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An interview with Bleeders frontman Angelo Munro

By Dave Borgioli-Jones – 6 July 2022
In 2019, Bleeders released Delusions, their first recording in 12 years. Then Covid came along and messed things up. Fast forward to 2022 and the band is hitting the road for shows around NZ. We caught up with Angelo for a quick interview before things kick off…

Your Auckland crowd has been waiting like a year for the gig with ANTAGONIST A.D which is sold out. I get the feeling describing that Auckland gig as a great warm-up will somehow be an understatement, yeah?

Totally! But hey there’s Covid, everyone’s been through it, I feel for the full time bands and their road crews that rely on playing for income. It will be a blast and a great way to set it off with our friends from ANTAGONIST A.D.

I recall a Crave Club gig in New Plymouth featuring your band surrounded by strippers which was rather surreal. What are your memories of that show?

Lol… well yeah the Crave Club was really the only available live venue at the time and they were doing shows there so no why not?! It was a surreal experience and kinda awkward!

BLEEDERS relocated to Toronto in 2009, what opportunities did that bring you and what was the turning point for returning home?

Well, I mean the opportunities on a musical level were minimal, we played only a handful of gigs that entire year, we had just been offered a full US and Canada tour with our friends in ALEXISONFIRE but by that point the ship had sailed and we knew we were done. We did get to play with them which was rad as well as with our friends the CANCER BATS, but inevitably it was really just a fun OE for us, life experience, but you have to be willing to start again and cut your teeth in a new territory which we emotionally couldn’t sustain.

In 2019 you released Delusions which was your first recording in 12 years. What’s the abridged story of what the band was up to during this time? (Not counting Toronto obviously)

Really it was more the case after our show at House of Vans in 2017. We had the discussion that if we were to continue we needed to write and record new material or otherwise break up once and for all. We got into gear, wrote, recorded, released… played like three shows then covid hit.

Delusions was recorded at Roundhead Studios in Auckland. What was it like being back in the studio together again? Did you get to hang out with Neil Finn?

Nope didn’t meet Neil Finn, he was probably playing with FLEETWOOD MAC at the time. Was great to be in there doing it again, albeit as a four-piece, but it’s so much fun, and we used the same engineer as our first EP Steve Roberts which was cool to capture that raw feel of our early stuff.

It’s awesome that a remastered version of A Bleeding Heart ended up as the b-side on the EP. Apart from the whole remastering thing, how did it feel to hear that recording on vinyl for the first time?

AMAZING! Bucket list ticked.

Mika Jussila did the remastering and he’s a total legend having worked with hundreds of bands, many of the great Finnish ones like CHILDREN OF BODOM and AMORPHIS too. How did you get onto him?

Scotty Rocker from NZ our bud lives in Sweden and worked at a pressing plant, it was his recommendation.

There is certainly plenty of appetite for your brand of rock n roll with both the red and black first pressings of Delusions selling out. While it’s technically your release tour, have any new BLEEDERS songs emerged since it was recorded

No, our Drummer resides in Melbourne these days so he was locked out of NZ for two years.

You’re with 1157 Records again which, given your history with them and the label’s impressive roster, looks like the perfect place to be for BLEEDERS. Is it great going back to your roots in those respects?

100%. No regrets on our time at Universal, it’s a decision we wouldn’t change as it brought us to a wider audience, but when you’re 40 years old, with a family and a new career you need to simplify things. Dean at 1157 is really just about putting out good music and supporting us, it’s the perfect fit.

You said in another interview that you could write a book about your time in BLEEDERS. Is that something you would seriously consider doing in future? I have Crave Club gig photos kicking around somewhere haha.

Oh no way! I don’t think we would sell any copies haha!

You’ve also talked about being open minded with music, do you have any plans to explore outside the musical styles you’ve done?

We all have, I’m currently doing a metallic thrash/hardcore project with Gareth from BLEEDERS, others play around with sone blues stuff etc.

I love what I’m hearing from your other band WOLVES. Great line-up. How did that band get together and how’d you get Corey Friedlander on board?

Matt our guitarist has been a friend over 20 years. He had some riffs and knew I wanted to play in a HC band again. Gareth loves metal, he wasn’t hard to convince, and yeah also known Corey a long time and know how amazing a drummer he is. I do feel really lucky to be playing with this band.

I’ve been reminiscing about some classic NZ bands leading up to this interview like SOMMERSET, KITSCH, COBRA KHAN, STICKY FILTH etc. If you could do a show with any NZ bands past or present who’d be on the line-up and why?

BALANCE, NOTHING AT ALL, DSM. Simply because these bands had a profound influence on me when I was a kid coming up in music.

Any parting words before I let you get back to it?

Thanks for talking with me man. We feel stoked to be able to still get up and play after 20 years, and I’m really looking forward to these gigs. See ya in the pit!

Tickets available from Under The Radar. Get in quick, Christchurch show is sold out already!

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