On the most recent edition of The Downbeat podcast, host Craig Reynolds linked with longtime friend and fellow percussionist, Ali Richardson of Bleed From Within and Sylosis. An episode long in the making, the conversation quickly dove into how Reynolds has been trying to get Richardson to sit in the hot seat since the beginning of the podcast, however, scheduling and life didn't allow things to line up - until now.
Cracking a few cans of beer to begin the conversation, the guys revisited their timeline, explained how the conversation was finally happening and dove into a very specific problem that is very relevant to the guys given their mutual field of profession - drum techs.
Dealbreakers With Drum Techs
Richardson shared the criteria for a good drum tech, more importantly what the dealbreakers are - listing minimal ego, being punctual and a willingness to learn the gig as the most important traits to finding a quality tech. Given that both Reynolds and Richardson have both leveled up from drum tech to touring drummers - the shared stories and experiences came from a place of experience, making for a candid conversation.
The discussion steered towards the business of being in band, the various roles that members of Bleed From Within are responsible for and how the details like social media are important - but often times mismanaged. Richardson shared that the band recently got a boost in the form of a social media cosign from Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor in a rare share of music from Bleed From Within. Richardson revealed that the endorsement resulted in a wave of new followers and the kind of organic growth that most bands can't buy.
Quality Content Always Wins
The guys continued on chatting about the nuances of social media algorithms and being strategic online - only to arrive at a very fundamental truth about visibility in the digital space. Reynolds explained that the one thing that will allow content to reach as many people as possible regardless of whether it follows any algorithm guidelines is if the content is good. Being strategic about social media doesn't top making good content - practical advice.
After some extensive conversation about video, content creation and both artists having gone through figuring out what is effective, what isn't and what is actually worth the work, they guys got into some drum talk, giving kudos to the real drummers that make Youtube an entertaining place. Citing names like Troy Wright, both drummers heaved their praise for the Youtube fixture which segued into more drum talk that included everything from traveling practically to the guys' earliest experiences lugging around equipment and gigging in various bands.
Post Pandemic Revelations
The pair also dissected how life has been as a touring musician and the kind revelations that came out of the pandemic. For Reynolds, the ability to pivot and find a new means of creative fulfillment the podcast, made him realize how hard he works as a touring drummer - a realization that came with a bit of reckoning. He explained what it was like coming to terms with touring as a drummer because he wanted to, not because he had to. For Richardson, he explained that the pandemic prompted him to realize that making music is great fun, but ultimately, you make music to perform it and the inability to do so during such a long stretch was something that convinced him how much he genuinely needs to be a touring drummer.
Double Duty with Bleed From Within and Syolsis
The guys also revisited what it was like for Richardson to join Sylosis back in 2014. The drummer talked about how his band Bleed From Within was opening on a tour that included Devildriver and Sylosis - a tour in which Richardson would experience a unique baptism in pulling double duty, drumming for both Bleed From Within and Sylosis, having just got the job some two weeks prior to the tour start. Richardson detailed the rigors of playing twice nightly and instantly finding a creative kinship with Josh Middleton and the guys in Sylosis, while still pursuing his primary passion in Bleed From Within.
Taking pride in 'Shrine'
The conversation would eventually touch on Bleed From Within's most recent album, Shrine, and an honest assessment of the work from Richardson. He explained how he felt the album was indicative of the band's true potential and spoke when a sense of pride when sharing the details of the self-produced effort. Working with Adam "Nolly" Getgood to help fully achieve their sound, the guys in Bleed From With didn't reference any other album when getting to work on Shrine. Richardson explained that they want to build upon the sound they had established with their two previous records, Era (2018) and Fracture (2020) and with the help of Nolly, they feel like they completed the assignment.
Rounding out the discussion, Reynolds and Richardson dove into the finale of every Downbeat podcast in the dream festival segment. Here, the guest maps out every detail of their dream fest from location to amenities to line-up because... why the fuck not?
Ali Richardson's Dream Fest
The guys cracked open another beer and settled on Bleed From Within's hometown of Glasgow as the site of Richardson's grand production. As far as the talent, Richardson paired Tool with Meshuggah at their top of his bill. Interestingly enough, Incubus somehow worked their way into the equation. After a bit of deviation from the conversation to gush over the prowess of Sepultura drummer Eloy Casagrande, Richardson included Glasgow staples for food and beverage with Overtone Brewing to handle the beer and Bier Halle to pair it with pizza for the festival catering. Adding in Moon Tooth for some fresh blood, the festival really began to take shape - making for the perfect wind down to the tandem's lengthy and now pissy conversation.
Stream the latest episode of The Downbeat podcast with special guest Ali Richardson of Bleed From Within and Sylosis below.
Shrine, the latest album from Bleed From Within is available - HERE
Bleed From Within will be performing live at Knotfest Germany later this month.
Get tickets and information - HERE