For Whom The Bells Toll; An interview with Will Canning of Death Bells

Death Bells are from Los Angeles by-way-of Sydney, Australia. The band is incredibly driven with their music, taking risks like starting their own label and now moving all the way across the world. It definitely seems to be paying off too because they’re already starting to turn heads and have a big year ahead of them.
Their latest single follows their debut LP, Standing At The Edge of The World, which came out last year and they’re working on the sophomore LP now. For the unindoctrinated, Death Bells conjure a powerful mix of rhythmic post-punk and hooky dreampop elements, sort of in the vein of bands like The Chameleons, The Cure, or newer bands like Death of Lovers or Bambara.
Ghettoblaster recently chatted with vocalist Will Canning about the move to LA, the LP and being outwardly optimistic and romantic.
Did I hear that you guys moved to Los Angeles? What prompted that move?
Yeah, we’re moved. It’s a bit of a shot in the dark but we have friends there. I think it stems from how we all felt on our last trip. Everything went very well and we felt quite comfortable, which can sometimes be rare. We love Sydney, but there’s nothing to be said for dodging risks.
When did you begin writing Standing at the Edge of the World?
We began writing in April last year.
Did the compositions change at all in the studio?
Yes. Everything becomes different when you start to hear certain parts out of context. There’s a process of revision that I feel every band must go through.
What are your favorite moments on the record? Why?
I very much like “Alone.” The choruses are anthemic and sit well with me. “Something Above” is always great to play live, as we get quite dark. A lot of people don’t realize there’s a hidden track at the end which I recommend listening to. It gives a bit of closure to the whole record.

The 7″ came hot on the heels of that record. Are these from those sessions?
No. We wrote those songs because we were in a period of inactivity between finishing shows in support of the LP and heading to America in March. There’s not many places to play in Australia, so you can only do like five shows for a record before people start getting sick of seeing you. “Echoes” and “Move Through Me” were both written and recorded in our practice space. There’s a lot of contrast there, which is nice.
And you’re already working on the next LP, right? What can we expect from that?
We’ve begun writing and recording demos, mostly because we all have so many ideas bouncing around all the time. It’s shaping up to take some weirder turns. That’s all I really want to say for now.
Death Bells’ music is somewhat dark, but there are underlying hints of romanticism in them for sure? Are you guys cautiously optimistic/romantic?
We’re outwardly optimistic and romantic.
Tell us about Burning Rose. Does the label simply handle Death Bells releases?
Burning Rose started as a way to legitimize everything we’ve been doing since the start, but it became more very quickly. It’s now a label, shopfront and community space. We make clothes, we put out good music, and we put on shows. It lives with everyone involved, so I’m not stressed about the move. We’ll be able to bring it to Los Angeles or wherever else we end up.
What are your loftiest goals for Death Bells?
We want to do as much as possible. I think everyone understands this by now.
Purchase Echoes b/w Move Through Me
North America: