Bloodline Severed are a 6 piece Metal/Djent band. They have been together for a few years but have only been with this line-up for a couple of months. Last year they have released a new album Letters to Decapolis and a very cool music video for the song El Gibbor [Mighty God], which can be seen below. Lets have a chat with bass player David and the other Bloodline Severed members:
TMR: Hello to you from ‘The Metal Resource’ Holland, how are things going there in Winston Salem?
David – Hey guys and thanks for allowing us the opportunity for the interview. Things are great! The Band is still growing and changing into its own with nothing but positive’s for the future!
TMR: Will you introduce yourself and the current line-up please [name and instrument]
David – Sure…..on vocals and our newest member of the band we have Jimmy Shaddix. Jimmy just moved down to North Carolina from Aurora, IL in the first of November. On guitar we have the Macemore brothers, Aaron and Daniel both of which have been with the band a couple of years. Our third guitarist is Joey Cowan which joined us in the spring of 2012. On drums we have John Snyder and on Bass is me, David Whichard. Both John and I have been in the band for a pretty good while
TMR: Describe your family situation
David – Our family situation is pretty cool in the fact that all of us are married and the majority of us have kids. Aaron has two kids, Joey has one, Jimmy has two kids and I (David) have two as well.
John and Daniel are more on the newlywed side of things so they are enjoying the honeymoon phase of their marriages. We all have dance recitals and ballgames to attend when we are not traveling with the band. Baby sitting and homework is a regular thing at our houses if we aren’t on stage playing a show or at practice hammering out some cool riffs. We all try to meet up and go to some local shows if we are playing but most of the time we all spend times with our Families and friends!
David – Bloodline Severed originally named Markd actually started out as an answer to a classified ad. The line-up was a four piece band compiled of me (David) and a friend of mine who played drums and two guys (a guitarist and a vocalist) who were friends from another town close to where we lived. Markd was more of a Christian Rock band (think Creed/ POD) with very little metal influences. Through line-up changes and making the decision to move to a heavier more aggressive music we decided a few years ago to change our name to Bloodline Severed. Our band has experienced many different changes over the years but one thing remains current and that is the message we sing and play about.
TMR: Are you guy’s full time musicians? If not what kind of job or school do you do beside the band?
David – No we are part-time musicians in a Fulltime ministry. There are times because of work and family schedules we can’t tour like we would to but God has called us all to be in the ministry Fulltime! We have learned that whether we are on the stage or at dance recital with our daughters, in our home, at the church or coaching our son’s football team…. it’s all Fulltime!
TMR: What is your musical background? [For everyone personal]
Aaron – I started playing guitar when I was 19. Basically, I learned how to play while being in a band setting with my brothers and high school friend, writing songs and rehearsing for hours 3-4 times a week. We wanted to be like Dream Theater. After that project disbanded it was several years before I had the opportunity to join Bloodline Severed. I’ve been a part of the Bloodline family for almost 5 years, written 2 albums and working on the third and loving every minute of it.
Jimmy – Well I started off playing bass when I was 17; I played that for about a yr and a half. Then, I wanted to be able to do harmonics and sweet guitar squeals so I remember my friend Justin Schmed gave me my very first guitar. It was cheap and had stickers all over it but I learned a lot. I taught myself from watching friends and listening to music, lots of Rage Against the Machine, Tom Marrello’s guitar playing totally inspired me!! From there I started my first band and I was the singer and guitarist for about 5 yrs… After I had my kids, my thought process changed and I wanted them listening to lyrics that were positive and uplifting without any of the foul language so that’s when I decided to lay down the axe and take up singing again. It was a struggle at first but now I’m in an awesome band with a great group of guys that I love…
Joey – I started out of High School playing guitar in bands. I played with Hour Negative/Argosy out of Greenville, SC and Burn the Shields out of Boone, NC.
Daniel – My brothers and friend decided to start a band together back in 1998.
David – I started playing bass at 13…won state competition for bass guitar at 17 and placed 4th in the National Teen Talent competition at 18. I started in my first band at 15 and traveled up and down the East Coast with kids that were in a Bible College that same summer. I have been a part of many bands and side projects on a local and regional level but nothing as special as the times I have had with so many special people during my stay with Bloodline Severed
TMR: Why the name ‘Bloodline Severed’? Is there a story behind it?
David Hebrews 9:22, “…without shedding of blood is no remission….Christ had to be cut off from his heritage, from his Father, from everything that was ever good to die on a Cross to save us so we could live. That holy and sanctified bloodline essentially had to be severed for us to live.
TMR: Who writes the music/lyrics in ‘Bloodline Severed’? How do you get in the mood for writing music? And which bands/situations have influences you for writing music and lyrics?
David – On our latest album 80% of the lyrics were written by our old vocalist and great friend Corey Weaver. I wrote the lyrics to the song Masquerade and Aaron Macemore wrote some of the lyrics to Amabylon.
As for the music it was a composition of work done by all of the musicians in the band. Our writing process is a little more thought intensive than what most bands are willing to give. We write and rewrite songs until they have a nice ebb and flow with all parts being equally thought out. The writing process for this band is by far the most nerve racking but it makes the live show performances so much sweeter!
One thing we try to do is imagine a kid or listener putting in our CD for the first time or for the fiftieth time and not skipping over any songs or interludes.
TMR: How do you describe the music of ‘Bloodline Severed’ the best?
David – Brutally Beautiful….we want the listener to be struck with devastation as they hear the heaviness of each riff sawing through their ears only to be delightfully moved into a new world with showers of melodic rain. The lyrics need to take them from the edge of the cliff contemplating a suicidal death to walking hand in hand with our heavenly father all while knowing that their battle rages on each and every step of the way.
TMR: How does ‘Bloodline Severed’ stands in life till events in the world, religion and politics and in which proportion stands that till your music and lyrics?
David – Oh Wow…that is a broad subject in which could take a ton of time and paper but I can keep it simple for you. We believe in the Bible and prophesy that was given to us from many years ago. Politics are corrupt.. We shouldn’t place our Faith in man or man’s system. Religion is also corrupt because man’s ideas are not what God had in store for mankind. This World is decaying at a rapid pace and the inhabitants aren’t doing anything to preserve it but with all that being said we are History makers in a progressive society. We are seeing the words of our forefathers being played out into the lives of our friends and families. Bloodline Severed is here to provide hope to the hopeless, Peace to those who cant find Peace on CNN or NBC (Local news media). We are here to help the homeless find shelter and the hungry be fed!
TMR: For a lot of bands the lyrics are just a accidental circumstance, but for some bands they use them to communicate! ..Can you tell us how that is for ‘Bloodline Severed’?
David – With us nothing is circumstance but all of our songs both musically and lyrically are inspired by today’s current events and most importantly inspired by our Father God who is all the inspiration we truly ever need!
TMR: Is there a highlight you will always remember, since the beginning of ‘Bloodline Severed’?
Aaron – We’ve had many highlights, played lots of shows, some good some bad, but the absolute highlights are when we stop our set, pray for people and minister to the hurt and needy. Bringing people to Christ and giving hope to the hopeless.
Jimmy – I’d say right now my biggest highlight being new to the band was, watching the El Gibbor music video and then coming down to NC from IL to try and meeting the guys from that video and how cool they were to me and John our drummer took me out to eat at Cookout’s for my first time and gave me a place to stay.. The tryout was supper fun, getting to do vocals for the song that I watched the music video for!! Big highlight for me =)
Joey – I am new to the band, but I’d have to say the video shoot was a major highlight for me personally. It was an eye opening experience to say the least.
David – The Festivals are always fun! The Video shoot was really exciting and I guess the main thing is watching kids lives get turned upside down (in a good way) by the power of God.
TMR: And the worst thing was? [If there is one]
Aaron – Lineup changes. We’ve had lineup change after lineup change. People that you consider brothers have been called away to other ministries, which we have no hard feelings with any of them it’s just that we progress as a unit and then all progression stops, new members have to be taught the songs and then get back out just to be stopped again. But the silver lining of all this is we have the best group of guys who gel and the new songs are really really coming along great.
Jimmy – I would have to say nothing, I’m still too new. Hahaha
Joey – I guess loosing Corey because we all knew that was going to be a big change, but things work out and Jimmy, who has replaced him is going to do great things with this band.
David – Leaving my family….and losing some close friends that left the band. Dempsey, Derek and especially my brother for many years Corey
TMR: First record you bought? [For everyone personal]
Aaron – MC Hammer “Too Legit to Quit”
Jimmy – My first cassette I bought was Offspring’s “Smash”
Joey-I acquired my first album, Metallica: Master of the Puppets, through the old barter system. It cost me a pretty thick, Garfield Comic Book. Fourth Grader Economics!!!
David – Wow, can’t remember back that far. Probably some Christian rock CD…Parents were really strict so wasn’t allowed anything other than Christian.
TMR: What makes you laugh? [For everyone personal]
Aaron – My kids bring a lot of joy into my life, they constantly say the funniest things. For instance this year for Christmas my family is going to play a game called Dirty Santa, well my daughter catching word of this decided we should play Clean Santa. She doesn’t like the germs Dirty Santa brings.
Jimmy – One big thing that gets me cracking up is my kids and I kinda have our own language, and when we talk to each other using our “slang” I get to laughing pretty hard sometimes.
Joey – Politics or maybe just the notion that a physical solution will be used to fix a spiritual problem.
David – My wife and kids, Loud farts and being around people I love.
TMR: How do you promote your band and shows?
Aaron – recently our new singer Jimmy, he’s great promoting and spamming peoples facebook page.
Jimmy – I promote us the best way I can.. 20-30 posts a day on our websites, getting flyers out there for shows, we have a couple local promoters that help here and there too. But I just get to work and flash the name Bloodline Severed all over the internet and social sites to keep our name fresh in the eyes of everyone that follows us and what we do.
Joey-Social Networking, word of mouth etc…
David – Facebook, Reverbnation, Work, Church, neighbors if we play close.
TMR: How do you prepare for a show? [For everyone personal]
Jimmy – Well, I wake up from having slept in to make sure I have good rest… I make coffee, read my Bible, eat some oatmeal with peanut butter in it for fuel for my day.. I drink green tea and room temp water only after my coffee to keep my vocal cords solid for some screaming later.. I sit on the internet and promote some more before the show… Then I just wait to see when the guys wanna get together to get going to the venue.
Joey– I basically show up, help load in, wait, and play. I need to warm up while I’m waiting but too many things are going on.
David – I go to my happy place…David’s land and then I try to concentrate on seeing myself perform the songs and sing the lyrics..Lastly I pray and try to meditate on the awesomeness that each show brings
TMR: Describe your show, visual and musically? And tell us about your next shows and why we should be there.
David – Our set list pretty much stays the same with the exception of the addition of some old songs when we have a longer set time. Our live show visually changes according to how everyone feels and how much space we have to act crazy.
Our next few shows are local and you should be at all of them to experience what it is to worship God heavy Metal style with a “No-holds-barred” mentality.
TMR: Name some of your favorite bands to play with live [past and future] and tell us why?
Jimmy – I’ve gotten chance to play with some very cool bands in the past… My old band The Great Flood I got a chance to play with Despised Icon and Through the Eyes of the Dead. Very nice guys, just recently BLS played with Letter to Exiles and they were good and were also nice dudes too!! I’m looking forward to playing with more bands that we are friends with and love…
David – We have been at festivals with all the main bands in the industry but I would have to say we love our label mates Phinehas and A Plea for Purging are two of my favorites.
TMR: What is the dumbest question you have ever been asked? [For everyone personal]
Aaron – What time does the seven o’clock movie start?
Joey – There’s no such thing, right?
David – Is your beard real?
TMR: Do you have a life philosophy / favorite quote? [for everyone personal]
Aaron – “Seek Truth Pray for Discernment”
Jimmy – Psalms 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.
Joey– Hosea 4:6 KJV My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
David – Live life to its fullest because that may your last!
Revelations 12:11 – “They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.”
TMR: Are you visiting many gigs and what do you listen to these days? [for everyone personal]
Aaron – I’ve been to several good shows recently. Roger Waters “The Wall” was epic but Opeth and Steve Vai top them all.
Jimmy – Yes I am, I try to go to as many local shows and big shows as much as possible, not only to help promote BLS but to support other bands and it helps keep me fired up for practicing and playing shows.
David- I listen to Periphery, Volumes, For Today, Sleeping Giant, and try to get a mix of Hardcore, Metal and Progressive. I also listen to dance music and praise and worship to be well rounded.
TMR: Tell us about the hard rock/metal scene in your area please?
David – The scene is really struggling right now. There are so many bands playing the same chord progression in the same rhythm and changing the words around that for those of us who really try to think songs out it makes us look like outsiders. We are hoping one day that kids get tired of the same breakdowns and want real music again. Having said all of that, the lyrics have to be there as well..That’s why we like For Today and Sleeping Giant because they are real with their lyrics.
TMR: What’s your outlook on the record industry today?
David – Can I say, we are really blessed with an innovative record label (Red Cord Records – http://www.redcordrecords.com/ and at www.facebook.com/redcordrecords) who doesn’t push everyone to go tour a ton of shows and doesn’t burn out their bands for the sake of a few bucks.
So many labels are killing the great bands out there and the actual music sells are down because of illegal downloads or downloads at a very minimal cost. The bands never recoup all of their money back unless your Lady Gaga and sleeping with the illuninati….haha
David – Writing was long and a struggle….Recording was easier because it was so well rehearsed. Our former guitarist and good friend DC Mills does all of our band art work..he is the greatest!
TMR: The album was released last March via ‘Red Cord Records’. How did you get signed by them?
David – We got signed through the guy that recorded us (Jamey King – www.thebasementrecordingnc.com ) he has a ton of contacts in the industry. We always think so much of Jamie not to mention he is the best at what he does….
TMR: What is your favorite ‘Bloodline Severed’ song ? [for everyone personal]
Aaron – I’ll name one song from each album. On Visions Revealed I really like playing “Internal Battles….” On Letter to Decapolis I like playing “Lead Us Into Battle” I never get tired of playing the jazzy lead in the middle of that one. Honorable mention song goes to “Final Chapter” that song is just different than most of our other songs.
Jimmy – When I came into this band I had to learn El Gibbor and Countdown to Desecration and I really liked those a lot but now having learning more off of the “Letters to Decapolis” album I would probably would say Masquerade would have to be one of my favorites right now.. It’s got a great message in it, and it actually hit home for me when I read the lyrics and learned them..
Joey – Amabylon and Outside the Gates.
David – Lead us into Battle and Masquerade on Letters. Vision Revealed on Visions.
TMR: What are your plans for the near future? [European Tour maybe]
David – Europe???? We would love to work that out…Get us the connections bro!
We are talking about some summer tours and such but we will have to see how that works with the studio coming up. Did I mention we are going in the studio to record a follow-up to Letters and its going to be even more insane!!!! We can’t wait!
TMR: What advice would you give to fellow bands?
David – Keep your dreams alive, stick to your guns and don’t conform to what everyone wants you to be no matter what that is. Conformity kills but transformation by the renewing of your mind will take you so much farther.
TMR: Guys thanks for your time and the interview, we wish ‘Bloodline Severed’ all the best … Is there anything you wanna say at last? [any final statement ?]
David – Last statement is this: We want you to know that God is love and wants a relationship with each of you. There will be a day where every knee will bow and every tongue will confess…trust us you want to write your ending by being on the winning team!! We love you and will promise to chat with each of you …try us:
Jimmy Shaddix – Vocals
Aaron Macemore – Guitar
Daniel Macemore – Guitar
Joey Cowan – Guitar
Joey Cowan – Drums
David Whichard – Bass
Fear of Reality, EP 
Visions Revealed 
Letters to Decapolis  [Review]