Hailing from Albuquerque, Edith play a mix of doom metal and stoner rock. The band consists of drummer Ben Levine, guitarist/vocalist Billy Bellmont, bassist Josh, and guitarist/vocalist Ella. Edith have unleashed their first demo and are performing at various venues, including Albuquerque’s Launchpad. Take Five spoke with Billy Bellmont and Ben Levine, the results of which are documented below.
Interesting name for a band. What is the significance of the name, and how does it hint at your musical approach.
Billy Bellmont: “The name just rolled off the tongue for me. The band had a hard time settling on one name but somehow Edith was something we could all agree on. It’s a street name here in Albuquerque near where I live, so that’s cool I guess. Plus it was a name that wasn’t taken by another band when we first tried to Google search it.”
Ben Levine: “The name—we wanted something powerful yet feminine, as we have a powerful woman in the band. However, we didn’t want to go all girly. The root of Edith is blessed and war, so I like to interpret that as ‘sanctioned warriors of rock.’ It is my own, very loose interpretation. We had gone around for a about two weeks madly texting names back and forth, until one day we basically sat down together and hammered it out. We wanted something that everyone liked—no settling—so after 2-3 hours of suggestions and rejections, that one got tossed out—and it stuck!”
I understand you are working on a demo. What can you say about the music on it? And will it be available for fans to check out?
Billy Bellmont: “The demo should be available to stream very soon, like within the next week. No plans to release it on CD, or anything. We just wanted to get the songs recorded while they were fresh and exciting. What I try to do is churn out new riffs to keep the bandmates happy and interested. I also really want to record as much as possible with this band, and not to spend too much time worrying about production value and trying to play every note perfect. If the band is tight and the songs are good on tape, then we should let everyone hear it.”
Ben Levine: “The demo—it’s a raw ‘live’ demo, one take all together as a band in the room. The only thing that we are redoing is the vox. It’s got a very big, very rich sound for being such a quick recording. It’s going to have a minimal mixdown. The whole idea was to capture us as we really are—not too much polish and so on. Should be ready in about three days from now, give or take—it’s for sure going to be something that we put out there for fans and anyone else.”
What would you say has been your biggest triumph to date? What about your worst setback?
Billy Bellmont: “We are still a very new band. The show at the Launchpad will be our second show ever. The greatest triumph would be our demo that we all nailed in the studio. Damn, it was a great day to play music. No major setbacks yet. I mean, I did think my amp was stolen at one point, so I bought a sick replacement. Turns out my amp didn’t get stolen. Two amps!”
Ben Levine: “Triumphs and setbacks—hmmmm. That’s a tough one. We are so new that this hasn’t really happened. We have only played one gig so far! For triumphs so far, I’m going to say the recording. I’ve been doing music for a long time and have made a lot of recordings in a lot of places with some fancy and not so fancy people. For the amount of time and effort and cost, this is by far the best recording I’ve ever done. It’s killer. I’m totally blown away by the whole thing. Kudos to Lonn Calanca, our amazing engineer, who captured us in such a natural and yet rich and amazing way!
“For setbacks, I still have a sh*t ton of gear to drag around ;) Interviewing hot, young, drum techs all day at my house today.”
How has living in New Mexico influenced your musical approach?
Billy Bellmont: “I’ve lived in New Mexico my whole life. There was bound to be some sick desert riffs coming from my fingers in this dry heat and wind. I want to be engulfed by some giant a*s haboob when droning out on an open E chord.”
Ben Levine: “I would say the biggest influence of living in NM is that we don’t have all the big-city trendy bullsh*t cluttering our approach. There is zero discussion about ‘how those guys sound’ or what we think will be hot, etc. We just take the riff, and grow it in our little dusty NM vacuum. So it’s really very natural, no-frills desert rock.”
Which local venue have you enjoyed performing at the most? Why?
Billy Bellmont: “I always enjoy the Launchpad when watching other bands. Edith will had its first show there in June 21. Best sound in the city, I always say.”
Ben Levine: “Since we have only played one gig together as a band at Low Spirits, I’m going to say ‘Low Spirits.’ My personal favorite, I’m gonna say, is The El Rey Theater, mainly because as a drummer I LOVE having my kit hooked up to a BIG PA so that when I drop the kick, it hits you right in the gut! Big room = big PA!”