Bloody Social is a downtown NYC act that plays by their own rules, without feeling the need to cozy up to a coddling publicity rep or bow down to the first label throwing them a bone. They might just be one of the few real rock and roll bands based in this glitzier-by-the-minute city. For a group barely together nine months, they’ve got a healthy celebrity following and a dose of nightlife intrigue behind them, (mainly due to their singer, Jamie Burke, the English bad boy who also happens to moonlight as a model in his spare time), but Bloody Social isn’t content to take the easy road to stardom any time soon. In fact, you might be taken aback by their solid work ethic and drive. As law-student-turned-Bloody-Social-guitarist Jamie Biden says, “Everyone here’s a good player, but it sounds like shit if you can’t play together. I totally believe in work. You have to put that time in… We have to take it to the next level by working at it. We get psycho about every little detail.”

Whether those details involve conjuring the music itself, coming up with artwork for the EPs, or creating t-shirt designs, Biden admits, “It’s hard; you have four opinions, but it’s better to have that than to have one person just dictate what it is. Nobody’s like Picasso in here. Whatever you put out has your name on it so you have to stand behind it. Everyone’s kind of a freak about details but I wouldn’t have it any other way.” The band is a democratic entity and everyone pitches in to run the working machine that is Bloody Social. As Biden sees it, they’ve recently turned over a new leaf since finding a proper rehearsal studio, and have now gotten down to the business of “being able to spend the time that we didn’t spend initially, just playing and vibing out on all that…” Drummer Drew Thomas cuts him off, joking, “We don’t do anything but have a good time. We don’t work. And we don’t worry. I’ve never done a day of work in my life.”

All laughing aside, Thomas reports things have been “going swimmingly” since moving into their practice space, which has led to them “writing like crazy.” As heard on the band’s most recent “Radio Maniacs” single, their music has taken on more of a powerhouse rock sound since the early, somewhat raw recordings from their Sharpshooter EP. In fact, after finishing the new single, the band took a spring trip out to Los Angeles to record three songs with drummer/producer Matt Sorum, who’s played with rock heavies like Velvet Revolver, The Cult, and Guns N’ Roses. By spending time with him, Thomas says, “we learned a lot more about our sound and realized there are a lot more layers we want to incorporate.”

Jamie Burke, hiding behind a pair of jet black Wayfarers, agrees, describing the way the band has found to write best: “Funnily enough, my favorite songs in the band, and the ones I think are our strongest, are the ones that really come organically from of the five of us standing there in the studio. Suddenly, we’ll all start to write a bit together, or they’ll start playing a riff together, Drew will come up with a beat and I’ll stick a melody on top. Our best stuff, with the most Bloody Social sound, are the songs that came out when we all got together and just wrote…” Bassist Jimmy Caputo, (the charming, yet least chatty of the group), adds, “No matter how small, it also all comes back to just having to try everybody’s idea. It definitely works out, and we usually stick with the first thing that we did anyway.”

The band is still in the process of evolving and finding their sound. When they first arrived on the scene, fans were quick to ally Bloody Social with anyone from The Cult to Guns N’ Roses, which of course, is not a bad thing. Though they undoubtedly share a certain hard-driving edge with those rock luminaries, they’re not altogether comfortable with such comparisons. Biden is quick to point out, “I think everyone wants to attach something to a new band and I kind of hate that. I’m the first one to say I’m a huge Zeppelin fan or Pink Floyd fan, and love anything Jack White does, and Queens of the Stone Age. But you really just have to hear it for yourselves. A., I don’t think we deserve the comparison and B., we’re really just doing our own thing… we’re just having fun playing. As long as we stick to doing that, it’s cool.” Thomas, on the other hand, says, “If people want to compare our sound to something that excites them, then that’s the perfect thing. For me, those bands were influences back when things were stagnant. They’re rock and roll bands that play things at a level that’s a lot more edgy and exciting than a lot of other milque-toast bands. If people hear that in us, I’m very flattered by that.”

You might think a fairly new band with rock and roll cred, as well as their own reputation for decadence and glamorous connections, would have a good tale to tell as far as behind-the-scenes antics. Unfortunately, however, mum’s the word and they’re not about to reveal anything dirty, new or noteworthy; at least, not yet. Burke laughs, “We’re all in bed by fuckin’ ten o’clock. Our manager Daniel’s the one who causes all the trouble.” Thomas adds, “We’re not going to give that info up right now. You’ll have to read the book in seven years and then we’ll make a lot of money.”

Until the day they make it to the best-seller list, not to mention the top of the rock charts, Bloody Social is focused on writing new material and playing more shows. Amazingly, they don’t feel the pressure to hunt down a label and they’re not in any rush to put out a full-length album. Thomas explains, “You have to be pretty tenacious these days to not fall off the map. This is definitely the kind of band that needs to take things into their own hands and build it up. We’re happy doing that. Realistically, if we want to do a full-length record, we’ll get it done, whether it’s through one source or another.” Burke, shrugging, adds, “You’re right, you have to stay out there, keep in the public eye… But you have to be good, man. If you’re good, people are going to buy your records. This is the best fuckin’ industry we’re working in because there’s always going to be a market for fuckin’ music. If people like your music, they’re going to buy it.”

www.bloodysocialband.com

–Madeline Virbasius-Walsh/photos © Andrzej Liguz/moreimages.net

Postscript:

On a deserted island, what album would you take with you?

Jamie Biden: It would probably be a Pink Floyd record, Obscured By Clouds or something.

Jamie Burke: You’d need a fuckin’ double album. Maybe like Smashing Pumpkins’ Mellon Collie… Maybe fuckin’ Nevermind, but I’ve honestly heard that so many times.

Drew Thomas: I think Jane’s Addiction’s Nothing’s Shocking is a good one. Summertime, oceanside. I’m sitting on an island, man.

Jimmy Caputo: Yo-Yo Ma? Probably the soundtrack to The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Morricone would be good.

Drew Thomas: Maybe we should all be on an island together, then we’d hear more records.

[I see a suitcase of albums now]

Jamie Biden: The Doors?…

Who would you like to tour with?

Jamie Biden: Anyone who’s playing just fucking rock… Queens of the Stone Age, The White Stripes, Velvet Revolver.

Drew Thomas: Anyone who’s playing edgy rock.

Jamie Burke: And you don’t want to go on tour with any fuckin’ wankers either, so you have to make sure they’re all right. The last thing you want to do is trail around the country with a bunch of twats. It’d be cool to tour with just another fuckin’ big ass rock band. I’d like to tour with someone like Queens of the Stone Age. It’d also be good to tour with bands that have a similar style, it’s good for us so their fans get to see us and we get to spread the gospel.

Jamie Biden: Play the desert, maybe with Kyuss.

 
  1. these guys rock, heard some of the l.a stuff its huge, big love from cali. J

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  2. Who’s ass are you kissing at this site?? This band is no where near the credit they are giving them. If they were wouldn’t they be signed and in development by now?

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  3. We happen to like ‘em and no asses are being kissed, but thanks for taking the time to write. Like them or not, Bloody Social certainly incites some fiery commentary.

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  4. Picasso did have Braque and later Dora Maar, but of course if you Google “Picasso colaborator”
    the first result is:

    “… Letters show Picasso was no collaborator. Suspicions laid to rest over why the founder of Cubism remained at work in Paris after the Nazis …”

    A historian would point out that letters, while they provide us with vivid information,
    are full of subjective intonation, precisely the stuff that we would want to avoid
    in taking too seriously, as subjectivity is a lie when extended over a social environment.

    I believe as of this letter writing that they have a good energy. I may also postulate
    that they may remind some of Andrew W.K. as far as a growing conspiracy theory,
    so we need some sordid details pronto.

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  5. I caught the Hiro show and it’s obvious there is a huge future ahead for this band. Say what you will but there is a good chance that with the right moves this will be a defining act for nyc rock. All the ingredients are there.

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  6. I’ve seen them 3 or 4 times in the past year. Bloody Social rocks! The are NYC’s answer to authentic rock and roll. Does anyone know where I can find the new songs from LA??

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  7. Seen a couple of their shows. Wasnt impressed or moved. They are more of a party band for that drug crowd.

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  8. these cats r fuckin cool, makin good tunes — y’all will c
    they rock it AND they r good guys;-)

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  9. saw them at don hills few months ago. they killed it. they may need some polishing but they have a raw energy that is rare. the stuff theyve recorded rocks as well but where can one download radio maniacs?

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  10. I saw these guys at a few shows, don hills, delancey, and lit. Didnt feel it really. The lead singer has a hard time with the singing and with engaging the crowd. The guitarist is a little slow. The bassist is awesome though. Altogether, I would say they are gonna be a cool local band but nothing bigger.

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  11. Too bad I live on the LES and decdied to check out the show at A’s Grocery. Still the same stinky show with know energy. Are they even practicing?

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  12. i saw them play at pianos – i was there for another band but stayed and thought it really rocked even though was too loud! didnt see their show at arlenes or any others but its funny to me that people keep going to this bands shows again and again who think they suck. i think bloody social have a cool sound and hope they keep it up

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  13. try budweiser as your label

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  14. Jamie Burke is not at all a bad boy. Jamie Burke is in fact a very good boy. Jamie Burke is very friendly. Jamie Burke has a heart of gold. If someone calls Jamie Burke a bad boy, he will be very sad. Calling Jamie Burke a bad boy is like calling Jeffrey Solomon a bad boy. Jeffrey Solomon is a very good boy. Jeffrey Solomon is very friendly. Jeffrey Solomon has a heart of gold.

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  15. at least i dont stalk him

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