Although Marta, Bleeding Through’s keyboardist, was recently named one of the 10 hottest “chicks” in metal by Revolver magazine, she has a lot more to be proud of, aside from her good looks. Being one of the few girls currently in the metal and hardcore scene is an achievement in itself. I had the chance to sit down with her last week when Bleeding Through stopped in Montreal to talk about what it’s like to be the only girl in a heavy band, amongst other things.
The Concordian: You guys just put out a new record in January and you are also currently doing a new tour. Do you feel like you have to start all over again every time you get on the road or release a new record?
Marta: I think obviously with every new record you are going to get a new breed of kids; people who haven’t seen you before and people who haven’t heard old material. It’s a little bit like starting over, but not so much as it is just exposing ourselves to new faces. We are conscious of that when we go to a new place or have a new record out. For us, we’re just trying to push for more in a new place because you have that chance to just come out and be strong from the start.
The Concordian: Your band’s new record, The Truth, was the biggest selling debut for Trustkill Records, and you guys have also been receiving tons of press recently. What does that all mean to you?
Marta: I think it’s a good sign. I think it means that we are growing in popularity, but also that the underground music is growing as well and can be as popular as being in The Billboard or being seen in a magazine with a wide distribution. I think it just opens doors for smaller bands to step up. It is a cool thing. It’s neat to see the progression of underground bands moving into the mainstream.
The Concordian: I know you were in last month’s special feature on women in metal in Revolver magazine, how did that feel?
Marta: It’s flattering that they wanted to include me in that. I think it’s rad! There’s a growing population of females in music and in heavy music; that’s what it was more about. I think it’s awesome that they are doing more things with that. It was fun to get personal, since usually interviews are about the band. Now and then it’s fun to talk about more personal things, about yourself, and to know that there are readers that are interested in that. It’s cool. I remember growing up and wanting to know more personal things about specific people as well. I liked reading those interviews that were more personal.
The Concordian: Do you think that you are an equal part of this band even if you are the only girl?
Marta: Definitely! I joined this band and they had a keyboardist before me so it was already a given that keyboards were a part of Bleeding Through. Bleeding Through wouldn’t be Bleeding Through if it didn’t have keyboards. It wasn’t really until we began writing the new album, because I didn’t write the last album with them, that I really absolutely felt like an equal part of the band, because we were all writing together as a whole. I do feel like an equal part as far as within the band but there is a separate thing obviously. There’s a separate feeling; obviously I’m a girl. But between all of us, we are all equal parts. We all get equal pay, everything’s the same.
The Concordian: I’m sure that’s something you must like because it doesn’t always work like that in every band.
Marta: It definitely doesn’t always work like that!
The Concordian: Is that something you looked for when you joined the band?
Marta: I was just flattered that they had asked me in the first place. I was real humble about anything. It was cool to find out that they are an equal people band because there are a lot of bands that aren’t. It takes a little bit longer being a girl to become comfortable with touring, and I think if I would have been a guy, I would have fallen right into touring and would have been really comfortable with it a lot sooner. Just purely because girls have a tendency to talk a certain way with girls and not the same with guys, I think that took some adjustment to not have a girl around to talk about all the little things. It has taken some adjusting as far as getting used to touring, but I feel comfortable with it now.
The Concordian: Girls have their ways of acting and interacting with each other, don’t you miss not having that on the road?
Marta: I do miss it, but luckily the more you tour, the more people you meet, so I don’t go for too long without knowing at least a girl in a city now and then. You kinda’ get used to it, but as soon as I go home, I’m with my couple of girlfriends the whole time. It’s just a question of balance.
The Concordian: On this new record, you guys seem to try to get away from everything that is trendy right now. Why was it important for you guys to do that and not get stuck in that clump of like bands?
Marta: Obviously we get compared to other bands in our genre, but the thing is, that’s not what we listen to. We don’t put on headphones and listen to all the bands in our genre. None of us listen to that. We hear enough of it from going on tour with those bands or playing fests. Just the fact that we listen to diverse music, I think that obviously helped mold the new album, and also not being afraid of breaking free of the mold of our genre. We are conscious of the music around us. We know what it sounds like, and we obviously didn’t want to make music like that. Why would you want to write the same record that you can hear from many other bands? We wanted to do something different and weren’t afraid to take a couple of new directions, without losing who we are.
The Concordian: There’s a lot of bands that seem to want to do that, but can’t. Why do you think that is?
Marta: Probably a lot of it is musicianship. Granted, there are a ton of talented musicians. Maybe they’re stuck listening to the same thing or don’t want to differ too much to not lose fans or not get the same kind of fans. For us, we’ve always welcomed all kinds of kids; that’s always been our thing. We want to see everyone coming out to our show and enjoying it.
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For us, it’s easier to want to appeal to more types of people, so it’s easier for us to write different kinds of music. I think that could be a problem; bands wanting to appeal to a certain kind of kid, but what they end up doing is sounding the same and neglecting other kinds of kids.
The Concordian: The artwork for the album is very shocking and very raw. What was the idea behind the artwork?
Marta: I think what we wanted to do is like you said; something which was raw. The studio we worked with in Seattle, they had this idea of doing body parts that had been blown off, and when we heard that idea we obviously really liked it. We always have gone with shock value with our artwork, that’s what we do; we’re an in-your-face band. We brought to them what we wanted and they just took it a step further. We like the result. It was a mess to do but it was really fun.
The Concordian: You guys are all straight edge. It seems as though it’s almost become a fashion for kids to become straight edge now, without really knowing what they’re getting themselves into. What’s your opinion on that?
Marta: It varies from city to city and comes and goes in waves as far as the popularity of kids becoming straight edge and the popularity of kids selling out straight edge. I bet everyone in the band would have a different opinion on this question, but for us we all individually found straight edge on our own. We’re all proud to be straight edge, but we never have pushed it on anybody and we always try to tell our fans that we don’t care if you are or you are not. If people are going to be straight edge, we all hope they’re doing it for the right reasons and not just for a fad.
The Concordian: Do you think that it’s helped that all band members are straight edge as far as touring goes; getting along and having the same values?
Marta: I think it is and it isn’t a pre-requisite for Bleeding Through. I don’t think we would work well if one of us drank. I can’t see it working as well. It wouldn’t be the same, we wouldn’t be on the same page, and it would make things more difficult. A lot of bands do have difficulties; like one person in the band drinks a lot. I think the fact that we are all straight edge makes things run a lot smoother. We never have to question or worry. It is a bit of a prerequisite to be straight edge and all of our crew is, not that that is a necessity but I think that’s who we work best with. But we get along with plenty of bands and people that drink. I’ll still go to a bar and hang out with friends. We’re in no means militant.
The Concordian: You might be playing the download festival next summer in the U.K. What is your opinion on kids downloading music off the net?
Marta: For us, we’ve always said we don’t care if kids download, especially our older albums since they are a little harder to find. As long as the kids have the music, we don’t care if they download it.
The Concordian: I have to ask you this, since it’s the title of your new record…what’s “the truth” about Bleeding Through?
Marta: The truth is [laughs] we’re just normal people. We’re not rock stars. We’re just regular people trying to get heard.
For more information on Bleeding Through visit www.bleedingthrough.com