Would you please by so kind to introduce the band to the Dutch people? Who are you and how did the band came into being?
David: It all started as a side project (operation side effect) by Andreas back in 2003. He recorded a few songs and the "project" did one show at a music competition a few years later. The line up was pretty much handpicked friends and I was the lead singer. We changed the name to Delicious deformed but the project got put on hold. Andreas kept on writing songs and back in 2009 he decided to take it to the next level. He asked his friend Lawrence if he wanted to play some drums and later on Henrik to be the lead singer. Bleeding Utopia was born. I joined the band in the early 2010 as the bass player and a few months later Jocke joined the band as the second guitarist.
In June 2010 we recorded a four songs promo and started to do a lot of gigs. During the winter 2010/2011 we recorded our first full length album ‘Demons To Some, Gods To Others’ and it was released world wide late fall 2012 (Wormhole Death Records). We did a short tour in Scandinavia and then started to work on the next album. During 2013 we started to build our own studio and headquarter and by now we have had some line up changes. With only David, Jocke, Andreas remaining we focused on getting some pre-prod done to the upcoming album ‘Darkest Potency’. I once again got the job as the lead singer and me and Andreas both did the bass-tracks on the album. We got in contact with the drumming genius Kevin Talley and he did a fantastic job, as always.
Where does the name ‘Bleeding Utopia’ comes from? It sounds a bit like social criticism… am I right?
Andreas: Well I had a few names in mind and I took BLEEDING from one name and UTOPIA from another and made BLEEDING UTOPIA. I don’t know if you can say criticism but it reflect that there is no Utopia and it can never be an Utopia. Everyone’s Utopia has flaws; the Utopia is bleeding so it became BLEEDING UTOPIA. And I can’t lie that we took it also because it sounds very cool, metal and easy to remember hahaha.
The title of the album, 'Darkest Potency', sounds very moody. Where does it find its origins?
David: Metallica is to blame and the song 'Blackened'.
Andreas: Yes, David is 98% right. The album is very dark and deals with destruction and death so I wanted a dark name for the album. I am a big "Metallica nerd" so I took 'Darkest Potency from 'Blackened' by Metallica because it’s kind of dark and evil just like our album. And I made a small flirt with my all-time heroes.
Of course I need to congratulate you on the album, I rated it 83 out of 100 points. What can you tell about other reviews?
Joakim: Thank you very much! Other reviews have been very positive as well which tells us that we're doing something good, right?
I was not given the opportunity to check out your previous album. Did it differ a lot from this one? If so, please explain…
David: I think you can tell that it is a debut album. Most of the songs were pretty much written by Andreas before Bleeding Utopia and we only needed to rehearse them to record the album. On ‘Darkest Potency’ we tried out a lot of things and arrangements together in the studio for a long time.
Andreas: Yes, we tried out many different things when we did pre-prods. I wrote most of the lyrics for the album and David and I tried out many different arrangements for the lyrics and re-wrote some stuff, we really spend more time on song arrangement and lyric arrangements this time and I think it really paid of.
What can you tell me about the lyrical content of the album?
Joakim: They're very dark and much based on a theme for that specific song.
Andreas: You could say that every lyric is a small film (in my mind anyway) and the music is the soundtrack. It is about the end of the world, sick and infected minds and in their lives and dreams. It is about fear, fear of the unknown and fear of living your life your way. You could say that the lyrics are all about different kinds of destruction.
I think you album sounds very spontaneous, aggressive and fresh. Was that done on purpose of did the sound come naturally?
David: Andreas and my friendship goes a long way back and we have been playing in a lot of bands. I think we pretty much found our sound already in the late 90´s, inspired a lot of the early 90´s death and black metal bands. But we are not afraid to mix other stuff into it. A good riff is a good riff. We stand our ground and only play things that we have always done and love. Not to make a hit for the radio.
Joakim: We sort of had a lot more time in pre-production so we took the opportunity to really let our inspiration flow and we're really happy with the end result. Our intent was to go for a more distinct sound as well as a very aggressive one and I think we really hit the nail in the coffin, so to say.
There are very many metal acts that play your kind of death metal, especially from Scandinavia. I get to listen to many albums because of this job, but how are you planning to reach potential fans? Aren’t you afraid that your albums will end up in the endless pile of new albums coming out in this genre?
Joakim: Our plan is pretty much to book as many gigs as possible in whatever part of the world that'll let us and get our name out that way. Playing live is really what we all strive for and I think that's one of the best ways of getting your name more recognized.
Don’t get me wrong, your album is very good. In what way does it stand out from other albums from similar bands you think?
David: It´s hard to explain, but it has a modern touch and an old school touch to it as well.
Joakim: I do believe that we're sort of in between the old school scene in terms of song writing, but more modern when it comes to the overall sound and presentation which I don't really see that much of nowadays. We want to make music that is easy to relate to as well as melodies that stick in your head all day long and that in itself will, in my opinion, make us stand out.
Andreas: We mix heavy and speed with groove, old with new, melodies and ‘epicness’ with aggression. I think we got a little bit for everyone.
Do you already have a steady fanbase in Sweden and/or abroad?
Joakim: I don't know about fanbase per se, but our albums and videos on YouTube have been reaching a lot of people and the response has been hugely positive so far and through future gigs the plan is to evolve this even further.
How hard is it for acts like you to become widely known and get enough gigs for instance?
David: It is a lot of work of course. It takes a lot of time and some professional help and money too.
Andreas: A LOT of time and very hard work. You can’t be comfortable. You're going to spend a lot of hours in a filthy bus and you're going to miss birthdays, holidays and so on. You're got to be 130% dedicated. Nothing comes for free.
I suspect Bleeding Utopia doesn’t make enough money to live, just like most bands. What do you do in your daily lives?
David/Andreas: Working at a warehouse.
Joakim: I am a quality analyst for a customer service call enter on the side to put a roof on top of my head... A man's got to eat, right? ;)
As a starting act, what are your views on downloading and stuff like Spotify? Do you think of it as a right way of promotion? Or do you regard it as a loss of income?
David: I think it´s great for upcoming bands, in that way you can reach out to people all over the world. Hopefully someone likes it and wants to buy your physical stuff.
Joakim: I don't really think you have the luxury of even thinking about income in today's music scene. Any promotion is good promotion and we're not in this to have people only sit at home listening to our albums, we want them to experience our music live and if online exposure can generate a bigger crowd, then that is all good.
Andreas: It’s great and at the same time not so great. It’s great that people can listen anytime, anywhere and you can reach out everywhere. And it not so great because you have to sell physical copies to create a demand so the record labels can pay for promotion, studio time and all the stuff that a record label does. The bands don’t get much from CD,LP or digital sales but it is not about the money its about the demand. If a band doesn’t sell records there will not be a demand and there will not be any budget to record more albums go on tours (tickets and merch are what pay the bills). Musicians have bills to pay too.
Can we expect to see you around in Europe or, even better, The Netherlands?
David: As soon as we get a complete line up, you better watch out! haha
Joakim: Time will tell, but if we have anything to say about it we'll do whatever we can to make that a reality.
Andreas: Prepare your head banging necks, hopefully we will invade Europe a.s.a.p.
Any final remarks?
We just sincerely hope that people will enjoy our new album as much as we do and hope to see everyone on the road in the future!