Keith Thompson - Bleed The Dream

May 19, 2005

Tell me a little bit about the band.

We're two years old. Dave and I pretty much started it. Three years ago I moved out to Los Angeles from Baltimore and I joined a band. Dave happened to be in it and that band kind of slipped away. We just pretty much started writing all the songs that were on our first EP. I went back to Baltimore to get Brandon to sing in the band because he and I grew up together in Baltimore, MD. We're kind of here now. We just basically got together and recorded an EP and hit the road. We could have just stayed in Hollywood in L.A. and did the whole showcase thing but we pretty much decided against that. We just did it ourselves.

The L.A. club scene is interesting. I've had bands tell me that you actually have to pay to play at clubs. I've always found that strange.

Yeah, that is a weird thing. Especially the ones on the Strip like The Whisky and The Roxy. A lot of bands that get the chance to play there have to sell 50 tickets to get in the door. We would never do that. We had to play the shit holes down the street because of that and that's fine. We've ignored all the record labels up until now and just definitely ignored the industry. We wanted to go out grassroots style and develop a following that is a real following. Not like a fair weather following.

I can't blame you for that. I think the industry tends to take advantage of folks sometimes.

Oh sure. When I first moved out to Los Angeles, I joined a band that was promised to get the big deal and this and that. Labels were taking us out to dinner and all that. It ended up to be a bunch of crap. We didn't want to relive that experience.

You guys seem to be a pretty tight knit group. Your drummer is currently ill right now?

Scott passed away about six weeks ago.

I'm so sorry.

April 10. He lost his battle with leukemia. It's been pretty much an 11 month struggle. He mustered up the strength and courage to record our record in the midst of all that.

I can imagine how painful that must be for you guys. Who do you have with you right now?

A friend of ours named Aaron Cohen. He's been with us the last few months.

Is he a permanent member or just filling in?

No, there will never be another permanent member of the band. No one else is ever going to join our band. Bleed The Dream started out as four original members and we think it would be a slap in the face. Just not very respectful to Scott to let someone just come in and join the band. From pretty much here on out, whoever is playing drums with us is just a hired gun kind of deal.

I think that's cool.

We don't see it any other way visually. In our eyes there's no option.

Tell me a bit about your album, Built By Blood.

It's a roller coaster ride, I can tell you that. There are extreme highs and extreme lows. You can really hear what we've been through in the last 11 months on the record. It's definitely a good representation of our lives. The songs are all over the place. There are songs that are chilled and serene. There are songs that are really brutal and violent. It's all real. It's all honest. It's not contrived from anywhere. We trusted each other to put our best effort into it.

It has all your blood, sweat, and tears in it.

For sure.

You guys used Cameron Webb, the same producer you used on your last album.

Yeah, we've done two EPs and the new full length with Cameron. We had the opportunity to go elsewhere and other producers and stuff but Cameron definitely knows us and how the band works. The formula is working and we were really proud when we were done with it.

How long did it take to record the album?

I'd say 22 days or something. We bust it out. Just roll in there and knock it out.

You guys have been on Warped Tour two years in a row. This will be your third year.

This year we're playing the entire thing. It's all 50 dates. Last year we did 25 and the year before we did 14. This year Kevin Lyman is our boss so any tour that he has anything to do with, chances are Bleed The Dream will be a part of it as well.

That's cool that you get to do the whole tour this time.

Oh yeah, it's going to be a rough one. Warped Tour is definitely the hardest tour to do. It's definitely the coolest tour but it's real taxing.

You have a variety of bands and audiences.

Sure but not only that though. It's just an all day thing. We have to be set up and ready to go by 10 AM. It's one of those tours where if you're a party band like us, on Warped Tour we have to try and stay healthy. Which is a tough thing.

Have you done any touring of late or are you just gearing up for Warped Tour?

We're doing a headlining tour right now in Canada. It's awesome and the kids are great. They're playing our video a lot on MuchMusic. It's been really cool and it's been a bunch of kids every night and they all know the words. It's really cool. The shows have been small but they've been packed. 200 to 400 capacity venues just sold out. We're playing all these little towns where a lot of bands don't come through so the kids are freaking out.

Canada is huge and there's a lot of distance between major cities. The Warped Tour will take up three months of your time after the headlining tour. What do you have planned after that?

We'll probably take a week off. The following week after we come back, we'll do a Canadian tour after that. We're looking to do the Taste Of Chaos tour in Europe.

So you're only taking a week off.

There's really no such thing.

Any other thoughts or comments?

I'm really hungry. I really need to go eat. That's what I've got going on right now.

Bleed The Dream