Two of Australia’s scene favs are teaming up for a co-headline tour that kicks off this weekend and we are sooooo excited for their return to the local stage! Belle Haven and The Beautiful Monument will head up and down the East Coast with pals Terra for a quick run to make up for lost time during the pandemic and to celebrate, we grabbed David De La Hoz and Lizi Blanco for a chat all about the reunion, their return to the stage and more…
It’s a co-headliner party with Belle Haven and TBM finally hitting the road together – how important is this tour to both of you and how long have you been trying to tour together?
David: Any opportunity to spend time with the TBM girls is a good opportunity. We met and clicked back in 2017 or something at a festival in Brisbane and have always been tight since then! But on a personal level, touring has felt like a very distant and almost intimidating idea to me for the last year. Very thankful to be able to step back into it again surrounded by some of my closest friends in both BH and TBM.
Lizi: “It’s you and me against the world babe, just you and me” – the words we both heard at Big Sound moments before we almost peed ourselves laughing and knew we would become instant best friends. This tour has been a looong time coming and I’m so excited for the chaos that is David & Lizi when you put us in the same room.
David, it’s been a hot minute since you released the Time Changes Nothing EP – how have these songs sat and resonated with you since release, to now, getting back up on stage again and playing them live for the first time in a couple of years?
David: It’s bizarre to think we released Time Changes Nothing and then dropped off the face of the planet for a bit almost immediately after. The truth is that during that time I didn’t listen to the EP or much music at all for that matter. I needed space from my music life.
Coming back into it and facing the thought of playing these songs live, in some cases for the first time ever, has felt incredibly daunting. These songs are very lyrically intense. Written by a very tortured past version of myself. Of course, it brings things up every time I sing them but in some way that feels right to me. Time Changes Nothing is a bookmark for a part of my life that I will never forget, and became the catalyst for some incredible change and growth in me. Every time I perform one of those songs, it’s an opportunity to feel and reflect.
Lizi, you’ve managed to play a few shows since the pandemic – do you feel the nuts and bolts inside you are fully greased and ready to rock harder than ever?
Lizi: Definitely not feeling the moistest I’ve ever felt but I think once I set foot on that stage I’ll probably go up in flames from all the pent up grease. It will be a perfect live cinematic to BH’s Burn The Witch. But please don’t actually set me on fire.
The friendship between Belle Haven and The Beautiful Monument is wholesome as hell. Not only are you friends, but you’re also connected in other ways (relationships). What is your favourite thing about the opposite band’s motivation and drive?
David: It’s a tricky question to answer, but the question makes me think back to bonding with Alex a few years ago in Mount Gambier about our work ethic and mentality though, and how similar we are in a lot of ways. I think TBM, like BH, despite being a band for quite a while now, has always retained this sense of awe and excitement around being in a band and being able to do some of the things we do, and I really do love that. The darker side of that coin is that there is also some insecurity and self doubt, but in those moments the friendship between TBM and BH shines even brighter.
Lizi: David nailed that. I would just be Kuzco’s poisoning what he said if I was to answer again. When you said insecurities and self doubt, I felt that… heaps hard. Knowing we have a similar mentality definitely eases some of those insecurities though.
And not to forget Terra who are joining you for this run – what was it about them that made you say – we HAVE to have them on this tour?
David: I mean, I just love that band. I don’t really know how else to put it. I really love Terra and I really love where they’re going creatively, as soon as Jayden (our agent) suggested them to me I was on board. Honestly, maybe Belle Haven should just be opening this tour package.
Lizi: Great humans, stupid talented musicians, like, why wouldn’t we bring them along?
David, you’ve bared your soul with your own mental health journey – the highs and lows too – what inspires you to speak so openly about this journey in reality and your music?
David: I can see in my immediate personal life and relationships how much better my life is for being open and transparent in my mental health journey. It’s not a subtle difference, it’s enormous. It’s the difference between me being triggered and telling my partner “hey, I’m feeling really upset about x or y” and being able to move past it, gain new perspective and even heal, or bottling it up for months, ruminating endlessly until I implode and have a traumatic mental episode. Open (and sure, sometimes difficult) conversation, at least in my personal experience, can change the long term outcome of triggers dramatically.
But additionally, it’s Belle Haven fans and the music community in general that continually encourage me to speak openly and feel no shame about who I am and what I’ve been going through. I am so grateful for that. I really hope I can continue to encourage that openness in communication when it comes to mental health.
Lizi, your own struggles play a big part in the storytelling of TBM’s music. What’s it like seeing fans sing (and cry) back at you when you’re performing these hard hitting songs in a live setting?
Lizi: The feeling you get when someone feels/reacts in any form of way towards something you’ve written is indescribable, but also super bittersweet. Knowing you’re not alone in your experiences and that others can empathise is incredibly reassuring but knowing that they have had similar experiences also sucks because you wouldn’t wish some of these feelings upon your worst enemy.
What song are you most excited to play and can we expect any live debuts or fun surprises on the setlists?
David: I’m really enjoying rehearsing Take Your Pill at the moment, that chorus is so fun and catchy. But very nervous and excited to debut Mistakes live. That song really means a lot to me and has some really special vocal moments I love to sing.
What songs from the opposite band can’t you wait to sing along with and cry to?
David: Obviously very keen for Give Up, like I’m sure most are. But I have a deep soft spot for an older TBM track, War. I really love Lizi’s vocal delivery in the verses and that chorus is so big.
Lizi: FORGET ME BABYYYY! Don’t be surprised if you catch me singing/dancing like a “cool mum” to this absolute banger. Slap city bitch, slap slap city bitch.
And what Terra song is going to have you moshing like a lunatic?
David: I’m personally really hoping they play their Vanessa Carlton cover. Haha but in all seriousness, anything on Reverie will have me amped. Like I said earlier, I’m so into where they’re going creatively at the moment.
Lizi: Frenemies guuuurrrl.
Noiiiiice. And final thoughts?
David: I love Browny.
Lizi: I love Browny more. Also, hi mum, thanks for birthing me.
Interview by Bree Vane.
Tickets on sale now via Destroy All Lines
The Beautiful Monument & Belle Haven – East Coast Tour
with special guests Terra
Friday May 13th @ Oxford Art Factory, SYD
with Broken Earth
Saturday May 14th @ Brightside, Bris
with Nervous Light
Saturday May 21st @ Stay Gold, Melb
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