The Bell Hours
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The Bell Hours

Denver, Colorado, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF

Denver, Colorado, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Pop Rock




"The Bell Hours"

The Bell Hours

The Bell Hours


4 out of 5 stars

Klaus Larson did such an impeccable job recording The Bell Hours that when it came time to play it live, it took six more players to round out the sound.

Larson wrote, performed and recorded everything except drums on the post-folk, indie rock album, which he describes as a collection of songs that are “fast and slow, loud and soft, joyful and moody, melodic and monotone, and even sometimes a few of these at once.”

While Larson handled everything for posterity sake, he eschewed performing the material as a singer/songwriter and instead found a half dozen musicians to recreate what he had made in his studio — and with the luxurious textures that he put down on the record, it’s no wonder it takes such a large ensemble to flesh it out. - Marquee Mag

"The Bell Hours Interview -"

Next Friday evening, fledgling indie folk outfit, The Bell Hours, will host a release party for their latest EP, Easy Weather, at The Denver Bicycle Cafe, followed by a show at the Larimer Lounge on Friday, September 26. In speaking with lead vocalist, guitar player, and the band’s songwriter, Klaus Larson, it’s clear how focused he is on adding something new to the Denver music scene with The Bell Hours. Larson sat down with AXS to discuss his passion and goals.

AXS: Are you all Denver natives? If not, where is everyone originally from?

Klaus Larson: We’re a mix of people from all across the country, as well as from Colorado. I am from Boulder, Colorado. Joe Chudyk (drummer) is from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Austin Trotter (bassist) is from El Paso, Texas. Stephanie Kay Tatman (keyboardist/backing vocals) and Craig Morris (lead guitar) are from Castle Rock, Colorado.

AXS: What brought The Bell Hours together?

Klaus: I wrote, performed, and recorded the debut album The Bell Hours in early 2013. It was a collection of songs that I had accumulated while working and playing in different groups. Joe Chudyk (found originally on Craigslist before becoming a great friend) sat in to recreate the programmed drum tracks live for the final recordings of the album. Once the album was done the current line up of The Bell Hours came together through a friends of friends of friends situation.

AXS: How long has The Bell Hours been together? What have you learned during that time?

Klaus: The Bell Hours have been together since August of 2013, almost a year. The band has had several different lineups before reaching its current lineup. Joe, Stephanie, and I have been involved the whole time though. We’ve mostly learned how to keep a great show and performance going strong through the thick and thin of life. Jobs were gotten and lost, school was attended, loved ones lost, a baby was born, talk about a year very full of experiences. Managing everyone’s lives and scheduling performances, rehearsals, promotional meetings, recording, etc. has been crazy. We’ve focused on great musicianship to reduce the amount of rehearsals needed and other things like that to manage our time. Also, the music is written and recorded by Klaus and then brought to the band to develop the live show. It’s been a great experience learning to work together to create a great musical experience and performance. Mastering the simple things that keep working together fun and valuable have been challenging but fulfilling. Anyone who has worked on a creative project with others can probably relate.

AXS: Where was your first show in Denver, and what was the experience like? Who else did you play with at the show?

Klaus: Hmm… it’s hard to remember what the first show was. Joe and I played open mics at The Meadowlark along with backing tracks for a while in an attempt to showcase the music. But I think the first official show was at The Marquis Theater. I can’t remember whom we played with… We did a great show though and were asked back shortly after to open for A Great Big World, along with Flashbulb Fires. That first month or so was filled with great experiences.

AXS: Have any Denver musicians inspired The Bell Hours?

Klaus: As the songwriter I don’t believe I have a lot of influences musically here in Denver. The Bell Hours are here to bring something new to Denver. The band’s style and sound isn’t common here, that’s why I think we have a unique appeal locally. It’s actually been a struggle to find other groups to gig with that fall into the same genre category. But as far as how the band operates it has been very much inspired by Denver. The Denver music scene has such character, is so full of music lovers, and is so down to earth and suportive. Being part of the scene and performing for Denver fans has been more enjoyable than most other cities any of us have played. The scene here really lets you focus on the music and with not so much stress about gimmicks or following the latest trends in fashion and whatnot.

AXS: What inspired The Bell Hours’ upcoming EP, Easy Weather?

Klaus: I wanted to take the great vibe that was created on the debut album and take it up a notch production-wise. I really pushed the lyrics and vocal parts to be more powerful, and as Joe would tell you, I really challenged the drummer with some very unique and challenging parts. Easy Weather also has a strong feeling of sentimentality, having gone through many life changes in the last few years, the feelings it inspire are an ode to change and an appreciation of what’s occurred before.

AXS: What was the writing and recording experience like on Easy Weather?

Klaus: I did my usual thing, which is to drink whiskey in my home studio several nights a week while piecing the songs together with my recording gear. Each idea could start somewhere different, a chord progression, a melody, a beat, or lyrically and I just kind of experiment. I got the songs to the rough structure and programmed the drum ideas. Then I had Joe come in and using an electric drum kit, had him recreate the drumbeats via midi as a real drummer would play them. Once the songs were ready, I then re-performed and tracked the songs, and recorded Joe playing the live drums. Then Joe mixed and mastered the EP. That was the process, just imagine it was fueled by Whiskey and a lot of blurry mornings where I listened back to what I did crossing my fingers that it wasn’t horrible.

AXS: What else is The Bell Hours involved in locally, either as individuals or as a group?

Klaus: I just had a beautiful daughter, am attending CU Denver for a Masters in Recording Arts, and have been keeping The Bell Hours involved in the art and locally made crafts and products scene of Denver. We’ve played a lot of art walks and local goods events, including the Denver Handmade/Homemade Market, the Bolder Boulder, First Friday Sante Fe Art Walk, Final Friday Larimer Street Art Walk, and much more.
Joe is involved as a session player all over Denver, and has a mixing studio that he operates downtown, as well as works as an Instructor at The Arts Institute in Sound Engineering.
Austin is a student of sciences and a great photographer and graphic artist on the side. He did the artwork for Easy Weather and the flier for our EP release party.
Stephanie is a piano teacher and performer of her own music aside from The Bell Hours.
Craig is an engineer and works full-time doing crazy stuff that none of us understand but him, and is planning on going to med school.

AXS: Does The Bell Hours have a goal in mind for the sound the band produces? Are there certain influences or themes the band tries to inject into its own music?

Klaus: There is definitely a sound to the band. It’s very well arranged; every part is there for a reason. I focused mostly on creating a unique and identifiable vocal sound and drumming style. Joe fell into place extremely well with the drum style that I had been writing. The finished product doesn’t sound like anything else in the Denver scene, which was on purpose. The new EP, Easy Weather, has very solid songwriting and lyrics influenced by older, vintage rock and folk music, but the sound of the band is more modern. With Easy Weather I tried to capture a bitter-sweet feeling, like the feeling you get when a good movie ends or you read the last page of a great book, and apply the feeling to references to real life experiences and relationships. I think I did moderately well at it, but could maybe have done better. Making people feel what you want is one thing, but then getting a listener apply the feeling to their own experiences in a particular way is even harder.

AXS: For someone who has never seen or heard The Bell Hours, what would you tell them to entice them to watch your set?

Klaus: The Bell Hours are a band that will pull you over from the bar. We’ve started shows with an empty room or parking lot (in the case of art walks and festivals) and by mid-set, it’s full. The music is simple but dynamic, well performed, and takes you in. I admit, The Bell Hours is more a “stand or sit and listen” band than a dance or get wasted and/or mosh band, but it will draw you in like a good movie would. You can’t help but stop and watch.

AXS: What would your ideal live show look like? Where would it take place? Any particular time of year? Would a specific band/musician share the bill with or open for The Bell Hours?

Klaus: A place with great sound, a big stage, and a great lighting setup. That could be a lot of places. It would probably take place at a venue like The Boulder Theater or something similar. I can’t think of any groups specifically to share the bill with at the moment. We have played with so many great groups but I’m not sure of a local one I would say I would prefer. If we opened for a huge group I would say Fleet Foxes, Andrew Bird, or dare I say it, Radiohead.

AXS: What shows are you looking forward to over the next few months?

Klaus: We have our EP release party on September 12th at The Denver Bicycle Café. That should be a blast, that place has great local beers and a food truck. A local group called Poet’s Row will be opening for us. The Kinky Fingers are always great to catch, they’re a local band with great energy and a great sense of humor. Also, a group called Jesse RS. If you want a rock group with horns, keys, and the works check them out. Both bands play regularly in Denver. We’re opening for Jesse RS on September 26th at the Larimer Lounge and that should be another great show.

AXS: What do you enjoy most about Denver’s music scene, and why?

Klaus: Again, it’s the down to earth attitude people have here. We focus on just playing the best performance and music we can and we’re appreciated even if I just ran to the show after work and don’t have time to change into something fashionable or hip. Those little details are great but the focus on the music and performance is refreshing. I can’t help but get excited to meet new people and get a drink at each show. The show might be full of new people but shows here still feel like hanging out with friends. A little cheesy, but true. -

"The Bell Hours - Nominations for IMEA Awards"

Nominations for IMEA Awards 2014:

Rock Group of the Year;
Rock Album of the Year - The Bell Hours;
Rock Song of the Year - Faster Than You;
Artist of the Year - Nicholas (Klaus) Larson - International Music and Entertainment Awards


The Bell Hours (Self-Titled Release) by The Bell Hours 08/01/2013



After spending the last decade since 2004 moving and performing music amongst the Californians, native Coloradan Nicholas (Klaus) Larson returned to Colorado in 2012, bringing with him the beginnings of the music that made up The Bell Hours’ debut self-titled album.

Klaus wrote, performed, and recorded the album using skills developed over several years study in audio engineering, arranging over programmed beats, but shortly before releasing, he brought in Denver based drummer and engineer Joseph Chudyk to recreate the beats into wonderful live performances. Joe then worked with Klaus and his recordings to create the final mixes, capturing a simple modern music with a vintage and nostalgic sound.

The music of The Bell Hours is an eclectic and sentimental take on modern Rock and Roll, taking lyrical themes from more modern times and ideas with our impressions of love, compassion, and mindfulness (not to mention anger and jealousy) and combined it with musical themes stretching from Folk, Rock and Roll, Indie, Hip Hop, and Jazz, culminating in a rich pop music experience with amazing replay value. The group of talented musicians inspired by the music that came together to tour the album have done an astounding job in translating the dynamics and moods live that the album captured in its recordings.

The Bell Hours debut album is only the tip of the iceberg for Songwriter Klaus Larson, and a further exploration into unique arrangements and possibilities is yet to come. A new six song EP is set to be released in September of 2014.

Band Members