The Bled (28 mars 2006)



L'opinion des groupes au sujet de ce cirque qu'est le Vans Warped Tour est souvent très partagée.

D'un côté, on retrouve les puristes, comme THE LAWRENCE ARMS, qui jugent complètement inacceptable que de vendre des bouteilles d'eau à six dollars et qui ne s’empêchent aucunement de souligner l'ironie d'une tournée punk rock commanditée par Target et Cingular. De l'autre, on a des groupes comme THE BLED qui, loin de se plaindre de la chaleur ou d'avoir à charrier leur équipement d'unb out à l'autre du site, voient dans l'événement un tremplin important pour plusieurs groupes.

“If you're a nobody band, to be able to play a show every single day is pretty awesome,” lance Mike [Pendicone, batteur] – une affirmation qui nous rappelle qu'il n'y a pas si longtemps, THE BLED étaient eux aussi un groupe peu connu. Leur récent passage au El Salon en compagnie de SINCE BY MAN et PROTEST THE HERO s'effectuait dans le cadre de leur première tournée nord-américaine en tête d'affiche. Selon leur guitariste Jeremy Talley, le Warped Tour c'est LA tournée de rêve. “It's just like summer camp – with bands. It's the experience that we talk about year round and just wait for it. You get to meet a bunch of different bands that you probably wouldn't normally get to tour with and become great friends with these people, and... it's just fun!” À en voir l'expression dans son visage en prononçant ces paroles, on ne peut que le croire.

THE BLED y étaient présents pour quelques dates en 2004 et 2005. Cette année, ils prendront part à la tournée en entier. Leur label, Vagrant, y aura même sa propre scène . “It started off I guess as just a joke and it got taken seriously - now it's really happening,” explique Jeremy. “It's the same stage that we played last year, but I guess that sponsor wasn't invited back or something to that effect. Vagrant had the idea that, since there was going to be so many Vagrant bands on it anyway, why not put them all on one stage and have Vagrant co-sponsor the stage.”

Encore une fois, THE BLED sont au bon endroit, au bon moment, et entourés des bonnes personnes. Les opportunités ont été nombreuses pour le groupe depuis leurs débuts, à commencer par leur association avec Fiddler Records, le label qui a lancé leur premier album Pass The Flask en 2003. “We recorded an EP that ended up getting into the hands of the band MIDTOWN and, at the time, their tour manager was Jay from Fiddler. He really liked the record and ended up booking a show with us, to open up for MIDTOWN in Phoenix, and that night he pretty much told us he wanted to sign us,” se rappelle Mike. En début 2005, c’est avec Vagrant que le groupe se lançait en affaires. “That just happened kind of naturally. Once Fiddler started falling apart little by little, we were just kind of ready to move on. As soon as our contract with Fiddler was up, we talked to Vagrant and they were interested right away – we found out they were interested in us before we even talked to them, that they had heard of us and like our music at the very least,” raconte Jeremy. La transition fut d'autant plus facile grâce à leur gérant, qui s'occupait déjà d'autres groupes de l'étiquette. “It went really easy, there was no bullshit involved,” rajoute Mike.

Le groupe est également conscient de la chance qu'ils ont eue d'enregistrer avec un producteur d'expérience comme Mark Trombino (JIMMY EAT WORLD, MOTION CITY SOUNDTRACK, THE JEALOUS SOUND, MINERAL, BLINK 182, SUGARCULT, MIDTOWN et des tonnes d'autres) pour leur plus récent opus. “For him, I think that a lot of the reason why he might have wanted to record with us was to record a band that didn't sound like anything that he'd recorded before [...] He just has a lot of experience. If there's something – even the littlest tiny thing or if something is just not right with the guitar tone, he knows how to fix it. If someone's playing like they're having a bad day, he can spot it like that and make you step it up a little bit,” explique Jeremy.

La dernière contribution musicale du groupe fut pour la compilation pour la série Masters of Horror, sur laquelle THE BLED reprennent la pièce Nervous Breakdown de BLACK FLAG. Ce n'est pas avant le printemps 2007 qu'on aura droit à un nouvel album de leur part. “I write a lot in the hotels at night when I can, especially if there's a day off or something I'll sit in the hotel and play my guitar. We'll mess around at soundcheck here and there. Not complete songs or anything, but we have ideas for a few songs already. We want to go into the song writing process with material already ready to go, we don't wanna just start from scratch like we did for the last record,” précise Jeremy. “I think that, as people and as artists, we are constantly evolving and our tastes are expanding, and we don't want to play the same thing over and over again. We want to be able to apply what interests us at that time. I can tell you that our next record isn't going to sound anything like the record we just put out. We'll never to be a band that puts out the same record twice. As you get older and wiser and you go through different experiences, you try to apply that. For us, our lyrics is a commentary on our lives and what we go through, the bond that we feel with each other,” poursuit-il.

Impossible d'obtenir d'autre information concrète par contre. Pour Jeremy, ce nouvel album demeure au stade embryonnaire. “It's hard to say this early. We are constantly influenced by everything, more so experiences that we have than cinema or other music. It does play a part, but for the most part, like a lot of our last record was written – my lyrics – were written about what we had gone through as a band and growing up in this van together. That bond that you feel was really inspirational to me. So who knows what the next record is going to be about.”

Après un mois de tournée sans répit, à jouer soir après soir, Mike et Jeremy n'ont pas le moindrement les traits tirés et arborent un air éternellement confiant – un sentiment qui est probablement largement basé sur l'assurance qu’ils ont gagnée en jouant selon leurs propres règles. “As far as creative control over our music, it's always been what we want and what we do. Art is one of those mediums in which you don't need to have a boss, it's all about the creation,” lance Jeremy. “I think that punk should be used as an open forum and should be a place for anybody of any race and whatever sex, creed, and whatever, to express whatever they believe. It doesn't matter how big the soapbox is. If you have some sort of message, whether it's political or just some sort of self-expression, I think the goal should be to reach as many people as possible. In the States right now, whether the bands that are getting bigger are using it for those reasons or not, is... you know… left to be questioned... But there definitely is room for that. I've never had that mentality that punk belongs in the underground and that's where it needs to stay cause I think that that defeats the purpose of having the open forum to express yourself and your ideas.”

Merci à Mike et Jeremy pour avoir pris le temps de discuter avec nous. Merci également à Jean-François et Claudie chez Universal Music Canada, à Katie chez Vagrant et à Duncan de Greenland, sans qui cet entretien ne se serait pas matérialisé.
- Cath



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