Bleeding Through interviewBy Devin Braden
After nearly a decade as a band, Bleeding Through have encountered their fair share of hardships. From a nasty van crash that nearly sidelined the band to a very public dispute with their former label to a rash of recent line-up changes, they have somehow managed to solider on. And though the venues may occasionally be smaller (the show on this particular evening was moved from the larger Cervantes Ballroom to the more intimate Marquis Theater), Bleeding Through are still packing houses by sticking to the same formula that helped elevate them to national attention the metalcore-friendly late 90s and early 00s. As such, I had much to discuss with vocalist Brandan Schieppati on this particular evening, but there was one very important question I had to get out of the way first...
What do you mean?
Oh, right. I've seen that a few times. In the earlier days of Bleeding Through, I used to get pissed off and bummed out, but now I just don't care.
Yeah, you know, that's what made [Lambgoat] popular.
The tour's been going great, man. For our first headliner in about three years, it's great – I have no complaints. It's kind of surprising me a little bit. With the downfall of the economy, you hear about all these tours not doing well when they should be doing well, but this one has been doing great every night.
Yeah, I have no idea why.
You know what? I actually like this [venue] better. When it came in, I was like, "you know what? It's kinda nice in here." It's cool.
They've been doing pretty well. They do really well in the South, obviously -- 'cause, you know, they worship the lord. Whenever Bleeding Through tours, we try to bring different types of bands. There was one time when we did a tour with Underoath and this old band called Cast from Eden, who was, like, this total Atheist crazy fuckin' band, and they used to say shit about it on stage. Then, Underoath would play and they'd go on their spiel because that's when they still said something on stage. I kinda like that because there are different ideals in this music.
They don't preach on stage. I kinda have another rule now. I like the different ideals on tour, but at the same time, I don't want it to become a sermon either way. It's a judgment-free zone when you walk into a Bleeding Through show. If you want to go to church, you can go to church. If you want to learn about politics, you could watch one of those sources on TV – Fox, CNN, whatever. Whatever wing you fuckin' hang on. Everybody wants to have a fun time and nobody wants to be beaten down by shit, you know? Say something about it once in awhile – "this is the flag we wave" – but just leave it at that. "We're a Christian band. We believe in Jesus Christ." Cool. You don't have to go in-depth about it. And if you're anti-that, you don't have to go in-depth about why you're anti-that.
Absolutely! But, you know, it's a thing where it goes in waves of coolness with kids and what's hype and trendy at the time. A couple years ago, it was fuckin' awesome for circle pits to go on. Now, it's not hype enough. It's not cool enough. The wave of coolness goes in two-year cycles. A couple years ago, circle pits were fuckin' raging. Now, it's like you can't even buy one.
Their distribution company did – not the actual label. They just had to borrow more money from their distribution company. The label [pauses] … I mean, I could sit here all day and talk about Trustkill Records, but I've spoken about it so much, I almost don't know where to start. Eventually, we did get the money for our record. We didn't get any of it on time – half of it [came] two weeks after the record was done, and then the other half months down the road. As far as our band goes, we're not 18 anymore – a few of us are married, one of us has a kid. We rely on that money to live. [Josh] Trustkill has this excuse and that excuse about what's going on and who he's waiting on and the economy. You know what? That whole song-and-dance doesn't work for us anymore. There's never any good will repaired. The only thing I'm happy about is that the record actually came out.
No, we're done. Do I think Trustkill did a good job with the record? Absolutely not. They shipped 30,000 records. The industry standard is to ship what the last one sold – the last one sold around 100,000, the one before that sold 100,000. Both records did 100,000 – you're supposed to ship what the last one sold. Thirty-thousand in the United States of America is nothing. There are probably states that don't even have it. They didn't spend any money on marketing. It kinda just came out and was thrown on the shelf. People will say, "well, that shouldn't matter." It does matter. It's the American consumer. You have to be hit in the face with something to realize it's there. That's just the way it goes. You have to walk into a Best Buy and someone has to throw a fuckin' CD at you. You'll be like, "oh, shit – this is out?" Even if you did look at an ad 100 times in Revolver or AP or whatever, you still have to be hit in the face with it because there's so much product out there it gets lost.
Absolutely. I want nothing more than for that label to go bankrupt. I want nothing more. He's been fucking with our lives and [our friends' lives] for so long that I was nothing good to happen for that label.
He really did a good job making us feel comfortable in the studio and [in] our writing ability. That's something we haven't really had before. We meshed really well with his ideas. That's very important for us when we enter the studio. And, going back to Trustkill, Devin had to agree to do the record without all the money. What producers do that? Nobody. He did that just 'cause he wanted to do the record. He still waited after the record was done to get the rest of the money. It's like, how many lives could you fuck with? We had the person that did the last couple layouts for Bleeding Through not do the new layout. He didn't want to work with Trustkill because it took him two years to get paid $3000 for The Truth record.
Jona [Weinhofen, who has since left the band] has been awesome, man. Attitude-wise, on tour and [in terms of] meshing with us, he brings an excitement to it. We've been doing this for about a decade now and things get a little stale once in awhile. By adding somebody that really wants it, you know, it's good to have that.
Yeah, I still talk to Scott once in awhile. He's starting a new project, so hopefully he can get that underway. It wasn't any ill-will. It was just [pauses] … we were just separating and it got to a point where we were like, "all right – enough's enough." We could tell he wanted to move on in a new direction. Two days after we kicked him out of the band, he stopped being straight edge after, like, fifteen years. You could tell what direction he was going. He was just leaning toward that direction, which is perfectly fine.
Oh yeah -- he used to get really heated about shit and I used to tell him to stop going on there because it just doesn't matter. People can say what they will. They can say all the bad things and things you think would be the most hurtful things in the world, but at the end of the day Bleeding Through is still touring, we're still doing well, and we've been hearing the same criticisms since day one. One thing I can say [for] the band is that, from day one until now, we're the same fucking band. You look at all the rest of the bands out there trying to reinvent themselves, whether it be looks or style or whatever, and Bleeding Through has been consistent the whole time. I mean, we've been hearing the same criticisms since day one, so I'd try to tell him, "look, man, I heard that same fucking thing two years ago."
All the band is straight edge.
Man. [Pauses] I'd say drinking a wine cooler, probably. Well, actually, you know what? At least if you drink a wine cooler, you're gonna get kinda buzzed. That's half the point. Smoking a clove will do nothing for you. When I was, like, 12 and smoking cloves it didn't do anything for me.
We're actually staying away from those right now. Since this record didn't get a really credible push, we just decided to do the one headlining world tour. We did Australia, we're doing the US now, we're doing Europe next, then we're trying to do South America with Mexico, and Southeast Asia and Japan. This summer, we're gonna go home and enjoy summer and write a new record. Just move on, you know? We love this record, we feel it's our best record, but without push, it's kind of hard to do too many tours off of it.
We've been talking to a few – nobody I can say offhand. Options are out there.
It's hard to get much smaller than Trustkill right now to be completely honest. I would love to go back to Indecision [Records] right now if the option was there. I think what we're gonna do is just cut this [touring cycle] short unless we get another Slayer-type offer – something we can't refuse to do.
Well, yeah, that's why going over to Europe with Darkest Hour is going to be cool. We've known those guys forever. They're another band that got labeled metalcore and can't seem to shake it. We're calling it the "old metalcore" tour.
Shit, man. What the fuck have I bought? Probably the new Morrisey record followed by the new Mastodon record. The new Morrisey record is fuckin' awesome. I've been a fan of Morrisey for a long time. [I've] seen Morrisey I'd say [pauses] … 17 times? So, yeah, Years of Refusal – it's a good record. And the new Mastodon is fuckin' awesome. They're a band that you could say are one of those, like, cool-to-like bands, but there are a lot of cool-to-like bands. They are also a good band.
I can honestly say that Orange County, as far as metal and hardcore goes, is slipping hard. Most of the new bands are coming from Inland Empire and LA. I'd say the best Orange County band is probably Stick to Your Guns. They did the CD release shows with us and they were awesome. At first, I was like, "great – one of these hype bands." I see their hoodies at every single show. I listened to their record and it was cool, so I went to go see them and I liked them.
Oh my god, that's just [pauses]... of all time or just right now?
It's easy to say At the Gates for all-time, but I like bands based on longevity and history, so I will say the best band from Sweden of all time is Entombed [pauses] … tied with Dissection. As far as bands that are still around in Sweden, I'd probably have to go with In Flames. I've had this new thing with In Flames where I've really gotten back into them super hard. Their new record, even though it's pretty poppy, is fucking awesome. I love it, man. [Pauses] Oh, wait. Wait a minute. Right now, you have to go with Meshuggah. Yeah, I'd go with Meshuggah. Sometimes, I think you forget to think about Meshuggah coming from Sweden because it seems like they come from nowhere. You know what I mean? They're totally just on their own level.
Carcass. I'm only saying that because it's the only one I've seen. I would say At the Gates, but we were on tour. I do a side project with Adrian [Erlandsson, drums] from At the Gates and I didn't get to see that shit. It's kind of depressing. I did see them twice in the 90s, though, so at least I get to say I saw them.
That has no hype? See, I don't want them to get bummed out.
I think Goatwhore is one of the most underrated bands out there right now. I think people should care about that band. They fuckin' rip man. Super good. And I'll add to that – what band do I think should be fuckin' massive? Between the Buried and Me. I think BTBAM should draw 4000 people a night at sit-down theaters and be where Dream Theater is. They're amazing. They just did support for us in Australia and it was fuckin' awesome. They're my favorite band in the world to tour with. I get to watch them every night. We get along with them amazing, which is kind of a rare thing. They're our age group, they've been around the same amount of time. People actually care about them, but I think they should be [on the] next level with their talent and the way they continue to put out great records.
For the Lambgoaters that are gonna post responses to this? Well, I've heard every single one of your responses before. The "van flip" one is funny – been there, done that. I dunno. I have a lot I could say, but all I [want to] say is that we've been around for 10 years. We've heard it all before. We're still doing this. If that puts a chip on my shoulder, then that's what puts a chip on my shoulder. You can say whatever you want, but, fuck, man – we're still here.
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borrrrring,The girl is the only one worth intrest.
been around for 10 years, and your music still licks balls. yay.
"We've been around for ten years and we're still here." *dives and rolls out of the room*
sounds like he's starting to really be concerned with his personal finances.
how can you give an interview when doing front rolls?
At least they're dressing like adults now.
catchin' a mean buzz from this B&J, mannnnn
Since this interview was conducted in early Spring, Brandon Schieppati has since died in a plane crash.
people DO care about goatwhore. maybe not the chodes that show up to these guys shows, though...
goatwhore, btbam, stick to your guns, and getting buzzed off of a wine cooler. this was a mighty painful read.
**scatters wine coolers and clove cigarettes across the highway**
Stick to your guns is quite possibly the worst band ive had to endure live, i felt like i was at a pep rally, AA meeting, and antihate rally all rolled into one. Bus flip times a thousand
"The 'van flip' one is funny – been there, done that." Hahahaha
go listen to this band... www.myspace.com/citsmusic
I saw this dude at BEST BUy throwing his cd at kids and asking them if they knew about it yet.