Let’s start at the beginning. Can you remember how Within Blood first came together and who initiated the whole idea?
Well, I think it was me who contacted Brad, as he is the only guy I could think of that could supply the riffs I wanted and we went from there. Sneaky D (Dave) was then bought into the mix on second guitar. Most bands were doing the metal core or fashion core thing, so I wanted to start a ‘Meat and 3 Veg’ band…it turned out to be mainly meat!
L-R: Jace (Drums), Lloyd (Bass), Dave (Guitar), Brad (Guitar), Matt (Vocals). Photo by Simon Moody.
The demo was recorded on AFL Grand Final day in 1998. From memory I recall hearing it was recorded live, with everyone playing at once wasn’t it?
Yeah, I think it was, not too sure. It was recorded with Mark McCormack in Moorabin at the Jam Tin or St Andrews as it might be called now. He did some great recordings of some questionable bands, so we liked his style and he liked our short hair. He recorded the Exxtrem record…nuff said.
Any standout memories from that session? No one wanted to cheer on Nth Melb against Adelaide?
No one gave a crap about the footy we just smashed it out pretty easily with a few laughs included. That band always had fun. Touring interstate was crazy looking back on it. We were in our own little world. It was a party that lasted two or so years.
Who did all the demo tape cover folding and dubbing?
I think we split the numbers up between us from memory; I do have a bad one though. No one else was going to do it! No idea how many copies were done maybe10-15 each per member perhaps. It’s a hot item if you like crappy recordings and collect hard to find demos…
What was the first show Within Blood played?
Was at Stable Sound on the 10th of October 1998 that was put on by this kid called Swank. Pretty sure it was with Grim Reality and Downfall.
Flyer from Melissa Rottura's collection of perhaps the second or third Within Blood show.
Within Blood actually toured on the demo too, something that would seem strange to bands today perhaps?
We were going to do a tour, so we sent it to all the upstarts in each state, so they knew the songs. It worked. Shit got broke every time we played.
What would go on in the Within Blood tour van?
In this life nothing we fear, weed, speed, liquor and beer… and a lot of story swapping, listening to Motorhead and Integrity. We were pretty juiced up. Lobby (Lloyd) would just sit in the car and laugh. Straight Edge legend was never even tempted…
First Within Blood show in Sydney in September 1999
Photo and video from that show at the Iron Duke. Photo by Ryan Willmott.
Musically what bands influenced Within Blood and was the band’s sound the result you were going for from the get go?
We just wanted a stripped back, heavy as fuck, violent, street sounding band that would make people want to kill. It kinda worked to some extent and no one else was really doing the same thing at the time. It morphed into a more metal influence as the band progressed and that’s when it had to stop. The demo, record and 7” were never going to be bettered. When we lost the original drummer, Jason from Grim Reality, it lost the street vibe a little too. The new drummers were too good for the band. Haaa.. We would have just become one of a thousand bands ringing the same metal core bell if it went on.
How did you find juggling two bands at the time and was there a conscious effort on your part to try and do something vocally different to Mindsnare?
Yep, the Mindsnare thing was thrashy, bit more screamy, the songs made me move around and jump on crew. Within Blood was more of a straight up vocal effort. The delivery was totally different, I wanted to be face to face and sometimes the mic went into people’s faces and mouths. I was pretty much on the attack the whole time and a few people probably hate me for it, but I wasn’t there to make friends. I wanted to hold up the “Hardcore is for hard dudes flag”, which looking back is hilarious, but someone had to do it.
Within Blood at Newcastle's Black Box. Photo by Ryan Willmott
Flyer from the Black Box Newcastle show and video below.
The songs that made up First Blood and Captain Blood were actually all recorded in the one session weren’t they, with plans to release the 7inch later on in the piece?
Dude you probably know or remember more than I do…I should be interviewing you! That sounds like a good plan though.
Were you guys stoked with the outcome?
We pretty much got what we wanted from this recording. Everyone used to say that if we captured our live sound it would work. I guess it did to some extent. It sounds muddy and shit, like a live band.
Given fellow Mindsnare member Nigel had Trial and Error in full force, why did Within Blood decide to go with Sydney based label Resist?
I think it suited what Graham was doing at the time. He was able to get it out and about overseas too. It came down to distro I suppose. Nige was too scared. No, he just had a heap going on at that stage and this wasn’t about to go gold, so good choice maybe.
Clowing around at the Arthouse, Clockwork Orange style.
Within Blood soon developed a quick association with hockey masks. Members often played live wearing one and you released some merch with hockey mask designs. Was this an ode to Slapshot, or maybe more Jason from Friday The 13th influenced?
More a Slapshot thing I think, I was always into him carrying the hockey stick in old photos. Also because I was in Mindsnare, I wanted to come across completely different, hence the clown suit, chainsaw near disaster, zippo fluid spark up on Sneaky D’s guitar etc… I was getting carried away to some point, but I think it created folklore for crew to look back on. No one is silly enough to dress up as a skinhead clown and act all serious for 30 minutes or so!!!
A hockey masked Matt at the Arty
Can you recall all the merch designs Within Blood did? There was the coat of arms design and the hockey mask too. Am I forgetting anything?
No idea really, there wasn’t many though.
At what point did drummer Jace get replaced by Bomber, and what happened there exactly? I remember being told he just went missing, like no one ever saw him around or anything? Truth or fairytale?
Jason was there living in my garage one minute and gone the next. I’m scared to think what happened haaaa. He really did disappear with no contact for years I think. I sometimes wish I could do that, so more power to him. He popped up on Facechook recently. He really had the sound we wanted for the band, sad he bailed but you gotta do what you gotta do…
Back at the Iron Duke in Sydney in 2000. Photo by Ryan Willmott
Was there a difference in crowd reaction to playing shows interstate in comparison to local Melbourne shows for Within Blood?
Melbourne was well and truly into Within Blood, it was our backyard man and shit went down. Interstate, for the most part were wearing make up and doing their hair. Looking back, I shoulda too, it sucks being single!!! A-Town and Sydney still came to the party as usual though, it was like a party when we played interstate, we came ready to party.
Did Within Blood ever do any covers live?
The Cro Mags’ “Life Of My Own” and Integrity’s “No One” was it I think…
Got any favourite memories of the band, playing live with a chainsaw perhaps?
The chainsaw came about when I was at my dad’s house one day. I just saw it there and thought "imagine if I jump in the pit with this thing going?” When I did people stood real still for a minute, kinda frozen, then the Arthouse was full of 2 stroke and panic set in. People ran for their lives. Not gonna lie, it felt good revving that little motor out in the crowded pit of the Arty, everyone was so cramped in like mice...
Matt getting things started at the infamous chainsaw show at the Arthouse. Photo by Jelena Gouza
Can you recall why the band split up originally?
It just felt like it was done and some bands are better stopping when they feel that way. It felt like it was getting away from the original vibe it was set up for. Some of my most fave bands only did one or two records, so I thought it for the best. Samsara took over from there quite nicely I think, better vocalist too...haaaaa.
Any regrets? Were there any unrecorded songs that never saw the light of day?
Your official last show was in 2003 at the Arthouse with the CroMags but then you guys came up to Sydney to play a farewell show later on right?
My memory is shot, but I believe you on this one. The Cro Mags shows were great, I’ll never forget them…
And then more recently a benefit reunion last year? How was the reaction to Within Blood from a new generation of hardcore kids?
It got rad real quick. I think people talked about us for so long it was a done deal by the time we played. Plenty good night that one…
Is that it for Within Blood for good now, hockey masks retired forever?
It’s done man. Some things are better left done. It would be a shame to keep reuniting but never say never…
How do you hope Within Blood are best remembered?
Just remembered I suppose. We were never better than any one, we just had in our heads what we wanted to do and we did it. Very close-minded, but that’s how you get things done. We hope there are a few fond memories bouncing around the heads of the chosen few who saw us live. We had a fucken ball man…
Any final words?
Thanks for the interview Ryan, I am glad there are still crew flying the flag and are passionate about the music we all love. Without people like you there would be nothing much happening and this would be even further in the past…Rejuvenate!!!
Where Are They Now:
Matt – Still fronts Mindsnare.
Lloyd - Went on to form Threshold / Hit List, Meatlocker and played in Ire.
Dave – Later resurfaced in Samsara.
Brad – Also later resurfaced in Samsara as well as in Ire.
Bomber – Currently in the reunited legendary Depression line up.
Jace – Whereabouts remain unknown
Approx. 60-80 copies – Out of print
Download it here
First Blood Cd
Resist Records RES008
1000 copies – Out of print
Download it here
Captain Blood 7inch
Resist Records RES016
5 Test Presses
(One recently sold on QLD Flood Relief EBAYAuction for over $100 )
500 copies on black - Still in Press
Click here to order a copy.
Did You Know:
The live shot that appeared on the cover of FIRST BLOOD that was taken at the September 1999 show at the Iron Duke Hotel, was actually stitched together from a two different photograhs, so as to incorporate Brad into the image. The pic of Brad was shot at the Black Box Newcastle show the night after yet altered to appear as though it was from the same show. Don't believe me? Then re-watch the two You Tube clips above and note what Brad is wearing in them.
The design was done by Simon Moody, back when Photoshop was a program very few people owned or could afford to buy and digital cameras didn't yet exist. Keep in mind this was 1999, pre internet file sharing so you couldn't exactly download Photoshop or look up You Tube tips on how to go about cloning or stitiching together images. The feat involved a lot of alteration and retouching work from Simon, who was light years ahead of the game. Hats off to Moody for pulling it off.
This is how the original photo looked below.
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