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Interview de Belial Pelegrim

Known and followed on the different platforms where his music can be found, Belial Pelegrim has so far delivered little information about himself or his musical project, too busy creating his music in his home studio located in the small town of northern California where he lives and works.
But he very kindly agreed to answer some of our questions, which allowed us to discover a little more.[b] : You live and work in the United States ?

That's right. I live in a small agriculture town in Northern California. My family and I moved from Los Angeles up here about 9 years ago. We really needed to get out of the city. The traffic, the crowds, the lack of natural beauty. We live now with walnut orchards surrounding us and it's so quiet here. Except for when I plug my guitar in. Then it gets rather noisy. The move really helped my creativity as well. : You're not only a musician and music producer ?

I'm a graphic designer too. I've worked as an Art Director for years, both in advertising agencies and large corporations. It's what I do for money, and although it's a cool way to create, music is my true love when it comes to the arts.
I used to write short fiction, but it wasn't something that came easy to me, like music does. These days I work on all sorts of graphics projects, from websites to packaging, to signage, to book covers, and of course art for the music industry. : What was your musical background, you are first and foremost a multi-instrumentalist musician?

As a child I took music lessons...First the accordion, then piano, and finally guitar. I ended up playing guitar in several bands. I toured western Canada playing rock, and when I started wanting to make some steady income, I began to look for work in graphics since that was what I had gone to school for.
Around 2000, I was in a prog band in Los Angeles called One Good Meteor. We were the house band for a small art club known as Lumpy Gravy. Named after one of Frank Zappa's albums. The owner of the club was the Hungarian animator Gabor Csupo, producer of the Rug Rats cartoon show. Shortly after I left that band, I started honing my electronic music production skills, going by the moniker, The King in Yellow. I worked for 10 years in producing the kind of music that eventually turned into the material I produce as Belial Pelegrim.
I actually view myself primarily as a musician. Even though technology has afforded me the ability
to venture off into musical worlds that I would never be able to enter on my own, I always come back to using melody and traditional arranging methods to create my sound. I love incorporating real instruments into my tracks; live drums, guitars, percussion, and then manipulate the sound with effects, etc. : Do you produce your music at home ?

Yes, I have a well-equiped home studio that has a very nice view of the orchards. I really feel that for me, the place I feel most creative is at home.
Having my family around and being able to write and record whenever I want is a great thing. I've recorded in professional studios in the past, and it's an exciting way to make music, but you're always wary of the time your spending because it's costing you money.
I use a powerful mac computer, Ableton Live as my DAW, and loads and loads of software and hardware that I've accumulated over the years. : How was born the music project Belial Pelegrim ?

It's kind of funny, because the moniker of Belial Pelegrim was actually a character I came up with for a graphic novel I did about 20 years ago. I started using the name because I thought it sounded better than my real name. I don't even have a social media presence with my real name, so I have basically become the physical embodiment of Mr. Pelegrim :} : Do you perform on stage or in concerts?

I used to when I was in bands, but I don't now. I really don't have the time nor the desire. I really enjoy the process of recording and producing more than anything else. : Your different Ep, solo albums and collaborative albums have been published so far on two labels and two distinct pages of Bandcamp?[u]

Yes. I signed on to Weatnu a few years ago and put out a good amount of albums on the label. Arcanum is basically my own label that I release music on. I have an EP coming out in October on Scotland's Bricolage label as well as a new full album coming out at the end of the year on Black Box Recordings. : Among the artists with whom you collaborated on the referenced albums, I noted the names of Carlos Vivanco, Callisto's Ghost, Xixistix, Dark Fidelity Hifi, Lutz Thuns, Supply Fi, I certainly forget some?

Very much so.

I love the collaborative process and have made it a point to do as much of this kind of work as time allows. These are all great producers that I love working with.

One very important ommission is the great Beefus B. He was the first artist I collaborated with on Soundcloud. We have released an album called Workshop together a few years ago, but found that we worked so well and so often, that we formed Cabal Akademik and have released two albums of electic IDM music. : So where did you get this liking for trip-hop?

I really love the tempo of trip-hop music.
I first got into it back in the 90s with the Massive Attack and Tricky, amongst others. I've always been profoundingly influenced by Portishead as well when it comes to this genre.

It's a style of music that I really never tire of and always finding new elements that inspire. : And where do you find all these new ideas for compositions, your inspiration?

I've been an avid music fan since I can remember. Always listening to music and taking it apart in my head. I'm blown away at all the great independent artists out there that I find on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, etc.
This is the way of the future for music and it's always inspiring to me to find new and great talent. When I sit down to work on something totally new, I draw upon everything I love and have heard in the past and just let it flow. : What would you like to say about "Troubles From The Next World"

I spent a lot of time choosing the songs and the sequencing of the album. It really does reflect where my head is at musically these days.
I like to work in a way that draws from progressive rock, IDM, cinematic scoring, jazz, ambient, and many other vibes.
I'm always feeling the need to mix aspects of light and dark into my writing, because this is how the world really is. A balance of good and bad, light and dark, happy and sad.
If I feel like I've created a sonic story with any given track, then I am happy with what I have done. And for me, the greatest gift is having another artist tell me that I have inspired them in one way or another. : Thank you for this interview and see you in October for the next Ep and the album planned for the end of the year!


Propos recueillis par : Triphopette.
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