A Guide to Philadelphia with Bel Heir in Philadephia, Pennsylvania
With their gritty songs and dark pop sounds, this Philadelphia trio captured a wide fan base a few years ago. They made the rounds on music blogs, played at SXSW and then opened for bands like Highly Suspect, Magic Man and Sir Sly. After a hiatus, they’re now out of the studio and will be back on the scene with a brand new EP coming out June 23. In the meantime, check out their previous songs (definitely start with “Kiss the Devil” below) and read on to learn about their pre-show ritual, how they stay fit while on tour and what the music scene is like in Philly.
What is the best thing about Philadelphia? The vibe. Philly is a chill town without a ton of pressure to go out clubbing or whatever. Most people like to hang with some beers and friends. People in Philly are pretty real, you won’t get the fake BS from people you get in other cities. Also, Philly is quickly becoming a major foodie city. There are so many top-rated restaurants and most of them aren’t super expensive.
What is the worst? The weather can suck a bit, super hot summers and rainy cold winters…but not too bad.
What is a perfect day in Philadelphia? A warm spring day when everyone is grabbing drinks at the outdoor bars.
What’s it like being a band in Philadelphia? It was rough at first. When we first started there wasn’t too much happening. Now there is a really rad indie rock scene with bands like War on Drugs, Kurt Vile, and Beachslang.
What inspires your songwriting? Anything and everything. Most of our songs are about real life shit and they definitely have an east coast vibe to them.
What’s your favorite way to interact with fans, before, during and after the show? Grabbing drinks and hanging. After most shows we either hit a local bar or hang at the venue for awhile and throw a few back. We’ve met some really great people that way!
If you could tour with any band or artist from any time in history, who would it be? Red Hot Chili Peppers. We’ve all read Anthony Kiedis’ book and think he would be such a rad dude to hang with on the road.
What does the band like to do for fun while on the road? We are all foodies and love traveling. We like to find out from the locals where THE place to eat is and what is THE thing we should do while in town.
Do you have any pre-show rituals? We usually do a little chant thing like the Beastie Boys “No Sleep til Brooklyn,” but instead of Brooklyn we say whatever city the last show is in.
How do you get oriented in a new city? We are pretty fit. Despite drinking almost every night we wake up early and either go for a run or bike ride. You can learn a lot about a city running or biking around it.
Philadelphia photo by Billy Cress.