11 Dec 2023

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Bleeders - Interview with Bleeders

14 Nov 2019 // An interview by Paul Goddard

Bleeders are somewhat of a New Zealand phenomenon. Iconic and legendary, they have wowed audiences since their inception in 2002 with their fast and furious punk and anthemic releases. With constant sold out shows and their debut album Sweet As Sin garnering them the Best Breakthrough Artist and Best Rock Album awards at the 2006 NZ Music Awards, Bleeders were a relentless force within the NZ music industry - that is, until they disbanded in 2009.

Now they have returned, with their forthcoming and highly anticipated 5-track EP Delusions set for release on 22 November. Their new single Darkness Falls, released last month, has been described as "a hot burrowing earworm for any existing fans" and as having "the urgency and passionate delivery that make Bleeders stand out", proving that Bleeders are still the iconic band that we all know and love.

Paul from Muzic.net.nz spoke to Angelo; here's what he had to say:

You have had a roller coaster ride since hitting our eardrums around 2003. The tours, the international travel, major and independent label deals. Can you sum it all up in one sentence?

It was extremely rewarding and it’s amazing to be back at it again.

What was the catalyst that saw you get back together and ultimately create new music?

We had done some type of reunion on 2 occasions since we split 10 year ago.. we promised after the last one if we did this again it was with fresh material and a commitment to not be a one off thing so when we got offered some shows then it was like “ok then.. let’s do this”!

On stage and on record the chemistry between you all seems to be really tight. What first connected you all and created Bleeders?

In 2001 I was really all over that East Bay hardcore vibes.. bands like AFI and The Nerve Agents.. I knew I wanted to do something like that after returning from time in the USA and being inspired, We saw a North Shore band by the name of Malcontent, Ian our guitarist was in that band and I was blown away so I asked if he wanted to do something on the side and with some other good mates Bleeders was formed

I don’t want to ask who your influences are as you must have been asked a million times but are there things going on in the world that make you want to speak out.

Well obviously we all hate Trump and basically what’s going on there as well as the climate and there’s  a lot to talk about and be inspired to write about that’s for sure!

How important do you see music or being in a band as a way to rail against what frustrates you or get a message across?

It's therapy man… it's totally the way to vent and it's art in its purest form.

Studio or playing live - what rocks your boat more?

To be honest I like both equally.. I think most of the band are more into playing live, but I do love the creative process that goes on in the studio.

What are your thoughts on the current NZ music scene? Any bands that are really exciting and motivating you?

Look there is loads of good NZ Music out there, my fave is probably a L.A. based artist called Tamaryn.. she has a nice synth pop style thing going on and yeah she’s from here originally.

Now that you are officially “back” are there plans to take Bleeders overseas again?

Who knows.. Australia is a very likely option, but hey.. being “back” doesn’t mean we are full time in this and quit our careers! haha.. we’re just saying we are gonna play gigs regularly and contribute to make more music when and if we can.

With streaming and downloads now being the norm are you embracing the technology or railing against it?

It's fine.. that’s the way it is now. I still collect vinyl.. and we have been getting good pre-orders on our new vinyl release  coming out this month, so it shows there’s still a market for it. But Spotify is great! I’m all about that too..

How much importance are you putting to being online in 2019 compared to back in 2003?

It’s essential now to be online. If you’re not on social media you’ll just get lost!

If you could collaborate with any other artist anywhere in the world who would it be?

For me probably Nine Inch Nails.. I think a Bleeders track re mixed by Trent Reznor would be pretty badass!

Tell us your best “on tour” story.

When we did the tour with Deja Voodoo and The Have.. we really gave those have guys a ribbing! They were quite younger than us… one day we stuck a plastic bag with poo in it on their windscreen wipers of their van…. they found it  and returned serve with a knock on our hotel door and a box with a flaming turd in it! Touché young fellas!

Any tips for anyone trying to get their band noticed?

My feeling is just to work hard and play lots everywhere.. there’s a million bands with fancy Instagram profiles… but you’ll go further if you can do it with hard work and kick ass music.

More importantly anything they shouldn’t be doing or should avoid? Being caught up in image and the things that don’t matter in music. Stay humble if you do get 5 mins of fame cos it can end just as quick.

How was the recording process for the new EP?

We wrote songs on a weekend away in Matakana in April, we then did a solid week of practice then it the studio and did it all in 3 days.

How do you approach the studio?

It’s different every time, this last time we had limited time so we practiced hard prior and recorded live with overdone vocals and added guitars.

When writing songs do you follow a process or just let things happen?

We let things happen naturally, there’s no formula.

Where do you find inspiration for your music?

Just from the things we experience day to day around us.

Mental health is finally being talked about and everyone who is involved in music is aware of its impact. What are your thoughts on how being in a band can be positive/ negative?

Well for me being in a band is therapeutic, it helps my mental health, but obviously there’s a dark side to it if you indulge in the things that come with being in a band like drugs and too much alcohol.. so, with that it's gonna have a negative side for sure.

Are the things that motivated you to form a band almost 19 years ago the same that motivate you to make music now?

NOPE……Right now, it's purely for fun and the art, back then it was too at the beginning then things got good pretty quick and it was like “hold on” we can maybe do something with this (career or whatever).

Tell us a bit about the new EP. The first release in a long time it must be special?

Yeah it’s great to be back with new tunes, we are really proud of this one.. It feels like we have gone full circle that special something we had early on .. I think the old fans are gonna love it!

One last random question. What is the best Bagel topping?

Avocado every day my man…T.A.B!


About Bleeders

Formed in 2002, it didn't take long for Auckland based Bleeders to take off. In their debut year they released the legendary hardcore punk NZ classic A Bleeding Heart EP. This was followed by constant sold out shows all over NZ. In 2004 the band was rewarded for their hard work and ever growing fan base by signing a record deal to Universal Music.

2006 was a huge year for the Bleeders. Their debut album, the anthemic power house that is Sweet As Sin, reached 2 in the charts, garnered them Best Breakthough Artist and Best Rock Album at the 2006 New Zealand Music Awards and went on to sell Gold. The band toured like maniacs in NZ and headed across the Tasman no less than five times at the invitation of everyone from Avenged Sevenfold and AFI to Aussie acts Gyroscope and Behind Crimson Eyes.

The self-titled follow up to Sweet As Sin rejects any notion of resting on laurels. Produced by Clint Murphy and the Bleeders at Auckland’s York Street Studios and mastered by Ted Jensen at Sterling Sound in New York, Bleeders was a return to the brutal vitality that first brought them to people’s attention.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Bleeders


Year: 2007
Type: Album
As Sweet As Sin
Year: 2006
Type: Album
A Bleeding Heart
Year: 2003
Type: EP

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