Bleeding Through announced over a year ago that the band would be coming to an end after a 15 year run, which they concluded things with a West Coast run of weekend dates with a semi-reunited Scars of Tomorrow and Winds of Plague. “Fuck yeah! We used to play with them when they were called Bleak December,” shared keyboardist Marta Demmel, about the old days.
The band publicly announced that they were ending Bleeding Through with a tour of the East Coast and the Midwest, including an appearance at the New England Hardcore and Metal Festival.
“We started talking about it over a year ago. Maybe a year and a half ago?,” “I think it was a lot of circumstances but just not wanting to be part time. Just having Bleeding Through being full time and full on and not just fade into the sunset…end with a bang.”
As for why the band would be ending, she explained what led to their decision. “I think there were some circumstances – slowing down in general as a band, pursuing other things in life, families, careers, etc. Brendan [Schieppati] wanted to be fully dedicated to his gym, as well as not doing Bleeding Through part time. I think he saw it as all or nothing.”
The decision to end the band temporarily did phase the various members of the band, but the reality did quickly dawn on them as to why their decision was the best solution.
“I’m sure it has, but you still have to do what you want to do. You still have to take the path you want to take. There would be no Bleeding Through without Brendan or any of us, for the most part. We’re so much a family and a unit at this point there would be no moving on with someone else I think.”
Demmel spoke about what she is to since the announcement. “I’m a full time step mom. I bartend – it’s fun and I enjoy it. Life is pretty easy going. I hope to enjoy making music. I’m not exactly sure what. I haven’t been in a hurry to jump into something else. I really would like to continue to make music.”
As for the rest of the band, no set plans were announced, but one member has already got things rolling in a new band. “Ryan [Wombacher], our bass player, is now with The Devil You Know. I’m sure some other dudes with play with some other groups. I’m sure we will keep making music, but not sure what avenue yet.”
One of their final shows took place at the Glass House in Pomona, CA, a venue where Bleeding Through regularly played and once filmed their infamous The Show Must Go On DVD.
Demmel: “We’re standing in an alley that Bleeding Through took pictures like ten years ago I think, for Outburn Magazine. It was on the cover. It was cool. It’s kind of wild being back here again and playing the Glass House. There’s a lot of memories of this place. I didn’t start thinking back on these things until we slowed down. So for the last few years, I’ve cherished some of the places we’ve gone and some of the things we’ve done more than I did, maybe along the way. I’m very grateful and realize we’ve done a lot. We’ve done a lot of cool things.”
Coming out of Orange County, CA’s infamous scene with such bands as 18 Visions, Throwdown, and Adamantium, Bleeding Through made its mark within a scene that attracted fans of all sorts and were passionate about the music. Demmel joined in 2003, but understood what was happening when she joined.
“I joined the band after it has been started [in 2003]. I moved down to Orange County. They already had an Orange County following, but the national following was starting to develop. I was just happy and stoked. I was a teenager and was just excited to play music. I couldn’t believe it.”
Another aspect of Bleeding Through’s history is adding the symphonic keyboard element to their aggressive metallic hardcore sound, more commonly heard in extreme European metal than in hardcore or punk rock. But Bleeding Through fused that element into Orange County hardcore and punk rock, and gradually found themselves creating a new sound that became influential within the metallic hardcore genre at the time.
As for being a forerunner in the genre, Demmel is proud of the band’s accomplishments. “I sure hope so. I hope that’s recognized. We always wanted to make the music we did and not compromise the sound we had, give our influences. If we influenced other people to take their own path, that’s awesome.”
She is also one of the few women who were part of that scene, which opened up doors for others to take part. “I didn’t think about that very much when I was younger. I think I was so in it. I was hindsight 20/20 kind of a thing where I didn’t realize…I was just in it. Moving forward you don’t look back. You just keep going. But now having had lots of time off and growing up a bit, I realize there really are, and now there’s more females coming along in the metal and hardcore scene. It’s nice to see. I obviously want anybody’s who’s talented to succeed, but I’m all the curious now sometimes when I hear about females in bands and what they’re doing and how they might be influencing people as well. It’s very exciting. I’m very proud to have been a female in this scene. I hope I represented females well, and I hope to continue to.”
In terms of their popularity, she clarified how Bleeding Through’s rise to fame was viewed and whether they ever viewed it as the band had blown up at any time.
“I think even if people recognize you or things like that, I don’t think we thought of it as blowing up. It’s not like we received a huge paycheck. We still had to fight. We still had to work. You still had to scrape money together. I think even though it was really cool, it wasn’t like it came with a check. So we never lost sight of having to work, even if people knew who you are. It’s not a given.”
Demmel concluded the interview by summing up Bleeding Through’s career. “I think we’re grateful we got to do this as long as we did. I don’t think we expected this. I know the dudes that started this didn’t expect this to go this long.”
“They started this as a side project and just wanted to play for fun. So we feel very lucky or blessed…however you want to put it. We got to do this as long as we did and we acquired so many fans and friends along the way. It’s really cool. We went through a lot individually and as a band. We’re really happy that we’re getting to play these last shows with some friends, who we’ve known for a long time, and we get to do things our way.”
WORDS: REI NISHIMOTO