In the studio with BLEETH. New music, aspirations and silly moments.26 January 2017 by Joe Tenny
Photography: Gustavo Tonelli
Harken to me those who do not know what the mighty Bleeth be!
Bleeth is a sludge metal band from Miami, Fl, well loved and with a strong following on their local scene. Set to release new material at the beginning of next year, we from Too Much Love put on our viking helmets and invaded the Bleeth Cave. Or we could call it “The Lair of the Bleeth”. There the band proceed to blast our ears of with metal, make our faces fall off from laughing with a bunch of funny anecdotes, and smooth the occasion over with a handle of Evan Williams. They even managed to work with our photographer, much to everyone’s surprise and delight. We talked about their new work mostly although the conversation did get sidetracked a couple of times.
I’ve endeavored to keep this interview as close to the recording of the conversation as possible, to maintain the easy going vibe and transmit the fun that one of Miami heaviest bands has to offer .
Bleeth is Lauren Palma on guitar, Juan Londoño on drums, and Ryan, Just Ryan, on bass. This last band member’s name is pronounced with the same cadence as Bond, James Bond
You are working on a new album right now. Any major sound differences from your previous recordings?
- Ryan: A lot of development, adding a lot of layers between songs, it is sounding cool. I feel this album has more slower sections, more droning and heavy sounds, and I believe the dynamics have increased in a lot of songs, simplicity yet a lot of complication in dynamics. Kind of like taking people on a trip.
- Lauren: We’re incorporating a lot of interesting, weird analog synths stuff, mixing them in with the songs, so the sound will be very different from previous work. We’re very happy playing loud, very loud (Lauren says loud like Schwarzenegger yells “get to da choppa!”), but with this material we’ve tried to bring it down a little, try to be soft and still be strong.
- Juan – I’ve had most of my say in the speed of this material, we’re going a little slower than usual, more accents and shit.
- Lauren: Juan has a lot of ideas, Ryan and I look to him a lot for input and then say “F**k, why didn’t we think of that? We’ve got our heads up our f**king guitars”
- Ryan – Yeah, Juan is basically the best human being, and balances us out since Lauren and I are basically on opposite sides of the spectrum, I’m a Sagittarius and she’s a Gemini, I’m fire and she’s air! Then Juan is there just masterminding us and reigning us in.
Are you adding any new equipment, any new toys?
- Juan – I keep it simple, just my usual kit. I’m a fan of Paiste cymbals, they sound amazing.
- Lauren : Juan is a very clean and neat drummer, he keeps everything spotless. As for equipment, I was using this vocal delay reverb pedal that I now incorporate in with the other stuff. The bassist here is the gearhead of the band. It’s a little embarrassing how little stuff I use. I have a black Toneworks pedal, as overdrive/distortion. Also a Cathedral pedal for delay, and the reverb aux pedal which is super simple but badass. Lastly an EQ pedal, just to bump up my sound a bit.
- Ryan. Yes! For me it’s never ending, I am a collector. Particularly in what we’re doing now in our live set I’m using all Acoustic Heads, the old kind, before the brand got bought out and destroyed. I’ve also go some new pedals, crazy noise stuff and then particularly a Moog synth Mother 32.
Have you named the new album?
- Ryan – We haven’t decided on a name yet, we want to see the finished project before naming it, since we have been evolving new sounds in the process of making it.
- Lauren – It’s definitely like a concept album, we are connecting it from start to finish. Obviously all the songs have names but we want to tie in our artwork too. We have ideas for the name, but nothing solid yet.
Do you have the artwork?
- Lauren – We’re hoping to bring Jean (from Shroud Eater) onboard to do it.
How many tracks in the new album?
- Lauren – 6 tracks, not counting intros and outros. It’s probably around 45 min long.
- Ryan – Around the 45 min mark sounds right, we have some material that no one has heard before, so we’re excited to get to show it.
What’s the date of the release? Do you have any presentation plans or events planned?
- Lauren – We’re probably going to get the record mastered with guy up in Boston, but no official release dates since we want to pitch the album to a couple of labels beforehand. But we are going to put it out on cassette tape via Primitive Violence, which is Jean’s (from Shroud Eater) tape label. On a live setting, as soon as the record is mastered the party is going dOOOOoown ! Probably at the beginning of the year.
- Ryan – We’re currently also in the works for a music video, which will be a sort of presentation for the album. The name of that track is “Revenant”. It’s filmed by Ana Trevino, she’s an old friend of mine. She’s shooting it completely at The Alamo in Texas.
Are you planning any bonus material, or keeping anything for special releases?
- Ryan – we do have extra stuff, we have stuff that hasn’t been recorded and we also working on new music even now. The thing is, working on an album we have to focus on the tracks we’ve chosen, it can’t all be a huge jam… as awesome as that would be. We also want to keep some music aside in case of a lucky break with a label.
Having talked about the now, let’s touch the future for a little. What are you aspirations and objectives with Bleeth? Anyone you’d like to tour with, or place to visit?
- Lauren – I would love to go on tour with Acid King, that would be f**cking retarded! And the West Coast for sure. Also eastern Europe. Juan and I we’re just in Asia and a tour there would be kind of insane. (In a good way)
- Ryan – I’d love to go to Japan and play, it’d be a dream. We bringing the Florida sound to the scene in general, and we feel pretty proud to be from where we are; taking that sound to Europe and Japan would be like the ultimate shit. The Miami shit over there.
- Juan – Not sure, I love grindcore, so I think Pig Destroyer would be up there in the touring ideal.
Any silly anecdotes?
- Lauren – Well, there the time we were playing Sweat Records and I fell down. And that was weird, because I usually don’t fall down when I play… but I made it work. We’ve done some weird shit, like the show in Philly, at the Kung Fu Necktie..
- Ryan – Yeah, we almost died there, Imagine a fucking stairwell and hauling up an ampeg cabinet. It was cool taking it up, but down was a problem, especially after you’ve been pounding down a bunch of beers and shots as you watch every band play that night.
- Lauren – We played Sweatstock a couple of years ago on the main stage (we’d just started the band), and suddenly this woman comes up to the stage and pulls her shirt off and starts shaking her tits in front of me. That was really crazy to me, and I was playing and looking around at my boys like “Is this happening right now? Is this for real?”
Make sure you keep your eyes and ears open for new material by Bleeth!