Andy from Bleed was so kind to answer my questions to the group and I thought in the first place that this was a continuing on the old group Blood…but that´s not really right…december 2014
-We formed roughly about six years ago (…I think).We used to go drinking (still do) & I had a bass & amp laying around, Pete had a drum kit.so it was a case of use em’,or sell em’.I couldn’t face selling my guitar ,so we decided to get something together. We drafted Chris in,a mate from a band I was in years ago called Hooligan Element & rehearsed in an old factory in Leeds. Karl came along to watch & it turned out he had a better understanding of the drums than Pete, so the original lineup became Pete-Vocals,Chris-Guitar,Andy-Bass & Karl-Drums.
Pete had been a member of a notorious biker gang & was trying to get away from that,so joining a punk band was a natural ‘progression. Our early gigs had a biker presence which didn’t exactly endear us to promoters & venue owners.
Over the next few years we had a steady turnover of band members-we had every reject in Yorkshire with a guitar who couldn’t make it in a regular outfit playing for us because we had/have ‘no rules.’Pete called it quits & I had to take over vocals. Some say the bass isn’t a proper instrument anyway, so it was the least I could do.
-The lineup now is Andy-bass/vocals,Chris-guitar/vocals,Andy V.-guitar/vocals & Karl-drums. We’re all the wrong side of forty & we’ve all been in bands before except Karl. Chris was in Hooligan Element with me years ago & then a band called Human Wreckage. Andy V. was in a band that gigged, but the name has escaped me.
We’re all interested in the same three things-I’ll leave that one to your imagination. We all have families & there’s something bad about everyone everytime we practice. The room smells like a farmyard sometimes. We all have regular jobs & nobody has ‘musician’ on their c.v.
-We all like the old bands & we’ve had the pleasure of playing gigs with some of them. I’m not into name dropping or hero worship, but I will say Charlie Harper is one of the nicest, unpretentious people I’ve met & gigs with the U.K.Subs are always good. We’ve encountered some arrogance from members of bands who think they invented punk (no names mentioned) & we had an extremely upsetting experience when a band grabbed all the free beer allocated & disappeared to their van with it (Subhumans).
-Pete came up with the name & it was used because the track ‘Bleed’ was thought to be our best song at the time.We had some other name at first which I forget,& it sounded like a name a metal band would use.We don’t want to be associated with that.I find most,(not all) metal bands tedious & I hate rock n’roll cliches.The Blood are a good band,but I’m always a little suspicious of bands who wear ‘stage gear’.Seems a little in genuine to me, but The Cardinal seems to get away with it. I saw them years ago at Palm Cove,Bradford.
Best band names…how about Tattooed Mother Fuckers, Bloody Mattresses,Naked Lady Wrestlers, Mighty Sphincter..i could go on.
What´s the best thing with playing live?
-Getting away from the wife (…just kidding).We play with some larger more established bands & therefore expose their audience to our sound & sometimes we get mobbed for c.d.’s & t-shirts. It nice that people are still open to something new & all they need is to be allowed to hear it. We played in Scotland recently & a guy said he’d travelled a long way to the gig. He said he’d been wanting to hear something different & we’d made his night. That made five hours in the van worth it for me (& all the Red Stripe).That’s how I felt, first time I saw the 4 Skins many years ago. I’m not saying we’re as good as the 4 Skins are/were, but if we can recreate that feeling I had back then..it’s worth it.
-We’ve done a few gigs for a guy called Andy (Mohawk Productions) at The Bridge Inn, Rotherham. Wellorganised ,decent sound, good audience & erm..great beer. Always a good night,so get down there. Some venues have stroppy soundmen trying to rush you on, rush you off, so we don’t go back.
-Soul destroying (…just kidding).The big punk festivals here are very cliquey & to get booked is largely down to who you know, as opposed to how good your band is & how often you’ve been seen there which really should determine whether you play. There are no real financial rewards to speak of, but that’s not why we’re doing it. We’ll play anywhere, with anyone, but we refuse to ‘pay to play’-I’d rather be down the pub than humping gear around & paying for the privilege of the ‘exposure ‘the band might get. Bands that choose to do this are just shortsighted & fucking it up for themselves & everyone else. All we have to show for our efforts is deafness & chipped teeth.
-Fast & loud.
-I guess it’s a lifestyle. Punk to me, means saying & doing whatever feels right regardless of artificial barriers like political correctness. The best bands don’t let anything get in their way & plough on regardless. It’s also a good excuse to get pissed & have a laugh which appealed to me in the first place.
-The file sharing is o.k. as long as they only use it to get a taste of the music before they buy it. The sad reality is, once someone put’s it up, it seems to kill the sales. I got told our material is up on some Russian website for free, but mp3’s sound shit & our albums only cost a few quid, so why bother with an inferior sound. Our material is also up for download on Spotify, I-tunes etc,.I still buy c.d.’s & vinyl & support the labels as much as possible .I imagine running a label is a thankless task these days.
-Same as it’s ever been as far as I’m concerned-a struggle. Hardly recognise the place anymore & I never vote, not in my name. People talk about this wing & that wing, but when you’re being screwed, who cares if it’s from the left or right?
-The punk scene is pretty big & there’s a lot of old bands reforming to play Rebellion Festival,Punk & Disorderly etc.The plus is, you get to see bands you may of missed the first time round & the minus is, they take the money, bookings & interest off bands who are trying to create something new.We played Glasgow with a band called Zero Hour recently & it could have been the Red Stripe, but I really enjoyed their set. I don’t say that too often these days. Tattooed.Mother.Fuckers are always worth seeing & we try to play one or two gigs with them. Also check out London Diehards.
-They make the best trucks & didn’t The Stranglers have a song about Sweden? I heard the standard of living is better than here in the U.K but that’s not difficult.
-Mob 47,Anti-Cimex,Pitbull Farm-we played a gig with them a few years back.
Your lyrics, who does them and what influences you? It seems like you don’t like overpower so much ?
-I normally come up with lyrics & a rough idea for a tune with a bass line. The rest of the band then set about making it something people might wanna hear.
Not sure what you mean by overpower but if you mean a distorted bass sound, I like to keep it clean. Our influences come from alcohol mainly & I write about anything that interests me & isn’t too obvious.
-Love,because there’s too much love in the world (…just kidding).
Politic and music, does it goes hand in hand?
-Not really for me. I don’t mind hearing political opinions in music, but I don’t like them shoved down my throat song after song. I find politics boring & anyone who wants to be a politician should be prevented from being one.
Best political band/artist?
-Tesco Vee’s Hate Police.
-Punk changed my life but I couldn’t make out most of the lyrics when I first got into it & I ain’t naïve enough to think they are gonna change anything. Without a good tune, they’re dead in the water.
-We play a Fear song (I love living in the city) now & again. They were/are one of the best American bands I got into during the early 80’s & we all like em’.
-I put it about that we’d sign to a label for a case of beer & Steve Jones/Tattooed Mother Fuckers/M.F.S got in touch & ended up putting our first two albums out. He’s been a good supporter of the band, a genuine music lover, plus he didn’t take the piss like other labels that showed interest in us. The label has changed names to GreyZone & who knows, maybe they’ll wanna put another one out-we’re open to offers from anyone. As I mentioned previously, I like to have something in my hand like cd.or vinyl when I buy music, but that’s probably my age.
Please tell me a funny thing which have happened during your career and under some gig?
-Early on we did a local gig at the now defunct Turks Head in Pontefract. We we’re getting free beer, so took full advantage before we went on. Two songs in, we all had to leave the stage to use the toilet. Tell me another band you’ve seen do that? We had a guitarist with epilepsy who would have fits while playing. One time someone said, “I don’t like this guitar solo”, to which I replied, ”he’s having a fit you idiot. ”Seems like most of the local venues we played have closed-maybe there’s a pattern forming.
-It used to be only skinheads who were open minded enough to give us a chance but now anybody a bit odd turns up. We did a gig recently in Sowerby Bridge & loads of our friends showed. They are the worst & the place got trashed. I spotted a well endowed girl wearing one of our t-shirts, but it read ‘BED’. We don’t pretend to be this or that just get up & do our thing.
Please rank your five favoriterecords, five favoriteconcerts and five most important things in life?
-Favorite records:(this changes daily)
Ruts-The Crack (I never play Jah War-I hate reggae).
Favorite concerts:(all occurred in the 1980’s.)
Motorhead-Port Vale, Stoke.
Christmas On Earth Punk Festival-Leeds.
Circle Jerks/Gang Green-London.
Most important things:(not necessarily in this order)
-I wouldn’t wanna do one every day but really, I don’t mind. Maybe I’m responsible for any boredom experienced.
-Can I buy you a beer?
How about another?
…Go on then twist my arm.
Futureplans for the band?
-More recording to finish the next album & more gigs. We’re a little more professional playing live now due to a new band ‘policy’. No more than six pints before we play,(but no less than five).
Something to add?
-Watch out for us playing your town, the new album will be the best one yet. Good luck with your magazine & thanks for your interest in the band. Maybe we’ll make it to Sweden someday.