Hard Talk

Interview with Bleed the Sky’s Noah Robinson

Orange Co., California’s Bleed the Sky have been kicking audiences’ asses southern California style for several years now with their debut release, ‘Paradigm of Entropy.’ They’ve been on tour with Dope for the Jagermeister Summer of Sin tour, where I caught up with Noah (lead vox). This will give you a heads up on what’s to come as well as some insight into their past.

EC: So are you guys enjoying yourselves on the tour so far?

N: Oh absolutely. This tour and the last tour we did with Ill Nino have been incredible tours, the two really good ones we needed to get under our belt before we take off a few months to work on the new record. A lot bigger crowds, we’ve been playing with bands that are a little more nu metal style and with Dope they’ve got more of like the industrial crowd. We’ve been playing for crowds that obviously we’ve never played in front of, usually we play for just straight up metal crowds, so it’s good for us ’cause we’re reaching out to a lot of fans. We have enough singing to where it hits a lot on the head of the nu metal styles, but, then we’re also not too heavy for them, you know what I mean? We’re fairly heavy but not too heavy for em, and this tour’s been amazing too, and all the bands we’ve been playing with have been awesome. We’re all great friends now, and we hang out every night and drink and have a good time.

EC: So is it basically all you can drink Jager on this tour?

N: Not as much as I’d like to say, and in the past, like six month prior to this we were out always headlining tours, and that was like the main thing that we insisted that we get was a bottle of Jager every night. So we were, between me and our merchendise and our old sampler Puck, we were going through y’know the 850 bottle a night. We got kinda burnt out on it, you know what I mean, we were like, aw, what else can we drink? Y’know you find out what you can and can’t drink, and how much you can drink without being hung over the next day. And Jager, it’s just – so much sugar in it that if you do more than a couple Jager bombs or a shot or two, and you really get into a bottle – and get fucked up on Jager – you feel it the next day! (laughs) So we don’t usually ask for as much Jager anymore, but, I know the shows that we’ve had with our Jager reps there have been really good. They bring out a lot of stuff and they take care of us really well, so…

EC: What do you do before a show, y’know, to get yourselves psyched? Do you have any rituals that you do?

N: Well we all, we’ve made it a point that, granted everybody has their own routines of warming up, you know different things, each person does something different to get themselves personally warmed up, but we usually, as soon as A New Revolution goes on stage, usually 45 minuites before we hit the stage, sometimes an hour, we’ll go out, start stretching, you know, turn on the stereo listen to Pantera or Clutch or Corrosion of Conformity, or anything that’s just like really hard shit, you know, to get pumped up. We really try to spend like the first twenty minutes to half hour right before we go on really just like connecting, you know what I mean? Because you can tell from night to night whether or not a band, the people on stage, are seeing each other eye to eye, or if they just kinda just shook hands right before they went on, and they go on. There’s that connection that we like to have, where we can joke around with eachother and everyone’s on the same wavelength, the same mindset, and everything like that. So, we just like to have a few drinks, hang out, tell jokes and just make each other laugh. It’s nothing like (with a mock growl) oh weve got to tear this fucking place apart – it’s nothing like that. We just try to connect with eachother and when we do that’s when we have the best crowd connection as well. You can see bands that go up and don’t have that connection with eachother, and they lack that crowd connection that needs to be there. Whereas if the entire band is on the same mindstate, then they all four, all five, all ten, I don’t care how many people go on stage, it’s the same crowd interaction, So that’s the main thing we like to do, is just connect with eachother, hang out, and take nothing negative on stage,

EC: I heard Wayne was back home regaining his strength. Is he going to be back before the end of this tour?

N: He’s actually coming out for the very last show. It’s not going to be on the Dope tour, the Summer of Sin tour, but as soon as the Summer of Sin tour’s over, which I believe is the 13th (August), then we’ve got five shows booked on the way home, just like some cool down dates.

EC: Are you’re headlining?

N: Yeah. Just five dates, we’ve got Colorado, a couple in Kansas, New Mexico, and Arizona on the way home from Illinois. And Wayne’s going to come out for the Tempe, Arizona show, the official last show before we go record the new record. He’ll be back out for that one, he asked us if we were okay with that, and we said we’d love to have him back out for that one show, we didn’t want him to come back out on tour and potentially get sick. His immune system suffered pretty big, substantial damage with the sickness and everything. We need him more on the next record. We need him 100%, we need him healthy, we need him fully regained, y’know, back to Wayne. So yea, he is going to be coming out for that last show.

EC: What can you tell me about the next record? Are you playing any songs from it yet?

N: We’re not playing any live yet, mainly just because we know that for one, – you change a lot of things up when you go into the recording studio. You notice things that sound better, and sound worse, and you change them up to fit the needs of the song, per se, and two, – we also don’t want to get burnt out on stuff that we haven’t even recorded yet, before it’s recorded, y’know, before it’s released. But the very opening riff that we’ve been doing on this tour and the Ill Nino tour is a clip from one of our new songs. Just a riff, hard, heavy gets us pumped up, I usually walk out and say “this is a taste of the new shit right here” and we just play like eight bars, just enough to show people the direction the next record is going, which is basically from Cowboys from Hell to Vulger – just brutality. Instead of every song having a certain structure like what we stuck to on this last record of the standard – okay here’s the verse, I’m going to scream this part, here’s the chorus, y’know, I’m going to be singing, here’s this, here’s that – We’re looking more towards whatever feels right, feels natural for us which is just brutality. Metal. That’s our best. Songs like The Martyr for us are a rarity, you know what I mean? If we can write a song like that for our next record, then great. We’re not going to force it though. We know that naturally we write songs more like Paradigm in Entropy and the last track on the record, Borellia Mass. That’s more our forte, we know how to write those songs, we can write them all day long and just kick ass with them. The new shit is definately going to be a lot, lot heavier. Just balls out, no boundaries as far as we’re concerned. We’ve experimented, we’ve played every different style that we’re familiar with on the first record. Leverage was almost like a radio, poppy song in a way. Then we had Killitank and Minion which were kind of like our format, like the way we do things. Then we had Martyr which was a seven minute song, well written, but not quite as heavy as some of the others. Then you get to the end of the record and you have God In The Frame, Division, and Borellia Mass which are balls out, fucking brutality, no singing, just brutal, heavy, fuckin just metal. And that’s what we originally set out to do, but it took us up till right before we went into the studio to really figure out how to do that. So now that we’ve kind of come into our niche so to speak, personally, you know, how to write the metal that we want, then the next one’s going to be a lot tighter, a lot more technical, a lot more diversity but at the same time a lot more metal – metal diversity, you know what I mean? Not just singing and screaming, and mellow guitar. It’s going to be more of just a different breed of metal record. Of all the metal we grew up listening to, we’re just throwing every little thing we know about metal into this one.

EC: A lot of new bands seem to be stretched real thin between touring and working in the studio. Do you think your touring schedule takes away time you’d rather spend working in the studio?

N: Absolutely not. When we’re on tour we know we need to be on tour, and we’d rather do what we’re doing right now, like when we set out in August last year on tour, and now it’s August of the following year. We only had January off, so we’ve been out for eleven straight months. It doesn’t really for us take away, when we’re on tour, we’re focused on touring. And when we have time off from touring, when we’re at home, that’s when we focus on writing and getting the new stuff together, so, I mean, there is an extent to where you just need to stop. Like with us, we told Wayne and we told our agent too that after this, after the Dope tour, don’t be booking us any more stuff because we need the next several months to get everything racked up. And we’d rather do it like that, I don’t want to be out on tour and be writing. I don’t have a problem necessarily writing stuff while we’re out on the road, but to me it’s like our best connections are made when we’re in rehearsal, and we’re just jammin the fuck out – loud as the amps’ll go, headbangin like we’re on stage, and stopping eachother every five seconds and going “awesome dude, yea that was awesome! Do that again, do it again!” And four to six hour rehearsals – that’s how we do things. I hope the next touring and recording schedules go like this one did where its just extensive, nonstop touring for that record.And then when it comes to the point where people are ready for a new record, and we’re ready for a new record, then we just take off a few months and get it ready. Then as soon as that record’s about to drop – go back out with it. I like that schedule, I like how we do that.

EC: From all this touring, are there any shows or incidents that stick out in your head as being real memorable? Anything really crazy happen?

N: Oh god. We played in Traverse City, Mich. and I think it was the day before it was our drum tech Checker’s birthday. We basically said, “dude, if you can get us there on time, then you’re off the clock. It’s your birthday.” He’s our main driver so we said, “get us there on time, happy fuckin birthday, you’re still gettin, y’know, your salary, whatever, you’re still on the clock but you’re not on the job.” You know what I mean? But we got there, and he probably had a gallon of Southern Comfort, that’s his drink, and he was so shitcanned by the time we hit the stage that he couldn’t even see straight – couldn’t even say his own name. Then we all brought him up on stage and sang happy birthday to him, we all just plastered him with silly string,

EC: How did you guys all meet?

N: Partying. I met Kyle, our guitarist, years ago back in Oklahoma, where I lived. We had a mutual friend in OK City, and he was living in Austin Texas then.

EC: Oh so you guys are from all over the country?

N: Yeah. Oh yeah. I grew up in Oklahoma, he grew up in Texas, Disco’s from Canada.

EC: Are any of you from the southern California area?

N: Austin’s the only one, he grew up in Huntington Beach, born and raised there, and Wayne spent most of his life in W. Virginia and S. Carolina area. So me and Kyle have known each other initially whenever I was out in California, and I was like “no shit, you live out here? Cool, we should jam, we should get together.” And he and I jammed out and were writing stuff on our own for about a year before we met anybody else. Once we finally had some material, and we don’t use any of the stuff me and him wrote, but once we saw that, wow, we’re actually doing some pretty cool shit here, we should throw a band together. And we were like fuckin’ A, so we found Austin, who was the next in the lineup, met him through a friend that we always partied with. Then we met Wayne through another friend who we always partied with. Then Casey, our original bass player, we met through another band that we always played with, then Casey left and we met Disco through a friend that I played with in bands years ago. So it was all, a friend of a friend of a friend who, everyone was referred. And it was funny like with Austin, on drums, it was like we partied and hung out with him for four weeks before we even heard him play drums. And we knew he was our drummer. We were just like, this guy’s too fuckin cool. He clicks with us. And we knew the music he listened to and we seen him play air drums and talk about music and we were all agreed that, man, if this kid is anywhere close to as good at drums as he is a good person, then we’ll fuckin start him in. He was the first drummer, we never even auditioned a drummer, he was the first one we met. Other than bass guitar, everyone of us is all original. That’s why I think it works so well, is that we all came into this with the same mindset, we started something new, we partied every fucking weekend. Sometimes during the weekday when we’re home half of us live together, we’re just like family. So, we all grew up in different parts of the country and we all met in southern California, got together there.

EC: So, when do you think you’re going to be back on tour with that new record?

N: Well, we’ve been talking, we haven’t really sat down with our label yet and really figured out a set timeframe, but with us, roughly we think the record will probably be ready for release, like production and everything done, by say, middle to late March, maybe early April. Around the same time of year the last record came out. So we’re planning on taking off after this tour and probably hit the road a couple weeks before the new record comes out, get some good warm-up dates and once the record drops then we can do some touring. And for that record, just – everywhere – if we can do Europe, Japan, Australia, fuckin I don’t care Canada, Mexico. Anywhere and everywhere we can play – that’s what we’re going to do.

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