compared to pop/top 40. I guess it also depends on where in the U.S. you are. Rock is bigger in the North and West, and country music is big in some of the southern states, then Latin music in South Florida…like I said, it’s very diverse. But if you have a good product, they will come!
AngelDevil: If you could play with some famous band, what band would you choose to play with?
AMIR: LOL! We’ve been pretty fortunate to share the stage with some famous bands like Sevendust, Taproot, Lit, Toadies, Hoobastank,The Exies, 10 Years, Safety Suit, Doro, and more..BUT my dream would be to play with MOTLEY CRUE sometime!!
AngelDevil: When you start to learn how to play an instrument you look for a hero, just talking in general. Who would you want to be alike?
AMIR: My biggest bass and musician idol would have to be Nikki Sixx. I love his persona and song writing ability. Steve Harris of Iron Maiden was also a big influence of mine. But yeah, I would have to say Sixx.
AngelDevil: How important is the look for you?
AMIR: Pretty important, I would say. I mean, I think if you’re gonna play the part, then you should look the part. Besides, I’ve always thought of a band, or show, as an audio-visual experience. Since we have this pretty girl fronting our band, we kinda feel the need to keep up with her, y’know? LOL!
AngelDevil: So, aside from being in an up-and-coming band, what do the members of Mr Bella do to keep themselves busy? Any interesting jobs, hobbies, or interests? I know you are web design
AMIR: Yeah, I do graphic design and I’ve enrolled in some classes to finally get my degree. Also, EM and I both help our with our parents’ businesses. Noah is a data base programmer and Cristian is an I.T./computer guy for another business. As far as hobbies go, I love football, and I’m an avid skier!
AngelDevil: Which band you listen the most?
AMIR: I listen to a little of everything. Right now, I have the new Motley Crue, Dark New Day, Taproot, Sevendust, and Sixx A.M. in my car. But I pretty much try to check out all the new rock, and I love my older CD’s such as Queensryche’s “Operation Mindcrime” and Guns n Roses “Appetite for Destruction”.
AngelDevil: Which are your ambitions and expectations about the future?
AMIR: 2009 is the year of the Bellaz!! We’ve worked really, really hard, went through some very tough times, and survived some personnel issues to get to the point we are today, and it’s finally starting to pay off. I’ve always said “if you just keep chugging along and do your thing to the best of your ability, good things will happen”. The new CD we are finishing now with Brett Hestla sounds amazing so far and we can’t wait to release it and see the peoples response.
AngelDevil: Ok Amir, we’re done, thank you so much for your availability. Do you wanna tell us something more?
AMIR: Thank you soo much for a fun interview! We appreciate any help in spreading the word. Everyone make sure you check us out on myspace at www.myspace.com/mrbella and on our website at www.mrbella.com. Some of the new tunes are available now on tunes worldwide. Be on the lookout for the new album which will be out a couple of months….and