Bloodsimple - From the Streets Yo, the Streets!
After Vision of Disorder quit, singer Tim and guitarist Mike decided to turn their Bloodsimple project into a band. At the second of July Bloodsimple opened for Stone Sour, Alice in Chains and Guns ‘n Roses at the Goffertpark in Nijmegen. After the show I had a nice chat with Nick, who joined the band as guitarist, and Mike. They turned out to be a hilarious duo and were in the mood for a good conversation.
You’re at the end of a long tour, how was it?
Mike: “A month and a day we’ve been in Europe now, that isn’t to long, but when you’re far away from home you always miss your family. The tour itself was phenomenal and it superseded our expectations.”
At the last song, Straight Hate, Kyle broke a snare of his bass.
Mike: “He does that every night, he’s actually a caveman.
Nick: “We kidnapped him from the wilderness”
Bloodsimple spawned from Vission of Disorder as a project, but now that it is a real band, how are the roles divided?
Mike: “When we found Nick as our guitar player things really started. Tim and I were first talking about a certain style of music and Nick is more trained in the art of music and these styles blended into one another.”
Nick: “The work in the band is divided pretty equally; everybody does something for the band like Kyle tour manages us in the States, which is a shitload of work. Mike and I do the songwriting and…”
Mike: “…Tim makes the bad jokes on stage”
Your biography says that when Nick joined the band the songs became more three dimensional; does that mean that Tim and Mike simply sucked?
Mike: “HAHAHA, YES! If you ask Nick that question the answer will be yes.”
Nick: “What are you talking about, we still suck. No, when Tim and Mike came to me they already got a couple of songs written and when I joined I was able to work out more elements that were there already by emphasizing and accenting it.”
Mike: “He just put a different element to it. Tim and I have a more energetic background and with Nick we can do the slower stuff so there was a blending of styles, what we wanted for the record.”
Nick: “Well hopefully it gave a little more depth; it’s not like 110% heavy and in your face. We wanted to have bigger dynamics in this band.”
You have a classical and jazz background.
Nick: “Yeah, yes I do”
You sound as if you’re ashamed of it.
Nick: “No no no…”
Mike: “Yeah he does. My background is from the streets yo, the streets!”
Nick: “Well basically what it means is that while they were making it in the streets I was at my bedroom practicing for six hours a day, but we all teamed up and now we’re here.”
Is your background the influence for the calmer parts of the songs?
Nick: “I hope so, I think that my training gives me a bigger vocabulary to draw from. I don’t approach our songwriting like let’s have a jazz part here; it just helps in terms of having more material to draw from.”
What’s your favorite song to play live, a heavy or a calmer song?
Mike: “‘Blood in Blood out’ is definitely my favorite, it’s even my favorite song I ever played live. It’s short, sweet, heavy, fast, to the point, no bullshit and it kicks ass.”
With your busy tour schedule, aren’t you getting sick of playing the same songs over and over again?
Nick: “Yes! We were working on new material right before we came over to Europe and we can’t wait to get home to finish writing it and put out the new record so we can finally start playing some new stuff.”
Mike: “We had two songs done and we started to practice it, but we just have a new drummer so we stuck to the oldies and goodies.”
Nick: “It’s definitely frustrating when you now you got kickass new material ready and waiting and you can’t play it live yet.”
Is the new drummer the only reason why you aren’t playing the new material yet?
Nick: “Brandon from Vision of Disorder came to fill in and we only had three weeks of rehearsing before we went to Europe so we only could get the regular stuff together.”
Mike: “Plus that we never toured in Europe so most of these songs are new to them anyway so it’s kind of irrelevant to them. It was more important what we wanted.”
Mike: “He is filling in for this tour and we’re not really sure right now if he is going to be our permanent drummer but we’re trying to work it out and hopefully work that out before we get home.”
Why did Chris, the previous drummer, left the band?
Mike: “Next! It was mostly musical differences.”
Okay, what can we expect from the new album then?
Nick: “It’s going to be heavier, a different kind of heavier though: more energetic and better songwriting too in terms of the heavy, the melodic and slower songs. Overall our songwriting has taken a step up and it’s also going to get melodic songs that aren’t slow.”
Mike: “The difference is that the first record was very structured, the next album will get a more live and raw feeling.”
You’ve played with some big bands, but which is the best band you’ve seen performing past year?
Mike: “Metallica did the whole Master of Puppets album from front to back and the reason I started playing guitar were albums like Right the Lightning and Master of Puppets. It was such a huge thing to watch it from the stage at the festivals Download and Donnington. We were hanging it with all the guys from Metallica, it was great.”
Nick: “Another real cool moment of this tour was in Austria where we saw Queens of the Stone Age, they were fucking amazing.”
How do the bands with which you tour influence your stage performance?
Mike: “We normally don’t do large stages as these, so watching these bands that can handle such big stages gives you confidence and being able to walk around a 60 foot stage and work the crowd that is something new. Corey Taylor from Stone Sour is a master at that.”
With all the big bands you’ve played with you must have some nice anecdotes.
Nick: “We have several, but most of them are not at liberty to disclose.”
Mike: “Yeah, a lot of them involve naked nuns. But what was cool was that we were playing video games with Steffen from Deftones and James Hetfield was watching the game and I was like: on what planet am I on, it’s just such a surreal world. It’s like rock ‘n roll high school.”
Nick: “Like in the cafeteria: can I sit with the cool people? But everybody that we’ve met is so down to earth and those are the once who really matter.”
You are doing a lot of things yourself, like Kyle is your tour manager in the States.
Nick: “We haven’t had any technicians this tour and we are breaking off all our own stuff and we drive our own bus; whatever you’ve got to do to make it happen”
Mike: “And I don’t trust anybody with my guitars. If our next record goes triple platinum I’m sure we’ll have some techs. But no matter how big you are you got to watch your business, you can’t have someone control your money and Kyle tour manages us for that reason.”
And you trust Kyle with your money?
Mike: “I don’t know, did you look at that guy; I wouldn’t trust him. No it’s the best to have someone within the family do it. When you think about all the tour managers you hire for the first time and they’re handling thousands and tens of thousands dollars, it’s scary.”
Nick: “And in Bloodsimple’s case tens of dollars!”
You’re pretty compassionate towards the fans; you’re always writing a blog for instance.
Mike: “First of all, can we talk about how much we hate the word blog! It’s one of those words that make me shiver; it makes me a little irritated”.
Nick: “We get our blogs up very regular, which is good. Tim puts up his poetry and you’ve got to be compassionate toward the fans because they are the ones that make it happen for you.”
Mike: “I can’t wait till we have the money to be a dick. No we’ll never be like that, in fact these big stages are so weird for us because we’re used of kids jumping on top of us. If anything big happens we’ll always be done to earth.”
Have you spoken to Axl Rose by the way?
Nick: “We’re planning on trying it today or at least getting a picture with him.”
Mike: “I think his space shuttle will arrive an hour after he should start playing. He’s not even a human I think; he’s way above that, he’s bigger than life.”
Do you have any big plans coming up?
Nick: “We’ve been filming this whole tour and we’re going to make a DVD and hopefully get it out before or at the same time as the new record.”
Mike: “It’s going to feature the life on the road and the constant struggling, there’s going to be excitement! Tomorrow we’re going home and work on the next record and hopefully start touring in October or November again.”
Any last comments?
Mike: “We had a great time in Europe, it’s been an amazing experience. These kids are one of the best we ever played for, hands down for them and I hope you’ll enjoy our next record.”