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(Photo Credits: LINDA FLYNN PHOTOGRAPHY)
Beth Blade and The Beautiful Disasters are a melodic hard rock band from Cardiff. The four-piece provide monster riffs, huge choruses and a dose of old school rock and roll attitude. This band are amongst the new blood that is reigniting the flame of British classic rock.
In just over 2 years, the band have become a force to be reckoned with, having supported Ricky Warwick and Damon Johnson of Black Star Riders twice and completed two full UK tours with Marco Mendoza. The band have also supported Kee Marcello, Tyketto and most recently have been invited to play with Y and T at Cardiff's Tramshed.
The band's debut album 'Bad Habit' was released earlier this year after a successful pledge campaign, and has been well received by both fans and press. Classic Rock Magazine critics named it in their 'Top 50 Albums of the year so far'. We caught up with Beth at Rockstock.
DTF: So how did you find your performance at Rockstock?
BB: Amazing! You know when it's so early, you always wonder if there's going to be like 3 people in the audience and stuff, but no - a packed room, brilliant reaction and everybody singing along. I'm quite happy as long as everyone has a good time.
DTF: There were a lot of hangovers in that room
BB: Yes, I have heard that - I'm not going to quote that quote but apparently, you don't 'something with the truck'…
DTF: Yeah we did have a bit of that last night
BB: So a lot of people did and ended up having very bad hangovers this morning (both laugh)
DTF: So are you going to hang around and watch anyone else today?
BB: Yes, absolutely. There's a couple of bands I wanna see on the second stage… Texas Flood, we played with those guys and they are awesome. Yeah, Texas Flood are on. Are they headlining the second stage?
DTF: No, Trucker Diablo.
BB: I’ve heard good things about them as well, they are the other one I want to see. And then obviously you’ve got all the main stage boys. I really want to see Massive Wagons – I’ve never seen them live and I’ve heard amazing things, and Barry is very funny.
DTF: So you're gonna be down the front rocking out to Massive Wagons
BB: Yes, absolutely. It doesn’t matter, even if you're in a band, you're always a fan. And the guys we are on tour with are playing later, the Electric Boys who are kind of like Extreme meets Aerosmith. They're very catchy! They have a riff in their song and we've just been singing it all week. I literally can’t get it out of my head. And I'm looking forward to, I think it's really cool that they have a lady headlining - I think that's wicked - Joanne Shaw Taylor. And I can't wait to see Dan Reed Network cos Dan Reed himself, by himself, is absolutely marvellous. He made me drop my phone down the toilet.
BB: He just stunned me, I was in awe of his voice and I put my phone in my back pocket, forgot about it, and then went to the bathroom and it fell out; in the toilet.
DTF: I did break my finger once listening to Broken Witt Rebels…
BB: Exactly. Sometimes, these musicians, they just dazzle you and it's like 'wow'…
DTF: So going back to your performance earlier, what was your favourite track to perform today?
BB: erm, ooh, the last one. If you're ready to rock, you're ready to roll. Just because of that crowd interaction and everybody gets involved, and by that point everybody had loosened up and started having a real good time.
DTF: When you're on stage you're quite energetic, dancing around; do you ever put your back out going onto the floor like that?
BB: No but I have permanently bruised knees (both laugh). In fact I think I ripped my trousers! There, look…
BB: It's ok they're only [cheap] but yeah, I don’t ever put my back out but sometimes my knees end up quite bruised and stuff, you know. I should get some knee pads really. But it's ok. I'm hoping by the time I get to like 50 they'll have figured out a way to just replace them …
DTF: Just put metal pads permanently on your knees?
DTF: It'll be fine
BB: Yeah. We like to, the thing is even if you don't play amazingly well or you're not the best musician in the world, I think it's all about your energy and your performance, and that connection with the crowd. I think that's the most important thing. So I always try and focus on that and pretend that every gig is Wembley Arena.
DTF: That's the way to do it! Now, when you're onstage, your attitude just streams out, but like this you're really quite sweet. How do you make that change?
BB: You know, it comes from watching, when I was growing up, people like Heart, Queen, Kiss… My mum loves Bon Jovi and Def Leppard and always having those, almost larger than life figures, as a constant throughout my childhood. And obviously, with Kiss as well, they kind of put that image on, in their makeup and that sort of thing. And then they're rock stars. So, for me, I kind of have to get into a certain mind-frame to change how I am normally, which is just Beth, but on stage I'm Beth Blade, I'm in charge. It's just like a switch that you flip. I'm better at it than the boys, the boys struggle, if there's not much of a crowd or anything they kind of don’t react as well as they do when there's a big crowd.
BB: But for me, it's a case of, once I'm on that stage that's who I am, and you've just got to project that.
DTF: You do that so well.
BB: It's like amplifying yourself.
DTF: Yes. I think I said to you at Rockwich, earlier in the year, that you have more balls on that stage than the guys that had gone before you. And you put that into every single performance.
BB: Yeah you have to give a hundred percent. If anybody takes time out of their day to come and see you play music, you're very lucky and they deserve every single ounce of energy, they deserve everything that you have to give. So giving anything less than that, I wouldn’t be happy doing that.
DTF: So, what have you got in store for 2018?
BB: Oh, so we just announced that we're playing Amplified festival.
BB: On the Very Metal Arts stage, we've got a couple of gigs that we can't announce yet, but we've got a couple of gigs up until the end of the year. We've got the rest of the tour with the Electric Boys. We've got a gig in Cardiff with Mason Hill, and a gig with Buffalo Summer at the Dragonfly in Pontypool on the 8th of December. And then we're just going to spend a little time at the beginning of the year focusing on the next album.
DTF: Have you got anything put to one side for the next album yet?
BB: Yes, we have 5 songs already done, written and ready to go
DTF: Hell in the High Heels. Is that a new one?
BB: No, Hell in High Heels is on the old one. Everything we played today is on Bad Habit, our debut album.
DTF: So why don’t I recognise that one of the album then?
BB: It's on there. Maybe you fell asleep? (both laugh)
DTF: I always listen to it while I'm driving!
BB: Well it's a headbanger; it's a driving song. That one's definitely on there. But, yeah, these are all new songs and it's kind of frightening cos the first album got such a good reception from everyone, from the press, it's in Classic Rock magazine which is ridiculous… we were on a list with Deep Purple and Cheap Trick! And I was just like 'that's insane'…
DTF: The album is magic from start to finish, even though I've forgotten Hell in high heels! I don’t know how I've done that…
BB: So it's our debut but with the second one we really need to hit it out of the park, better songs, more singalongs, bigger, better. That’s what we're aiming for.
DTF: Where'd you get the inspiration from for your songs?
BB: D'ya know what, I write a lot of songs on the bus! Literally, so when I'm on the bus, I'm very much, I tend to get the melody first more than anything, so the vocal melody or a catchy riff. And I end up singing it and I record it into my phone, and then I'll get home and be like 'argh' but yeah. So either on the bus, or at the end of my bed in my dressing gown, usually. I like to write about things that I know about. I don’t like taking it too far, you know, like you can write poetry as lyrics and stuff like that and whilst I do do that, and I have like more singer-songwritery type songs that I do write and I do enjoy. For this band, for rock and roll, I don’t get too serious, I like to focus on the fun things in life, cos I think that's something that's been marketed in rock and roll, maybe from when I was a kid until now, and the reason why I always enjoyed older bands was that they were more about the fun of it.
DTF: Yeah. There's a lot of that coming back into music right now…
BB: Which is just great you know, and obviously we pay ode to a lot of bands that came before us and our influences are a lot of older bands and stuff. And it's kind of just getting it to blend with the stuff that makes us us, and having our own kind of sound. I think it's kind of like a new wave of British classic rock…
DTF: It is, yeah
BB: And obviously people use the term 'classic' because it's old but I don’t think it means old, classic rock is that big guitar-driven catchy sound. Not so much stadium rock, cos that's where you're in a stadium but… And we try not to stop ourselves from doing anything that we like, if the song is a bit heavier, or a bit punkier, we just kind of roll with it cos, at the end of the day, there's a big umbrella of genre and if it feels good we're gonna do it.
DTF: Excellent. So, getting onto girly stuff… what are your favourite shoes?
DTF: I love those boots!
BB: Yeah, I have my studded Doc Martins which I have worn for every gig since I got them, and that's about 2 years now… I don't have very good balance so I don’t wear high heels on stage, which is a shame cos I would really love to but I would end up falling on my arse.
DTF: I have seen Lizzy Hale nearly do that!
BB: Oh, yeah, she wears those…I don’t know how she does that! It's crazy. And the stiletto ones, more power to her like. But I do like my high heels, I have some of the big platform ones with the spikes on the back, and I like thigh-high leather boots and kind of classic things when it comes to shoes. I'm all about jackets; studded; fake fur collars. Anything vintage, retro … I have literally cupboards full of jackets. And, now it's winter, I have this beautiful long black thick coat and it's gorgeous. I love it.
DTF: Just made me jealous…
BB: D'ya know what, it's my mum's fault. She goes charity shopping and she's like 'Beth I found you this!...' My mum's a right bargain hunter! She always looks in the charity shops these days. These Doc Martins were supposed to be £300 brand new and I got them for 70 quid from a second-hand shop.
BB: Yeah. I'm not the most girliest of girls but I'm a girl in areas where people wouldn’t think I am.
DTF: Such as?
BB: Wedding dresses and things like that. Yeah. If I ever got married, God forbid…
DTF: You'd have a huge dress?
BB: I'd have a huge poufy princess dress. I wanna be Ariel from the Little Mermaid. Definitely.
DTF: You’ve got the hair!
BB: Yeah. It's a good job I dyed it yesterday actually… (both laugh) I was like “my hair looks like crap I need to dye it before Rockstock!” cos I'm naturally red but as I am getting older aherm, my red is fading to a more auburn colour and it's frustrating.
BB: I'm old. And when I was little it was carrot ginger.
DTF: And finally, we started this little thing last night when we had a few too many drinks…
BB: There's no such thing as a few too many
DTF: Well, we asked Monster Truck what their favourite sandwich was…
BB: Favourite sandwich... ooooo… this is difficult! Right, so, there's three things; meatball sub with cheese, and I like a barbecued pulled-pork sandwich with jalapenos, but there's a place in Cardiff called New York Deli and it does the best sandwiches in the world. I go in there and have bagels, and I have the weirdest thing. I have a bagel with salami, and just fresh-cut chillis, green chillis.
BB: I really love spicy food! I can't eat it when I'm singing, yeah, acid and things like that, you’ve got to keep your vocal chords fresh. I love spicy food and New York Deli's salami bagel with jalapenos is just… you're making me hungry now! I just ate a lasagne (laughing).
DTF: The lasagne is lovely here. Well thank you very, much for talking to us.
BB: Thank you for taking the time to talk to me
DTF: I look forward to at Amplified next year
DTF: and the gigs you can't tell us about yet
BB: There's stuff coming, we promise
DTF: Thank you very much
BB: Thank you for having me