"Ultimately if a band gets together for the money they are in it for the wrong reasons, it should always be about the music first and foremost" - We chat to Bleed From Within
Time can make the heart grow fonder so goes the famous saying and after a five-year break between records, Scotlands greatest sons Bleed From Within came bounding back onto the Metalcore scene with the truly breathtaking Era from 2018, a record awash with angular riffs, great swathes of melody and that all-important groove. Lightning shouldn’t and rarely doesn’t strike twice but in this instance, Bleed From Within are the exception to the rule in more ways than one with the second punch of a one-two punch combo with the imminent release of their fifth record Fracture.
We sat down with tup thumper Ali to discuss the who’s, the what and the where’s of the next step in the rejuvenation and more importantly the evolution of the quintet from North of the Wall.
How are things in the Bleed From Within camp at the moment?
Really good, exciting times, a lot has gone into the album over the last two years. Ever since we released the first single ‘The End of All We Know’ in November 2019 and ever since then we’ve just been blown away. The track came out and we were eager to see how it was responded to and it went to the top of the Kick Ass Playlist on Spotify which is one of the biggest playlists in the world. We’ve already hit 4 million streams so far which is amazing! It’s bonkers, we have a band meeting each week and talk about the madness.
With the success of that track, did that shift plans for the album coming out?
The plan was for it to always come out now, we had a plan for festivals, etc but that’s not happening now. The reason we released that song was we had a European tour booked in to promote that after having been away for so long we were energized and to show our fans we weren’t going to disappear for another five years like between Uprising and Era.
Your 5th album Fracture is about to drop, do you ever get nervous?
We never look outside our bubble too much, we do pretty much everything in house, artwork, singles, music videos, there’s very little input from the label, which is something we like to keep control of. The bond is stronger between us because of that, we are the typical band of brothers.
So the aesthetic for presenting your music is very much an in house control aspect?
Yeah, we have been shafted by the music industry in the past on more than one occasion. I do the day to day management and we are very democratic in that respect.
Good job there’s not four of you in the band then!
Yeah that’s why we had to get a fifth member, not to fill out sound but to make voting on ideas easier otherwise heads would roll. The last two albums have been set up that way so it's very much an ‘if it’s not broke, don’t fix it’ kind of approach.
I’ve always wondered how it is from a band perspective because I ‘ve interviewed bands who have toured with the likes of Metallica and played stadiums and those support bands have day jobs, surely if you are touring with the likes of Metallica a band should be self-sufficient?
Oh you couldn’t be more wrong the whole way the music industry works is all waited in the wrong direction. In the past, I’ve had day jobs where I’ve worked in factories and the other guys have worked in the likes of Spar or Subway but now we can all work remotely within our day jobs but there’s no money in it for us. The band generates money but its all put back into the band. Ultimately if a band gets together for the money they are in it for the wrong reasons, it should always be about the music. First and foremost.
Do you ever read any of the reviews?
Reviews are just comedy to me. We have already got a betting pool of what our reviews are going to say across the bigger magazines, whether its out of 5 or 10. We don’t really give a fuck. I couldn’t care less, they could give it 1 or 10, who cares. That side of the music industry is pretty venomous, and we keep our distance from it.
Was there an overall goal for the record?
Our plan is just to make a better record than the last one, we have a wide range of musical tastes as well so it’s interesting ot see what comes out. That would be the main goal plus making sure we get the best out of each other.
How did the artwork come together?
The artwork for the last two records has been done by our bass player, hes got a great artistic eye and after being away for 5 years and then coming back, we were like lets just use what we have and give him that creativity. We think he delivered on the last album, gave him a brief for this record and away he went. Fracture suggests breaking away from the past and moving on, red seemed to be good for that as well. We are called Bleed From Within so we had to have red in there somewhere! (laughs)
You recently collaborated with Matt Heafy of Trivium on the ‘Night Crossing’ video which was all filmed in lockdown. How did that come to be?
We noticed that the band had been sharing the tracks on social media and found it amazing. We’ve never had this kind of attention before. We reached out to them, sent them a care package. We met them in Luxembourg last summer and developed a respect and friendship. When we were looking into ‘Night Crossing’ we reached out to him and he tracked the solo live on Twitch which was unreal.
The lyrics for ‘The End of All We Know’ are really close to the bone especially in the age of Coronavirus, have you got a crystal ball or something?
We were joking about releasing a T-shirt with ‘devastate, self isolate, stay the fuck away from me!’ on it but we didn’t go ahead with it. Yeah a bunch of people have mentioned the similarities but its just a coincidence.
I’m fascinated by the meaning and word ‘success’, how does it manifest within the band and how does Bleed From Within measure it, if at all?
It's very hard to gauge, the bubble we are in suggests that. A lot of work goes on behind the scenes, deadlines need to meet and we need to reach out and get the right tours, brand endorsements. A successful band is one in which they are making a living off it and not having a day job but we are not in this for the money like I mentioned earlier. My success is touring with the likes of Megadeth, Lamb of God, Testament and festivals like Download. My mind tells me to stay grounded, rooted and humble and push on.
What does the road map of 2020 look like for the band?
There are lots of going on behind the scenes like I mention but we are always trying to engage with fans, so to the fans out there, just wait and see!