Bleeding Through's Marta Peterson: 'Dearly
October 30, 2007
If you have not
yet heard Bleeding Through's breakthrough release, The Truth,
what are you waiting for? The straight-edge band combines metal
riffs, hardcore, punk and black metal with the keyboards of
Marta, deemed “one of the hottest chicks in metal”
by Revolver magazine and fans alike. The result is one of the
most important and memorable hard rock recordings in recent
years. The album's success has opened doors for the band, with
stints on Ozzfest, a summer tour with Marilyn Manson and Slayer,
and now, an opening slot for Finnish goth metallers HIM.
Live-Metal.net's Jeff Maki sat atop a dark stairwell with Marta prior to the band's gig at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 19, 2007 for an intimate interview. Despite her dark onstage persona, which has led many HIM fans to be creeped out and dub her a vampire, she is a normal, down-to-earth, lovely, extremely well-spoken person. The obvious questions were asked about topics such as being a female in a rock band and her cover issue of Revolver, but Maki also got some dirt on new Bleeding Through music, the continued success of The Truth and how the band ended up opening for HIM.
Live-Metal.net: The obvious question is how did you hook up with HIM for this tour with your bands being so different in styles? But I do know from your [heartagram] tattoo, that you are a huge fan.
Marta: Yes, I am a fan, but I don't think that necessarily had anything to do with it. There's lots of reasons, obviously, why bands will be put together on a bill, but kind of how it works is HIM decides to go on tour and various bands will submit, and it's kind of under their choice and we were a choice! It's kind of as simple as that, but we obviously wanted to tour with them. That's how things fall into place. I mean, it's definitely a risk they're taking by taking a band out that's kind of heavy that we are compared to them. It's pretty cool. It's flattering.
Did you have to switch things up in the set? Did you have to tone it down at all for the HIM crowd or do you go all out like usual?
Both, actually. We will play more of our melodic songs, I guess you would say, but as far as toning down how we are onstage, when we play those songs, we are full force at all times.
Ever since The Truth was released, you guys have been on and off the road constantly.
Did you ever think at this point you'd still be touring for
No, probably not, actually. We usually have a good idea of how long we want to be touring for an album, which is more around two years, maybe a year and a half. It kind of just keeps getting extended by all these good offers that we can't say no to, so there's no rules for how much you should tour for an album or how little. For us, it's more of a matter of us getting bored with the songs we've played for so long. Some of our more dedicated fans want to hear new material. So after about two years, you're pretty ready for some new stuff.
How is it playing these songs for what now? Three years?
For me, it's like clockwork. I could play these songs in my sleep, but you know I'm still active. We're all still active and obviously enjoying playing them. It's not like we're up there twiddling our thumbs or something. So it's still very enjoyable, but we thirst for new material.
The obvious question now is have you started writing any new material yet?
Yes, we have. Actually, we started writing
a while back, but I guess this summer we got more serious
about it. And after we finished the Slayer/Marilyn Manson
tour, continued to write and are still looking forward to
finishing that. But yeah, we're working on new stuff.
Will it continue in the same vein as The Truth? Or will there be more accessible songs like “Line in the Sand”?
I guess so far there's nothing that has strayed too far out of our tendrils, but we spread in such a vast array of music that it's kind of hard to say which direction we're going when we're going so many different directions. So I guess the only thing I can guarantee is that there will be fast songs. There will be slower songs. And as far as guaranteeing that some of those will be accessible, I don't know. If someone's familiar with our previous albums, I think it's not as if they're going to be shocked. We're not taking any sharp 180 degrees or anything like that.
You mentioned the Slayer/Manson tour. Tell us briefly about that experience. Did you get to hang with Marilyn or the Slayer guys?
Top be quite honest, most band members from both didn't hang out and weren't very social. However, Kerry King was rad and hung out and surprised all of us by how nice he was and also by just his knowledge of all of the smaller bands and what everybody's doing. He really has his ears in it still and that was definitely a shock. I think also it was little nerve-racking at first that we were going on tour with such legendary bands. You hear horror stories about bands going on tour with Slayer [laughter], but really I think we survived pretty well. I think everyday we knew we had to work our asses off to get the crowd to respond, but it's fuel for your fire. You have to work that much harder for someone to nod along or someone to keep their eyes on you guys. It was a learning experience, but all and all it was a good experience.
How do you feel about being one of the hottest chicks in metal in the Revolver issue?
Is that coming from you or is that coming from Revolver? [laughter]
Well it's coming from me and Revolver [laughter] ... ummm ... the Revolver, I guess.
OK. Well, I guess it wasn't as shocking as the first time. I mean, I guess I was somewhat thankful that they chose me again [laughter]. But really though, it wouldn't make a difference to me. It's flattering, it's a nice thought and it's nice to see that there's lots of girls in bands—more and more and more. It's fun to see that number growing and seeing more and more faces that I might get to meet along the road, which is kinda fun. So it's something that I take light-hearted. You can't let it get to you. You can't let it sink in too much because really, you're there to make music and obviously you want people to see that first or understand that that's your purpose first. But it's something fun and I guess it's something that's unavoidable. I would never deny being part of something like that. It's fun.
What's the hardest part of being a girl in a rock band on the road with a bunch of guys?
I swear I've answered this question a million different ways, but everyday something will be stressed more than others. I guess right now ... It is but it isn't hard. It's probably hard for anybody to be in a band, period, regardless of sex. But I think when it gets hardest most, the most hard for me when I really just want to talk about things that girls talk about. I want to know, “Hey does my hair look alright?” I guess a girl's opinion, when a guy will just say [guy voice], “Yeah, it looks fine.” Sometimes, it's just having a girl around to have small talk with. It's a little different, but I appreciate the guys and I think they learn from me as much as I learn from them about being around the opposite sex all the time and we do really well together. They're very respectful and treat me as an equal.
Is there someone in the band that would be your girlfriend or take the place of your girlfriend? You know what I'm trying to say?
There's certain members that I am closer with and certain members, you know, I could cry with and share silly things with, but really it's too complicated to put in just a simple left and right pile. Like anything, you're gonna be closer with certain people and the one's I'm closer with I will share all those silly things with.
BLEEDING THROUGH PERFORMING AT OZZFEST 2006
When did you first start playing keyboards and do you come up with the parts yourself or is it collectively as a band?
I have been playing piano my whole life, but as far as writing the parts, it's pretty collective. But as far as writing my specific parts, yeah, I write them. A song generally begins with our guitar player, Brian, or Brandan, but really it's a group effort. Although I seem to kind of let the skeleton of a song begin before I can add my parts. Every song is different, so it's not like a set in stone, how the writing works process but kind of generally, yeah.
You guys are all straight edge in the band?
You guys don't preach this like so many other bands. What does it mean to you to be straight edge and why did you choose this way of life?
It's something we all came to at different times on different levels for completely different reasons, but really, I think when they started the band, I think they liked the idea of keeping the entire band a drug-free environment. It obviously keeps things uncomplicated. It's easy to share the same views with people you're directly around. We wouldn't be opposed to someone [not straight edge] being in the band, but it just has continued this way and seems simplest for us. As far as not preaching about it, I think it's the fact that ... that's not why we're here. That's not what this band is about. We're here for a different purpose. It's a simple as that.