Music Q&A: Belly

Tanya Donelly (guitar, vocals) chats as the nineties band return with Dove, their first full-length album release in 23 years. They visit Manchester (12 June), Leeds (13 June) and Sheffield (17 June)

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What informs your music and songwriting?
This would be a novel-length list if I attempted to trace every source of inspiration and influence, so apologies for my unsatisfying and vague answer! I’m informed by the music I was raised to, and the music I’ve raised myself to. The books I’ve read, the people I’ve loved (and not loved), the places I’ve known and choices I’ve made.

How have you evolved as an artist and band over the years?
Personally, I have a less neurotic approach to songwriting, for better or worse. And I think my lyrics are more focused and fleshed out. As a band, Belly have become a fully collaborative unit, which is where we were headed when we split 20-plus years ago. All songs on Dove were co-written, which has been a very fun and exciting experience.

What are you up to at the moment artistically?
We’re touring the UK and US through the summer, with some shows in the fall. That’s as far as we’ve planned at the moment.

What’s on your rider?
Vegetables, fruit, hummus and bread, cheese and crackers, wine and water.

Tell us your most embarrassing or surreal experience.

Most embarrassing: I fell backwards off the stage during a Throwing Muses show opening for REM. Most surreal: Peter Buck caught me.

What song do you wish you’d written?
Let It Be.

What’s your worst lyric?
“Till I strapped on my boat-feet and surfed into shore.”

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