Editor’s Note: Broward County, Florida’s own Bloodbather carved out their own niche with their independent release of “Pressure”, which amassed over 370,000 streams on Spotify and earned them the opportunity to share the stage with Whitechapel and Of Mice & Men. Bloodbather is currently composed of Kyler Millo on vocals/bass and Salem Vex on guitars/synths. They have recently released their new track entitled “Disappear”.
In this interview with Madness To Creation, Kyler of Bloodbather discusses coping with the Covid-19 pandemic, the single and controversial music video for “Disappear” and mental health awareness. Fans can find Bloodbather at the following locations:
Madness To Creation: Hi Kyler, thanks for taking the time to talk with me for Madness To Creation. How are you coping with the Covid-19 pandemic and how has Bloodbather adjusted their focus through their social media accounts?
Kyler: We’ve done a few Instagram Live performances just to update everybody and we do have this EP that we have just been sitting on for well over a year and we can’t wait to put that out, but obviously with this pandemic, it’s been a hinder for everybody, it’s one step at a time, we’re figuring it out as we go.
Madness To Creation: On a personal level, we cover mental health awareness at Madness To Creation, what are some things help you get through the struggles of life, how have you been coping with this Covid-19 pandemic, and what are some things that make you happy?
Kyler: That’s a really good question, and that’s really sick that you guys do that. I feel like with most things, this is a blessing and a curse, for those that have been effected, this is obviously terrible, but for me and my band, we’re fortunate enough to not have been diagnosed with Covid. Personally, the blessing for me during this quarantine is that I like to learn something new. I like to put my brain to work, I’ll read, if not that I recently started to set up a studio to record myself so we can obviously bounce ideas back and forth without actually meeting up, that makes me happy. I’m learning how to skateboard, there’s so many opportunities during this isolation that you don’t have to worry about other people going out and being jealous of your friends, nobody is going out, you know what I mean? There’s other things but it’s obviously a selfish endeavor, I’m just using this time and being productive for myself. That’s just my take on it.
Madness To Creation: What are some other things that help you get through the struggles of life?
Kyler: In general? For awhile, I was into weightlifting, running like everyone should, not weightlifting so much but exercise is a huge thing, it’s good for your body when you’re feeling shitty. I used to do yoga, I used to weight lift, I used to run, and sometimes I go to the park and just meditate, I think everybody can benefit from having that time to just get over themselves, it’s sad when you’re stuck at work all the time and you don’t really have a chance, you gotta find time for you, and if one feels better working out or even just relaxing and playing a video game with a friend or any connections with talking with new people. Obviously this is not the best time but reaching out to your friends, it’s a happiness booster, you get that endorphin rush when you talk to the people you should be. I’m sure it’s the same for you when you meet new people and all that, it’s just hard right now.
Madness To Creation: Absolutely! I appreciate you sharing that. You guys recently released the lyric video for “Disappear”, take us into that song and take us into the chaos that is Bloodbather.
Kyler: That’s a loaded question. As a disclaimer, none of our songs are about women or should be taken from a misogynistic approach, we were in that moment where we listening to a lot of old MySpace deathcore and we thought it would be funny to take some lyrics from those type of bands and implement it to our music as a funny callback, and people were making fun of the lyrics, and I’m like, “dude, they couldn’t have lasted ten years ago”, it’s funny but the chaos but Matt and our guitarist Salem kind of laid the foundation and I came in later and I just added to the writing process, I would say they kind of laid the foundation to the core, and with me I just kind of sprinkle in riffs every now and then.
Basically it’s about cognitive dissonance, any feeling of anger that I do have or that he has, we just put it into the music, it’s not that we are this angry, vitriol, mad people at all times, it’s a good outlet and I enjoy it, it’s a good experience and it’s a good thing to let it out and be whimsical with it, if you want to talk about killing somebody, there’s really no other place to do it than just music, anywhere else is not really accepted, I mean you’re not going to go to the bar and talk to the bartender about these killing fantasies that you have, it doesn’t make sense, if there’s a place to talk about it, it’s in these songs, or if there’s a power struggle between two people, I feel that it’s interesting to see how people change when the power tips a little bit or get overconfident or they feel like they’re untouchable and it switches and they kind of look bad, that’s kind of what those songs are about, it’s just about thinking, “maybe I should relax” or “maybe I should just calm my ego a little bit”, before it happens to me I would be even worse.
Madness To Creation: Where do you see cognitive dissonance be the most prevalent?
Kyler: The most? It might be too much, I don’t even know where to begin, I’m sure you can name a dozen off the top of your head too. I just don’t think that people are honest with themselves, I’m still trying to decipher it myself, I’m kind of at a loss for words on this subject. I get confused with human behavior and I think it’s things that we’re doing in society and it’s mostly American, I’d rather just save it for the music honestly. There’s a lot of disturbing things that I just don’t get, I just wish that we could all be straight(honest), but we can’t, it hurts and it’s sad.
Madness To Creation: It’s not everyday that a new band gets a major record deal. How did the record deal with Rise Records come about and what growth have you seen in Bloodbather from its inception?
Kyler: When we got signed, I was kind of a fill-in on bass at the time and they were kind of gaining some popularity at the time, I was in another band at the time, so I was just kind of working on my own thing, and to be honest, I didn’t really like Bloodbather at the time, I was just like, “yeah, whatever, this music is kind of corny”, but they were my friends and they asked me to fill in, and I was like “sure I don’t care”, and then I did, and I was having a lot of fun because you have fun with your friends regardless, and I’m like, “I’m just going to keep doing this, I feel good when I do it”, and at the time, they were like, “we’re talking to Rise Records, we’re talking to this guy or that guy”, and I was like, “honestly I want to jump on this train” and then I became a permanent member and they signed us, and at that time, I moved to New York and it was kind of hard, so I was kind of away and this was good practice and experience for when Covid happened, we’ve been doing long distance for forever, the growth, I don’t know.
It’s been a huge change, certain members aren’t in it, and now I’m the vocalist, and it’s been a big switch and honestly, some people are not on board and other people are, I’m filling a great man’s shoes and you don’t want to be second, but you gotta make the best of it, as far as that goes, the guitarist has been working on producing beats, he can be so OCD about things, he’s a perfectionist and he wants to get to where we want to be, and I’m working on a lot of personal self-growth for all of us, and we’re excited to see what we have in store next. Hopefully, the next next release we be our “magnum opus”, and Rise Records have been great and have been very supportive of everything, we have a group chat and we just talk all of the time like we’re family, I’m just really blessed to be a part of it.
Madness To Creation: What’s the next release going to look like for Bloodbather fans and what can people expect?
Kyler: This release coming up we only have the single for it. I think we’re having another single come out soon, I don’t know when exactly. We have an EP coming out and that’s been written, that’s been a thing since forever, and I’m still really excited about it, I guess the growth is that you’re always going to be dissatisfied with your current release because it’s already a year old, and you’re like, “oh my God, I can’t wait to do the next next thing”, you want that growth cause you’re like, “this is shit, I should do way better”, this next release you’ll hear a lot of “dance” parts, one of my friends calls it “proto-deathcore”, like back in 2004 or 2003 when deathcore was a thing, but it’s very metal, it’s got a lot of breakdowns, I hope people take it the way it’s supposed to be taken, and that’s all I can ask for.
Madness To Creation: Take us into the very first Bloodbather gig that you were involved in.
Kyler: The first show that I ever played with them on was a Slaughter To Prevail show in Orlando. I don’t remember the venue, it was a very mixed crowd. I come from a hardcore background with like Madball or Agnostic Front, and this kids are coming in with hilarious shirts that say “Fuck You”, and I forgot that this world existed, I felt like I had to get off my high horse, it was a culture shock for me. The show itself was incredible, people went off, and Slaughter To Prevail went up and they went off, it was a good time, and I’m like from then on, “this sticks, I’m having a good time”, but there was no super memorable moments from that day, except there was almost a fight that we got into, I can’t get into that, but other than that, it was a great time.
Madness To Creation: One more fun question for you. Give me one song or album that you can listen to and no matter how many times you hear it, you never get tired of it.
Kyler: This sounds cliche but I can listen to “Goodbye To The Gallows” by Emmure, every day and still bump it to this day.
Madness To Creation: What else would you like to add in regards to Bloodbather?
Kyler: We’re all pretty active on Twitter and Salem is active on IG, we’re always down to talk, especially during this time when everybody is losing their marbles, we’re pretty much an open book, we like to have a good time, we like breakdowns and I’m super thankful for this interview, thank you very much!
And there you have it! Follow Bloodbather on their social media accounts listed above to keep up on their latest news and happenings.