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.
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
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?
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
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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
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?
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
Are there any particular bands
which have been a big influence on your song writing, metal or
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
Which album was your biggest
musical influence, one that made you think “this is what I want to do!”?
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?
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?
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?
Underground: Sex Pistols
Internet: Future changing
The Netherlands: Beautiful
USA: Freedom and struggle
What makes Bleed The Freaks
different from the other bands out there?
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?
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?
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
‘All Is Lost’ was written some time
ago, so have you already launched into writing new tracks?
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?
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?
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
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,
Will Rule - Vocals
Jamey Knight – Bass
Kenny Urrea - Drums
Mike Roberts - Guitar
Zak Edwardz – Guitar
2012 - All Is Lost