Bleed The Sky frontman Noah Robinson insists the Oklahoma City band isn’t cursed. Problems on the road or in the recording studio are pretty common in the music business, Robinson said.
But the members of Bleed The Sky have experienced more than their share of headaches, heartaches and frustrations over the past three years — including the near death of a band member and close friend, the near dissolution of the band and a stop-and-go recording process.
The band survived turmoil that would have wrecked bands with less fire in their hearts. Robinson said the band drew on those frustrations when recording “Murder The Dance,” the follow up the band’s 2005 debut “Paradigm in Entropy.”
“In a lyrical sense, that (turmoil) didn’t manifest itself,” Robinson said, “In a driving sense, I’d say that was 90 percent of the force behind this one. It’s 10 times more aggressive and it’s a lot more cut throat (than ‘Paradigm’).
“There were no boundaries,” Robinson said. ” … That was 100 percent to do with the energy. We still had to show people it was 100 percent Bleed The Sky.”
The band will perform Saturday, Sept. 27 as one of the headliners of the second annual Indianapolis Metal Fest. See the “Upcoming Shows” page for festival information.
In June 2006, during a concert in Louisville, guitarist Wayne Miller was hospitalized with pneumonia and a viral infection. Although he’d been admitted to ICU, Miller told the rest of the band to go on with the tour. But two days later, Miller’s condition deteriorated, and the rest of the band came rushing back to Louisville, fearing Miller would be dead before they arrived.
Miller came out of his coma and recovered, but members Kyle Moorman and Daylen Elsey quit the band, leaving Robinson and drummer Austin D’Amond waiting for Miller to get healthy enough to reform the band.
Permanent damage, however, had left Miller unable to play guitar at his previous level. Robinson and D’Amond (with Miller’s encouragement) recruited new members and began writing songs for “Murder The Dance.” By early 2007, the band was preparing for the recording studio.
But recording the album wasn’t an easy process, either.
“It was delay after delay, every single thing,” Robinson said. “(Guitarist) Dave (Culbert) left right before we started recording. What he slowed down was our preparation for the recording, and at that point, it was more a slap in the face to our morale.
“It was the biggest headache I ever had in my life,” Robinson said. The wait was especially frustrating for guitarist Justin Warrick and bassist Ryan Clark, the band’s newest members.
“For Ryan, this is his first band,” Robinson said. “This is his virgin record.”
But the results have been well received, Robinson said.
“We have fans that have grown up with us in southern California and have been coming to shows since (we were) playing for 10 people. They’re coming to shows now and their jaws are dropping,” Robinson said. “We’re 10 times heavier than we ever were. It’s crushing heavy.
“It’s night and day better,” Robinson said. “I don’t think this record would have been the same with the original lineup.”
But “Murder The Dance” isn’t a wall to wall burst of raw aggression. “Occam’s Razor,” the album’s sixth track, is tranquil eye in the center of the album’s typhoon of rage. The song is the counterpart to the previous track, “Morose,” which deal with a difficult period in Robinson’s life.
“We originally intended (“Occam’s Razor”) as an instrumental,” Robinson said. “… It had a real ambiance to it, even without lyrics.
“Lyrically, that song and ‘Morose” are kind of part one and part two,” Robinson said. ‘Morose’ centers on a period where Robinson was depressed and borderline suicidal because of a youthful mistake and how he was able to find peace.
“It’s the calm after the storm,” Robinson said. While cutting the vocals, Robinson was joined at the microphone by Martina Axen, drummer and one of the vocalists for Drain S.T.H.
“She really added a whole different mood,” Robinson said. “It was an honor to me” to work with her on the song.
But “Occam’s Razor” or “Morose” aren’t Robinson’s favorite tracks on the new album.
“My favorite song to perform is ‘Murder The Dance,’” he said. “That’s the one, for all of us, that’s just an ass-kicker, with fists in the air.”
Despite the adversity of the past two years, Bleed The Sky is standing stronger than ever, Robinson said.
“I think some (fans) looked the other way when we went through it … but actual fans and our peers hold us up, because they saw what we went through,” Robinson said.