Tim Williams (Vocals)
Mike Kennedy (Guitar)
Nick Rowe (Guitar)
Kyle Sanders (Bass)
bloodsimple: Being surrounded by murder until murder becomes in your own mind a viable solution to practically any problem. Life becomes cheap, killing begets more killing.
Let's face it, life isn't pretty. Every evening, the news is full of grisly tales of murder, death and deception that not even Truman Capote could think up. While it only makes sense that a band like bloodsimple would be birthed of out this chaos, no one could have expected the progression the band would make with the follow-up to their aptly titled 2005 debut A Cruel World . Sure, Red Harvest still sports grooves so deep you could get lost in them, but there's a level of growth and maturity inherent in the disc that could have only been achieved by spending literally years together on the road and in the practice space.
"With this record, I really wanted to challenge myself, not to prove things to anyone else, but just for myself because I was bored," explains hardcore music veteran Tim Williams. "We all wanted to write a more original record; we weren't trying to rewrite the book on heavy music, but we just wanted to do something that was more organic and fine-tune our sound," he elaborates. "We just constantly want to better ourselves with each record and I think that this album is the next logical step for us, you know?"
Formed in 2002 by Williams and guitarist Mike Kennedy (both of which were members of the legendary New York hard core band Vision Of Disorder), the band—which also features guitarist Nick Rowe and bassist Kyle Sanders—were initially discovered by Mudvayne vocalist in 2004 and instantly hit the road (and held their own) with peers such as Otep, American Head Charge and Candiria. Since then, the band have toured with everyone from Stone Sour to Alice in Chains to Slayer, introducing their unique brand of groove-driven metal to anyone open-minded enough to listen and gaining fans all over the world.
"Whenever anyone has asked us to describe ourselves we've never been able to quit nail it on the head," Sanders responds when asked how bloodsimple are able to successfully tour so many seemingly disparate acts. "We don't want to box ourselves into a corner where we can only do underground tours or hardcore tours—and I think we've been pretty successful with that," he continues. "I think that we can hold our own with any band in the rock genre and that's something that all of us are extremely proud of."
Recorded in November and December 2006 at the Machine Shop in Hoboken, New Jersey, with producer Machine (Lamb Of God, Every Time I Die), Red Harvest shows the band implementing everything from spoken-word segues to actual singing into their seasoned brand of metal, and the result is one of the most sonically diverse albums in recent memory. For example, "Death From Above" sounds like vintage Metallica fronted by Phil Anselmo; "Dead Man Walking" sports a newfound melodicism that takes the band's dynamics to the next level; and if the closing track "Numina Ifuscata" doesn't get your body moving, well, there must be something clinically wrong with you. Thematically, the album is based on the gritty 1929 detective novel of the same name and sees Williams stretching out his lyrics to create a story-like arc for the album. "On this record I really wanted to think up some stories, fictional or not, to draw the listener in and create characters that people could identify with," he explains. "I really wanted to try to expand what I could do with words instead of writing about the run-of-the-mill stuff that heavy bands tend to write about, you know?" Thankfully, on Red Harvest artistic isn't synonymous with pretentious—and despite the ambitious lyrical scope of the album, even the causal listener will be able to identify with songs like "Whiskey Bent And Hellbound."
However, Williams is just ultimately happy that after being a prominent figure in the hardcore music scene for over a decade, people are not only curious, but captivated with what he has to say—and with Red Harvest it's obvious that that level of interest is only going to increase. "I've been a part of this for so long and I feel so lucky," he explains. "We go to Europe and I walk around and people see me and still come up to me and identify with what we've done," he continues, pausing for a second to collect his thoughts. "I can't believe people still care about what I'm doing sometimes; it's pretty funny."