Scotland’s own Bleed from Within are one of the most promising and exciting metal bands in the country. As they rolled into town alongside metal titans Devildriver and Sylosis, qmunicate’s Tanya Gersiova tracked down singer Scott Kennedy to chat about hometown heroics, crowd-funding records and why they hate being called deathcore.
T: You’re currently on a European Tour, how has it been so far?
S: Really good. This is the sixth show. We started in Munich, Paris, Cardiff, London, Wolverhampton, and Glasgow.
T: How does it feel to be at home again?
S: Good. This is the show I’ve been the most looking forward to cause it’s always crazy here. Whenever we play hometown shows, they’re always fucking insane man. Cause we’ve been playing here for like 10 years now, so…
T: Would you say that Glasgow is your favourite place to play at?
S: It’s always probably the best show, but it’s nice to have a good show outside of your home town. London on this tour was mental! From the fucking intro people were just going insane.
T: Wow. That sounds amazing! In 2013 you released your third album Uprising with Century Media Records. You’ve changed the label and the sound has developed since the first album so how has the change felt for you and where do you feel you’re going right now? Looking back how do you feel about it?
S: I’m so proud of that album, I feel that’s our defining sound that we were trying to find since our first album. People used to say we were deathcore and stuff like that and we were never trying to be that and I hate when people say that. I think that our new album is a bit more traditional metal sounding and that’s what we’ve always been trying to go for, because since we started the band ten years ago our influences have been Pantera, Lamb of God, Slipknot, stuff like that and that’s never really changed.
T: How do you personally feel about all these different labels that are given to bands nowadays? Do you feel like they do you justice?
S: I don’t think they do us any justice. It’s just evolved into this thing in the music scene that’s kinda…I wouldn’t really say destroying it, just… ruining it slightly. I try not to think about it too much or get involved in the stuff that goes on the internet. To me we’re just a metal band and that’s the way we’ll always see it. If people ever say we’re deathcore we always try to correct it.
T: If you perform in front of metal fans, do you feel like if you’re being labelled as metalcore or deathcore or whatever does that have an effect on the crowd?
S: Aye, definitely. Like, that’s why we are trying to do metal tours. Last year we did Megadeth, we did Testament… and this is more metal audience. I feel like with a lot of the younger kids that say ‘deathcore’ and stuff like that, they like a band for maybe six months, whereas if you’re a proper metal fan you love metal. You’re gonna have a longer career. We don’t want to be one of those bands that just get big and then go down just as quick. Metal fans are a lot more loyal, I think.
T: You have played for a variety of crowds, because you toured with Megadeth but you’ve also played with people like While She Sleeps. And that’s two very different types of music, so how has it been playing for very different crowds?
S: It’s good. I’m not saying we don’t want fans like that. I’m saying …we just want a crossover. Metal fans and more kinda hardcore fans… Cause we do have a slight bit of that influence in our sound. So we definitely want that. But as a metal band you need to have a proper metal backing, because they’re gonna stick with you for longer. I was a metal kid, when I was 14 and now I’m 26 and I still love metal. I’m still in the band that I was in when I was 15 years old.
T: What would you say then is your worst and your best crowd experience that you’ve had over the past 10 years?
S: The Megadeth tour was really tough, but I do think we win people over. People didn’t really want to like us, because it’s mostly really old metalheads that listen to Megadeth; they already have their bands that they love and they don’t really give the younger bands a chance. At the start of our set a lot of the people that were there didn’t know who we were and I don’t think they really wanted to like us. But we pride ourselves in being a live band and I think that by halfway into our set people started to get it. But that was tough. That was the toughest show I’ve ever played in my life. As soon as you walked out it was just silent. Apart from like a handful of Bleed From Within fans. It was tough, but that’s why we’ve done it. We were there to win over new fans and we went into it expecting that.
The best was probably at a Glasgow show on our last headline tour. It was wild… I’ve never seen anything as crazy in my life. There were people constantly on the top of the audience, sweat coming from the roof… It was mental! There were a few hundred people getting knocked back on the door as well because it was completely sold out
T: You’re currently working on a new project: a crowd funded EP. Can you tell me something more about that?
S: Basically, the situation with record labels right now is that you can’t really release albums every year but we’re constantly writing we’ve got loads of stuff ready to go and literally some of the best we’ve ever written. We don’t want to keep saying to people ‘Oh we’ll write an album, we’ll write an album…’ and wait too long. And we’re gonna have to wait until our next album so we basically thought we’d do the indiegogo thing. It’s going really well. I think indiegogo is pretty much the future in the music industry, the way the things are going. Plus it’s a really cool way to get our fans involved with the release and be as much a part as we are. For example, we’ve set up loads of cool perks where people can come to our rehearsal space and jam songs with us as well. There’s loads of cool stuff like that.
T: Is there any particular theme to this EP?
S: There is but I can’t give it away. But it’s really cool, it’s actually one of the coolest themes I’ve come up with I think. Basically over the past half year we’ve had a bit of rough time and I’ve put that in a story and made it into a fantasy in a way. I’ve never done anything like it before so I’m well excited. It all ties in with the artwork and the songs and the lyrics and the choruses are …. well not sing along because we’re not a sing along band, but for being a metal band they are all properly anthemic. So it all ties in.
T: Should fans be expecting any further changes in the sound or are you keeping up the standard of Uprising?
S: It’s gonna be like Uprising, because that’s our sound but way better songs. As soon as we started writing the songs we were like… FUCK! People need to hear this; we can’t let people wait a year to hear this! I don’t think anyone’s going to say it’s not as good as Uprising because it’s so much better.
T: Are you going to be playing any of the new song on this tour or are you keeping it quiet?
S: Quiet. Completely quiet. We’re not even completely finished. It lacks structure we’ve only got basics of each song. And the rest… well we’re not ready yet.
T: As a band you started out in Glasgow, which is known for its amazing music scene. How was it for you?
S: It was amazing starting in Glasgow. But the difficult thing is that all the bigger things that were going on in music industry, that was all going on in London. And because we were a small band… there are loads of bands from down London who were doing really well. I mean we’ve been a band ten years and it’s only the past four years that things started to go somewhere. We’ve been touring for six years now I think? But that’s all tours we’ve been putting up ourselves through myspace because no one really wanted to pay us money to go down to London because it costs quite a bit of money for petrol and all that.
T: Is there anything you would like to say to the young bands of Glasgow?
S: If a band gets really big and popular a lot of bands are trying to adopt what they’re doing but no one is gonna do it better than a band who have mastered that sound. So the best thing you’ve gotta do is find your sound. Stick to it. And hopefully, people will catch on. Bleed from Within never tried to change our style to sound like another band; we’ve always gradually gotten better at writing and playing our instruments. Just stick to your guns.
Be sure to catch the Glasgow metallers next time they’re in town for what is sure to be a storming live music experience.