BELSON: Love those Triangle music-makers

by Heather MacIntyre

This time last fall, Belson formed from the outlining towns of Raleigh. They were all born and raised within an hour of Raleigh.

Whenasked how they formed, or how they chose the name of their band, I wasgiven a vague reply from lead vocalist Jon Murray: “There is a somewhatcomplicated story, but basically we all like a lot of CS Lewis stuff.”Simple enough I suppose. Belsen is the nickname of the Englishboarding school in which CS Lewis attended with his brother in hisadolescent years. He refers to it in a few of his publications. So,Belson it is. Their musical influences don’t reach back too far, giving them the modern touch of trend and thought in their music and production. Though they enjoy some old school hip-hop and a lot of folk/bluegrass, their main influences come from bands today like Anberlin, the Receiving End of Sirens, Thrice, Hit the Lights, Ace Enders and Circa Survive. From the beginning, they’ve all shared a common interest and pursuit to follow some of the earlier influences of bands like the Juliana Theory, Saves the Day, Foo Fighters, Beloved and Jimmy Eat World. Most of the lyrics come from the minds of guitar/vocalist Dustin Owens and drummer John Harrell… which is different, as the story usually seems to follow the front man as the creative writer. I can’t say that it doesn’t make me smile knowing that the man behind the percussion set has such an input on words sung in the front of the stage. But like most all decisions, even lyrics are eventually filtered and made final by everyone in the band. So when it all comes together what do they end up with? You’ll find out this October when their new EP It’s Only Business is released. The album took a month (spread out) to write, record, re-write and re-record, but they are pleased with the final product. “Its basically about life and the routines we tend to get into, and everything becomes mechanical and programmed after a while,” says Murray, “We didn’t set out to do that, but that’s what it turned into and we went with it.” Though these guys are from the Triangle, their two favorite Carolina bands are from right here in Greensboro: Farewell ( and Mercy Mercedes ( Belson is a little younger, so I think it’s only necessary for them to look up to the big boys in their genre that are currently shining with success and label support. I doubt it will take them long to follow in the same footprints. This doesn’t mean that bands are limited to friendships and influence from just their genre though, that’s the best part about the North Carolina music scene. Belson agrees, “We’ve played hardcore shows that were awesome. It seems everyone in this state involved in music is tied in with everyone else like a big community. It’s supposed to be that way, right? So many local bands supporting each other!” So, here’s your chance to support them! This Saturday they’ll be playing at the Brewery ( with Embracing Goodbye, Knives Exchanging Hands, A Kiss For Jersey and Hey Euphony. Note: Keep your eyes peeled for their EP release later this fall.