Blood In the Water come from the heartland of US Death Metal that’s also the country’s favorite retirement spot. Does this make them sound less awesome and senile? Absolutely not. Guitarist Barry Pinto would attest to how ferocious they are whether performing onstage with 10 people in the audience or offstage betting on bloody fights between alligators and sharks. For the real deal on Florida’s nastiest Death Metal band to inject melody in their sound, here’s Mr. Pinto on new members, the band’s official merch, and the mythical aquadeer.

Blood In The Water? Were you guys thinking of sharks when you were wondering what to call yourselves?

It's tough to make music a full-time career when the music that you are playing is death metal, especially in this economy.
Barry Pinto: The name's actually lifted from a passage about Armageddon in the Book of Revelation, where the seas are turned to blood. We're all atheists, but the imagery works...and the name stands out. Florida is full of death metal bands with cliché, two-word names like "Innocuous Disfigurement." Here in Florida, if the first word isn't a brutal adjective that you have to look up in the dictionary, or you go beyond two words, you're demoted to metalcore status.

For those who have no idea just who the hell Blood In The Water are (that would be the person who's reading this interview) how would you describe your band's unique appeal? This seems like a simple question, but consider this the part where you sell yourself to an audience. Thanks!

BP: We're doing melodic death metal the way that it used to be done. Dark melodies, raw vocals, and no breakdowns. If you can appreciate that style, then listen to us. If you're into the deathcore revolution, you have a million other choices.

How long has each of you known each other? After you fight or argue, how are differences reconciled?

BP: Derek, our vocalist, and I have known each other for about four years. We just hired a brand-new drummer, guitarist and bassist, so we've known those dudes for about two weeks. There's really no fighting or drama in this band because we're in it to have fun. We don't take ourselves too seriously. You won't see us on stage in corpse paint and armor any time soon unless it's a parody.

Found someone to play bass yet?

BP: We actually did. His name's Joe and he is working on the bass lines and should be joining us shortly.

You guys doing anything else aside from playing in a band?

BP: We work for various marketing companies in the Bay Area. It helps to have money.

How come those songs of yours I listened to have such awful production? You guys don't have a budget? What steps is the band taking to solve this problem?

BP: I'm going to have to disagree. Everyone's entitled to their opinion, but we have no problem with the actual production value of the EP. We recorded it at at Erik Rutan's studio in St. Pete (Mana Recording Studios) with Brian Elliott. The only reason that it suffered was that we had very little time to write it and record it. All of the music was written in a single weekend, the drums needed a lot of work in Pro Tools because we recorded those at another studio and they were recorded way too hot, and we had something like 10 hours to lay down the guitar and bass. That might be what you're hearing. Listening to it on MySpace doesn't help, either. But anyway, on our next EP you are going to hear much better songwriting and layering of guitar parts. There’ll be more solos, more leads, and more twin harmonies. Mana is a great studio, and we're definitely going back. Cannibal Corpse, Through the Eyes of the Dead, The Absence and others wouldn't record there if they were known for awful production.

Which Blood In The Water songs do you love the most?

BP: "Wolf Dick", "Snap Mare" and "The Secret Beneath The Lake."

"Wolf Dick" huh?

BP: Yeah. It's about werewolf prostitutes that transform you by biting you on your dick. We were pretty buzzed when we came up with that one.

How does the band go about the business of writing its own material? Do you all just show each other lyrics and jam out the parts that will soon make the whole?

BP: In the past, we've started with a main riff or two then comes the drums, then we write the rest of the guitar parts over the drums, and the lyrics and vocals come last. We're approaching the new material slightly different, showing up to practice with five to 10 riffs and just jamming.

Anyway, how often does Blood In The Water play shows? And where do you usually play? Name venues please. I might visit these places one day.

BP: We should be playing shows again with the new lineup in about a month and we're going to be playing at least once a month. The Brass Mug in Tampa and Crowbar in Ybor are safe bets...you might see us at the State Theatre in St. Pete later this year if a national act comes through town.

I'm a persistent S.O.B. who wants to know every little detail--how do you land yourself on a bill? You know, like getting your band on one evening's local metal concert? Are you close with any of the local bar managers in your area?

BP: Our vocalist, Derek, has been playing shows around here for years and knows a lot of the people that you mentioned. It's not hard to get booked in Tampa Bay, though. The metal venues around here actively advertise for local bands to send them booking requests.

Are your audiences usually small or have you played to bigger crowds already?

BP: Small...the death metal scene in Tampa is fairly dead. We were at a Hate Eternal show in St. Pete a month or two ago, and even though it was a Wednesday night and The Absence was pulled off the bill, the turnout was horrible. There's no reason that a band that good should only be drawing 25 people in a city that's supposedly the "death metal capital" of the United States.

How would you honestly rate Blood In The Water as a live band?

BP: That depends how many drink tickets we get. We have a rule: only a beer or two before the show. But seriously, we're very excited about how the new lineup is going to sound live. Our new drummer has a lot of power, and it's taking the existing material to a new level. Nothing against our old drummer, he was a very talented guy, but he was a finesse player. The missing ingredient in this band was a drummer who drills, and now we have that.

You got number one fans already? Like people who are always around during Blood In The Water shows?

BP: One...his nickname is Vermin, due to his rodent-like appearance. You can always find him by the soundboard or the barricade, dead center. If there's a metal show anywhere between Tampa and Orlando, he's always first in line.

Can you name your biggest influences and explain why they're so significant to you personally? I know this is a (very) frequently asked question, but letting our readers know about your own reasons for loving music never loses its appeal.

BP: A lot of Swedish melodic death bands...At the Gates, Dissection, Necrophobic, Dark Tranquility, old In Flames. We're also into the new bands that do melodeath as well, like The Black Dahlia Murder.

Does Blood In the Water just love alcohol? When was the last time any of you were inebriated? Or are you guys always sober individuals with a burning passion for music?

BP: We do love our Jagermeister and beer. Actually, the only in fighting in the band is Budweiser versus Miller. We practice, write, and play sober, though. Afterwards, all bets are off.

Where can your fans buy Blood In The Water merch?

BP: On our MySpace. We're going to have better, cheaper shirts at our upcoming shows, though.

Well, after all you guys are from Florida so I might as well ask this: If an alligator and a shark got into a fight, who would most likely win?

BP: Depends on where this epic showdown is goin' down. In fresh water, we'll give it to the gator. In salt water, the shark all the way. What you really need to fear is the Aquadeer, which is a mythical beast that lives in the woods of Florida and can run on water. The Aquadeer would thrash them both.

Which of you is really bent on pursuing music as a career? It's an exciting industry, you know. Albeit strewn with pitfalls. But exciting nonetheless.

BP: It's tough to make music a full-time career when the music that you are playing is death metal, especially in this economy. Even the bands that are signed, national acts with videos on MTV are touring and sleeping in vans and losing money. Whatever happens, happens. I'll always be making music...whether or not I make a dime off of it is another story. To be honest, I really don't give a fuck, because at the end of the day, I write for myself.

Just as the sun rises and sets, so does an interview start and inevitably reach its end. Thank you for your time and dedication Blood In The Water. Are you looking forward to doing anything else today?

BP: Maybe trying to instigate a fight between an alligator and a shark.

--Miguel Blardony

Barry PintoMiguel Blardony4/23/2009


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