q+ a with band Bellarive


part 2

Kate: I love asking why, so I think that would be an awesome first question for you guys. Why Bellarive? Why did you come together and get all of this started? What is your drive/goal/passion behind the lyrics?

Bellarive: Starting out, we never really had the thought, "we should start a band." I think it took us a while to realize what was happening, honestly. We met in college and started leading at the student ministry of our local church, content to be fully present there. As we poured our hearts into the weekly meetings, we felt God doing something powerful among the students and leaders. Our answer to the stirring was to write songs. We started meeting at Sean's house each week to pray together, share a meal and write the melodies and lyrics God gave us. The release date for the first EP was at the summer camp for the student ministry. It was a beautiful season-powerfully simple and profound.
Behind everything, our passion and goal is to worship Jesus with our hearts, lives and songs- to give Him everything we are holding onto while saying thank You for the life only He can give. There is this indescribable and overwhelming beauty when people come together under the banner of Jesus to seek Him, talk with Him, sing to Him and declare our hearts allegiance to the King. That is what we were chasing after 5 years ago before we realized God was forming us to be a band, and it's the same goal today.

Kate: You guys are beautifully worship-focused… in your own words, can you describe what worship means to you?

Bellarive: Worship has always been about much more than music and lyrics. I think in our culture we are quick to say terms like, "worship song", "worship time", and "contemporary worship". There is nothing inherently wrong with those terms, but we must not stop there. Worship is much more than a song. It is seizing whatever God has given you, giving it back to Him while declaring "thank You" through every word and action. Worship is a posture of the heart. It is David dancing in the streets after the ark was returned, it is the woman anointing Jesus' feet with a years wages worth of oil, it is Abraham making the trek up the mountain to willingly sacrifice his long awaited promise through his son Isaac, it is the little child fighting through the 5,000 person crowd to bring Jesus his 5 loaves and 2 fish for dinner. For us, we direct our hearts to God through our lives and through the songs He gave us. For others, they might worship through cooking, teaching, painting, or accounting. What blows my mind is God has never been concerned with how worship is packaged as long as it is coming from a heart directed towards Him.

Kate: The new record! What is the vibe, energy, and inspiration behind Before There Was?

Bellarive: Almost all of the inspiration for the record “Before There Was” comes from the teachings and revelations unpacked in the book of Ephesians. In these scriptures, Paul paints the picture of God’s love and grace with such an eternal scope that it’s almost paralyzing. It leaves you stunned with the most breathtaking sense of Gods supremacy and His purpose for creation.  Ephesians says that even before the foundations of the earth, God had us in mind and set out to make us a part of his family through Christ.  It’s overwhelming to think that God desires union with His creation and even before time itself, He set out the make it possible.  He would go to such great lengths to set us free. It was his plan from the very start. The songs on this record are a response to this eternal covenant. It is important for us to lift our gaze. We must remember that the truth of who we are in Christ will endure long past our temporary circumstance. It’s more real than the skin on our bones.
“He set it all out before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in Him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth.” Ephesians 1:10.

Kate:What does writing and recording a new song look like for Bellarive?

Bellarive: The writing process is very homegrown for us. The lyrical content of the songs we sing are born out of times of worship, whether it’s a Spirit-led moment in a worship set, or a private prayer time in a bedroom. For us, songs are prayers that not only help us give our breath back to God, but they also help us remember the truths we can so easily forget. Once the lyrics are written, we all work together to put music behind the words. We love working hard to create a musical foundation that complements the theme and overall vibe of the lyrics.

Kate: I’m in love with the cover and the photographs accompanying Before There Was. Where was the shoot set?

Bellarive: We are too! These photos were taken on a hike to the top of Mt. Yonah in North Georgia. It’s such a beautiful area of the country, and some of us have even been back on our own to hike it again!  We wanted to be in a physical environment that inspired a sense of awe and wonder similar to what we felt when reading over Ephesians…that before God even laid the foundations of all we could see from the top of this mountain, He had a plan to ransom us back to Himself through Christ.

Kate: The music video for Lazarus is probably one of the most epic music videos I’ve ever seen. What was the inspiration behind that? What did the making-of look like?

Bellarive: The video was inspired by the idea that even though we may not be physically dead like Lazarus was, without Jesus, we are all just dead men walking. So, we wanted to make a video that illustrated that tension, the paradox of being both dead and alive at the same time, and resolved with us becoming fully alive and bursting out of our graves and into the life of Christ’s redemption. We actually shot this video ourselves in Sean’s backyard over the course of a couple nights. It took a little bit longer than usual to shoot because we shot the video at half-speed and then sped the footage back up to normal speed in the editing process to get that jittery, zombie look. We don't actually look that crazy in real life, I promise! For us, it was such a great experience relying so heavily on each other and working as a team to make an idea become reality.

Kate: Taste of Eternity has quickly become one of my go-to songs. It has a remarkable, joyful, peaceful energy about it. How did this song happen, what sparked the idea and lyrics?

Bellarive: Taste of Eternity was one of the more spontaneous moments I have ever experienced. Song writing often feels like a shot in the dark or an excavation. Searching, waiting, listening; almost like all of your senses are underwater. You catch glimpses and pieces of the puzzle in a malleable and disheveled way as things take shape. Taste was not that way. It was clear and linear; like transcribing something complete. It felt more like a gift. The songwriting process simultaneously married so beautifully with the inspiration of the song itself. Lyrically, the song unpacks the actual act of worshiping God through song. I was inspired by the idea that as we worship God we are invited into an eternal space. We are joining in with an eternal song. We shed our human skin a bit and our souls perk up as if they are a bit closer to their natural habitat. A “taste of eternity” so to speak.

Kate: What are some of the highlight moments from touring with this new album?

Bellarive: Seeing the lyrics pass from people's head to their heart is powerful. I have beautiful memories where we experience God moving in a very real way. It consistently blows my mind, but something significant shifts in the atmosphere of the room and a moment occurs when our eyes are opened to the truth that we are standing in the midst of Heaven and on Earth, worshiping God for who He is. The grandness of God trumps everything and we all realize it. Everything becomes secondary- time, microphones, the lights, the schedule, us. All that matters is the collective and heartfelt desire to give every ounce of who we are to God and claim "thank You!" for what He has done. We live for those moments.

Kate: If you can pick just one, what is your personal all-time favorite song off the record?

Bellarive: Calling On Fire. This song is about relinquishing control; about remembering ones position towards God. It’s a desperate cry for God to consume us and burn away all that is not of Him. It reminds us how much we need Him. Those are words you can never sing enough.  It’s good for the soul.

Check out Bellarive's new album Before There Was here

Thank you so much Bellarive for chatting about your amazing music on my blog <3

1 comment

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