Bludded Head

Bludded Head - June 2012

Bludded Head Session
Violitionist Sessions

Session Date: May 27, 2012
Posting Date: June 25, 2012
Artist Hometown: Denton, TX
Links: Facebook, Bandcamp
Recorded by: Michael Briggs

The Bludded Head
The Bleeding Cloud
ONE: What inspired you to start the band?
Mike Forbes: We were talking…
Nevada Hill: Yeah…
Mike: We were talking about how much we loved sludge metal.
Nevada: Yeah, we all wanted to play together.
Mike: I guess it started with Geistheistler. We were all playing in Geistheistler together, and then that band started to disintegrate, and we all still wanted to play music together. I think me and Nevada were having a conversation about how we both have always wanted to play in a super slow doom metal band, and we were like, ‘Why don’t we just do it?’
Darcy Neal: I remember that. We were in the car listening to the Sleep album.
Mike: Oh, is that what it was?
Darcy: Yeah. I remember that.
Nevada: And we all wanted to play in something that was more composed.
Darcy: Yeah.
Mike: Yeah, we were all used to doing kind of more improvised music, which, I love playing that music, but…it’s different to play composed music. We’ve all wanted to get into something like that, so, we decided to start doing it. Then we started rehearsing, probably back in October of 2011…yeah, that’s how.
DJ: Where did you come up with the name?
Nevada: My daughter came up with it. I had just bought a new skateboard that had a skull with its mouth open and tongue sticking out on it, and she pointed at it and said like, ‘Oh, it’s the blooded head!’ It was the weirdest thing— I don’t know, it’s like there were arrows pointing to it, going like, ‘That’s a great name!’ I talked to them about it…
Mike: Yeah, he was telling us that story and I was like, ‘Damn, that’s a cool band name!’ [Laughs] I also remember he told me about how his daughter was watching him play violin, and he plays this kind of avant-garde, noise violin, and she said she wanted to play violin backwards, like her dad. I thought that was pretty funny. In Bludded Head. Which I still think we should do, by the way.
Nevada: Yeah, she needs to come to practice.
Mike: She needs to play solo!
Nevada: Yeah.
Darcy: She has a full story behind it, too, about the origins of the Bludded Head.
Mike: Yeah, she made up a story about the Bludded Head.
Nevada: The songs are named after the stories that she made up about it.
Darcy: She’s the creative director.
Mike: She’s five. She does all of the artwork, she made the t-shirts…
DJ: What’s the story of the Bludded Head?
Nevada: We were just driving around and she just started talking about bleeding clouds and blood— she just started telling me the story about how a man got in a car wreck and went to the hospital and was just like, a head, so they gave him some, as she says, ‘weird drugs,’ and he turned into a bleeding cloud that goes around and bleeds on people. [Laughs]
TWO: You just finished recording at the Echo Lab…
Mike: Yeah, with Matt Barnhart. He’s a fantastic engineer.
DJ: How did the songs come together? What was the recording process like?
Mike: Well, we had already written the songs before we recorded them. The compositional process, when we started rehearsing in October, we’d get together and come up with little parts, and then expand upon the parts, and find ways of fitting them together in form and…because we wanted to write epic songs that were longer forms, instead of just a bunch of short songs, so we’d come up with a theme, and then come up with permutations of the theme, and find different ways to put them together in a compositional way. The songs ended up being roughly thirteen to fifteen minutes apiece, which is a good length for a side of a record, so we decided to put one song on each side of the record. And then Matt Barnhart came up— we were talking, we had all sorts of ideas for where and how we were going to record, and then we played a show at Rubber Gloves and Matt Barnhart was there, and he was kind of interested in the project, and it just dawned on us that that’s the guy. He’s the best dude.
Nevada: We had those songs down. We spent so much time on it, and I’m just really tired of being in bands that worked really hard to make music that never really put anything together or put anything out or do anything with it, so…it was like, for me personally, really important to go like, ‘Okay, we got it done. Let’s go record now.’ And get a good recording.
Mike: Instead of, you know, thrown together. I mean, I don’t mind lo-fi recordings and house recordings, but we wanted to make something more like…professional, and it sounds really good. I’m so happy with the way to came out.
Nevada: Yeah, me too.
Darcy: Yeah. It’s recorded on 2” tape as well, so it’s pure analog.
Mike: All-analog recording.
Darcy: And for the vinyl, it’s recorded at 45 RPMs on both sides, so it increases the high fidelity, and then you can play it at 33 and a half so it’s even slower! That’s really my favorite part of it.
THREE: Can you tell us about your tour plans for this summer?
Mike: We’re doing kind of a short tour. We’re actually going to start in Virginia, because there’s a really good festival out there called Voice of the Valley, and we’re going to start there, and they’re going to meet me out there, and then we’re going to go up the East Coast and Midwest up to like Chicago, and then down back to Texas. It’s going to be a short one, probably two weeks or maybe a little less than two weeks.
DJ: That’s with Terminator 2, right?
Mike: Yeah, we’re going out with Terminator 2.
DJ: Are you at all worried that you’ll be too loud for some of the places you’ll be playing? That’s going to be a pretty crushing bill…
Mike: I mean…no. We’re going to try to book— I mean, I’ve played in a lot of different kinds of venues, and there definitely are some that this wouldn’t work for. I’ve played in coffee shops and sometimes people’s houses, but I’m gonna…especially for this project, I’m going to shoot for actual rock venues that have good PA systems, because this isn’t that kind of…I mean, you could do it at a house show and it’s fine, but some other venues, yeah, it might not be too appropriate. So, it’s just about finding the right venue. You can find places to play in most cities that will be appropriate, so…
Nevada: It’s got to be loud.
Mike: You can’t turn it down, you know what I mean? It doesn’t make any sense.
Nevada: It’s got to have a physical impact on your body.
DJ: It’s hard imagining you guys at a house show. I can just imagine someone saying ‘Oh, I’ve just got some bands playing here tonight,’ and then you start playing…
Mike: Terminator 2 is louder than we are because David [Saylor] plays through such a gigantic bass rig. They went on tour, and they didn’t have any problems with it, so we’ll be all right.
DJ: When does that start?
Mike: End of August is when we’re going. Like, middle of August we’re going to start, through the end of the month.
DJ: Is there anything else on the horizon for Bludded Head, after the record and the tour?
Mike: We’ve been working on some covers lately. We’re doing a Black Sabbath cover, and I still want to work on that Early Lines cover.
Nevada: Early Lines! I keep forgetting.
Mike: Yeah. I wanted to work on some covers to get some new material prepared for upcoming shows, just so we’re not always playing the same set, and then I definitely want to start writing new material pretty soon as well, so…I imagine once we have new material solidified, we’ll probably look into recording it and put another record out. Nothing specific planned, but yeah.
– Interview and transcription by Dale Jones