“Nae worries” – Joe Bell on karate, Rammstein and the influence of his late father.
Avalanche Party are a garage rock ‘n’ roll band from the North East. Founded by brothers Joe and Jordan Bell, the pair began playing shows together at the tender age of 12, fuelled by a love of The Stooges. We chat to Joe about karate, Rammstein and the influence of his late father.
Hello, I see that you are about to embark on your UK tour, what else are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on my core strength, Kane is working on his new hip-hop novel called 50 Shades of Dre, Jared is harvesting avocados, Glen is building a beaver lodge the traditional way and Jordan is working on getting a good solid eight hours a night, man.
What are you currently listening to, reading and watching?
I’m actually currently listening to the birds (feathered creatures, not a band), reading between the lines and watching me back.
What has been your biggest life challenge so far and what did you do to overcome it?
My dad died just under four years ago. That all happened pretty suddenly and affected quite a lot of people in various ways. He played a big role in a lot of people’s lives, especially other young musicians, not just myself, Jordan and Kane. I can only really speak for myself. It’s not something that you “overcome” I guess. You learn how to deal with it and the interesting thing is using and harnessing emotions you feel from something that’s so fucking shit and using them positively. The easiest thing in those situations I suppose would be to crumble inwards. I felt a duty to be as strong as possible for my mother and my brothers (they no doubt felt the same), and to my dad to forge on with the music. He wasn’t pushy, just supportive of everything we did in every sense. That included being critical. As I said before, he did absolutely loads for the local music scene and for aspiring musicians to help them progress. I suppose everything I do with the band is done with him in mind and as an inspiration to do as much as possible. Think myself and Jordan played a gig the night after he sailed on and it was fucking mint. His inspiration helps “overcome” pretty much everything I guess. We’ve never stopped since and try to do everything we do at 1000mph.
What would constitute a ‘perfect’ day for you?
Waking up just before kick off, three points for the Boro and a thrilling performance from Adama Traore.
For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
My razor sharp wit, my sublime bass playing skills and my good looks. And Buckfast. Bucky first.
Complete this sentence: “Ace mental health for me means…”
Most interviews so far have you ‘raised on a diet of The Stooges’, and we can hear that punk influence, but what is your go-to meal if you’re feeling healthy?
Guinness and a boiled egg. The Guinness usually does on it’s own.
Do you have a daily routine of exercise or do you make it up as you go along?
My daily routine is pretty much making it up as I go along. Jordan has a more structured approach. He runs 15 miles a day with an armadillo strapped to his back.
Here at The Mind Map we remember playing football and ‘tag’ – running around the playground everyday and loving it – can you share a similar memory?
Yeah pretty similar. It was a lot more brutal though. You just got wiped out lots. It was only in my more senior years that I realised we were just playing rugby.
What three songs lift your spirits? Your music feels like it has an intense outpouring of emotion – is that cathartic for you?
Most definitely cathartic yes. I used to train at karate in my youth and that was pretty darn cathartic. I have zero time for that these days so music, and Avalanche Party is my martial art.
Listen to – “The Monkey Speaks His Mind” – Andre Williams
“Du Hast” – Rammstein
“Get Got” – Death Grips
What is your favourite self-help book, or motivational quote?
“Will you get a fucking move on” – me Mam
What advice do you offer to friends when they are feeling overwhelmed?
Focus on the real important shit that you want to do and do that. The rest will look after itself.