The Bled Interview
This interview was made in Paris the 5th of December 2005.
Caroline has met Mike the Drummers.

It's the first time you play in France, what can you tell us about this European tour?
So far it's been really amazing for us, make the shows, see people come up to places we never played before it's really flattering and at the same time it's really interesting to get a different perspective of how the scene is out of the USA, like in the UK where we've been a few times.

You already toured with many great bands, like the dillinger escape plan or Norma Jean, which bands did you enjoy playing with the most and which bands do you hope to play with in the future?
It's hard to say who I like the most 'cause whether I get along with the whole band or not but, I love playing shows with the Dillinger Escape Plan, it's funny 'cause on stage there really, you know what I mean, there shows are so intense but when you talk to them they're like the sweetest nice guys! Super cool! And hopefully we'll be able to do stuff again with them later on. On the Norma Jean tour, we were out with them actually like a couple of years ago but it was a lot of fun, those are good guys.We just got off a tour with that band Thrice and that was just amazing, we're like best friends with those guys now, and that was an awesome tour, 6 and a half weeks of touring or so. For every tour we've been on, we can't really complain about anything so far.

There's a wide variety of music styles in your music, on both of your records, can you name some of your influences?
Yeah, when I came to playing drums I had a lot of influences from different jazz artists and things like that, I like listening to a lot more rhythm n bass shit just, I don't know, some kind of hip hop or soul, just because I can't find a solid groove so then I work around it and I bring in whatever kind of influences that I have, like jazz influences, that's a main thing for me 'cause that's kind of where I learned to play drums, I didn't really start playing drums until I joined The Bled, but I played hand drums and percussions for live jazz ensembles. Anyway, as far as I think, lyrically James pulls influences from different places like he listens to a lot of straight up American sounding rock and from the Refused to even Radiohead, we've even been compared a lot to them, Refused and Radiohead, I mean it's awesome, but at the same time, we don't try to necessarily rip anybody off but at the same time, you don't even know what you're doing sometimes, that music that you love so much come out of you, in the form of your influences.

Did you create the band in the perspective of mixing those styles?
In the beginning we just wanted to play music, we didn't say "here is what we're gonna be", we just let come out what came out, I think that's why you see a little bit more difference on the new records as far as there's maybe more individual influence of the different members that are included in it, less than just going with the riffs, instead of a bass drum riff the bass drum is more of a feeling in it.

Yeah, that's kind of my next question, 'cause Found in the Flood is really different from Pass the Flask, there is more melody in the new album, which is also maybe a bit less aggressive, so what has happened between those two albums?
I think it's just that we have been touring together for 2 and a half or 3 years before we started writing that last record so with all that time playing together, just like learning each other's styles, it made it easier for us all to put something into the record, so I think it has a lot to do with it. Of course the experiences that we've had in the past two years and all of that has to do with the way the music sounds but all that playing together made a big difference.

Found in the Flood is a success, you seem to be more and more popular, kids are already waiting for tonight's show in front of the club, do you feel more popular? Is that something that you notice at shows?
Yeah, I mean, I can tell that more and more people are coming to the shows and it's such a great feeling just to know that, hmm, to be on the headline on tour, is really, you know what I mean, it's cool to know that you can do it and not wonder whether the people are going to come or not, even though for some of the shows we played in places we've never been in before people are coming out and it feels amazing, like it's actually growing, and found in the flood is doing so well as compared to Pass the Flask, both records are helping each other out, it's really exciting, I'm happy about it!

What's your favourite song on pass the flask and favourite one on found in the flood?
On Pass the Flask I would either say "get up" or Ruth buzzy", just cause they're really fun to play on drums, there's a lot of different parts and I like that about it, on Found in the Flood, I really like "Gutter shark" a lot, I like to play it just cause, again It's fun on the drums and I think that the way that it's arranged just feels cool 'cause there are more dynamic parts than maybe what we've done in the past. I really like Antarctica too, we never play it on stage, I love the way it came out, like the melody, the vocal melody, I love it!

For us French people, can you explain your lyrics? Is there a message that you wanna pass through those lyrics?
I know that the lyrics are pretty personal to Jeremy and James, there the two that write them, but I know they leave it open kind of for the people to decide what it means to them, I know that it has specific meanings to each of those guys but I don't really know necessarily, they kinda talk to me about what's the song talked to them, but at the same time I'd rather be somebody who just reads them and take something from it myself. None of us really try to get involved with the lyrics other than Jeremy and James, just cause that's their thing, and James had a lot more to do with the lyrics on this record, he wrote most of them, I know that some of it is about some of the things that he's been through, that's why you see it more subjective than straight up, it's not like "that's how the story goes", it kinda leaves it open to be seen from different views.

For this new album your on Vagrant, how did the signing on Vagrant happen?
Well, it actually happen from our record label in the states who used to be a label called "fit the records", and it just was our time to leave, and we were all fans of vagrant, for the bands that they sign and the way that they do business we're just really big fans so it was a very comfortable transition for us and we were so happy to move to them and at the same time they were like really excited to have a band like us on their label. It was really comfortable.

If you had a message to say to the young generation, what would that be?
I would say to the young generation that I found a lot growing up that people don't always necessarily take you seriously when you say "I wanna be a musician, I wanna play music for the rest of my life" or "I wanna be an artist", people are like "we'll see what happens, go to business school and try to do that later". I totally disagree with that all thing, especially from where I came from, I think that if you have something inside of you, like a passion for music or art, anything like that, just never give up on it, cause there's always gonna be people to tell you that it's not gonna take you anywhere, "you're gonna end up like this guy or that guy" and there gonna pick examples of people who didn't quite do so good like "do you really wanna be that guy?" but there's no way to let anybody fall of their passion or their dream. I would tell to the young generation that if you love music and you wanna play it then just play it and don't give up on it and it will happen eventually whether you get to be the next huge super famous thing or whether you just get to see the world from touring with you friends and three years later it still way worth it.

Pivot Questionnary :

What's your favourite word? Lately I've just been really into this word "bella" just because I've been seeing it a lot I think, it means beautiful in Italian, why don't know why that comes to mind but I was just thinking about it.
Your least favourite word? I hate the word "smell" or words that describe that, I hate those words!
What turns you on creatively? It depends, arts, like different kinds of paintings, different kinds of music, like drums sounds, even sometimes I just hear a beat, just a drum beat makes me wanna write music.
What turns you on spiritually?
Well, I guess being alone, if it makes any sense, sometimes a little bit of weed can make you feel spiritual (Laughs).
Emotionally? Genuine people
What turns you off?
People just taking for granted things, 'cause it can always be worse.
What is your favourite curse word?
"Enculé" (In French, it means "Fucker")
What sound or noise do you love? I love the sound of a piano mixed with a violin.
What sound or noise do you hate? I hate when fire trucks drive right by you, that's really loud to your ears or a feedback blasting in my ears from my drum monitor.
What's your favourite place on earth? That's hard to say, I really love parts of different places, but I have to say Tucson, Arizona, cause it's home, and there's mountains and it's always sunny, it's a beautiful place, New York City, a little bit of my heart is still there in Paris 'cause I lived here for about 6 months. I'm going to Italy for the first time so I'll let you know after 'cause I'm pretty sure I'm gonna love it there!
And the place that you hate?
I hate being to that place, shit what is it called, in the US, it's you know, some kind of hardware stores where they have fucking everything, I hate those!
Which person influenced you the most during your life? My mom.
Who where your heroes when you were a kid? Well, Louis Prima, the jazz singer, my mom of course, and, I loved Michael Jackson as a little kid, getting older I really loved Sting and The Police.
What job other than your one would you like to attempt? Honestly I'd like to go back to art school and be an artist, like try painting, or maybe do something with business, not like for a company but within the music industry, like managing bands or even having a label.
What job would you not like to attempt? I would really not like to go back to my old job, I used to work in a watch shop in a Tucson mall, I was like 19. I went to school for international business, I never actually finished, I've been there 3 years and I dropped out for touring.
If heaven exists, what would you like to hear god say when you arrive at the pearly gate? Hmmm, I'd like him to tell me that everything worked good and that I get to see all my dead family and my dead dogs!

Thank you!

Interview Caroline
Traduction Caroline

Copyright Hammerock - Spiritribe 1999