On Saturday, May 23rd of 2015 I was given the opportunity to interview Nick Holmes, the vocalist of Bloodbath (and also Paradise Lost). At the time of the interview Maryland Deathfest XIII was in full swing and I was running a bit late to meet him due to traffic. We met at the bar in the band’s hotel so there’s a bit of background noise on this recording and since I was running late I just kind of jumped into the interview without any last minute prep. It’s my shortest interview to date but it should still be interesting to fans of Bloodbath and Paradise Lost. I have another interview from Maryland Deathfest with Tom Warrior of Triptykon/Celtic Frost posted here and it’s a lot longer, more in depth and higher quality as well.
You can stream my six and a half minute interview with Nick Holmes by clicking the orange play button below, download it as an mp3 here, or read the following transcription. My words are in bold.
Alright this is Metal Chris from DCHeavyMetal.com and I’m here with Nick Holmes, the vocalist of Bloodbath who just headlined Friday at Maryland Deathfest on the Edison Lot last night. So first Nick, thanks for giving me some of your time here. How exactly did you become the vocalist for Bloodbath?
We toured in the States with Katatonia and Devin Townsend and we’d known them for years anyway so, but they asked me if I wanted to do it a couple years ago now so I had quite a long time to think about it. At first I wasn’t sure but then I thought, “why not” you know? We have a mutual love of the old school metal, death metal, and we’re all friends so it kind of made sense. You know if I didn’t know the guys I’d have probably hesitated but we’re all friends and we all… it just worked out great so.
Why did the band keep your identity as the new singer a secret for so long?
Good question. I guess it’s a bit of a tease thing isn’t it? I mean, you know.
Yeah well it’s just a little bit of excitement there. I mean everything’s already on the internet the minute it happens so when you’ve got to wait for something it makes it a bit more exciting I guess, you know.
Now I know you weren’t a member of the band yet but technically Bloodbath has played in America before and they played in Baltimore at Rams Head Live on November 1st, 2011 when Katatonia and Opeth were touring together the final night of their tour was here in Baltimore and they came out and did a surprise encore.
Oh did they?
Where they came out and they played “Eaten” and like another song or two.
Oh I didn’t know that. Was he playing (pointing to Per “Sodomizer” Eriksson)?
I think so. I know [Mike] Åkerfeldt was still doing vocals. I think that was the last time he ever performed with [Bloodbath].
Probably, yeah yeah.
You know Baltimore has been spoiled here. We’ve gotten you guys twice now. Is there any future US tour plans for Bloodbath?
Not in the immediate future. I mean, I’m starting to cycle the tour ??? but then they just did a new Katatonia album so there won’t be anything, it certainly won’t be in the next year or two. I mean it would be nice to do some more stuff with Bloodbath and we’ll see. We didn’t make any long term plans. We just did the albums and we’ll just see how it goes, you know? But obviously commitments with what I do and what Axe [Bloodbath drummer Martin Axenrot] does with Opeth and Katatonia you know that’s first so we’ll see.
So I guess there’s no plans for a new Bloodbath album any time soon as well?
It won’t be any time soon, no. I mean, if at all. So at this point it’s just a question mark.
Understandable, you guys are in so many other projects.
It must be hard just to find the time together.
Yeah, that’s it.
So speaking of which, your other band Paradise Lost has a new album, The Plague Within, which should be coming out in about two weeks.
June the first.
Pretty soon yeah, a week and a half or something like that. So how has it been managing your time between those two projects? I know you’ve been setting up for this Bloodbath show here but also if you’ve got the new album coming out you’ve got to do a press cycle for that as well.
Yeah it hasn’t been to bad yet. There’s a few kind of back to back things that I’m going to do with Bloodbath and PL which is next week actually. Which is kind of, I’d prefer not to do it but that’s just the way that the cookie crumbles you know? Because we’re starting a tour cycle we’ll probably do a tour and then we’ll do more festivals next year with Paradise Lost but we’re doing a lot of festivals this year with Bloodbath. So yeah it’s kind of working alright. I mean [Paradise Lost guitarist] Greg Mackintosh he also does Vallenfyre as well so he’s in a similar situation but we’re doing about three festivals with Bloodbath and Vallenfyre outside of PL so, but we’re not doing anything the same day. Which, that ain’t gonna happen you know?
Shane Embury yesterday from Napalm Death was in…
Oh he loves it. He will just play.
He was in Lock Up and [then] he went on with Napalm Death and Napalm Death played for like 85 minutes last night.
Yeah well he can just go all day, shit. Can’t he?
That’s a trooper man. Are there any plans for Paradise Lost to come to America? Maybe at Deathfest or another festival or a full tour.
I would love to do it but not in the immediate future. I mean hopefully next year. I don’t know you know it’s tough on, it’s expensive to tour here, that’s the thing. You know if you don’t play in [front of] X amount of people you end up losing your ass.
It happens to a lot of bands. It’s not like in England or Europe where you can, you [can] lose a lot coming here to do it. So you’ve got to kind of justify it. So it’s tough I mean. You know we did a lot of support so I mean if we did it, it would probably be as a support sort of thing. But yeah, hopefully we can.
Well the other two Peaceville Three bands have been to the US in the last year or two with My Dying Bride actually was one of the headliners for Deathfest last year and then Anathema came on a tour a year or two ago.
Out of the three Peaceville Three bands Paradise Lost is my favorite for the new material that’s still coming out. I loved the last album. Really excited for the new one.
So OK. What did you actually do with the Necrophagia shirt that was thrown on stage last night?
I don’t know what happened to it. Yeah I forgot about that. I don’t know what… did I… I think I gave it to Waltteri [Väyrynen], the Vallenfyre drummer. He was just there cause he’s like a young guy, he wants all the shirts. He’s like, oh yeah?
So what did you think of the car park that Deathfest is in?
Yeah it was great. It was great a really good show, yeah. We really enjoyed it yeah, I mean, it was so much hassle just to get here to do it with the visas etcetera, etcetera. But yeah it was really good yeah we really all loved it. It was good, good fun and the crowd was great, really good.
Did you see any other bands at Deathfest this year, any that stood out?
I saw Aura Noir which I already like them anyway. I was kind of eating my dinner at the same time. But I mean yeah I like Aura Noir. Who else was it, oh obviously Lock Up as well obviously. But yeah you can’t really get away from it anywhere at a festival site because it’s so loud everywhere.
So you’re going to hear them at least if you don’t see them so.
Well anyway thanks a lot for your time man. It was great getting to see you guys. I got the little teaser before but it was really great getting to see you guys live man.
[Bloodbath was] one of the big bands I was hoping to see this year.
Yeah well we loved it. It was good fun you know. Glad to do it.
Well thanks a lot for your time man.
Cheers bub, thanks.
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