Bleeding Through’s Dave Nassie Discusses New Album ‘The Great Fire’ + More
We recently had the pleasure of talking with Bleeding Through guitarist Dave Nassie. Having joined the band in 2009, Nassie has a long and diverse history as a successful musician, manning the six-string for Infectious Grooves and California punk rock outfit No Use for a Name.
Yesterday, we reported on Bleeding Through's new album 'The Great Fire' becoming available for online streaming, and previewed part of our exclusive interview with Nassie.
In this full interview, Nassie speaks to us about 'The Great Fire,' his life on the road with multiple bands, teaching guitar, his thoughts on Revolver's 'Hottest Chicks in Metal / Hard Rock' calendars and much more.
Tell us about your upcoming album 'The Great Fire'
We had taken most of this year to hang out and lay low a little bit. When it came time to do this record, to be honest it was probably the most painless experience as possible in the studio. It call came together really, really quickly and as far as the writing process went for it, it was a bit different for us.
People describe Bleeding Through as anything from metalcore to melodic death metal to symphonic black metal. What do you think best describes 'The Great Fire?'
It's kind of a mix of everything. It has a strong, classic Slayer element to it -- because, you know, who doesn't like that? That's something as a band that we all like. It has a heavy black metal and thrash influence in it. This record is an example of what Bleeding Through like to do. We follow each other. Nobody really picked a direction and said, "Hey we want to sound like this." [Singer] Brandan [Schieppati] came in with a bunch of really aggressive songs, [Guitarist] Brian [Leppke] had a bunch of aggressive songs, my songs kind of lightened it up a little bit because we started listening back and realized that there were like 15 songs that were just pissed with no break in it at all. [Laughs]
You joined Bleeding Through in 2009. Can you tell us about your life as a musician before joining the band?
I started out playing guitar in a band called Infectious Grooves, which was a Suicidal Tendencies side project. I worked with Suicidal in a lot of different ways from filling in on bass to driving the truck. [Laughs] I played in a band called No Use for a Name for 10 years, which is a punk band. I played in a lot of different blues bands and now I teach full-time and do guitar clinics and web lessons on my YouTube channel. No Use and I are still friends. They knew I really wanted to do the metal thing - I was always kind of a metal guy at heart anyways. Bleeding Through is great because it provides me the opportunity to get into that kind of stuff.
After being in No Use for a Name for 10 years, why did you choose to leave and join Bleeding Through?
Well, everybody in Bleeding Through and myself were friends before I joined the band. I always liked heavy metal. I a lot of what I like to play on guitar is more that style of music and stuff that lends itself to that style of music. I had a great time with No Use for a Name and I could have been in No Use for a Name forever, man. They still do really, really well and have no complaint in the world. For me personally, I wanted to try something different. Now that I'm in Bleeding Through its really helped to get to that situation in my life where I can play and be known a little bit more for the style of guitar that I like doing. When I was in No Use for a Name, not a lot of people knew that I liked to teach or do guitar clinics. It's just cool to branch out as a player. I'm not out to be some uber-famous dude, I just want to play a bunch of different s--- before I die.
Does Bleeding Through have any tour plans for 2012?
We're doing some shows at the start of February here in California, but then we'll be putting together a full tour in the fall. It's going to be great - we're looking forward to playing a lot of the new songs and more importantly for everyone to hear them, man. We're all pretty much of the opinion that 'The Great Fire' is the band's best record, but I guess you're supposed to think that way when you're putting something new out. [Laughs]
How would you describe the differences of touring with No Use for a Name compared to touring with Bleeding Through?
It's pretty different, man. Bleeding Through is a straight-edge band. I'm not straight-edge, but there's no issue with that. No Use for a Name was a little bit more like we're such good friends and we've known each other for so long - 10 years is a great deal of time to be spending around each other. It was really a lot of fun. Both situations are a lot of fun and it's kind of hard to describe what differences are because me, mentally I always looked at it as the same. I always just try to go out and enjoy the people I'm around. With No Use I think I can say we found ourselves into more hilarious party-like situations where you're just destroyed and lost in Harlem at three in the morning saying, "Where the f--- am I?" [Laughs] Situations like that would happen.
Being in Bleeding Through, if I go out and party, it's definitely going to be more like going to the principal's office the next day when I wake up. [Laughs] But it's all in good fun. What I like about Bleeding Through that's different from No Use for a Name is that the work ethic is more in my state of mind. if you think about it, No Use my role was just to play the songs the best as I possibly could. I didn't really write them and I just really enjoyed playing somebody else's songs and being involved in that entire scene of people, making really good friends, having a blast and really learning a lot in that whole dynamic. Learning on the guitar was more from performance and how to build records with simplicity. Now I've switched the demographic to Bleeding Through where it's more intense, but I do get the chance to write the songs - I do get the chance to be more involved with it.
As you get older in my situation I don't want to party as much, I don't want to do all that so much. With Bleeding Through, a lot of it for me is being really happy to be a part of a situation that I can be fully involved with. So you keep yourself together on tour - you don't go out and do those things, you just enjoy being around being around all those people and enjoy all the new experiences you have, but you're getting older so you get your rest and take care of yourself.
The Revolver Hottest Chicks in Metal and Hard Rock calendars have become so popular recently. How does that exposure truly affect a band after the calendars are put out?
As far as [our keyboardist Marta [Peterson] being voted into it and all that kind of stuff? Within the band it's not such a new take. I could never speak for Marta, but I know my opinion of it is that those types of things are out there and people are going to be voted for those certain things. You can look at in a couple of different ways. Is it a good thing for that kind of attention being drawn to your band when it's not about musicianship, it's not about the songs, it's just because you've got a chick in your band? Sure. There's that whole kind of lame element to it, but at the end of the day man, I think people know what's real and if you've got a girl in your band, it pays a heavy contribution to the style of music because a lot of women do good things in metal nowadays.
I think there's a strong force for women in metal music, so I think more-so for them it's a pill they have to swallow just to be seen sometimes - and that totally sucks. But at the end of the day, there are a lot of really great chicks in metal. However, I come from that older era where I feel there's no such thing as bad press if it draws attention to the fact that the scene involves women and that the women come as strong as the men. The thing about it too from the other side is that where chicks are, the guys are gonna be. [Laughs] Some people get a girl in their band who is good-looking and you get guys to come out and see it, but at the end of the day it exposes a whole 'nother world of people to your music. Unfortunately, there's that disgusting element of it where people look at it in a certain way. I don't, but some do.
I'm sure you can tell who is listening to your music for the right reasons.
I'll tell you this, the women who are up there that are playing a role like Marta have a really good perspective of the whole situation. Playing keyboards she's not running around all the time, she she's got a really good eye on the show. She's the one that can really tell you what's happening.
What albums are you listening to the most right now?
You know what? A couple of different people have turned me on to a band called Intronaut. I teach like 40-50 guitar lessons a week, so I get a lot of people who come in and bring music in for me. Personally, I'm getting pumped for the new Van Halen stuff. I'm old school, so I've jamming out to Van Halen demos and stuff. But when it comes to listening to music and checking stuff out, I'll listen to Megadeth because I end up teaching 'Tornado of Souls' at least once a week. [Laughs] A lot of what I'm listening to is usually what I'm teaching. A lot of old blues stuff too like John Lee Hooker.
Bleeding Through's latest studio album 'The Great Fire' is now in stores and is available for full streaming courtesy of AOL.