By: Kat Harlton
As a member of the The Road Hammers, the highest selling Canadian country band of all time, Clayton Bellamy has seen his share of success. But it’s his personal loss and heartbreak that has created his new project, Clayton Bellamy and the Congregation. A mixture of gospel, R&B and riff-driven hard rock, the project is an energetic, love inspired remedy for those who need spiritual healing.
“It’s been a bit of a roller coaster, especially in the last year or so. I found I never have a chance to come down emotionally, because I never stop. I’m either always writing, or touring with The Roadhammers, I’m always doing something, so I keep occupied.”
Completely different from past projects, Clayton Bellamy and the Congregation is a reinvention of both his sound and his soul. “I think the timing was right, when I think about it, I don’t think I could have done this earlier. I don’t think I could have accomplished what I wanted to do with the songs as a songwriter, I think I’ve finally got to a point where I can make these songs come to life. I had to really strip down who I was as an artist and build myself from the bottom up again and write songs differently.
Bellamy approached the whole creative process differently as well, “I’ve always kind of been circling this sound, but I never really found it until now. I’ve written other solo records where there’s just been a sprinkle of it, but in the past year I just kind of had a real moment where I just wanted to strip away everything I was as an artist, and start fresh. This record was made with drums and electric guitars and jamming for hours, it’s where the congregation came from.”
Bellamy cites a mixture of both classic and modern musical influences as inspiration,”For me, it would be Otis Redding, Joe Cocker, The Black Crowes, modern influences would be Rival Sons, The Sheepdogs, those kinds of bands that still have a bit of a classic feel. I’m also always reading and regurgitating, I read lots of poetry and enjoy documentaries. I just aspire to make great music.”
Reminiscing on his career and what kind of advice he might give to an emerging artist, Bellamy says it’s just about taking it one step at a time, “It’s not one thing. It’s not one record, it’s not one song, A career is about laying bricks and building a wall and and you have to think of every song and every performance as a brick. You either spend a lifetime doing it or you don’t, and for me, that’s what my commitment was, I wanted to be an artist, so I’ve built it overtime, brick by brick.”
For more on Clayton Bellamy and the Congregation, visit: http://www.claytonbellamyband.com