Rollback to August 2018, and you’ll probably find me taking a moment to run from the photo pit at Bloodstock to the bar to grab myself a pint to enjoy Bleed From Within absolutely destroying the place. As a photographer, it’s rare we get to enjoy a band playing at a festival, much less remember it, but they certainly were one of those. It’s hard to think that was as long ago as it was, it still sits clear as day in my mind like it was yesterday, but it really was that long ago. Now the boys are now back with a new album Fracture which will quite honestly blow you out the water! We were lucky enough to catch up with drummer Ali Richardson in the lead up to this fantastic release…
RAMzine: It doesn’t feel all that long ago since you released Era, and now we’re all of a sudden we’re close to the release of Fracture, how has the band developed in between these releases? What can we expect from the album?
Ali: We have been massively inspired by the last 2 years of touring and supporting Era, so it was important for us to act on this. Not to mention that prior to 2018, we hadn’t released an album for 5 years! Fracture is another development of this band and the sound that we wish to create. I’m confident in saying that it’s our most coherent and accomplished work to date. I look forward to the next chapter of our band when we can develop this version of ourselves.
RAMzine: How has the band changed in its approach to writing through its time in the studio? Is it any easier now to come up with material to appeal and get the attention in the world of internet musicians now?
Ali: We don’t pay too much attention to what is going on outside of our own little world when we are writing. It is important for us to stay focused on ourselves and the task at hand. As simple as it sounds, the approach has always been to write a better album than the one that came before. We’ve set the bar pretty high with Fracture, so the next one should be fun…
RAMzine: What subjects influenced your writing this time around? Has anything proved to be more challenging or difficult to bring to the table?
Ali: We were driven a lot by the political climate on our previous release whereas this time around, everything was a lot more personal. The hardest part for me was to help deliver that lyrically with my contributions in a way that I felt would resonate with listeners. It was a welcome challenge.
RAMzine: Have you any favourites already that you are looking forward to playing live when we are allowed back at gigs again? Will any songs be a struggle to play live?
Ali: There are some tricky parts throughout the album for sure. There always will be when it comes to our music. To be honest, I’ll be welcoming all of these struggles when we are finally allowed on a stage again. ‘Into Nothing‘ is one that I can’t wait to play on stage. Same with ‘Pathfinder’. I think they’ll will both translate incredibly well in a live environment.
RAMzine: You’ve given a taste to people with ‘The End of all We Know’, back in November, (it must feel odd considering our current times!) That’s since been followed up with ‘Into Nothing’ and more recently, ‘Night Crossing’ which takes a drastic turn in video style due to isolation, it looked fun none the less! What sort of experience is it like to go from producing videos like you have for this album to then seemingly being as limited in creativity?
Ali: We weren’t too phased by it to be honest. Whilst we tend to portray a serious image as a band, we are a bunch of jokers really. When we didn’t have an option to meet up, we just started thinking outside the box. Steven suggested the lockdown style video and Goonzi knew he could put it together. We wanted to make a little more interactive so we decided to pass a bottle of Buckfast between the screens for a laugh. It seemed to work well, and gave our fans a well needed pick me up when we dropped it. In theory, you create your own limitations. It’s important for us to be open and share all ideas to keep that creativity flowing at the moment.
RAMzine: Isolation has really done a number on all of us when it comes to gigs and enjoying music, but it really has made new music more important and relevant than ever. With any gigs or tours all up in the air to celebrate the release, what will Bleed From Within be doing to celebrate the release instead?
Ali: We’ve actually just announced an album listening party that we are going to be streaming on Facebook. We’ll hit the shops, grab some decent beer, then listen through to the album with our fans on release day (19:00 BST on Friday 29th May for anyone that is interested). https://www.facebook.com/bleedfromwithinband/
RAMzine: What has the band been up to during their time of isolation? What sort of struggles have you come across and found most difficult to deal with?
Ali: Honestly, when we are not on tour, we all tend to work from home the majority of the time so it wasn’t a crazy change for us at first. The hardest thing is not being able to see your family and friends. During this time, I’ve realised how important they really are to me and just how amazing I am virtual quizzes.
RAMzine: Many bands have been questioning this time when it comes to releases, some have postponed, some have thrived, and some haven’t even rested on their laurels and already began writing new material! What has Bleed From Within’s time been like as a band? Have you been able to practice in some form or looked at writing something new?
Ali: We wanted to make sure we went ahead with our release given all the support we’d received since the release of the last album, not too mention that music now seems to play a more important role now than it ever has in providing an escape for the listener. We are mostly focusing on ways to engage with our fans online, and may or may not be dabbling in some new material…
RAMzine: While most bands members concentrate on one band releasing an album per year, you yourself have already seen one with Sylosis and now Bleed From Within to look forward to, how have you managed to split time between the bands, and how does playing in Sylosis impact and push Bleed From Within to play and improve? Have any other members of Bleed From Within got other bands people should check out?
Ali: It’s always been quite easy to balance both bands to be fair. I’ve never had a clash between the two. Obviously I play in BFW as well, but Josh has Architects and now our new bassist (in Sylosis) has Conjurer. It’s all about keeping an open line of communication with the manager to make sure nothing is double booked. So far, so good. Both bands have different demands when it comes to drumming and each album has its challenges, but musically there isn’t any crossover. Steven also plays in a band called From Sorrow To Serenity who you should definitely check out.
RAMzine: Mentioning the latest video ‘Night Crossing’ you have Matt Heafy guesting a solo on the track, how did that all come about?
Ali: Matt and some the guys from Trivium tagged us on social media a while back. After that, we just stayed in touch. Last year we had an off show during Summer festivals in Europe and organised to go see Trivium. We had some beers backstage afterwards and floated the idea of working together on something. When Goonzi wrote that melodic middle section in ‘Night Crossing’, he asked Matt if he’d be game and he was! He nailed the solo.
RAMzine: A huge beer fan myself, I was gutted to not be able to get my hands on the beer you made with Drygate Brewery. Bands collaborating with breweries has been going on for a good while now and some don’t seem to realise just how much it happens. The new Lamb of God brew with Brewdog has seemingly seen another rise in attention to the subject, especially being an alcohol-free alternative. Will you guys ever look at doing another batch release (please??) and/or another brew again? What beers and band brews have you had that really peaked your interest?
Ali: ‘Afterlife’, the Blood Orange IPA that we released with Drygate Brewery, is honestly one of the best tasting IPAs I’ve ever tried. As it stands, there are no plans to remake it, but we are in talks with them about something new for this year so keep your eyes on our socials. We were heavily inspired by Mastodon, Deftones and Opeth beers. Some of our favourite bands right there, and the beers were incredible.
RAMzine: Post-isolation, have Bleed From Within any plans in the works of getting Fracture out on the road?
Ali: As soon as it is possible to do so, we will be touring extensively. We already have touring plans in place for 2021, all Covid dependent of course, but at least the framework is there. Very much looking forward to getting these songs out the road!
Huge thanks to Ali and the rest of Bleed From Within, The Noise Cartel and Century Media Records. You can read our thoughts of the album here.
Bleed From Within have Fracture releasing on Friday 29th May 2020 (You can enjoy the live stream listen through with the band here and through Century Media Records, with various bundles available to purchase through their site www.bleedfromwithin.com.