When metalcore heavyweights Bleeding Through played their last show in 2014, frontman Brandan Schieppati felt lost. Disconnected from the metallic hardcore scene he and his band had helped popularize, the vocalist believed the band were stagnating, so he pulled the plug on the group two years after the release of their seventh album, The Great Fire.
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The respect Bleeding Through held in the scene was so important to the band that, once he could feel that admiration beginning to fade, Schieppati was quick to call time.
“There was a dark cloud plaguing us toward the end,” Schieppati begins, reflecting on the period leading up to Bleeding Through’s disbandment. “We became a stepping-stone band; we lost respect from the media, our management, our booking agent…it was like people didn’t take us seriously anymore. We were still pulling people to shows and selling a good amount of records, but other people’s interests were ahead of ours when it came to Bleeding Through.”
When probed as to why he feels Bleeding Through lost the respect of the industry, Schieppati offers a scathing indictment of the music world’s throwaway culture, citing the recent surge in popularity of Maryland hardcore punks Turnstile as an example.
“Bleeding Through were old news to people,” Schieppati argues. “The music industry has always been a case of ‘out with the old, in with the new.’ Metalcore gave way to deathcore, and then deathcore gave way to whatever the fuck, and then that gave way to Turnstile. And now I’m like, ‘How did we get here?’ What I mean is that Turnstile will be hot for four years and then gone––something else will come up. It’s unfortunate, because I really like that band, but I feel that hardcore got so big that people started turning on it, and I can see that happening again. Bleeding Through fell victim to that, which was really tough.”
Schieppati––as many musicians who’ve been dealt a cruel hand have previously done––doesn’t paint a pretty picture of the industry. His views could be interpreted as bitter, but Bleeding Through’s leader has been burnt more than most when it comes to the pressure cooker environment of life on the road. It is those experiences that fuel his band’s first album since reforming, the despairingly titled Love Will Kill All, released May 25 via SharpTone Records. It’s an LP that sees Schieppati looking inward like never before, resulting in Bleeding Through’s most personal and cathartic material to date.
“I’ll be completely honest: I thought about killing myself on more than a handful of occasions,” confesses the vocalist of the period between Bleeding Through’s split and reformation. “Nobody was there for me. I’d been going through a divorce, and it was an ugly breakup where I lost a lot of friends. It was a very dark period, and for a while I felt extremely alone. A lot of the lyrics on Love Will Kill All are portraying anger toward the people who once said they cared about me, but abandoned me when I was struggling.”
If that wasn’t enough of an emotional journey, Love Will Kill All also finds Schieppati confronting his experiences with bipolar disorder, and how living with the condition impacted the first incarnation of Bleeding Through.
“I hid it from my band for years,” Schieppati says. “I wasn’t always the best person to be around, and I abused my leadership role. When I told my bandmates I’d been dealing with this, they were like, ‘Well, it fucking makes sense—we just wish you’d told us sooner.’ When you’re battling mental illness you feel isolated, and Love Will Kill All deals with that darkness that I still feel. No matter how happy I am––and I do consider myself a very happy person––I’ll always carry that darkness with me. Music has been my way of expressing the pain I’m feeling, and I’d been without that outlet for several years. Having that back has helped massively, and now it just feels good to have Bleeding Through back on our terms.”
Bleeding Through’s album Love Will Kill All will be released May 25 via SharpTone.