Bleeding Through – “We’re back”

An interview with front man Brandan Schieppati ahead of their first UK show in six years

Bleeding Through – “We’re back”

By Dave Stewart

Aug 9, 2019 20:15

It’s always sad when news hits the airwaves that a band is calling it a day. No matter the band or the genre of music, it’s sombre to see a group of musicians hanging up a part of their life, never to touch it again. The sadness can deepen if that band has played a vital role in sculpting the music tastes of both peers and fans, having cemented themselves as flag-bearers for their genre along the way. That is exactly the kind of gut-wrenching pain metal fans collectively felt when Bleeding Through announced that they were coming to an end back in 2013.

Fortunately for those fans, though, Bleeding Through revealed that they weren’t quite finished delivering their signature brand of carnage to ear drums all over the globe and made a spectacular return to the big leagues of metalcore in 2018. We recently sat down with front man and founding member Brandan Schieppati backstage at Underworld in London and chatted about the bands journey over the last few years as they prepared to play their first UK show in six years.

“We just needed to break away from the band,” recalls Brandan. “I feel like we were all individually going in different directions mentally. Everyone just wanted to sort out their adult lives. Being in a band is something that’s supposed to be fun, right?”

“When the band becomes a business it creates stress, and we never wanted it to be stress,” Brandan stated. “The only reason I wanted to be in a band, period, was to just play music and share it with people. When it becomes a business for years and people in my band are trying to raise families and stuff it’s really tough. We all needed to go and sort out our fucking shit and come back to it if we ever wanted. We needed to clear our minds.”

The band followed their sad news with a string of live dates to provide their fans with an opportunity to say goodbye. For the UK, those shows came in the form of Hit The Deck Festival – a now defunct all-day festival that took place in Bristol and Nottingham. Metalcore fans turned out to the shows in troves and witnessed the band put on a stellar performance, but Brandan’s recollection of the shows is slightly different.

“From what I do remember they were fun, but I don’t really remember the shows much at all”, he says. “It was weird because we truly did think it was ‘it’, you know? I remember the last time we played in London incredibly well, but those Hit The Deck shows? I remember watching Stick To Your Guns more than actually playing.”

They said farewell to the UK, returned to the USA to play their final ever shows, and then began their personal healing processes away from the band. But no matter how hard they tried to hone in on other things, the desire to write and perform was still tugging at their heartstrings.

“I went to go and see my friends in Darkest Hour right when they put their newest record ‘Godless Prophets & The Migrant Flora’ out,” Brandan reminisced. “I went and saw them play and I remember thinking ‘this is fucking awesome’. They were ripping, and the new record is awesome. We’d already been talking about putting a new Bleeding Through record out, but seeing them play really got me psyched about wanting to play again. It reignited the fire.”

Brandan reached out to his bandmates and gathered them all around those flames, and the wheels were set in motion. The end result was 2018‘s ‘Love Will Kill All’ – a triumphant return to glory for a band that helped shape the landscape of the entire metalcore genre. The album was well received by critics across the board, but it was the metal community that gave them the biggest compliments.

“When you put out a lot of records, a lot of them get lost in the shuffle,” explains Brandan. “I like Sick Of It All for example. I haven’t bought all their records – but I bought the LAST record, you know what I mean? I found that a lot of our peers that might not have listened to the last couple of records went and listened to this new record, and it was good to get feedback from them.”

“That’s kinda the coolest thing, to know that bands we’ve been playing with for the last 15 or 20 years all listened to the new record and they’re like ‘this shit’s awesome’ or ‘fuck yeah this sounds like Bleeding Through’, which is exactly what we wanted to sound like – like we were never gone.”

They’ve even come to learn that they’ve inspired a wave of bands that they couldn’t have predicted. “I saw an interview with Knocked Loose where they talked about Bleeding Through and I thought it was weird”, laughs Brandan. “I didn’t think a band like them would see us as an influence, but it’s cool – I like that band a lot.”

The new record and all the positive feedback they received was inevitably going to be followed by some live appearances, and the band did not disappoint. They announced a string of shows in their homeland, as well as a few festivals and a special one off show at Underworld in London. The vibe in the band had completely changed, everything felt fresh, and there was a new lease of life flowing through the Bleeding Through camp.

“I wouldn’t try to embrace the moment before, I was just looking on to the next thing,” remembers Brandan. “Now I feel like we’re always more in the moment of the experience of being in this band. It’s way more fun now. It’s good to come back with a different state of mind where you really just want to play shows.”

Those shows have been more explosive than ever before, and it’s immediately visible that the band is happy to be back on stage. The music is just as punishing as it ever has been, and the physical performance is almost exhausting to watch – they just don’t stop moving. There’s nothing that Brandan specifically likes or dislikes playing in their set – he’s focused on the thrill of the performance, getting completely lost in the energy and the atmosphere of the show. “I mostly look forward to playing new stuff, but I think you’re gonna want that no matter what. You always wanna play new stuff, but I like playing the older stuff too. I just love the interaction with the crowd. I like to play – it’s simplified now.”

On the run up to their UK appearance, Bleeding Through performed at a couple of European festivals, almost acting as warm up shows for the hungry British crowds.

Brandan detailed how welcoming the Europe crowds had been to them. “Since we’ve been back in Europe the last couple of days, people have been telling us that it felt like they saw us last year which is kinda crazy, but it feels great. It’s good to have the opportunity to come out here and play again, it’s what it’s about.”

By this point in our chat the opening band had begun their set, and Brandan’s itchy feet were immediately visible. It was so obvious that he and the rest of the band were fuelled by a burning desire to perform, and they wouldn’t want to play their UK return in any other venue.

“We love this venue, and I think that the final show should’ve been here,” he elaborates. “It’s been six years, but honestly it feels kinda like yesterday. I think it’s because we’ve played here in London so many times, especially at Underworld. It feels a little different, like walking down Camden is a little bit different, but we’ve seen so many familiar faces already. I feel like we were here last year, and I hope we portray that on stage too.”

It may have been their only show on UK soil in 2019, but Brandan assures us that they have every intention on returning for a few more in the future.

“We wanna try and come back after the new year and do a few more shows. We’re really gonna try and hammer on Download to try and give us an offer this year. We’ve always had a really amazing time at Download and we’d love to come back, but if we don’t get on that one hopefully there’s a couple of other ones that’ll take us. You’ve got plenty of metal festivals over here – someone book us!”

Bleeding Through went on to tear Underworld apart with a stunning and visceral set, and the review for the show can be read here. Keep your eye out for announcements in the future – when they do return to the UK, you’re going to want to make sure you can snag yourself a ticket.


‘Love Will Kill All’ is available now via Sharptone Records