By Nicholas Jason Lopez
Los Angeles-based musician Mark Dalbeth – known for his formation of Australian rock band Bellusira – has began a new project called Rav Medic and relocated from New Zealand.
Dalbeth aims to attain the same success with Rav Medic as he had with Bellusira, as they played with Halestorm, HELLYEAH and Flyleaf to support two notable releases. Bellusira was also fortunate to recruit the likes of Evanescence’s Will Hunt and Static-X’s Koichi Fukuda in their time together.
Rav Medic’s latest single “Rise Again” won “Best Rock Track” at the Akademia Awards. It’ll be featured on their 10-track debut album ‘The Battle To Survive Yourself,’ which will have a different singer on each song and has drawn in band members from Seether, Shiver Canyon and more.
The Music Bugle had the chance to talk with Dalbeth about his new project and more.
Music Bugle – How would you describe New Zealand to someone who has never been there before?
Mark Dalbeth – Very secluded spot. Lots of space and land and a very relaxed lifestyle. Hope to get back there soon one day!
Music Bugle – How would you compare Rav Medic to Bellusira?
Mark Dalbeth – It’s very different by design alone. Each Rav Medic track has a different vibe and also musician on it, so it moves around a lot. There isn’t really a cohesive sound going on, where as Bellusira was a much more drilled-in style and mood. With Rav Medic, I didn’t want to do another record that I was comfortable making. I wanted to push the envelope a little further.
Music Bugle – What were some challenges associated with relocating to Los Angeles?
Mark Dalbeth – The challenges are huge. The initial uproot and then having to settle in, find jobs, reestablish yourself in the scene. It’s basically a restart and is incredibly difficult. There is a reason why the majority of people can’t do it. It takes a certain drive and maybe a small dose of crazy!
Music Bugle – What inspired the concept for your debut album, to have a different singer on each track?
Mark Dalbeth – It just slowly evolved that way. Initially, I had a few acoustic tracks that I wanted to put together, so without having a “band,” I just started reaching out to drummers and singers I knew or liked and built those songs from that. Then, I realized I may as well continue that process for a full record. The challenge of it all was what really drew me in. I kept asking myself if I could actually really do it and that’s what really drove me to get it done.
Music Bugle – Which song of yours was the hardest to write or compose, generally speaking?
Mark Dalbeth – “Neon Light” was a tough one to put together. It was another track on the record that didn’t have a definitive chorus section. The body of the song was basically just one riff the whole time, so that was interesting to navigate. There were a few tracks on the album that were difficult to create, only really a couple on the record actually had a set verse/chorus structure, so it was challenging not wanting to resort back to the comfort of a pop structure.
Music Bugle – Where are some of your favorite places to travel while out on tour?
Mark Dalbeth – I just love to travel in general, so I really enjoyed everywhere I have been to. I have been fortunate to have toured now in Australia, New Zealand and America, so I have managed to see a lot of cool small towns and big cities along the way that all have their own charm.
Music Bugle – How did you get the idea for the album artwork and what does it signify?
Mark Dalbeth – It was a picture a friend posted online that I saw and connected with. A picture with LA in the background and the aftermath of a party in The Hills. To me, it showed the strange and amazing side of California. A lot different than any other place in the world.
Music Bugle – Does social media make it easier or harder for musicians to stand out these days?
Mark Dalbeth – Definitely easier in terms of getting your music out there, but as far as standing out, that is probably the flip-side of it. There is just so much content out there for the public and it all starts to blend into one and get lost a bit. Ultimately, it needs to be used as a tool rather than a clutch. The music still needs to trump everything else.
Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Mark Dalbeth – I lost my job, for starters. I started getting a lot of anxiety being out and about in public. Just started feeling uncomfortable in general. It was disturbing to me, seeing how easily the public has been manipulated to basically follow any orders, as ridiculous as they seem. The TV and government have way too much power on society. From a music standpoint, it has put a stop on booking any shows. I also had to hold back on the release of the album, ’cause energetically, it just didn’t feel right to release.
Music Bugle – Musically speaking, what do you hope to still accomplish?
Mark Dalbeth – I am always creating music in some fashion every day. I have been playing in various bands here and there since Bellusira, jamming with lots of musicians, which has been great. I just love being in the studio or playing live with musicians I look up to and respect. It’s all about the music at the end of the day for me. A lot of musicians here in California have still got to learn a lot about putting their music before their gigantic egos, but hopefully over time, they will work that out! (Laughs) I just hope to still be able to keep putting out music I am proud of that people enjoy listening to. I’m always trying to improve with each new song that gets written.