site logo

The Echoing Green Biography

Last updated: 10/23/2003 11:25:24 PM

Joey Belville, the unassuming founder of The Echoing Green, would likely be the last person to consider himself a pioneer. Yet Belville has spent eight years steering his band from frothy synth pop to four-on-the-floor dance & club music to the rich and explosive atmosphere that envelopes Supernova. On their Red Hill Records debut, Belville and Co.-- Chrissy Franklin (vocals), Jesse Dworak (programming) and David Adams (drums, programming)" Shards of guitar slice through synthesizer riffs and sounds effects; acoustic drums crack authoritatively over a bed of programmed beats. The result is a sound that offers the hooks and memorable melodies of classic pop with the intensity and sonic impact of alternative rock. "Playing live so much has affected our sound dramatically," explains Belville. "And we've learned a lot about arranging and production as it affects what1s going to work for us a live band. This is truly an electronic rock record. This isn't a techno album; it's not club music. This is the first full-length studio recording to feature the band and as such is probably closer to the way we sound on stage than any of the previous albums. It truly was a band effort. We wrote a lot of the songs together. When Dave wasn't playing the drum kit, he was programming the drums. Jesse also did a lot of the programming. Chrissy helped with a lot of the lyrics and vocal arranging. "Supernova is our finest hour," Belville beams. "I listen to [the title track] and I go 'I can't believe we pulled that off! It sounds so huge. I can't believe it's my band.' It's a great first track for an album. "She's Gone Tragic" is very special, probably a different lyrical approach for us. 'Waterfall' was a surprise. We wrote that during the recording. It's been a long time since I wrote a slow song. 'Defender' and 'Liberation' are probably about as aggressive as anything we1ve done. 'Liberation' especially. I've never done anything that hard." Belville feels that Supernova exhibits tremendous growth in lyrical content as well. "My hope with this record," says Joey, "is to break out of the stereotypes associated with the techno and dance genre; one of the chief ones being that the lyrics are meaningless. This record has the most heartfelt, well thought out lyrics I've ever written. I think because the lyrics didn't come that naturally to me. I took each song, huddled with the band and said, "Okay, what are we going to do with this song?" We wrote the music and had an arrangement pretty well worked out. Then I put it to a tape and hopped in my car. There's this one section of highway near my house that goes by the mountains. I drove up and down that same stretch of road with the music playing, dictating my lyrical ideas into a little microcassette." Joey says he relied most heavily on his band mates to help him complete "Liberation," which he describes as "an open book of a real difficult time I went through in 1999; one of those times where you're reevaluating your life. You ask yourself, "what am I doing? Am I just going through the motions?" I felt like the fire I had was gone. I was gong through this phase where I didn1t feel I could tell anybody that I wasn1t doing okay. I felt like I would be betraying the ministry of the band if I admitted failure. That's a big part of why we toured less last year. The road had taken its toll on me and I needed some restoration. I'm sure we all go through that, but it1s a painfully honest thing to put in a lyric--and then relive every time you perform the song." Belville feels that sort of transparency and honesty is largely responsible for the dedicated following The Echoing Green has enjoyed since 1992. "The EG is really about friends, not fans," Joey enthuses. "We can't emphasize strongly enough what those friendships have meant to us. Especially those friends we've made as a result of our Internet presence. We've had a web site since 1995, and thanks to our friends and supporters, we've been able to offer special albums and singles that have kept us going through some pretty lean times. More than that
, these limited edition discs have been a way to thank our friends for their loyalty." -Bruce A. Brown