Sometimes creating an album means spilling some blood, and no one knows that better than The Bloodletters.
The Bloodletters, who were recently featured on Team Love’s Die Pfalz compilation, will be releasing their self-titled EP, The Bloodletters, on Nov. 5.
Taylor Davis (drums, vocals), Keir Zemaitis (bass, vocals) and David Chernis (guitar) formed the New Paltz-based band in the winter of 2010. Davis said they didn’t know each other very well, but they all had one thing in common — they wanted to play some rock and roll.
“We figured we’d give it a try in my living room and [we] started knocking some tunes around, and realized it was going to work,” he said. “[The Bloodletters] was a project where we wanted to play some dirty rock and roll…and we started with a concept as basic as that.”
The meaning behind the band’s name, which Davis said “is not as gruesome as it sounds,” resonates within the songs on the album.
“[The Bloodletters] is a kind of a heavy name for basically telling a story or writing a letter from the heart,” Davis said. “All of the songs are tales of heartbreak and frustration, [and] that’s where it’s rooted for sure.”
The Bloodletters was the band’s way of fulfilling their ‘70s rock and roll fantasies and etching a place within a music genre they’ve always loved.
“We all had a love for that time period and ‘70s rock and roll, and in a way, just stripping everything down to the raw sounds and real simple grooves was the idea,” Davis said. “Allowing it to be natural and not thinking about all the effects.”
Zemaitis said unlike today when music is bought on a song-by-song basis, The Bloodletters is an album that should be listened to from start to finish.
“It’s a real album that’s best listened to front and back… so give yourself a good 40 minutes to listen to the whole album,” he said. “It’s definitely not a concept record, but I do think that in this day and age, listening to an album [entirely through] is kind of a concept.”
The band worked with Jason Meagher, owner and operator of Black Dirt Studios, which permanently closed its doors after eight years this month. Meagher said he worked with the band, as the engineer, for about a week’s time that was spread over a couple months.
“The band is primarily a live act and therefore incredibly tight, and their arrangements were fairly worked out beforehand,” he said. “As with most artist-produced sessions, it is always nice to be able to give a different perspective as a fresh set of ears.”
Meagher said The Bloodletters are the perfect example of “contemporary American rock ‘n roll” with their album accurately capturing their live sound.
“A musical stew of boogie, ballads and just a little bit of funkiness, [and] I say all of that in the best way,” he said. “The album was tracked almost exclusively live off the floor so the sound is the sound of the band.”
Despite not touring for this album any longer, The Bloodletters will be having two local shows to promote the album. The first will be on Sunday, Oct. 21, at 7 p.m. The band will be performing with Johnny Monster Band at Tin-Roof Sessions’ fifth session.
Tin-Roof Sessions are sessions held in Davis’ live room that hosts bands who tour through New Paltz as well as local bands. The sessions are videoed, produced and sponsored by Team-Love Records, and their website, tinroofsessions.com, will be launched by January 2013 where the sessions can be viewed.
The official New Paltz show will be a double CD release with The Bloodletters and Yard Sale, another band that Davis is in, on Dec. 15 at Snugs.
Davis said The Bloodletters was a project and they don’t see the band continuing further after this album.
“We made it happen,” he said. “We pushed it through to this record and we’ve played a bunch of shows already, and we’re doing some shows to support the record. We all kind of have our own projects. We had a lot of fun, but it is what it is.”