Band of the Day: Bedlem

When you’re a bunch of crazy childhood friends, it’s only right you form a band and give it a name such as Bedlem.

Simple things first – where are you guys from?

We’re from the Chicagoland Suburbs. Perhaps it’s easier to say Chicago, IL.

How did you meet?

We were all kids in Elementary school. If you were into music or played music, you knew Paul, Joe, and Brian. I lived right across the street from Brian so we hung out every day for years. We’ve all stayed in touch this entire time.

How long have you been playing as a band?

All of us have been playing together now for a little over 1-1/2 years. But Bedlem was a band when we were kids with Joe, Paul and Brian (different singer at the time).

Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?

I know they named it Bedlem because it’s a word used to describe “crazy” or unruly. We were all crazy kids; I’m surprised we didn’t die or end up in jail for half the shit we did!

What are your influences?

My influences are many. Iron Maiden is a religion in my household (one of my brother’s name is Eddie!), so of course, Bruce Dickinson is a huge influence. My dad introduced me to the world of 80s metal so I love Megadeth, Metallica (the first four albums!), Motörhead. I followed the grunge scene as everyone did my age so Nirvana, even still to this day, is one of my favourite bands. Bikini Kill, L7, Veruca Salt; it’s such a good genre. I listen to everything though, from Common, Tribe Called Quest to Ivy Queen to Decapitated to Sam Smith…it all influences me. I’d say my favourite genre however is hardcore. Converge, Dillinger, Botch, Daughters, Fuck the Facts, Cult Leader…. all amazing.

Describe your music. What makes you unique?

As in my personal vocals, I’d say you can hear a lot of influences in there. I love oldies, specifically the Temptations. That’s what I started to sing to. Then 90s grunge and I started trying to throw more “gruff” to my voice. Couple that with Bruce Dickinson… I’ve been told there’s soul and vibrato in my delivery. Bedlem’s musical style, it’s tough.

There’s obviously the hard rock/metal tag. I think there’s more to everything than a simple classification. There’s time signatures in there that aren’t in your typical hard rock structure. The catchy chorus that defines pop music. Joe’s 80s inspired solos that again, aren’t in your modern rock/metal as well Paul’s heavy hits. Metal Injection said we are “groovy as hell”. I thought that was cool and it’s kind of stuck; groove metal.

Do you have any particular lyrical themes?

When I write, I tell very personal stories that are masked with additional meanings. I’ll pick a theme and build around it essentially. I think a good song is something that someone can discuss. One may think it’s about politics or religion, but secretly it’s about my undying love of mac and cheese! That means I’m doing my job right and making it personable to every listener. In terms of themes of the album as a whole, there’s definitely a feeling of acknowledging and wanting change, but not knowing where to start.

What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?

Well the focus was the album. No point in playing all these shows without something to back us up. Now that this is done, the focus goes to more shows. We have the advantage of being like family. So when we play, we have fun. And we want that to transfer to the crowd. You’re partying with us and hanging out. There’s a lot of Brian dropping his bass and running into the crowd, beer bongs, me jumping on the stage like a madman and Paul being a showman behind the kit.

What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?

Brian and I went to see Municipal Waste this year and someone brought in a blow up mattress. People, including Brian, were riding the mattress while crowd surfing. That was pretty epic.

What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?

I’m the singer, man! But when I play guitar (like our track “Bethlem”), I use an Ibanez AEG20.

What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?

Bedlem’s debut album, Back To Bedlem. It’s out now through all outlets.

What are your plans for 2018/2019?

I’ve said from day one, I want to take over the world. So I won’t rest until we’re touring and playing every available festival!

If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!

I’d love to play with some of my idols; Iron Maiden, etc. But realistically, with our current status, open for He Is Legend and have our buddies from Texas, The Crowned, open for us. We’ve opened for them so it’s only fair they open for us!

Bedlem: official | facebook | twitter | instagram | youtube

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