Bleed The Freaks - 28/12/2012

I recently received the request to interview the band BLEED THE FREAKS. After doing a bit of research, I realized that this band hails from the Bay Area, interesting! BLEED THE FREAKS was formed in 2008 by ex Misery band mates & friends Mike Roberts and Jamey Knight who, together with drummer Kenny Urrea and vocalist Will Rule have come to create a sound which will be recognized in the music world for years to come!

 

 

In order to find out all there is to know about BLEED THE FREAKS we tracked Mike Roberts  (Guitar) to answer some questions. Here you can read what he had to say to the readers of Metal-Experience.com.

 

Your album ‘All Is Lost’ was released last April if I’m correct, so of course we’d like to ask you a couple of questions about it.

 

Mike: Yes, we put the first pressing out on our own in April of 2012, and are now looking to re-issue it through a label, maybe with some extra tracks.

 

First of all, how are you doing and could you start this interview off with a short introduction of the band, the origin of its name and how you guys got together?

 

Mike: We are doing well and are busy promoting the new record.  Bleed The Freaks consists of me (Mike Roberts) on guitar, Will Rule on vocals, Jamey Knight on bass, Zak Edwardz on second guitar, and new drummer Scotty Sweet.  Jamey and I were in a band here in the Bay called Misery for several years, and once that ran its course we decided to continue on with a new band.  We found the other guys through friends and through seeing them play with other bands, and decided to try and make it work, which it did quite well.  The band name does come from Alice In Chains, which is one of our favourite bands.

 

How did you launch into writing material for the ‘All Is Lost’? For instance, did one of you come in with just a riff, or complete songs? 

 

Mike: I had a lot of riffs stored away in my brain from a lot of years, so we took those as the foundation and built on them.  I would get together with the drummer and bassist to hash them out.  It was a long process because we wanted everything perfect, and in the end I think we got the arrangements down really tight.  The last piece of the puzzle was the lyrics and vocal melodies.  We worked with Will pretty hard to get everything the way we wanted.  So they weren’t complete songs from the beginning, but I had a good vision of what I was trying to get and we made it happen.

 

What were the goals you had in mind when you started to record ‘All Is Lost,’ any elements you definitely wanted to include on the album?

 

Mike: We set out to make a record that blended all of our influences into one thing, and to make that listenable.  Bleed The Freaks is a very melodic hard rock band.  We call our sound ‘crush groove’ because the riffs are very memorable and are groove oriented, so we wanted to capture that vibe.  I wanted every song to be killer and I think we got that.  My daughter Ari is even on the track ‘Blind Eye,’ so that was a nice touch for me as well.

 

Could you describe the implications of the title ‘All Is Lost’, what does it stand for and is there a special meaning behind it? Can you give us a little background information about it?

Mike: There is a lot of meaning behind it.  When we first started the concept it was about how fucked the world is becoming, but our singer Will thought that was too negative, so we changed up the message to be about taking the world back before it is too late.  Take control of the planet or all will be lost!

 

How important is it to you that people pay attention to your lyrics, apart from listening to the music?

 

Mike: The lyrical content in this band is a huge factor.  We are big fans of bands that have deep messages in their music.  I think that is what brings our band to another level.  It’s not just a cool riff with random words.  There is a deeper meaning.  We work very hard on the lyrical end of things and strive for good melody in the vocals.  There’s no better feeling than somebody paying attention to your lyrics and singing along at the shows.

 

Can you give us a little background information on the songs? Are there any stories behind them?

 

Mike: Every one does have their own story.  We just write about real life and things that we have been through, but try to keep the message positive.  We don’t just write an album to get it done like a lot of bands do.  It takes time to get it the way we want it.  We’ll go back and forth on certain things until it is perfect.

 

 

What is the utmost important ingredient for a song according to you? Is there a typical way in which your songs come into being?

 

Mike: Well it all starts with a beat in my head.  Sometimes I will hear a riff and I will work on it and sort everything out, then take it to the band.  They help arrange everything and put our sound on it.  The final step is working out the lyrics and melodies for the vocals.

 

How can we imagine you work on new songs, what's the typical writing process like for Bleed The Freaks?

 

Mike: A lot of times we will just jam out at practice and record it all on our mobile pro tools rig.  I will take the recordings home and sort through it all, pick out the best stuff, and work on the stuff I like.  From there we get together and structure everything.

 

As far as we know, the album has not been released in Europe. Have any labels showed an interest in the band yet? If so can you reveal any details yet?

 

Mike: We are currently building a buzz through the press and radio.  At the beginning of the year we plan on shopping the album to try and get it released and distributed properly around the world.  A good European label would be ideal for that.  Time will tell.

 

Can you tell us a little about yourself and the kinds of things that motivate you in your writing, your poetry, and your lyrics? What are you personally into?

 

Mike: We mainly stay with real life experiences that people can relate to.  Things like tragedy, drinking, women, and having fun growing up are what we write about.  I’m personally into guitars, rock n roll, and everything that comes along with that!

 

Are there any particular bands which have been a big influence on your song writing, metal or otherwise?

 

Mike: Well we all grew up on the old school stuff like UFO, Sabbath, and Zeppelin.  Those bands are huge influences.  Then of course you have all the big metal bands that came from our home town, bands like Metallica, Testament, and Exodus.  We grew up with all those guys and it was very inspiring to watch their success.  It gave us the motivation to try for big things.  I love a lot of Southern rock too.  Those bands were all great players, great singers, and wrote great songs too.  Last but not least I love Alice In Chains.  What a great fucking band!  They changed the way I write music and proved you can be really heavy while keeping the qualities of a song.

 

Which album was your biggest musical influence, one that made you think “this is what I want to do!”?

 

Mike: Wow that is a real tough one.  If I could only pick one I’d have to say ‘The Song Remains The Same’ is what made me become a musician.  That’s some great stuff right there!

 

How would you describe your own music and what are your musical influences?

 

Mike: We call it ‘crush groove rock’ because the band’s foundation is the groove and the riff.  We love classic hard rock, classic metal, and a lot of modern hard rock bands.  I guess you roll all that into one and you have Bleed The Freaks!

 

What have been the highlights and low points throughout your career?

 

Mike: We have had so many highs.  The greatest times were sharing stages with the big bands like Flotsam and Jetsam, Testament, Exodus, Vicious Rumors, and Death Angel.  We have played with so many great bands and consider a lot of them friends.  The lowest point is not reaching the level of success that we know we deserve.  We know our band has got something special happening and it gets frustrating when we can’t get it to the next level, but we are working hard to change that right now!

 

 

Could you respond to the following terms in just one word or sentence?

 

Metal:  Exodus

Underground:  Sex Pistols

Internet:  Future changing

Religion:  Why

Politics: Useless

The Netherlands:  Beautiful

USA:  Freedom and struggle

 

What makes Bleed The Freaks different from the other bands out there?

 

Mike: We have a heavy groove sound that will appeal to metal fans but with melodic vocals that appeal to fans of rock as well.  We write what we like and don’t follow what is popular.  We are brothers in the fight to be real, and it shows in the music.

 

What is your opinion on the metal scene these days? What do you think of the overload of bands at the moment and is there anything missing in the scene?

 

Mike: To put it short and sweet – IT BLOWS!  Overload is putting it nicely.  It is ridiculous and I think it has made it a lot tougher for bands to make a name for themselves.

 

Which goals did you have when started out with this band and how do these goals stand now?

Mike: The primary goal was to get the music out to the people, and I think this is becoming more of a reality every day.  With social media being as huge as it is it makes the goal easier to obtain.

 

‘All Is Lost’ was written some time ago, so have you already launched into writing new tracks?

 

Mike: Yes, we are always constantly writing, either by ourselves or as a band.  It keeps us in a good mood and keeps us focusing on the future.  There is no shortage of material with this band.  We hope to get started on our second album this year.  Hopefully a label will team up with us and it will speed up the process a little.

 

If so, what can we expect from those new songs?

 

Mike: Well we have pretty much established our signature sound, so it will be a continuation of that.  Lyrically it will be about life’s struggles, the ups and downs of being alive.  People relate to that and it is what comes natural for us as far as writing goes.  We are excited for the second record.

 

What can we expect from Bleed The Freaks in the near future, any touring plans?

 

Mike: The plan is to sign with a label in 2013 and to get our music to as many people as possible.  Hopefully that means some touring.  I think we would go over great at the big European festivals.  That is our dream and we are working hard to make it happen.

 

Anything left to say to our readers?

 

Mike: We want to thank you for the interview and hope the readers will take the time to check us out.  Google ‘Bleed The Freaks band’ and everything will come up, the website, social media pages, etc.  We live for this.  Music is life!  Crank it up!

 

Thanks for your time,

Eugene Straver

 

 

Members:  

Will Rule - Vocals

Jamey Knight –  Bass

Kenny Urrea - Drums

Mike Roberts - Guitar

Zak Edwardz – Guitar

 

Albums:

2012 - All Is Lost