Also in town last friday was the Tucson Arizona five-piece The Bled. The band spent the past summer on Warped Tour and are now touring to support their sophomore release entitled Found In The Flood. I sat down with Mike Pedicone, the band’s drummer, right before their set to find out more about this band:
The Concordian: Do you prefer tours like this or big organized tours like Warped Tour, which you took part in this summer?
Pedicone: The thing about it is that tours like this you can go out all year long and it’s easier to be on a tour like that. Warped Tour you have to be there so early and it’s an all-day-long thing; a big deal. I like doing Warped Tour. A lot of people hate it- I like it a lot- but I wouldn’t want to be doing it more than once or twice a year. I prefer to do this kind of tour more often than Warped Tour.
The Concordian: I read in your tour journal that one of the bands you are currently touring with Veda got all their stuff stolen a couple of days ago. What exactly happened? How did that make you feel?
Pedicone: We were in Detroit; we played the State Theatre. People kind of give it a bad rap, so I guess it’s not super out of the ordinary that stuff gets jacked. What happened is that they were parked right up the street from the venue and apparently somebody just broke into their van, hot-wired it and stole the van, their trailer and everything they own; all of their instruments, their clothes, their money and everything. It’s just so shitty to hear about that or to know that people do that. It really sucks because a band on the road that isn’t exactly making it super huge doesn’t have a whole bunch of money, so it’s a big deal.
The Concordian: On tours, usually some sort of brotherhood develops between all the bands…so how did you guys help out?
Pedicone: We’ve been broken into before. We’ve never gotten our van stolen before, but somebody broke our window, went inside and stole all of our TVs, Nintendo’s and little personal items but it wasn’t that bad because nobody had computers at that time. It’s just something that sucks to deal with because then you have to try to get either a window repaired or call the cops and ask them to find the van and you can’t count on it being found. All you can do is ask people to help you out. They were lucky enough to be able to ride on the bus with Thrice. Between all the bands, they used our gear so that they can play every night. Jason the drummer uses my drums; they use a lot of our stuff since they play right before us. It’s just too bad that that kind of thing happens really.
The Concordian: You guys have been a band for a couple of years now but growing up you must have been around music. What is your earliest musical memory?
Pedicone: My whole life, I’ve always been influenced by music. My dad’s a singer and my mom is a piano player; my dad’s family are all musicians and my mom’s family is very musical too, so I’ve always been influenced by music. I remember being five and her putting headphones on me and playing Led Zeppelin for me. There’s never really been a time when I wasn’t doing music. I’ve played piano, guitar and saxophone, just all kinds of other instruments. I started doing bands or at least trying to start a band when I was in third grade [laughs]. I remember I had a friend who had a drum set but he didn’t have a kick pedal and didn’t really have any symbals so he would just put the kick drum on the ground and the snare next to it and we played with one string [laughs], so that was fun.
The Concordian: So when you wanted to form a band and wanted to go out on tour, you were encouraged by your family?
Pedicone: Yah, I mean I was always very encouraged by my mom. She was always really into it; she knew that was what I was going to do no matter what. My dad was a little harder to convince because he worked in a school district in Arizona and he was a big part of school, he really believes in it. I did three years of college and I was like I wanna drop out and go out on tour, I’m over it and that was hard to get across but once you make up your mind nobody can stop you. Now, there’s nothing but encouragement.
The Concordian: I know you guys really wanted to get out of your hometown in Tucson, are you still happy with that choice? What was it about the scene over that made you guys wanted to leave?
Pedicone: The thing about Tucson is that it’s not a very artsy city as far as music goes, if you compare it to like L.A. or even smaller cities like San Diego where bands can get out of those cities pretty easily; there are a fair amount of sources for people to hear their music. If you’re not from Tucson, you can’t really name any bands that have come out of there or even Arizona because it’s not that easy. We wanted to get out, I mean we all love Arizona and Tucson but it’s just that you can’t really depend on getting out of there. It’s not that easy, I think that was just a big part of it. Being from a town like that has a lot to do with why our music is the way it is, just from growing up in that. I wouldn’t call it a struggle, but at the same time it is kind of a struggle.
The Concordian: On your new record Found In The Flood, I find there’s a lot more diversity. Why was that? Did you feel more confident to experiment this time around?
Pedicone: I think a big part of it was that we were on tour for two and a half years straight without stopping. We were playing every single night and always thinking about music so we just got a lot tighter as a band and we all got a lot better at our instruments individually so we just knew what we could do. We don’t really all necessarily listen to heavy music. We all have different influences from different genres. I personally listen to a lot of jazz, soul and hip hop more than anything else, and so I think we all wanted to have our own little imprint on the record this time. I think we did the last time too, but this time we had more time, more means; we could do more what we wanted to do. We’ll never stop being a heavy band. James has a good voice and there was no reason to not let it be at least shown on the record.
The Concordian: How has being in The Bled changed you?
Pedicone: There’s so much stuff that has changed since The Bled has started touring even just with friends back home to just the way we think as people. You learn a realness factor about people. A lot of people want to just know you or a piece of you because you are in a band that is getting popular and other people are just really intrigued by your music. I think that the biggest thing is just getting to know ourselves. We’ve been able to just think about ourselves a lot. It sounds selfish but at the same time you are making sure that you don’t fall into believing all this hype about yourself. People will feed you so much bullshit and you see bands just disappear from that. People think they are a lot better than they are. I’d like to say that we’ve stayed pretty humble and try not to act bigger than we are.