Fatal Jamz’ Marion Belle has long been one of LA’s most whispered about cult stars. Lauded by punk legends Steve Jones, Kim Fowley, Don Bolles and more, he has helped keep the frontman alive with a voice linked to the feral and lush past of rocknroll. Through underground anthems like Rookie and One of the Girls, the euphoric auteur music behind his coverboy image has cast a shadow on his generation, while he has fallen, uncaterizable, through the industry tracks for almost a decade. Until now.
‘Fatal Jamz was born out of a desperation to keep pursuing music at a time when almost all seemed lost for me,’ Belle says. ‘I was working with Autistic kids and had given up my day job. I was eventually living off of everyone around me, and felt pretty much rejected by the path I had chosen.’ With a small budget he hooked up with bass savant Dan Horne (Beachwood Sparks, The Lily’s) and recorded Vol.1at Horne’s Lone Palm studio in Echo Park. The album was later released on Portland’s infamous Gnar label, but despite critical acclaim the group was unable to tour. In 2014 the music found it’s way to Cullen Omori of Smith Westerns who became an overnight devotee and asked the band to open their Western Sky Tour with Sky Ferreira.
‘Those shows gave me an addictive taste of what we could do on that level if we got the chance,’ says Belle. ‘I was playing with John Anderson (of Girls) on guitar and (Fatal Jamz producer) Nic Johns on bass, two of my favorite musicians and best friends, and it felt like now finally there was a lot of attention on the heels of our music, and we had a real opportunity to get a new album out there.’ But upon returning from the tour the group ran into a production wall. ‘We all just kind of wanted to do it in our own ways and the vision, for me at a least, had gotten a little confused. My girlfriend and I had a trip to Europe planned and that turned out to be a turning point for me. She found this book in the Roughtrade shop in London called Bowie in Berlin that I read on trains while we were traveling, all about the albums he made with Iggy and Eno, that fertile time, and I had the idea to make my own trilogy, but about L.A. and my journey there as a lead singer.’
On February 8th, Lolipop Records released Obsession, a limited edition EP, mixed by New Wave legend Gavin McKillop (Echo & the Bunnymen, Adam Ant, Heaven 17) which sold out overnight. In June, 17 & Hung, an EP produced with reclusive ingenue Evan Collins Conway (Holy Shit) was released on San Francisco label Death Records.
With the upcoming release of Coverboy, a manifesto recorded in a ‘skid row penthouse,’ and the first taste of his Lead Singer Trilogy, Belle and cohorts open up the gates on a sunlit inferno where today’s starlets and ravishing poor boys play for glory.
Street Date: September 30, 2016
1- JEAN PAUL GAULTIER
3- IN MY CAR
5- LEAD SINGER
6- NIKKI SIXX
7- PALE PINK ROSE
10- TOUCH THE FLAME
Pics (Click for High Res)
Photo by Abigail Briley Bean