After tearing it up at Hevy Fest, Craig ‘Goonzi’ Gowans and Ali Richardson, take time out of their hectic schedule of to answer some of our questions. The band are on the rise from their Scottish routes in Hamilton, are currently recording a new album, have just signed a deal with Century Media and Raw Power Management to take them to the next level. The band are also going to be hitting the road in the UK in September. So needless to say, the guys are busy.
How would you describe the band’s music to someone who has never heard of you before?
Craig: Heavy, Melodic, Scottish groove metal to bang your head to.
The band was formed in Hamilton, not exactly a town known for it’s metal scene, was it hard starting up and getting out there initially?
Ali: It did take a while for us to get out of our hometown, but we always had the support of our friends. When we finally left Hamilton and made our way into Glasgow for shows, there were lots of bands all trying to make it at the same time, so things were quite competitive, but it kept pushing us both musically, and mentally. Our first tour was in April 2007, and it took us to some of the smallest pubs/clubs we have ever seen, but it didn’t matter to us. We knew that the shows would be small, and the venues wouldn’t be sold out, but we were all together and we were waking up in a different city every day. That was all that mattered.
It’s safe to say Bleed From Within are one of the hardest working bands around today, a lot of people seem to sit back and wait for success to come to them where as you seemed to just take the bull by the horns and go all out and it’s paid off. Does that make success all the sweeter knowing how hard you worked to get it?
Craig: Definitely, we’ve always been a hard working and self sufficient band and it’s only been in the last year that we’ve really started to see things pick up. This only the the beginning though, we’re under no illusion that we’ve ‘made it’ or anything, we know there’s still a lot of hard work to be done and we’re more than willing to do it, we love every minute of it.
You self organised and financed a European Tour in more than 10 countries, do you think the European music scene differs from the one here in the UK?
Craig: The metal scene in Europe is incredible, everyone is so much more into the music and coming to shows, going crazy, supporting bands by buying their merch and CD’s and generally making us feel welcome in a country that’s not our own and looking after us. Don’t get me wrong, the UK scene is great/alive & healthy, but in Europe it’s at another level.
How do you find playing festivals compares to the bars and clubs you started in around the UK?
Ali: Festivals are amazing! It’s basically one massive party for us. We always meet up with our friends from other bands that we rarely get to see, we all watch each other play, then we party all night. We just played Hevy Fest a few days ago, which was amazing, and we have some more festivals coming up over in Europe and Czech Republic that we are all very excited about (Pukkelpop, Summerbreeze and Brutal Assault).
Is there a part of you that misses the smaller venues?
Ali: We still play in small venues and bars! We have had some of our best shows in those places. When you get 300 people in a room, all screaming the words to your songs, it is intense. If we can fit our drumkit in the venue, and they have a PA, then we will play it.
A quick look at the band’s website and it’s easy to see that Bleed From Within aren’t short of endorsement deals, for bands just starting out do you have any hints and tips on how to go about getting these sort of deals?
Craig: A lot of companies are more than willing to help bands out by giving discounts on their gear, it’s always worth getting in contact with companies and if you’re already using their gear/have in the past, that always helps your case. Companies know that bands are always short of money and it also helps promote their product.
You just signed with Century Media, the home to bands like Iced Earth, Fozzy and Turisas to name but a few, how did the Century deal come about?
Ali: We met up with the label at a festival we were playing in Europe. We had a chat with Melanie who has been working with the company for years, and it just clicked. Since then we have met more of the team that works there, and we get on so well with everyone. It is so refreshing and inspiring to know that a label such as Century Media is behind your band, and willing to back you every step of the way.
How important would you say Century Media and Raw Power Management are going to be in the next chapter of the band?
Craig: Instrumental, it feels like everything is much more professional and organised now, Century Media and Raw Power have a plan for the band over the next year or two and it’s exciting to know that we’re being looked after and that we’ll be busy in the future! It’s a relief to know that we now have the right team of people behind us who are really into the band and what we’re doing.
You’re recording a new album at the moment, what can we expect from the new material?
Ali: A selection of songs to bang your head to! During the writing process, we wanted to make sure that every song was as heavy as it could be. Saying that, we have incorporated more melody into the songs, and really focused on writing guitar parts that act as hooks along with the vocals. There are alot of amazing albums being released at the moment, so we knew we would have to make something special in order to stand out. There’s not a single song that we would consider a “filler” track, every track was wrote to play live. We truly believe in the new material, and just hope that everyone likes it as much as we do!
The band are just about to hit the road and will be out in the UK in September, can we expect to hear a lot of new songs on the tour?
Craig: We will definitely be playing some new songs at the upcoming festivals and on our UK tour in September with While She Sleeps, as well as our European co-headline with Bury Tomorrow. Obviously, we can’t play too many until the album is out as no one knows the songs, but we might treat you to a couple as we cannot wait to start playing the songs live. All of the songs on the album have been written keeping the live environment in mind.
Since your first album release 3 years ago this month, you’ve have achieved a lot and came a long way in short space of time. Can we expect Bleed From Within to continue going from strength to strength like it has done thus far?
Ali: This is very much a new beginning for us. A fresh start. We have all worked incredibly hard to get to this point, and now we feel ready to take ourselves to the next level in our career. With Century Media Records and Raw Power Management joining our family, we have everyone we need to put this new album exactly where it needs to be. There is still alot of hard work ahead, but we are more than ready for the challenge.