Bleeders: ‘A Bleeding Heart’ EP 20th Anniversary Tour 2023
By Dave Borgioli-Jones – 25 April 2023
Celebrating 20 years since the release of their EP ‘A Bleeding Heart’, Auckland hardcore outfit BLEEDERS is back on tour for five shows around New Zealand this May. Frontman Angelo Munro gives us a rundown of BLEEDERS past and present, and what to expect on this special tour.
Competition: Don’t miss your chance to catch this iconic band live. Enter the draw to win a double pass to the show of your choosing. Details at the end of this interview.
It’s been 20 years since the Bleeding Heart EP was released. It doesn’t seem like that long ago for me, how about you?
Time is flying by. I still remember, kind of the idea and the formation of the band and the kind of thing we were trying to go for and it felt like that first practice in the room, then just fast forward, blink of an eye and here you are 20 years, man, it’s insane.
When you formed the BLEEDERS where did you fit amongst the existing punk scene? You came in a bit after BALANCE and SOMMERSET…
We all got into punk and hardcore in our teens and were going to those local shows, in Auckland, and often seeing bands like BALANCE and SOMMERSET, NOTHING AT ALL, bands like that. STICKY FILTH, KISTCH, all really influential bands. The majority of us had been playing in some other bands. I’d done some hardcore bands and around the time we formed the band, from our perspective, we didn’t think anyone had really done a West Coast hardcore punk crossover band, which sounds like a mouthful, but I guess what I mean is, a lot of the scene was influenced by the harder edge stuff. And we really wanted to do something a bit more melodic. We’re really influenced by bands like AFI and GOOD RIDDANCE, STRUNG OUT… bands like that. So yeah, it just kind of made sense to do something a little bit different.
On this tour you’ll be playing the Bleeding Heart EP from start to finish. What songs from the EP haven’t you played in a while?
We haven’t played the song ‘Cast In The Shadows’ for a number of years. I think all the other ones we basically play a lot. We don’t play the song ‘Sellout’ as much. ‘Bleeding Heart’ and ‘All That Glitters’ are always in there. ‘Channelling’, which is the first song, not so much. Nostalgia seems like a bit of a dirty word these days, but because it’s 20 years of that EP, we thought why don’t we play it front to back, no songs in between, just as it was recorded. And that’s what we’re going to do. Then we’re going to crack into some covers as well. We very rarely play covers, but we thought we’d pay homage to the bands that influenced us and then a few of our other hits after that. I’m really looking forward to it. I see it as like one big party rather than a show. It’s going to be a big celebration and a whole lot of fun.
You did a Facebook post the other day where you were saying, if you’ve got a suggestion for a song to cover, chuck it in the comments. You mentioned STICKY FILTH and KITSCH… being from New Plymouth originally, I’d be keen to hear one of those in there if you’re still taking requests.
We’ll see how we go. It’s so close to the shows now. I’m not going to lie, we’ve been practising and we’re ready. But… there’s still time, you never know. Let’s just say we’re going to do some BAD BRAINS songs, a bit of DANZIG, and a bit of DEAD KENNEDYS. And yeah, we’ll just see if we can cram some more in there.
A lot of the bands who were playing at the same time as you in the mid 2000s seem to have disappeared. What’s your take on the current scene? I feel lucky we still get to the see the BLEEDERS playing live.
Putting in perspective, we’re talking 20 years since our EP, so not many of us from that era are under 40. So, you know, most of us have probably got families or real jobs. And that’s just what happens, when we started this band, if you put that in perspective, 2002, 2003 for the EP, that’s like saying, where are the bands from 1983? So, people grow up and move on. I mean, I’m still friends with a number of people from that scene. People from SOMMERSET are still involved playing music. COBRA KHAN guys are still involved playing music. They’re just scattered through various bands. I know the KITSCH guys, some of them started a new band called FIRESHARK. But you’re right, it’s hard to sustain a band for a long period of time unless you make a living off it. For the BLEEDERS, we broke up from 2010 until 2018. So, we’ve just had that fresh air a little bit later on and said let’s create some new music and play every now and then. But, you know, those guys are still floating around, you’ve just got to dig and see what the new bands are and you’ll see those familiar faces pop up here and there.
What’s your New Zealand music collection like? Do you have a whole bunch of vinyl and tapes from back in the day.
I have a lot of vinyl. I’ve got a decent amount of New Zealand, punk and hardcore and rock as well. I like so many different genres man. The latest vinyl I got from New Zealand was actually the band LANDLORDS that are playing with us in Hamilton. Great band, shoegaze, post hardcore indie kind of vibe. The guys at New Zealand Hardcore Past and Present pressed the BALANCE debut album ‘One Existence’ last year, and that was so fantastic to get that on vinyl. I like to collect New Zealand music and it’s cool to see a lot of bands now doing tapes. They seem to have made a bit of a comeback.
Speaking of merch, I see you’re doing a run of white shirts with a pink BLEEDERS logo on them. I’ll be down for one of those, they look awesome.
Yeah, we’re getting those all made up. Every time we tour we’ve got to do merch. People love to support us and wear our stuff on them. And all the merch has got the Bleeding Heart kind of artwork, and yeah, they’ll be available at the shows so get in while they’re hot.
What are your plans with BLEEDERS next? Musically, geographically etc…
Well, given our age and where we are in our life, I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer, but we’re less active now than we were in our 20s. In our 20s we were touring New Zealand, touring Australia, we relocated to Canada. We were playing Canada, the UK, USA, but nowadays we’re kind of keeping it local. We’d like to try to get together once a year and tour if we can. I think this could be the last one for a little while. We may sit out next year. So if that’s ever a plug to get to these shows, I’d say go do it. I can’t promise we will be playing any shows in 2024. But it’s not the end of us, we haven’t broken up, we’ll always try and get together every year or two and do something.
Thanks for catching up, I’m looking forward to seeing you at the Hamilton show!
We love playing everywhere but we’ve got a really soft spot for Hamilton. The hardcore scene there was so strong in the late 90s and early 2000s. And we were down to Hamilton all the time. So look forward to playing there and we look forward to all the shows.
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